Which Midi keyboard/controller?

Discussion in 'Synths / Samplers & VSTi' started by funkshen, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. funkshen

    funkshen Guest

    Hi im sorta new to recording and have been looking at buying a midi keyboard/controller. I have aquired reason and native and am also working on getting a few other programs(rewire refill ableton etc)... anyway I have been trying to research midi keyboards/controllers but to be honest I don't know really know the difference between the boards or what is best for me.

    Im running a mac g5 (not the duo core). Im guessing my soundcard is not going to be great and may have some problems with latency. This has led me to wonder do I connect to the computer through usb, firewire, or midi???

    The keyboard will be used to make make mostly techo and hiphop. I'd like to use the board to make melodies/rythm sections and just samples and sounds in general and also try and make some drumbeats using the board. damn im a nub

    As I can see you can purchase boards with synths on it or w/o.. as money is a factor im guessing I should go without onboard synths and use sounds on my comp. Im thinkin reason doesn't support VSTi's? but rewire can fix that from what i've hard. Also with the weight of the keys with what im trying to make Im guessing I should go for synth action keys. Im also not to sure about the different velocity sensitive and touch sensitive keys mods & pitch wheels.. which are important or which should i look for? Should I look for one with pads on it or just use the keys to produce drum beats.

    So I guess Im basically asking has anyone got any recomendations on which midikeyboard I should get or a few I should take a look at.

    Anyways help would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks!
    (sorry if this is in the wrong forum also any links to other post on this sorta topic before would be great, i did try searching the forum but there were so many links I couldn't find what i needed)
  2. Slice

    Slice Guest

    Reason can't support VSTi's I think, but with Rewire it can act as a VSTi for other sequencers like Cubase but still can't support them. Why would you want VSTi's in Reason anyways?, it's a synth and sequencer made for that kind of job, if you want more sounds look at the ones on the Propellerhead's website, you can download them for free if you have a legal copy of Reason.

    For your needs I'd be looking at something like an M-Audio Axiom (with pads) series or Oxygen series, or EMU Xboard series, or Korg MicroKontrol (with pads but the keys are smaller though).

    For the drums it's basically up to you to try it out before you buy if you can, and see with which one you're more comfortable.
    You're not gonna need balanced keys for what you're gonna do I think so don't look to much for those.

    Everything is just basically trial and error until you find what's right for you.
  3. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Personally, I like having 5 octaves. It allows for 2 handed play. If you get one of those 1-2 octave toys, your usually stuck just playing lead or bass or rhythm or whatever.

    I also like full size keys. Those little ones can be a little too close together for lots of stuff. Plus if you are recording drums you might feel like you are hitting them too hard and could potentially break them.

    I don't like weighted action. I wasn't trained on a piano and don't really like the feel of weighted keys. They don't do anything differently as far as MIDI is concerned. The only reason you would want weighted keys is because you prefer the feel.

    So that covers the physical keyboard stuff now the technical stuff.

    I like various MIDI capabilities like being able to split the keyboard into 2 or more MIDI channels. This allows you to play one sound with the left hand and another with the right.

    It should be able to store different configurations. This way you can have different keyboard setups for different applications.

    Things like velocity and pressure/aftertouch I think are included in most controllers these days but I wouldn't buy one without them.

    A MIDI out port. Many controller are USB, and I don't know if they are USB only or not. For your purposes, USB may be all you need but I need to have a MIDI out on mine to control my sound modules and stuff like that.

    Having additional MIDI controls can be helpful too. Knobs and sliders can be handy for doing editing and sound manipulation on the fly. Pads are nice to have for recording drums as they have good separation and you can bang on them pretty hard without any worries. Transport controls are a must if you do a lot of stuff directly from the keyboard. They allow you to play, stop, rewind, etc....VERY handy

    So, now that you know what I look for in a controller where does that leave you?

    I'd recommend at least a 4 octave/49 key controller with some knobs. Anything else is a bonus.

    My personal favorite is the CME controllers simply because they ain't plastic, well, not all of them, and the look and feel like a synth. Check out the UF5. It's not on that site above but they are on others.
  4. funkshen

    funkshen Guest

    got an m audio axiom 49... thanks for the help
  5. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Decatur Il
    Funk, Sounds like you also need to choose a sequencer program to work with all these programs you already have.

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