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zircon

What keyboard should I buy?

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So I got a $100 gift card at Best Buy for my birthday, so I'm looking for a MIDI controller around $150 although I can do $200-$250 if it's really worth it. I can get anything from this list, assuming my BB actually has it in stock. I'd prefer 61 keys, but I can probably live with 49 if it means I'm getting a much better quality product.

Suggestions? So far it looks like either the Oxygen 49 or this.

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For your price range the Oxygen would be a good choice I think, however being the piano player that you are maybe you'd rather save up and get an 88 key full weighted keyboard, you might regret getting the smaller synth action one later. However, the fancy 88 weighted ones are quite a bit more expensive, and if you're branching out now (like you did with the dodgeball mix) then the oxygen would be very useful. If a small synth action keyboard is what you want, then the oxygen is probably a really good buy.

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Yeah, that's a good point, although I was thinking it might be nice to have both eventually. A couple reasons I'm hesitant to get a full 88-key at the moment is that, first, it has to be at Best Buy, and while the prices are actually decent ($550 for a PX120 with stand and 3 pedals), I'm thinking I could probably get a better deal elsewhere (like here). And second, I don't expect to be staying where I am too long, and a 52" keyboard will make fitting all my stuff in my Corolla much more complicated. %^(

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Hello, I need help deciding which keyboard to purchase. I currently already own a Yamaha Clavinova, and while it sounds amazing, it is floppy-card Only, and it isn't very portable either (aka won't be able to leave the house).

I would be using it mostly to record my ideas down. I currently input each note by note, but everything sounds too... robotic. Perhaps, if I actually record myself playing on a keyboard, the instruments might sound more realistic, due to the variety in velocity and timing, etc, something I'm not sure how to do when I'm doing note by note. When recording, I am usually at home on my Mac Pro.

Here's the thing: I might be performing live, but I'm thinking of just using an audio program, such as Logic Studio (or Mainstage, which comes with the suite), to provide the sounds. (It's very likely I am going to have Pro-Tools soon too).

Should I purchase a keyboard with no sounds, and simply combine the use of my keyboard and software to perform live? Or should I be looking for a keyboard that not only connects to the computer USB/Firewire, but also has realistic piano sounds?

My budget, while it isn't too constricted, I'd like to of course, not waste money. I think ~$500 might be adequate, but I might be able to spend more, etc.

I think these three keyboards might be right for me, but I am not sure:

http://www.zzounds.com/item--ALEQS62

http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOAXIOM61

http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOKEYSTAT88

If anyone has any advice on which of these keyboards I should get, please let me know. If you feel I am looking at the wrong area (which I might be), please tell me. Thank you! :)

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The Axiom and Keystation are very popular around here, I've got an axiom 61 myself. It depends on what you want for whether you'd get a keystation or not though. Is hammer action a big deal to you? If so then the keystation is a fairly inexpensive 88-key keyboard. If you want portability you'd be better off with the smaller axiom and oxygen models. As soon as you add onboard sounds the price jumps up rather quickly, so if you can just use your laptop instead that's probably the cheaper route. Good luck.

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Ok, I've learned a great deal from various post around the forums, but just not enough to warrant a purchase of any type of equipment yet.

But I am looking in the direction of the M-Audio oxygen 61 midi controller. There's just a few things I hope someone can clarify for me.

1. It seems the best way to get sound output from this thing is to connect it to something like the Roland JV-1080 as I believe it doesn't have sound or effects of its own. My question is will I be able to just get away with some VST plugins in music software such as Cubase? (Of course, I don't expect anything amazing from this but hopefully it'll allow me to just mess around a bit for now.)

2. This leads me to my second question. Is this controller just plug and play? I have no experience with how these things work. I'm guessing it just connects through usb but i'm not too sure. I also plan on buying a sound card, either the emu 0404 or going with a firebox to be able to connect my guitar into my desktop for recording. (The firebox seems like it's a bit overkill for me as all I really want to do is be able to record some guitar play.) Would it be better to connect the keyboard through one of those instead?

Those are really the only things that are holding me back from my purchases as of right now. Any answers to these question will be greatly appriciated.

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1. Confusing question... but yes you can definitely get by with just VST plugins, that's all a lot of people use around here, you may want to buy some fancy ones, but you can get by on just VST's.

2. It's pretty much plug and play, you put in the CD that comes with it and install the drivers and then you should be good to go. If you get a new soundcard/firebox you can use it as your audio device when using your keyboard, this will improve your latency. But you won't need to actually plug your keyboard into the soundcard.

