MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Production, hardware & technical - tips and tricks.
Post Reply
ustust
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:14 pm
Location: pl

MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by ustust »

hello,
I am looking for a good keyboard for Ableton, 4 octaves will be ok, right?
what do you think about: E-MU Xboard 49 vs. Novation Nocturn vs 49. M-Audio Axiom 49? :) which is best?

thx!

User avatar
ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:33 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ »

Get a Korg MS2000 for $300; will serve as a MIDI keyboard, plus will play sounds without laptop assistance (virtual instruments).

The fact that MIDI keyboards - hardware that make no sounds whatsoever - cost over $100 boggles my mind. Same for virtual instruments.

ustust
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:14 pm
Location: pl

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by ustust »

I think it's a very interesting proposition, where can I buy it for $ 300? :)This is a midi keyboard and synth in one, right? How it connects to the PC, USB or midi? Can you recommend other hardware you in similar price? ($300)

User avatar
ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:33 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ »

Many synths created from about 1982 forward incorporate MIDI. So note that these can equally be used in that regard (in other words to play virtual synths), as well as without. Which in my opinion, makes them a lot more versatile - assuming you find one in your budget! This is why I mention the MS2000 - it is still relatively cheap.

You will need an audio interface to connect to your computer; unless you find one like the latest Little Phatty that incorporates USB technology.

ustust
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:14 pm
Location: pl

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by ustust »

ok. What you recommend audio interface?

User avatar
Mcll
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: romania via nyc
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by Mcll »

"The fact that MIDI keyboards - hardware that make no sounds whatsoever - cost over $100 boggles my mind. Same for virtual instruments."

I agree about VST's, except for development costs, they really should not be as expensive as they are. Especially since the music industry has tanked.

Hardware though, there is really not much difference in a controller and an actual synth. Especially the VA, that are just using processors attached to a MIDI controller. No analog circuitry costs. You still have to factor in the cost of the switches, pots, and keys. Not to mention fancy shit like ribbon controllers and X+Y pads. Sometimes it is very worth while to get an expensive MIDI controller, with all these options, or even weighted keys. And they just use it to control tabletop synths and VST's. So there, I think the cost is reasonable.

The MS2K as a MIDI controller is not the greatest solution IMO. It is a fantastic synth though. I would never get rid of mine. But the rotary's are not convenient to program, KORG is known for it's submenus :P Also, I don't believe the Arp does not transmit MIDI nor that modulation sequencer. They are really only use full inside the machine. Plus the keys are not weighted and it lacks after touch.

You can do a lot more with a Novation X-Station say. That also has on-board sounds, though they are not a great as the MS2K, the X+Y pad, the sliders and all the programmable buttons and knobs are ace. Plus it has a lockable joystick. I like to set mine to control FX parameters in Reaktor so i can build in different effects, and then cut them out when I let go of the joystick. Very cool effect live when you are building a cresendo for the audience.

User avatar
ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:33 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ »

Personally I hate the idea of "mapping". I want to make music, not program a device. This is why I like hardware synths (virtual or analog). Turn it on and play. I look at a knob, it tells me what it does, and it does it (as long as it's working obviously). It's the difference between "computer" music and "electronic" music. I much prefer the latter. Am actually considering removing the DAW from the equation and just getting a multi-track recorder. But that may be too bold of a move...

User avatar
ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:33 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ »

P.S. I just had my Pro One repaired - just short of $400 (to replace bushings and clean guts). So the hardware (especially vintage) game is definitely not for the weary! But believe me when I say, a perfectly functioning Pro One is worth its weight in gold!
P.P.S. If anyone reading has interest in vintage, analog synths; and lives in NY, I highly recommend checking out The Analog Lab: http://www.theanaloglab.com/ - killer spot, and very professional. Lots of used equipment for sale too.

User avatar
Mcll
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: romania via nyc
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by Mcll »

"Personally I hate the idea of "mapping". I want to make music, not program a device."

Oh, I very much agree. That is another reason I went for the X-Station. It has a great faculty for memory maps. Comes preloaded with classics like the Virus, Reason, Cubase, and Reaktor. And you can easily bring up the PC program and set it to interact with whatever you are using. I much prefer MIDI learn though, which is why most of my digital synthesis is with Reaktor.

But I also agree with what you said "computer music", vs "electronic music". When I started it was all Tascam multi-track, ADAT tapes, stand alone MIDI or analog sequencers and ancient analog beasts that needed to warm up for nearly an hour before they started to sound reasonable. That shit gets old after many years :D Now I am very happy that my set up can basically fit into a medium sized suitcase and still sound like I performed everything in a decent studio. I do not lean on the PC too much. I try to use outboard gear to make up most of my composition. Just that they make things much more compact now and I love that.

Pro-One's are awesome. Some of my favourite albums were constructed with that as the main board. Another great piece is the Juno 60. Damn, that is a meaty synth.

User avatar
ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:33 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by ƧƆỴ†ɧЄ »

I wish more VST manufacturers would also release MIDI equipment such as this (referring to the MS-20 device): http://www.vintagesynth.com/korg/legacy.php - but not in miniature version.

Juno 60s do seem tasty, however not sure I would like the sliders (compared to rotary knobs)...

User avatar
Mcll
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: romania via nyc
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by Mcll »

I would love this as well. The controller market is pretty tight though and I cannot believe it is 2012 now and we are still fucking using sloppy old MIDI. They need to start the move to OSC already. that is the reason I got a Block, and it still has not happened.

Speaking of Livid, I need to upgrade to CNTRLR. This thing is killer. And with a Traktor template. It would be simple to just fire it up and make some sounds live.
http://lividinstruments.com/hardware_cntrlr.php


User avatar
Mcll
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: romania via nyc
Contact:

Re: MIDI keyboard for $ 200 - what?

Post by Mcll »

Yes, I have been following Percussa for a long time now. Audio Cubes are VERY expensive though. I hope when this new package is released for retail it is more affordable. The sound app is killer though:
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2011/ ... udiocubes/

Post Reply