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MIDI Controller Keyboard

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MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby thefruitfarmer » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:44 pm

Looking for a MIDI Controller Keyboard...

There's lots of different types out there but I am looking for:

49 or 61 keys

The keys need to be full size, velocity sensitive and maybe semi weighted.

I don't need lots of extra pads, just a few basic controllers and a MIDI output.

The main thing is having keys with a nice feel really

I am thinking maybe a Roland or an M-Audio but what's out there and what is everybody using?


:)
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby Scramble » Tue May 02, 2017 8:41 am

It would help if you provided a budget, and a description of what you want to use it for.

(Personally I'd be looking at Roland rather than M-Audio, but it depends on your budget).
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby thefruitfarmer » Tue May 02, 2017 9:35 am

Scramble wrote:It would help if you provided a budget, and a description of what you want to use it for.

(Personally I'd be looking at Roland rather than M-Audio, but it depends on your budget).

Budget is up to £200.

Use:

To play the instruments on several module, via midi.

The modules have knobs to send controller data so just need the keys, pitch bend, modulation.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby Scramble » Tue May 02, 2017 11:45 am

I assume you're talking studio rather than live.

Put the Roland A-49 on your list. Small, lightweight, under budget, but decent quality. Good feel for a budget keyboard. Doesn't have lots of knobs and sliders you won't need. Does have pitch-bend and modulation. Doesn't have aftertouch, though, which may or may not matter to you (but does have D-beam, which can do a similar job, but requires two hands).

Other than that you're looking at more budget brands like Samson, Nektar, M-Audio, Alesis, etc., and also Novation. Anything from one of those companies would do the job, and be cheaper than the Roland, though the quality may not be as high. I've tried a Samson smaller budget keyboard, which I didn't like the feel of. I used to have an Alesis Radium, which I did like, but it's not as good as the Roland.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby Guest271017 » Tue May 02, 2017 12:58 pm

I've an M-Audio ProKeys 88. Only nit is the LEDs started popping a day after the warranty expired. More are dead than light, now, and they keep dying.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby thefruitfarmer » Tue May 02, 2017 11:20 pm

Scramble wrote:I assume you're talking studio rather than live.

Put the Roland A-49 on your list.

It will be used mainly in home studio, and I have a piano player coming over to record shortly. I remember playing on a Roland A-88 years ago and it was reasonably piano like.

So, yeah I will bear the A-49 in mind, thanks.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby thefruitfarmer » Wed May 03, 2017 12:38 am

Just been looking at the Roland A-49 manual ...

It seems like you have to install the drivers and connect it via USB for it to work at all, in other words it won't give a MIDI out signal from the MIDI port unless it is connected via USB.

This could be a problem...

Another option is to get a "stage piano" with a MIDI out, a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a walnut, but could be the way to get the nice feel on the keys and the MIDI out going on.

:?:
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Wed May 03, 2017 1:17 am

I had an evolution 249c (10ish years ago) - wouldn't reccomend as the keyboard was horribly light and sproingy. (to be fair my kids still use it occasionally and it still works!)

Many contoller keyboards are built down to a price so you really need to test the action or you are likely to be disapointed.

One often neglected source for a contoller keyboard is a good 'out of fashion synth' maybe a DX-7 or Korg trinity ? - you get a great keyboard + a free sound source.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby InactiveX » Wed May 03, 2017 7:52 am

Jumpeyspyder wrote:One often neglected source for a contoller keyboard is a good 'out of fashion synth' maybe a DX-7 or Korg trinity ? - you get a great keyboard + a free sound source.

Yeah, I use a tatty old Korg M1 for my MIDI input. I call it my "Rave Keyboard".

Dead easy to get spare parts for, as well.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby Scramble » Wed May 03, 2017 11:12 am

thefruitfarmer wrote:Just been looking at the Roland A-49 manual ...

It seems like you have to install the drivers and connect it via USB for it to work at all, in other words it won't give a MIDI out signal from the MIDI port unless it is connected via USB.

This could be a problem...
:?:

Yes, many of these budget MIDI controllers work like that these days. They don't do standalone MIDI output, which is really annoying. They're all built for kids to hook up to their computer.

One often neglected source for a contoller keyboard is a good 'out of fashion synth' maybe a DX-7 or Korg trinity ? - you get a great keyboard + a free sound source.

I'd be tempted to go that way myself if I was in your position. If not, you'll need to find a modern controller keyboard that has independent MIDI Out -- you'll need to check the specs carefully. (Can't advise on this myself, but the more expensive controllers are more likely to have this function).
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby thefruitfarmer » Wed May 03, 2017 12:13 pm

It's looking like it's going to be a mission to get I want here.

I am disappointed that manufacturers don't seem to be making anything suitable at the moment.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby Scramble » Wed May 03, 2017 1:19 pm

thefruitfarmer wrote:I am disappointed that manufacturers don't seem to be making anything suitable at the moment.

They do, but not so much in the budget arena.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby Dave B » Wed May 03, 2017 3:42 pm

I could be wrong, but I thought that the A-49 came in two revisions (old and new) and the new keyboard is class compliant. I have the old one and that isn't (and does need drivers to be seen on a computer). It also, annoyingly, cannot draw power from the usb cable when is using the standard midi out. But it does run on batteries.

If you can wander round here, you can take mine. I was thinking of getting shot of it anyway.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby Mudbucker » Wed May 03, 2017 6:19 pm

I've tried many brands and owned a few. In my opinion, Novation and Akai controllers have the best keyboard actions...if you buy their better controllers. The Novation SL and Impulse controllers are much nicer than the Launchkey and Nocturn controllers, for instance.

Every mfr uses pretty crappy action on their cheaper controllers, I had an M-Audio KeyStudio 49 and the keys were like mush, no weight to them at all so they felt like they would break at any instant.
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Re: MIDI Controller Keyboard

Postby thefruitfarmer » Wed May 03, 2017 10:25 pm

Scramble wrote:
Yes, many of these budget MIDI controllers work like that these days. They don't do standalone MIDI output, which is really annoying. They're all built for kids to hook up to their computer.


What is the world coming to?

I really would have thought that someone would be manufacturing something at least with the option for a standalone MIDI out....

Scramble wrote:"One often neglected source for a contoller keyboard is a good 'out of fashion synth' maybe a DX-7 or Korg trinity ? - you get a great keyboard + a free sound source."

I'd be tempted to go that way myself if I was in your position. If not, you'll need to find a modern controller keyboard that has independent MIDI Out -- you'll need to check the specs carefully. (Can't advise on this myself, but the more expensive controllers are more likely to have this function).


I think that's the way it's looking :)

I shall see what I can find local, maybe a Korg M1 with "that piano" ...

Thanks
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