Upper keyboard 49 note with touch response, Lower keyboard 61 note with touch response
20 note with touch response
Multi function blue backlit LCD
Upper voice 1&2, lead voice, lower voice 1&2, pedal voice 1&2 – 300 sounds per section
14 x drum kits, lower keyboard percussion, pedalboard percussion
Volume, pan, tune, transpose, octave, Vibrato (rate, depth & delay), filter, DSP sustain & pitch bend
Reverb & delay – adjustable parameters
200 accompaniment styles (incl. 150 ORLA super styles)
Start, synchro, intro/ending, main A, main B, Fill IN 1&2, tempo
Fingered, single fingered and custom chord modes, upper or lower split keyboard (uses the lead voice), lead to lower, bass to lower, harmony, touch response (5 curves)
16 x registration memory buttons with “D” button for rhythm and left hand lock
80 factory presets preloaded, organ, combo orchestra, band
USB drive for storage of registration & song data
SMF multi track recorder & player
pitch bend, foot switch, reg shift, mic volume
headphones, line out L&R, mic IN, MIDI IN & OUT
2×10 watt high power eco amp
High gloss black wooden cabinet with rear courtesy panel, full width and full height music stand/key cover cabinet splits for ease of transport
113cm x 46 cm x 94 cm (with music rest open 119 cm)
All specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice
Review – RINGWAY RS620
by MICHAEL WOOLDRIDGE
organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine September 2014
Ringway organs have really made a name for themselves here in the UK. The instruments are a joint venture between the very long established Orla Europe company in Italy and the UK, who have made many very popular and successful organs over the years, including the Mantova, the GT9000 and the Grande Theatre, with Ringway TECH of China, who very much thrive in their home territory with organs and digital pianos. The combination of expertise from Orla and Ringway has produced instruments which very much deliver what we want of organs here in Europe.
The RS620 is very smart in its gloss black cabinet with a modesty panel to close in the back, a full length music desk and a good sound with a great many sounds and styles from Orla instruments that would normally cost significantly more. With a 49-note Upper Keyboard, a 61-note Lower and a 20-note pedalboard, all with initial touch response, it is superb value for money.
It is 113cm wide, 46cm deep and 94cm high (119cm with music desk), so takes up no more room than a top of the range single keyboard, but brings with it all of the freedoms of being able to play music in your own time at your own pace through having pedals, which allow you to play
without styles driving you along, and on the whole, people, myself included, find this ability to make their own music at their own rate is hugely satisfying.
If you read the literature, you will see that the amplification technically sounds likely to not be very loud, as it says it has 2 x 10 Watt High Power Eco Amp, but the reality is that it is plenty, so the rating is perhaps a little misleading.
Because of the Orla sounds included amongst the 300 voices, the Ringway has a lovely warm organ tone, plus many other very good orchestral voices. Better still, there is a really straightforward and simple to use Voice Edit facility allowing you to change everything about the voices including Cut Off Frequency, Resonance, Attack, Decay and Pan. The simplest thing with this is to play with the Cut Off, as this very quickly makes sounds brighter or more mellow and is very effective at creating extra and different voices to suit you.
Incidentally, don’t be at all worried about how to use these and other facilities, as the manual has been written here in the UK, so is written in an understandable fashion and, although it wasn’t quite finished when I went up to do the review, there is also to be a DVD owner’s manual, so you can actually see everything explained, which I’m sure is a good idea.
I realize that these days many instruments have a far bigger number of voices but whilst the idea of this is that you should always find what you seek, the reality is that most players only use a handful of the available sounds and the 300 here, especially with the very easy way to edit them, is more than enough.
For those especially into theater organ sounds, they have used their links with Reg Rawlings of Total Transformation Technology to include some Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer sampled sounds. The range chosen, using slightly compressed samples here, includes Tibias, Tibias and Voxes and Full Organ.
When using organ voices, it seems to work well to change sounds between the various organ voices by using the data entry wheel, as a small turn moves you on through the voices. There are two banks of voices for each of the manuals and also for the bass pedals, which I think you know is something I always appreciate, as it allows you to set a warm organ bass to underpin the other more orchestral bass sounds. There is also a mono Lead Voice section, which is good for topping off chords played on the upper, or can be taken down to the lower if you split the keyboard, giving a quick and easy change of sound whilst playing.
There are sixteen pistons (presets) which are situated between the manuals, just where they should be for easy use, and there is also a Rhythm Disable (D) button, so you can choose whether the presets change the styles or not. An interesting thing is that the D button on the Ringway also locks the Lower and Bass sounds, so you can use all of the presets without having dramatic and perhaps inappropriate changes in backing sounds mid-piece and also with any way of playing, whether you prefer single fingered chords, fingered chords or chords with pedals.
The RS600 is supplied with 80 complete preset sounds (5 sets of the 16 pistons) and these effectively cover all genres that most players like. When you turn it on, it always comes on with the default general set, perhaps best described as a potpourri or sampler of voices. This set includes a Brass Band, some Georges Zamphir Pan Pipes, a Marimba for playing Yellow Bird and a Full Organ with Choir. One thing to beware of here is that if you set your own pistons, the way it works means it is essential you save them before you turn off the organ, as if you don’t, when you turn it back on the default set will be back in place of your presets, which would then be lost.
To access the other four sets of presets you just press the shift key and piston 1, 2, 3 or 4. The other four sets are dedicated to Organ, Combo, Orchestra and Band settings. I understand that there are more sets of presets on the way and that these will be supplied free of charge to existing Ringway owners.
Every factory preset in the organ uses the Split facility to effectively create a third manual, with a suitable sound set to the right hand end of the Lower Manual to make a good musical change by simply moving from playing on the Upper to playing using the Split section.
Moving on to the Styles, there are 200 of them, including 150 from Orla’s very popular ‘Super Style’ library, all of which have been looked through and adjusted to ensure they give the best possible results here. Each Rhythm Style has Intro, Ending, two fill-ins and two variations of Style, plus it is possible to rebalance the parts of the Style if you want to create something a little different and personal to you.
Being mainly Orla Styles, they are very easy on the ear and work easily with a wide range of music, because they are not too busy. This is great, as it really does make for a nice gentle feel to music making at the Ringway. Of course there are busy rhythms, like the Sambas perhaps, but the joy comes from putting on say a gentle Swing or Bossa Nova with a subtle little guitar pattern playing the chords and leaving you space to play over the top.
Someone else we don’t really hear anything about now is Ray Conniff with his orchestra and singers. It has been a while since he passed away but when you think what a dominant force he was in the world of popular music, it is strange we so rarely hear anything of his broadcast on the radio. What makes me think of this is that the RS600 has a great Style called Vox Swing, which really reminds me of his band, with the backing singers doing their finger clicks and singing in the background!
The styles include a Reggae, which isn’t something I have much call for in my life, though I do remember selling an organ years ago by playing some Reggae on it! I was shown this style on the Ringway whilst playing the UB40 hits, Red, Red Wine, and it was very effective. Another one I really liked is a sort of Carlos Santana Latin Rock which has a huge Distortion Guitar sound, something I always enjoy!
There are the usual inputs and outputs, including MIDI, a simple rhythm sequencer and a recorder that works by just pressing Record and then playing.
I think this new Ringway RS600 is a superb product; they are just the sort of instrument that could re-invigorate the organ world if only they were in every major shopping centre around the country.