I HEART KEYTAR: 5 Keytars you must try before you die

EDIT: This was my 2009 April Fools Day joke: I changed the entire site to I Heart Keytar for the day. Enjoy.

Roland AX-7

The AX-7 MIDI Keyboard Controller offers stage performers more freedom and expressiveness, and the ability to show off those David Lee Roth high kicks you perfected in the basement. A host of controllers—including a D Beam—opens up a new dynamic for live players, while the AX-7’s attractive pearl white design looks great on stage. It’s also very easy to use, thanks to a new LED display, expanded patch memory and GM2/GS compatibility. Rad. CLICK HERE to see the Roland AX-7 on eBay.


Williams Keytar V-1

This New Wave-approved Keytar V-1 was designed specifically to be easy to play, and it combines strummable strings with a piano keyboard instead of a fretboard. This wedge-shaped beauty is sure to aid you in your musical explorations into the stratosphere, and if it doesn’t you can totally use it as a doorstop for your drawbridge. CLICK HERE to see the Williams Keytar V-1 on eBay.

Yamaha SHS-10

Voted by Postmodern Keytarist magazine as the Keytar most likely to be found at garage sales, the Yamaha SHS-10 brought Keytar to the masses in the late 80s. The SHS-10 was lightweight, easy to use, and its inbuilt demo track was Last Christmas by Wham. Get strapped on! CLICK HERE to see the Yamaha SHS-10 on eBay.


Moog Liberation

The granddaddy of them all, the Moog Liberation was the first commercially available Keytar in the world when it was released in 1980, and it remains so today. Famous Liberationists include Herbie Hancock, Stereolab, Devo, Tom Coster of Santana, Tom Costa of TV fame, and Bryce Kushnier of The Fancy Few, known across Canada as the Moog-King of the Cold Country. CLICK HERE to see the Moog Liberation on eBay.

Casio AZ-1

Never before or since have 2 switches, two wheels, one slider and a hell of a lot of cool conspired to make so great an instrument. The weapon of choice for Thomas Dolby, whoever played keyboards in Gloria Estefan’s Miami Sound Machine and Human League’s Neil Sutton, the AZ-1 is also notable for a headstock designed to open beer cans. CLICK HERE to see the Casio AZ-1 on eBay, or just CLICK HERE to see bottle openers.

NEWS: Moog rereleases Taurus bass pedals

Wow! Moog is rereleasing the very cool Taurus Bass Pedals, as used by Rush’s Geddy Lee, Yngwie Malmsteen, and a whole bunch of other guys. Essentially the foot pedals of an organ, you can use these to create pedal tones to solo over or, if you’re sitting down or are a bit of a dancer, to play actual bass lines.

I first read about this on the awesome Premier Guitar mailout.

Here’s the press release:

Asheville, N.C. (December 4, 2008) — Decades after their famous run in the seventies, Taurus Bass Pedals are still highly sought after among collectors. They’ve been known to sell for as much as $5,000 on eBay. Now Moog Music is bringing back the Taurus Bass Pedals in a limited edition quantity for a limited time only.

The new edition reproduces the Taurus I sound engine, combining it with modern features, rugged construction and an affordable price. However, only 1000 of these new Taurus pedals will be built; the first 250 customers to order one will receive a $300 discount from the $1995 price (a $500 deposit is required).

The Taurus Bass Pedals offer ends on February 15, 2009, and Moog expects to ship the pedals in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Preliminary specifications include:

• 100% Analog Sound Engine based entirely on original TAURUS I circuits

• “Taurus I” style (one and half octaves on the floor)

• 2 VCO Oscillators, ADS Contour Generator, 1 VCF Filter, Output VCA

• Presets: 16 Banks x 4 presets = 48 Total Programmable Bass Sounds

• Bank 0 contains the Original Taurus I Presets: Var, Taurus, Tuba and Bass

• Midi: Din and USB, Merging and Routing

• Arpeggiator: Midi Sync and Tap Tempo (Internal)

• CV Inputs: Volume, Filter, Pitch and Gate

For more info: Moog Music