We are reader-supported. Links on our site may earn us a commission. More about us

James Nugent

James Nugent, author and contributor at Higher Hz

James is a professional pianist, sound designer, music educator, and senior writer at Higher Hz, where he covers pianos, MIDI controllers, and synthesizers.

Having studied music initially as a pianist, he developed a passion for composition and harmony. That passion led him to sound design and the world of digital/analog synths. After starting his career as a working musician, James took a step back from performing to focus on other areas within the music industry. Over the past 20 years, James has gained vast experience as a performer, educator, composer, and content creator.

James has worked on various educational projects to highlight the many benefits of music. Through collaborations with organizations like Youth Music UK and brands like JBL, he has worked as the lead on campaigns to encourage young people to get involved in music. James has also composed music for campaigns promoting mental health awareness.

As such a synthesizer and tech enthusiast, testing, reviewing, and demoing new hardware/software is something James spends a lot of time on. Working as a writer, James covers some of the largest music industry tradeshows (especially synth-based ones like Superbooth), creating content showcasing the latest releases from manufacturers and developers.

Creating content has become an integral part of James's career and an area where he has worked with some of the music industry's leading brands. James has created demo and tutorial content for brands like Akai Professional, iZotope, and Plugin Boutique, gaining hundreds of thousands of views.

James is a music maker first, and anything he writes comes from an honest perspective of someone who loves music.

Synthesizers explained: What they are and how they work

Synthesizers can be very daunting for a newbie, even one with musical experience. Suddenly, you have all these parameters to think about, controls you haven’t seen before, and no idea where to start.

Luckily, it doesn’t need to be daunting, and with some basics under your belt, you’ll be on your way to being a synth master. In this article, I will talk about how synthesizers work, the different aspects of a synth, different types of synthesizers, and much more; let’s go!

The 5 best digital pianos and keyboards under $1000 in 2024

As you venture closer to the $1000 mark, it’s increasingly important to get the most out of your money; it’s a serious investment. There are plenty of worthy choices in this price range to suit advanced beginners, intermediate players, and even some pro players.

To ensure you make the right investment, I’ve tested an extensive selection of suitable instruments to bring you my picks for the best digital pianos and stage pianos under $1000.

Native Instruments Kontrol S Mk3 review: The ultimate keyboard controller for producers?

I’ve been a fan of these keyboards since the original Kontrol S series was released, but I found better value for money elsewhere due to the very high asking price.

Now, the Kontrol S Mk3 promises to redefine our expectations of a keyboard controller, and I admit, at first look, I’m excited. In this review, I’ll find out if the Kontrol S88, S61, and S49 Mk3 are worth every penny.

Drum machines, samplers, and grooveboxes explained

Drum machines, samplers, and grooveboxes are often used to do the same or similar things. The similarities are so prominent that the term drum machine is now generally accepted in reference to all three in the correct context.

Roland RP30 review: A new standard for Roland’s RP series?

Roland’s RP series digital pianos are very popular among students and teachers and have been for some time. We can attribute much of that popularity to the consistent performance of these pianos; you know what to expect from an RP digital piano, and it’s generally good value for money.

Roland FP-E50 review: Stage piano and arranger rolled into one

Roland’s FP series has long been a go-to choice for students and performers of all levels. The FP keyboards are popular because they provide no less than a solid sound, solid feel, and a no-fuss interface, even at the entry-level.

The FP-E50 is slightly different because it’s an arranger keyboard with abundant sounds and features.