The Yamaha P-35 Digital Piano offers a number of useful features, and a few that you might not expect in such a simple looking package. With only two buttons and a volume slider, this keyboard is simple enough for even the most inexperienced players to figure out. The P-35 boasts 88 Graded Hammer Standard keys with adjustable key action, which are designed to imitate the feel of different string tensions on an acoustic piano. The keyboard comes with 10 different voices.
The Function/Grand Piano key switches between the Grand Piano patch and any of the other voices, which you can select via the keyboard.
This method of sound selection is fine for practicing, but could be a problem if you plan on using the keyboard live and need to switch between multiple sound without missing a beat. The P-35 also has 4 different DSP reverbs, also selected via the Function key and the keyboard. The keyboard has its own built-in 12 watt stereo speaker system as well as a balanced headphone out. The headphone output can double as a mono output to plug into a larger amp or PA system, but some potential players and recording buffs might be discouraged by the lack of a stereo line output.
Although output options are limited, the P-35 utilizes Yamaha’s Advanced Wave Memory system, which basically uses samples recorded with a stereo mic pair to achieve more realistic sounding stereo imaging for its acoustic samples, such as the Grand Piano patch. The keyboard comes with a sustain footswitch and a music sheet rest, but you’ll have to supply your own stand. The P-35 features MIDI in and out/thru, but the lack of USB midi might keep some players from being able to control software synthesizers in their favorite DAW. The keyboard itself is very lightweight for a weighted 88 key digital piano, and its lack of dedicated button controls for most of its functions allow for a very compact form factor. Its small size may appeal to bedroom musicians who don’t have the extra space to spare for a larger keyboard.
The P-35 has a few unexpected features, but overall, it’s better suited to be a learner’s piano or part of a larger live keyboard rig than a standalone studio workhorse. Serious players might be put off by the awkward voice selection system or the lack of dedicated stereo line level outputs.
However, if you’re just looking for a dead simple source for a few decent piano sounds or a learner’s keyboard without a lot of extra bells and whistles, the P-35 might be the perfect fit.