Keyboards synthesizers are great for songwriting. You can test out your arrangements using a reasonable approximation of most instruments. The right synth can also provide little seeds of inspiration. So, even though, most of my song end up being played on guitar, composing on a synth has definitely open things for me.
I am looking for two things when choosing a songwriting keyboard: a vast range of sounds and inspiring “combi” presets. The former is to be able to demo complete songs with reasonable imitations of band instruments (guitars, pads, strings, pianos, etc.). The later is for these times when I’m looking for inspiration and just need a place to start. A few years back, this led me to choosing the Korg Triton workstation.
However, I have heard from many songwriters that arranger keyboards make better songwriter companions than full-blown workstations. Apparently, they are quite popular in Nashville, but I must say, I would not be cut dead using one. They all have this very “Casio” look to them with integrated speakers and colored buttons. I dunno…
What about you, would you give arrangers a chance?