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Piano/Keyboard Guys

 
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Gabriel
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Joined: 11 Apr 2010
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Location: UK/US

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:45 pm    Post subject: Piano/Keyboard Guys Reply with quote

So for uni I need to learn piano, so I'd like to get myself a keyboard to practice on. I've got a few questions I'd like to clear up before I buy one though.

Firstly, do you think I should go for 61 keys or larger? 61 keys would fit a lot easier in the poxy rooms in halls, however I'm not sure how close they'd feel to a full 88 Keyboard.

Then should I go for a USB keyboard and run Mainstage 2 or go for a stage keyboard.

Have you guys got any suggestions? Cheaper the better mind.
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lorez
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Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People I spoke to said 88 key if you have space is better. As long as the action on the USB keyboard is ok and offers what you need in regards to a real piano then it should be fine.
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willlin
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Joined: 23 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd always recommend 88 keys, and a weighted / semi weighted keyboard if you can afford it. Otherwise the feel is completely different and it's actually quite difficult to adapt after playing a real piano. Not sure if they still do it but there was an M Audio Pro Keys 88 keyboard which was pretty decent and not too spendy.
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Gabriel
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Joined: 11 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking on ebay over the past couple of weeks and loads of M-audio stuff comes up, but I've been reading way too many horror stories about their products to want to buy second hand.

I think I might try to see if I can find a deal on an Akai MPK 88 as they get brilliant reviews. My friend has one too so I might see if I can get him to sell his to me Twisted Evil .
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Gabriel
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Joined: 11 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did some googling and reading on piano forums. Basically people were saying purely for learning piano an electronic piano such as the Yamaha P-35 would be a better way to learn as you won't have to worry about working with a computer and dealing with parameters such as velocity adjustment. Also if I want I can use a midi/usb cable to use the piano as a midi keyboard for other synth sounds (I'd probably get something like the Korg nanokontrol to make up for lack of faders though).


Link

This sounds good though.
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NickS
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This review claims the Casio CDP-120 has better piano action.

(Or if you don't mind a static, you could buy my old Yamaha Clavinova CLP50. The piano sound's not impressive but it is a proper action. Bit of a trek to get it up there, though)
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Paradigmforcosmos
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everyone who says that 88 keys is the way to go, I have a keyboard with 61 keys and it's well lame.
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Gabriel
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Joined: 11 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casio PX-135 looks good to and has built in USB connectivity which is cool.

I went to my local guitar shop today and tried a few. I didn't really like the action of the Yamahas but the Casios were nice.
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honeyiscool
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Joined: 01 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want it for piano, get one with 88 fully weighted keys and a built-in speaker because everything else sucks, and even a digital piano sucks compared to a real one, and as shitty as most on-board speakers are, trying to find an amp to plug into is not that great either and then you deal with sound coming out at your feet, blah blah blah, so get a cheap Yamaha digital piano or something. Most of them aren't that great, so just buy something that works. I'm not trying to be negative, it's just the truth. Trying to compare between an entry level Casio vs. an entry level Yamaha and talking about which has a better action is kinda pointless when even a $2000 Roland FP7 has terrible action compared to the cheapest upright pianos, so just find the best deal you can. Try to get the most polyphony possible, 64 is all right but more is better.

If you just want it as a keyboard, then 61 keys are a lot more practical. Also, keep in mind that non-weighted and semi-weighted actions generally are far more playable. I love a weighted action but on a sub-$2000 keyboard, I'll take a semi-weighted (especially on Korgs) or non-weighted over fully weighted any day. As far as digital pianos go, anything under $1000 is really scraping at the bottom of the heap. However, some of the semi and non weighted actions are very professional level already at under $1000. I can play a lot better on my semi-weighted Korg M50 than on a cheap digital piano... weight is important but quality of action is more important and until you get to several thousand dollars and V-Pianos, I just feel that digital pianos have seriously poor weighted action.

That said, 73 keys are a nice compromise. Mozart probably didn't have more than 61 keys in his pianos, and he certainly doesn't use more. Pianos didn't even become standardized to 88 keys until midway through the 19th century, and Beethoven and Bach and Mozart were dead by then. More keys are nice but the last few keys are pretty much ignored on any piano. 61 keys are actually excellent in many ways because it gives you two octaves per hand plus another octave to share. The nice thing about 73 is that it gives you a bit of room to expand. 88 is kind of like having a penis extension, really. I've played classical piano 20+ years of my life, I'd estimate that I can play 90% of piano literature I've learned on a 73 key keyboard, and really, in most of the 10%, it's like one note in a Liszt étude that might not fit, I can still play the rest of it. It's really not until I get to Impressionists that I'd actually struggle without a full range piano. If you're like most piano lovers, you'll want to play Mozart, Scarlatti, and Chopin. You do not need more than 73 keys for that. But if you want to be able to do Rachmaninov some day, do get the 88 keys, although that will be YEARS from now (be patient) and you'll have many opportunities to upgrade by then.

Lastly, get a sustain pedal and learn how to use it properly, and on that subject, don't get an X-stand. Get a good bench that is height adjustable. Don't cut corners on this stuff. Posture is everything. Without it, you risk injury.
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Gabriel
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Joined: 11 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the help, a lot of good points to consider now. Luckily I'll have access to some lovely grand, baby grand and uprights when I start at the conservatoire so really this will just be for practice before I go and in my room at uni.

Polyphony is something I hadn't thought much about, a lot of the budget end keyboards and pianos only have 32 note so I'll try to find the one with the greatest number.
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