Korg G1 Air Digital Piano
By Dendy Jarrett |
Korg G1 Air Digital Piano
Catching air on a keyboard … from beginner to pro
by Dendy Jarrett
I’m a drummer by profession, not a keyboardist, but did receive a good foundation on keyboards with many years of piano lessons as a young person. Those lessons served me very well through years of percussion studies. I can attest to the value of having a good keyboard available to musicians of all ages. For many, it's not a question of wanting a good piano, rather a question of finding the space. A piano, even a compact upright, is extremely heavy.
Korg has a solution in the Korg G1 Air Digital Piano. Digital pianos aren’t new; they’ve been around awhile, but the technology and design have become technically refined over the past few years.
What struck me the most (first impressions) is the Korg G1 Air's design. This thing lives up to the name ‘Air.’ It’s sleek, yet looks like a conventional upright piano that went on a lean diet. It’s so thin and hugs the wall so tightly that you could fit this into most hallways without getting in anyone's way. But with thin designs there's usually some compromise in features, sounds, or playability. Not in the Korg G1 Air. This sound is so realistic that if you were to close your eyes, you’d think you were playing an acoustic piano. Let me walk you through the G1 Air.
Keys and Pedals: This keyboard features a full 88 key (A0-C8) range. The keys are weighted in a very realistic way; your hands will tell your brain that there are hammers on the other side of the wall. Seriously, my main keyboard experience is with weighted keys, and Korg nailed the response. Not only do they play downward like a weighted key and then release in the same way, but Korg even builds in the sound of a silent weighted key release. It’ll mess with your head it’s so realistic.
The pedals will leave you with the same experience. There are Damper, Soft, and Sostenuto pedals, and half-pedaling is supported. The dampening pedal has no latency that I could perceive and was exceptionally realistic.
Presence: The speaker positioning in this keyboard emulates the sound dispersion pattern of an acoustic piano. With other digital pianos, you can often hear from where the sound is emanating, but Korg strategically positioned the speakers in the G1 Air so that the sound is all around you. If you have the piano function set to an upright setting, you’ll think you’re playing an upright. If you choose a grand piano setting, your optic nerves will twitch looking for the lifted lid and outstretched strings.
Sound: Three huge sampled grand pianos are standouts on this small piano. There is a German, Austrian, and Japanese Grand piano included. Each has a distinctive sound. The G1 Air has a total of 32 sounds which include not only the sampled Grands but organs, clav, a 60s mod ‘Rhodes’ sound, vibraphone, acoustic guitar, strings and more.
Features: There are some standard items that have become available on digital pianos, but then there are those that stand out. Here are some of the G1 Air's features that set it apart from basic digital pianos.
- The keyboard is available in three colors: Black (G1-BK), White (G1-WH) and Brown – a wood-grain finish (G1-BR)
- 5 types of touch selection
- Pitch transpose and master tuning
- Maximum polyphony is 120 voices
- Effects include: Brilliance, Reverb, and Chorus (3 levels of each)
- Recorder – 2 track with a 45,000 note maximum
- 50 demo songs (sound demos 10, piano songs 40)
- Connections include Line Out, MIDI (in, out) USB, Headphones X2, Pedal, Speakers, DC 24V
- Controls include:
- /A./J. Piano(s)
- Tempo (+,-)
- Record Functions – Play/Pause/Stop/Rec/Part 1/Part 2
- The power output is (20 W + 20 W) X 2
- Included items are an AC adapter and the dedicated stand (that appears to be a part of the overall seamless design).
And here are the features that were standouts for me:
- How did they get such a HUGE sound from such little speakers? Speakers are 4.72” (12cm) X2, 1.97” (5cm) X2
- The dimensions are 52.99” wide/32.36” height/ and an incredible 15.12” deep. It’s such a tiny footprint – even apartment dwellers can now own a piano!
- I mentioned the piano's weight before. This piano weighs in at a grand total of 90.39 lbs.
- Bluetooth! Yes, the G1 Air features Bluetooth and you can sync it up to your smartphone and play along to tunes or use it to stream music (it sounds great for playback).
If you purchase this keyboard from an online retailer, it will be shipped to you in a large box and will most likely come freight. It is well packaged and the assembly is straightforward.
I’ve included some videos of this piano in action below. You get a classic slim design, tremendous sound, state-of-the-art technology and years of enjoyment at an affordable price (street price: $1,399). If you're looking for the perfect starter piano that can go into your child’s room and serve them for many years to come, or if you are a seasoned professional keyboardist living in a small place, this keyboard is a perfect solution.
Unparalleled Sound and Expressive Playing Experience:
Intense Piano Pleasure:
You can find the Korg G1 Air at:
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.