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Fyrebhaal

Buying a Keyboard

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Yeah, cheap and reliable. What do you want to do with it? Do you want a keyboard with EVERYTHING on it like a Triton, or do you just want a little midi controller so you can control your DAW?

You gotta ask yourself these kinds of things! Different keyboards and synths have WAY different purposes. This is also something you can totally research yourself! Go look online for some keyboards, read reviews, and come back to us if you still have a problem deciding.

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Well, it could have built in samples or synth capabilities. Basically, do you want to control, play and sequence sounds (synths, samples) already in your computer, or do you want something that makes the sound by itself when you play?

How do you currently make music, and what do you to add to that setup or change about it?

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All right, now we're talking! :D So, basically, you want a midi controller.

You're going to have to think about a couple of things:

-What features do you want besides a keyboard (knobs, sliders..)?

-How many octaves should the keyboard be? Do you want something physically small with only maybe 2 octaves, or something more like a piano, ie. 5-6 or more octaves?

-Do you want piano-like weighted action on the keys, or is spongy, synth-like non-weighted ok? For weighted action, you'd have to get something large and expensive, most likely.

-What kind of connectivity do you need? Most current midi controllers interface to your computer by USB, but some might only have MIDI ports.

-What's your budget? This largely determines what you can get in terms of the other factors.

EDIT: The eKeys, if that's all you need, then it's probably good. Mind you, I don't think it's velocity sensitive, so every note you play is going to be the same velocity / volume. You'd have to edit the velocities by hand after you record your playing if you want softer and louder notes in the same passage.

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ok...

I want something with a midrange of octaves, non-weighted is fine with me, i need USB connection, and i need it to be velocity sensitive.

I have a good budget cause this is a christmas present from my grandmother

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Ok. You can't go wrong with something from the UF series by CME, I've read glowing reviews. Also, you might want to take a look at the Kontrol 49 and microKONTROL by Korg. Here's a fairly comprehensive list of current models by all the major manufacturers:

http://www.audiomidi.com/master.cfm?CID=262

Compare prices and features between those, and if you have more questions about particular models or features, ask away. :)

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Mind you, I don't think it's velocity sensitive

I don't understand how any keyboard developed between 1990 and now ISN'T velocity sensitive :/

Did you look at the ratings on that page? Each category only got 1 star out of 5. I'm assuming that's downright fucking terrible, so you'd be smart to steer clear of that eKeys thing.

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I have a good budget
my budget is about 100$-150$

That's.. not much ;). But hey, it should still be enough, and if it's not, refrain from buying games for a while - you can always play Mario later, but being stuck with a crappy controller lasts longer.

Aight, here's my regular and obligatory recommendation for an E-mu Xboard 49. Nice bonus: it comes with a crapload of software. It's got semi-weighted keys of a better quality than most controllers, and you get rotary knobs (you don't know how much fun they are until you try 'm, trust me). I've got one myself, and I'm rather picky about what I play on; I've owned (and still own) various synthesizers, and the E-mu is definitely one of the better ones (the Alesis Ion for one sucks, the Nord Lead 2 isn't much better, the Yamaha AN1x is really nice but sends aftertouch like it's going out of style, the Roland XP-30 is nice but doesn't feel as nice as the E-mu in some cases.

That eKeys thing - well yeah, seconding OverCoat in this, it sucks. No bender, no modwheel, no knobs, and the worst kind of keyboard known to man.

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ok....does anyone know of a good controller, with features similar to the E-MU Xboard 49, but cheaper?

Cheaper? Did you check the link provided above? It's $165 or something. You can't go $15 over your budget?

not my money im spending, its my grandmas. :roll::wink:

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ok....does anyone know of a good controller, with features similar to the E-MU Xboard 49, but cheaper?

Cheaper? Did you check the link provided above? It's $165 or something. You can't go $15 over your budget?

not my money im spending, its my grandmas. :roll::wink:

I'm aware of that, it's just...I dunno, put $20 of your own money towards it?

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I actually have been wondering the same thing. Usually I just program notes into the FL piano roll (as OverCoat says, like a fucking tool), but I want to try something different and do it manually. Also, I want to learn music theory, so that'll help out as well.

My basic requirements are:

-line-in to my computer/mixing program (FLStudio6) so I can record it straight off the keyboard and play it later

-good selection of decent orchestral/non-orchestral pre-programmed sounds

-the ability to play sounds/soundfonts already on my computer

-knobs...lots of knobs (velocity, pitch, tremolo [or whatever they call it], lots of stuff)

-my budget isn't super-high, but I'd be willing to dish out up to $1000 for an excellent keyboard

-whatever other kickass stuff you guys recommend

Any recommendations? I'd appreciate it.

