"Phenomenal Sounds, great features.. a steal"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
The GW8 has the sound set from the sonic cell, is similar to the juno G and a subset of the fantom x and fantom G.. phenomenal at this price.
Piano's, keyboards, strings and acoustic guitars are excellent, the synths obviously so. The sax's seem to lack a little air, but in context of the sub $1k market this cannot be beat...
The synth sounds also include a set of pulsating patches, for techno & dance, as well as an awesome "blast from the past" set of sci-fi sounds.. I heard many sound fx from past sci-fi classics.. not really useful unless you are creating a film score, but a great party piece and break from practice.
The keyboard has an excellent action, with well formed keys.. compared to similarly priced Korg and Yam this is far superior.
The arranger section has up to 6 accompanying instruments in addition to bass and drums, each of which can be solo'd, muted and vol. balanced. Add 4 intro's, 4 variatons and 4 endings and there is plenty of possibilities. Note that the D'beam or pedals (x2) can be used to supplement switching/fading/fill actions while playing.
When learning a new song, I usually use on the GW7 the "bass + drums" feature.. THis is now missing, necessitating a minute to mute the other accompanying instruments.. I guess really its a minor niggle as it is easy and simple to save your song settings as a performance for later use.
Greatly improved from the GW7, record, overdub, punch-in edit by individual track/measure is now supported. Note that the sequencer is really intended for song performance creation and editing using the arranger styles, not really intended for raw composition.. a key missing feature here is the lack of a loop capability.. but if you want to focus on composition, get the juno G..
Midi and USB midi, creat your own styles and download them, download midi tracks,mute a channel and playalong, plug in a USB flash drive with midi, MP3 or WAV and play along.. use the Gw8 as a sonic cell.. tremendous possibilities.
This has everything you would need to play songs, and if the GW8 had a "bass +drums" button and an arpeggiator this would be a 10
Ease of Use:
Relatively straightforward to get going... and this is what sets an arranger apart from a synthesiser workstation.
came in a box..was shiny, new and worked..lol
If you want to compose on a keyboard workstation or create a home recording studio then its a little vague...mebbe a 6 or a 7. I mean, you CAN do this with the GW8, but you will need to use the computer for sequencer and mixer functions.
Assuming you want to play songs, then this is a great board... Pull out your sheet music, stab in a style and you are off.. what takes 2mins for a good player to produce would take anyone 3 hours on the fantom. Thats the beauty of the arranger styles.
The ease of use of an arranger, plus real workstation features of sequencing, recording and editing, plus the I/O make this a allaround great board.
The Wow Factor:
bleh.. Black is just "ok"..The silver of the GW7 was nicer..
This is a great board.
Whatever your skill level, if your focus is on learning & playing songs, as opposed to composing or recording with & on the keyboard then this is the board for you.
If you want to compose using the keyboard (Vs a computer) or do home analog recording.. then get the juno G at $950.. It has NO arranger, but a better sequencer and analog mixer.
Beginners should NOT be put off by this board... It has less buttons than your typical