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Budget Midi Keyboard Controller

Discussion in 'Recording' started by doubleJ, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    I'm looking to get a <$100 midi keyboard (I've seen multiple options in the $150-$400 range). I just want something to upgrade from my onscreen reaper keyboard. Do note that I'm not a piano player, so the feel isn't of much importance. I would like something that won't break the first month. My preference is 49 keys with dedicated midi port, as long as they aren't crap.
    What I'm tossing up, currently, is...
    Akai Lpk25
    25 keys and no midi
    New: $60

    M-audio Keystudio 49
    49 keys and no midi
    New: $99 / Used: $50-$80

    Alesis Q49
    49 keys with midi
    New: $90-$99

    Cme M-key
    49 keys with midi
    New: $99

    I've seen very little on this board about any of them. Honestly, I haven't seen many reviews for anything other than the akai (which have been very favorable).
    Obviously, the alesis and cme have what I'm looking for, but I don't know anyone that has them. A studio friend of mine has an m-audio keystation 88 that he likes. It looks similar to the keyrig, although I question if the internals are the same. The biggest pull for the m-audio is that I can get it for cheap, used.
  2. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    I own a few small M-audio keyboard controllers that I use via USB with my laptop and have never had a problem. In the FWIW department, I usually end up sticking it in the side pouch of my laptop as I'm racing out the door when traveling or back and forth between home and work. Mine is going on 3 years old without a blink. I'm generally only using it for keyboard input into Finale for writing and arranging, but it definitely has been used quite a bit.
  3. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    I played around with my friend's M-audio Keystation 88es, last night, and was very impressed with the semi-weighted keys. It really was a nice rig, especially for the price. The biggest drawback is the width. That's just too big to station at my desk.
    I'm considering the keystation 61es, now, assuming that the keys feel the same on both sizes. At 39" wide, it's more palatable, although still a bit wider then my preference is.
    I think the Alesis is just synth-action keys, so I'm getting less interested in it.
    The Cme is listed as semi-weighted, but I wonder how it feels. I don't know any real stores that carry it (at least not around Branson). I do like that it's only 29" wide, though. It's a few inches narrower than the other 49's.
    I'm starting to lean away from the Akai, as well. I really like the size, but I doubt that I'll really take it anywhere (at least not more than once or twice).

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