~.C.S.~

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My basic requirements are:

-line-in to my computer/mixing program (FLStudio6) so I can record it straight off the keyboard and play it later

That's your soundcard / audio interface, not your keyboard.

-good selection of decent orchestral/non-orchestral pre-programmed sounds

E-mu Proteus X.

-the ability to play sounds/soundfonts already on my computer

No keyboard does soundfonts AFAIK unless you have an Openlabs NEKO, but that -is- a computer already. Just use the free RGC SFZ plugin.

-knobs...lots of knobs (velocity, pitch, tremolo [or whatever they call it], lots of stuff)

Velocity is a function of the keyboard, not of the knobs. Pitch is the pitch wheel or pitch bender, which is present on pretty much every keyboard. Tremolo is an effect and the only thing it has to do with knobs is that you can use a knob to adjust the rate and intensity, provided that you have a tremolo effect on the synthesizer or plugin itself.

-my budget isn't super-high, but I'd be willing to dish out up to $1000 for an excellent keyboard

Now we're talking.

-whatever other kickass stuff you guys recommend

Since the original topicstarter was kind of vague:

- do you want to go the "dumb" controller + audio interface route?

- do you want to go the synthesizer (controller + sounds) + audio interface (for your plugins) route?

- do you already have an audio interface (and by that I don't mean an on-board soundcard or something meant for games)

- do you already have a decent set of monitor speakers as opposed to PC speakers (what's the use of having great tools if you can't enjoy 'm?)

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I want to be able to play the music off the keyboard and record it straight to my computer with an audio recording program. For the plugins and other soundfonts I already have, you said I can use that RGC SFZ plugin, so no worries on that end. Basically, I want ultimate controllability from the keyboard, and if a GOOD setup requires that I have a soundcard/controller on my computer, then so be it. As for speakers, I have some laptop speakers, but that's pretty much it. Nothing fancy.

I appreciate the comments and all. As you can tell, I'm fairly keyboard/synth-dumb, so any referencing or tutorials on, like, setups and stuff would be mucho appreciated. Thank you again.

~.C.S.~

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Ok.. you contradicted yourself. You said you wanted to use the keyboard to control things, and that you would use plugins and sfz, but then you said you want to record sounds and music from the keyboard.

Do you want a MIDI CONTROLLER (NO sounds at all) or a workstation/synthesizer? The latter doubles as a controller, but is typically heavier and more expensive. Please be clear.

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Well...I want both. But I guess if that can't be done...then I want a MIDI controller. One that will interface with my soundfonts and plugins, instead of having me rely on the piano roll. Yeah, that sounds right.

Do I need additional software/hardware (aside from the keyboard) for that? Or is a controller (and the plugins/SFs) all I need? Again, lingo-confused guy here.

Hopefully now I'm making sense. :P

~.C.S.~

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No, it can be done, it's just more expensive. That's what Yoozer and I have been saying. :P

For $1000, however, you are not going to get a high-end workstation. For $500 (or less), you CAN get a high end MIDI controller that will control all of your plugins - eg. the Keystation Pro 88, or the CME UF8, for example. 88 key weighted devices with tons of knobs, sliders, and buttons.

If you want to go the workstation route and have built in sounds, a built in sequencer, built in effects (etc) then you have to consider offerings by Roland, Korg, Alesis, and Yamaha. The Alesis QS8.2 is 88 keys and costs $800. The Alesis QS6.2 is 61 key and costs $500, but doesn't have piano action. Their strongest contender is the flagship Alesis Fusion - the 6HD version runs $1000 and has a TON of features. For other brands, the Yamaha MO8 is 61 key and packs a lot of power, but costs $1,200. They have the less-powerful alternatives S08 ($1000) and S03 ($500) with 88 and 61 keys, respectively. Korg offers the TR61, a cut down Triton (a fantastic keyboard) that is 61 keys and $1000.

Those are all the ones I can think of around your price range. I would do research on all of them; listen to sound demos, read reviews, and above all else, try to play them in a music gear store.

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E-mu Proteus X.
Doesn't that require an E-MU sound card? I don't think he's planning to buy an E-MU 0404, just a keyboard.

Also, I have a Roland XP-10. How do you all think it stacks up as a keyboard? The only thing I don't like is that it uses legacy MIDI ports.

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