June 27, 2013

Casio Privia Pro PX-5S Overview

As we saw at Winter NAMM 2013, this has certainly been the year of the synthesizer in many regards. While this has been great for the production based artist, these new synthesizers are more focused on great sounds rather than performability. All the great sounding oscillators and filters in the world won’t amount to a hill of beans if you can’t play the thing with an ease and fluidity that a traditional piano can offer. We saw quite a few keyboards at Winter NAMM 2013 that had some serious advancements in the way of performance and feel. One in particular, the Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, has that great hammer style action that you get from a real piano but within a lightweight and portable body that has some great built in sounds.

Casio have certainly been putting out some quality keyboards within the last few years including the popular Casio XW-P1 and the Casio XW-G1. With the Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, you are getting a keyboard that revolves around the performer. Here are some of the features on the Casio Privia Pro PX-5S worth taking a look at if you are in the market for a solid performance keyboard.

The Keyboard

You cannot talk about the Privia Pro PX-5S without talking about the feel of the keys on this keyboard. Casio has dubbed this Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action, which is more or less a fancy way of saying this thing feels like a real piano. The three sensors are what allow this keyboard to react with the most delicate of velocity when striking the keys. The way you strike the keys is as important as the way you pull off of them and the Privia Pro PX-5S has a great response to both movements.

The hammer style action on the keys feels great.

The hammer style action on the keys feels great.

This is a full keyboard with all 88 keys that you would find on a typical piano. This is what really makes this a performance or stage piano versus strictly a studio keyboard. With great feeling keys, high sensitive velocity hammer control, and a full 88 keys, the next thing to talk about is what kinds of sounds it has on board.

The Sounds

Built into the Casio Privia Pro PX-5S are 370 completely original preset tones. Casio calls their sound source technology AiR which stands for Acoustic Intelligent Resonance. What AiR does is extends the sampling duration and enhances the waveform data quality to give you pristine quality sounds. This helps to make transitional notes sound smoother and more dynamic like the instruments they are emulating. On board you have 20 grand piano sounds, 60 keyboard instrument tones which include things such as a clavichord and harpsichord, 50 hex layer tones, 220 melody tones with things such as an organ, strings, and guitar, and finally 20 drum sets to play with.

It’s important to note that you are not limited to a locked preset on the Privia Pro PX-5S. You can add effects and equalization to whatever specification your ears want to hear. You have some basic system effects like chrous, delay, and reverb, but you also have 20 types of digital sound processor effects with the ability to have 4 of those effects setup to be playable effects. A cool feature is the inclusion of an amp simulator which can give you very modern tones or old-fashioned, vintage amplifier tones. In additon you have a 4 band EQ as well as a compressor to give you full control over how these presets can potentially sound.

You can use the encoders and the faders to control assignable effects.

You can use the encoders and the faders to control assignable effects.

The I/O and Other Features

The I/O has a fairly standard layout for a performance keyboard with stereo outputs as well as stereo inputs. You also have the option to connect this to your computer via USB. Additionally you have MIDI in and out, a headphone output, and two connections for performance pedals like a sustain pedal.

There are a couple other features worth noting here on the Casio Privia Pro PX-5S. You have a bay for storing batteries in the event you want to go mobile. On the front you have a USB flash drive port for storing your presets or loading in your own sounds or MIDI data. The phrase sequencer is a very useful feature as you can record your phrases and chord progressions and play them back in real time or recall them later for playback. You also have a built in arpeggiator which can be great for performance or studio work. Although the Casio Privia Pro PX-5S can be used in the studio quite well, it seems like it’s going to be best suited for the live performer. Even if that means live performance in a studio setting.

There are plenty of other features on the Casio Privia Px-5S that you can discover by going to or If you want to get a preview of some of the sounds, be sure to check out the video in this blog. If there is a question nagging at you to be answered on this digital keyboard, be sure to leave it in the comments below and we will be glad to answer it for you.



Hey my name is Darald Hough and I’m with Casio. I’m here to give you a short tour of our latest flagship stage piano, the Privia PX-5S. Now the PX-5S is actually two instruments in one. It’s an 88 key digital piano with an incredible touch and feel of that of a grand piano but it’s also a synthesizer. Inside this instrument is our latest sound chip called AiR which stands for Acoustic Intelligent Resonance. This is the horsepower that allows us to get some of the greatest sounds out of this instrument. Now the foundation of this is of course that of a piano. But we’ve also put a lot of energy into giving you some nice classic wurly sounds and some clavi sounds as well as all kinds of rich textured sounds, synthesizers and different layers. Now there’s a lot of technology in this and just a quick overview. Again the foundation is that of a piano. Here we go.
Now you can take that basic sound and edit it to any kind of a taste of piano you want. A little brighter here, a little more mellower here. Create your own favorite sound. Now I’m just going to go to the section called Stage Settings and just take you through some of the sounds that are built into this instrument. Easy to get to. Here’s actually an air electric piano. Heres kind of an old 1960s wurly sound. Here’s more of a synthesizer sound, very neat. Here’s kind of an auto-wah sound. Very groovy. Here’s an orchestral sound. Here’s more of your classic distorted organ sound. Here’s a nice synth sound. Now there’s actually some built in arpeggiators in this and so you can actually does some nice loops with this and here’s a little example. And taking a little step further there’s some actually some nice drum rhythm sounds here so we have a…
Anyway, that is just a quick overview. Lots of incredible features on this and we’re going to show you a little bit more. One of the beautiful things about the PX-5S is that it weighs only 24 pounds. Easy to get around in a gig bag. Another nice feature of this instrument is kind of a little bit of a surprise. Over here to the right you can actually remove this right compartment. While I do have it plugged into the wall right now, there’s a place for eight double A batteries. Why would I want 8 double A batteries? I could run this without power. Two different advantages. Say I am taking this to a wedding, in the park, and I have a battery powered amp I dont need to power this. Runs for several hours without having to plug it into the wall. Another nice feature is if you do have it plugged in and you’re getting a little crazy on stage and somebody accidentally trips on the cord and unplugs it, it doesn’t go dead. You still have the keyboard running. So a nice little feature.
Also built into the PX-5s are your standard connecting cables. You have stereo audio input as well as stereo audio output. Also on the PX-5S there’s a USB port which is class compliant. Also on board there is a flash drive input. Easily accessible. Use it to load in different sounds that are available of course online and sound selections. You can store MIDI recordings, you can playback standard MIDI files. Very convenient to get to. You can save all of your stage presets, load in different ones with the flash. Very convenient, very handy. On the left side of the keyboard, you’ll see six sliders. These sliders you can assign to anything whether it’s adding a different sound, pulling a different sound back, adding a different effect. Maybe altering a filter that’s built into the keyboard. But very useful.
This is the Casio PX-5S and you’re watching us on