I am often asked, “What kind of keyboard do you play?”
What you are seeing
The keyboard in all my videos is a Yamaha S80. It’s an oldie but a goodie. It was discontinued many years ago, but the feel, action, and durability are excellent.
It also supports up to four zones, which I use to create layers, like pads and strings.
What you are hearing
What you are NOT hearing are the original, internal, stock piano sounds of the S80. They sound pretty thin and dated to me. Many of the other sounds (pads, electric pianos) are fine. Here is an example of one of the stock piano sounds:
In earlier videos, like the “Playing in the background” worship keyboard tutorial, I’m using a secret weapon: a Yamaha PLG-150AP expansion card. Yamaha sampled one of their concert grand pianos for this card, which installs in the back of the S80 or a number of other Yamaha keyboards. Unfortunately, these cards are also discontinued, but you can find them every once in a while on eBay. Here is a sample of the expansion card sound:
In almost all of my other videos, you are hearing sounds from my computer. I hook up my S80 to a Mac through a MIDI connection and record the notes into Apple’s Logic software. The Steinway grand piano sound in Logic is the same one included in Mainstage software.
When I play live
For what it’s worth, when I play live, I use Addictive Keys plug-in for piano sounds. The Addictive Keys grand piano has a satisfying depth and a responsive feel that rivals my hardware. I load it into Mainstage to layer with pads, use effects, etc. You can download and try their range-limited demo for free. I also love the Addictive Keys upright piano.
I was recently in the position of choosing a new keyboard for our church to purchase. I chose the Yamaha CP40 Stage piano. It is reasonably priced and has good feel, good internal sounds (with the ability to mix in a pad layer), and MIDI connectability for controlling software sounds, if desired.
I hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions!