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 Post subject: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:25 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:38 am
Posts: 1135
It's a slow work day today so i'm doing some research.

My MIDI keyboard is almost 10 years old and all the faders and pots are starting to send phantom messages all the time for no reason. Its an M-Audio MK-461C basic MIDI keyboard which has served me very well.

I am now looking at something more suited to what I do today so here is a run down of what I would need/prefer in a keyboard. I will head down to my local music shop to test run a few.

- Doesn't need to have any real controls. Maybe some transport buttons but no real need for encoders or faders (but if it has them that is fine)
- Needs to offer either weighted or semi-weighted keys. I am not an aficionado player or anything, I can play piano but to an above basic level but do enjoy the feel of a proper piano keyboard over plastic keys.
- Needs to offer 64 keys (48 is a little too small and larger is a pain to fit in)
- Must have pitch and mod wheels
- Prefer USB for MIDI but will settle for MIDI only if that is the option
- Would prefer the price to be under $600 if possible.

So basically something that feels like a piano but is just a MIDI controller.

I have looked at some Casio keyboards with real piano sampling such as the PX330 and have played a few and they feel really good but at $800+ and the fact I have plenty of nice piano library's the cost would be wasted to a degree.

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:38 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:29 am
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sorry couldnt help myself 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:48 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:38 am
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Nice... BUt almost exactly the opposite of what I was asking:

- No weighted keys
- No mod/pb wheels
- Basically ONLY controls
- contains exactly 0 keys (has lots of pads/buttons & knobs)
- Probably will be all of $600 or more.
- Would not be on display at my local music store... Or any store

But my sides have split from top to tail because no one has mentioned Push out of context yet.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:56 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:21 am
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Location: Shreveport LA, sometimes Dallas/Ft Worth TX
I have tried a lot of midi keyboards, and I am no aficionado either,
However Novation keys feel better to me that any others.
Even an older Novation, the ReMote grey/silver looking ones are great.
I got a novation SL 61 for $200 in mint shape in the box.

The Novation ReMOTE, or SL series has everything you are asking for
semi weighted keys, but SO NICE, (really the best thing Novation offers)
they do have encoders and faders etc
Pitch and mod on one stick, and it feel nice too.
USB and Midi
The software editor is easy to use and offers nice functionality.

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:27 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
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Location: Seattle
The higher end Novation and Akai controllers use Fatar keybeds, so the feels of the keys between those two will be pretty similar. Neither is really anything more than synth weighted, so if you want a weighted piano feel you're better off looking at controllers made for that sort of thing. Not sure you're going to to find one with 64 keys though. If you try real hard though, you might find one with 61 keys.

A used Fatar (StudioLogic) SL161 would be perfect if you can find one.

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:21 pm
Posts: 1182
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Doesn't M-Audio have a semi-weighted 61 key? Or is that their 88 key only? I don't recall seeing many semi-weighted 61 key synths (and never heard of a 64 let alone 48 key keybed. 25, 37, 49, 61, 73, 88 yes ;-) ).

But I would look at Akai, M-Audio, Novation as choices in the 61 key range, just see if any are semi-weighted.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am
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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
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Location: Berkshire, UK
darkenedsoul wrote:
Doesn't M-Audio have a semi-weighted 61 key?


That's what I've just found with a quick Google.

M Audio Keystation 61es

There's also an Axiom 61 with knobs, faders, buttons and a display.


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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:38 am
Posts: 1135
Yep, got my key numbering wrong (working with computers and binary for too long, 32,48,64 get stuck in mind).

Well so far there have been suggestions for what people "recon" and I have found many of the same things googling. I was mainly aiming to see if people had anything they are using with the above features or close too that they could offer an opinion of.

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:21 pm
Posts: 1182
Location: Massachusetts, USA
I have a USB MS-20 25 key which came with Korg Legacy Collection, my Korg M50 (record from it or use some controls for MIDI mapping in Live, LPD8, padKontrol (rarely use) for controllers. Was debating on picking up a MIDI keyboard/controller for more knob twiddling but still on the fence and can't justify it. I also can get my Korg triton extreme back if I wanted to record some of its sounds (good possibility!).

But I haven't used any 61 key controller myself. Just going by what I've read on the forums here.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:55 pm
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Roland A800 Pro is very well built. Give it a try!


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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:05 pm
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carmomi wrote:
Roland A800 Pro is very well built. Give it a try!


I've often looked at this range & wondered why they didn't get more love. Wonder if it is the Cakewalk branding?


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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:13 pm
Posts: 3631
jestermgee wrote:
So basically something that feels like a piano but is just a MIDI controller.

I have looked at some Casio keyboards with real piano sampling such as the PX330 and have played a few and they feel really good but at $800+ and the fact I have plenty of nice piano library's the cost would be wasted to a degree.

CME - good value for money, hopeless software/driver etc but if you use over midi no issues. They make (or used to) keys for Casio, Yamaha etc.
Fatar manfacture the best key beds, but they own controllers/chassis like Studiologic etc are lousy, flex, unreliable.
Doepfer ( Fatar keys) are probably the best build controllers ever.
Clavia- recently most popular pro keys, pricy but worth it.
Roland -another solid brand.

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:31 am
Posts: 429
Szuumm wrote:
carmomi wrote:
Roland A800 Pro is very well built. Give it a try!


I've often looked at this range & wondered why they didn't get more love. Wonder if it is the Cakewalk branding?


i have a a800 and im preaching everytime to try that if you need a new keyboard. good price, good build quality and the keys are IMHO the best in a price range up to 500€ or more. enough love from my side ;)

p.s. no weighted keys

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 Post subject: Re: Opinions on MIDI keyboards
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:05 pm
Posts: 208
Cool... I'm not a keyboard player at all, but the 32 key version seems perfect for me.


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