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awesome! Thanks for the speedy reply and sorry about the confusing question. Exactly what I was hoping to hear though.

By the way, I see you have yourself a mighty nice tf2 siggy. Lately I've been recording and doing commentaries on the spy class and I believe I actually uploaded a recent commentary of a round I played on OCR's server to youtube. I think you might have been playing during the recording. Anyway nice server ya'll have there but I did want ask something about it. When ever I try to catch a game on the server, it's usally empty. Is there a certain time of day when it starts to get busy? I'd love to have some more friendly matches with the OCR community.

And again, thanks a bunch for the help earlier.

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1. It seems the best way to get sound output from this thing is to connect it to something like the Roland JV-1080

Or a computer with a software sampler and a library.

as I believe it doesn't have sound or effects of its own.

If you look at the back you won't see an audio output, so no :).

My question is will I be able to just get away with some VST plugins in music software such as Cubase?

Cubase 4 has Halion One which has a similar philosophy behind it as the 1080 - cram a ton of samples into a box, seal it, and let people play.

There's also Proteus VX (free) which is E-mus take on the JV-1080 box.

I've got the Roland XP-30 - the keyboard version of the 1080, basically. I also have NI Kontakt 3. In terms of sound quality, Kontakt is better - but it takes a lot longer to load up a sound. My XP-30 is faster, but editing sounds is a chore with the small display, and its sounds aren't that hyper-realistic. The default Rhodes piano is meh, the one in the expansion board is a lot better, and the orchestral sounds in the expansion card are passable but pale compared to Kontakt's VSL.

2. This leads me to my second question. Is this controller just plug and play?

Besides installing the driver like Zephyr says, Cubase has to know that you want to use this as a controller, so you might have to enable it somewhere in a menu.

Would it be better to connect the keyboard through one of those instead?

Doesn't make a difference.

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Offtop: Lately it's been really dead on the TF2 server Moondoggie, but we TRY to have an ocr night every saturday. I'm hoping that we can play some more TF2 sometime soon.

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maorofftop: Aww, that's unfortunate. Hopefully it'll get busy again. The last time I played there turned out to be a ton of fun.

ontop: Thanks for the words of advice yoozer.

I finally broke down and got the oxygen from guitar center. Sorry OCremix.com, I would've gotten it online to help you guys out but I just really wanted to try it out back at home. But hey, you guys don't have to worry.....because karma made sure to come over and bite me on the ass. When I finally got the thing home and opened it, I learnt that apprently usb cables have a tendancy to wonder off. So for now I'm just stuck here staring at the thing. I plan on picking up the cable tomorrow.

Thanks again for the adivce to those who gave it out.

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So for now I'm just stuck here staring at the thing. I plan on picking up the cable tomorrow.

If you have a printer hooked up via USB, use that cable. It's most likely the same.

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This thing caught my eye: http://www.zzounds.com/item--KORNANOKEYB

I'd call this the 'dirt cheap' option. But it also appeals to me because I don't have much space to work with. And 50$ with me being doesn't sound bad either. I don't care too much about the feel (those keys look spot on with what I'm typing with right now. I guess) I'm wanting it to speed up hearing things, simple short progressions, and much less mouse work. Plus, If I decide to get another controller later, this is 50 bucks. Have I mentioned that I'm cheap?

Product highlights as I get the good ones:

-In CC (Control Change) MODE, the keys become MIDI controllers

-12 highly responsive trigger pads, also capable of sending both notes and MIDI control data, plus an X-Y pad with roll and flam functions

-nine faders, nine knobs and 18 switches plus a full transport section

-nanoKEY includes a download code for the full version of Korg's M1Le, which faithfully recreates the legendary Korg M1 workstation

OH YEAH, this too:

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Has anyone had any experience with M-Audio's Axiom 49? (http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOAXIOM49) I'm thinking of picking up a keyboard to make note input easier and to record MIDI, but I've been playing piano for a little while so I dunno if I could get used to synth action (the axioms are semi-weighted), and 49 keys seems like a good compromise between too few and too many, although the keyboard might be a bit too big. I dunno.

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I used to own an Axiom 61, and it was a great controller. It is semi-weighted, *not* synth action (the two are not the same thing). I had no problems adjusting to semi-weighted action, but I also have a strong piano background (almost 23 years since I first started playing), so I'm probably more versatile than you are at this point.

If you're good enough to play parts with both hands at once, you'll invariably find 49 keys too short. My two keyboards are 61 and 73 keys, and there are times I wish the 61-key was longer.

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I am seriously considering purchasing the M-Audio Oxygen 61. I live in Australia, so getting it shipped here from the USA is not an option really, but thank goodness I found a decent online store based in Australia that sells these sorts of things. The cheapest I have found it though has been $279 AUD (about $219.96 USD) + $28.00 shipping at electricroom.com.au which is a bit more than zzounds.com sells it for ($169 USD w/free shipping)

I have a Pentium D (2-core) processor with 1GB DDR2 RAM and Vista 32bit. The audio card that came with the PC is one of the Realtek High Definition Audio cards (on-board I think).

Will I experience much latency using a USB MIDI controller such as the M-Audio Oxygen 61 with my current setup?

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You probably will. Latency isn't so much due to the keyboard as it is due to your audio interface. You could try the free ASIO4ALL drivers with your on-board soundcard; failing that, you'd have to get a better audio interface.

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You probably will. Latency isn't so much due to the keyboard as it is due to your audio interface. You could try the free ASIO4ALL drivers with your on-board soundcard; failing that, you'd have to get a better audio interface.

ok thanks, when I get it and hook it up I will report my findings here for others, and any solutions to any problems that I find and fix... was going to get it for my birthday (Aug 5th) but looks like Christmas or later is now the deal :(

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so, i just dropped $880 for a yamaha mm8. doesn't have that fancy "aftertouch" thingy but has 88 weighted keys. right, so i've never used a keyboard before and i'm a remixing noob. i was lookin for a keyboard around the 1k price point and this happened to be on sale at guitar center, so i nabbed it. good buy, ya think?

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IMO, the MM8 is only a good keyboard if you want something suited for remixing and live performance without a computer, and you're on a budget. As far as keyboards go for live performance, the MO8 and now-discontinued (but still on store shelves, if they're not out of stock) Korg TR-88 are both probably within your price range but are much better. I could be wrong on this though; I'm not exactly keyboard shopping right now. And if you just want to remix with a computer, you can certainly get an 88-key weighted controller for cheaper than the MM8, since you wouldn't need the controller to have any sounds on its own.

To be clear, I don't think the MM8 is *bad*, just that there might be better options, depending on what you want to do.

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M-Audio makes two that would be cheaper. The KeyStation Pro 88 is strictly a controller, while the ProKeys 88 is a stage piano and has a few sounds on it. The MM8 will definitely be better than either if you want to do any live performing ever, but these two are at least cheaper. If you really don't care about live performance, they're worth considering. I don't know how realistic the action feels on them compared to the MM8; I haven't played any of them, so you'd probably want to try them out in store if you're thinking about returning the MM8 to save some money.

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i do care a bit about live performance, and it's always good to have that option available. i did get a decent deal at the sale so as long as there aren't any options that are leaps and bounds better, i'll probably just keep the darn thing.

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Hello. I have a Yamaha Clavinova CVP-69A. While it has been a great keyboard, it has limited portability, has limited computer connection options, and the configuration options of the piano itself are rather lacking when compared to keyboards of today. However, it's natural piano sound is amazing.

I am looking for a keyboard for live performances, and (if possible), minor connectivity to my computer. If I can play a note, and the computer recognizes the note (and what velocity I'm playing at), that's all I need. I own Logic Studio, and a MacBook Pro*. I would like the keyboard to be able to support itself in a performance, and for the samples of the instruments on the keyboard to be good (specifically the piano sounds, but other (good) samples, such as guitar, would be appreciated). It would be great if I could connect the keyboard to my MacBook, and be able to play the samples from the Logic Studio Suite itself in performances (ie using Main Stage). However, I am unsure if such a setup would be stable enough. For example, is there a chance of the system overloading, and freezing all the sounds of the piano?

I am not looking for something overly complex. Something that has thousands of little editing options, such as EQ, are not required. Minor functions such as a pitch wheel and reverb would be appreciated.

The keyboard must be able to be transferred in a standard car. To simplify, it must be portable enough to be carried by one person, and easy to transport with two people. (Aka NOT this: http://www.reidys.com/images/products/7103.jpg)

I have had a recommendation from a friend to go with the Korg PA-500. It seems very nice. Does anyone have an opinion on the said keyboard? How does it compare to a Korg TR76? And are there other brands I should be aware of, such as Roland? (Link of PA-500: http://www.zzounds.com/item--KORPA500)

I will also likely be purchasing an amp to go with the said keyboard. Are there any recommendations for that too?

Price is not really an issue. I suppose if I was asked to put a limit, I would say $2000 (amp not included).

*Specs of MacBook Pro:

13" 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3 RAM, nVidia 9400M.

Thank you for your time in reading this.

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