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Time to talk MIDI Keyboards/Controllers

 
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Rhysyrhys
The Kraken


Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 2920
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject: Time to talk MIDI Keyboards/Controllers Reply with quote

Sooo.. as University is finishing up for me I'm hoping to give music a proper crack again - only that this time I don't want to be a mop of hair hunched over a guitar in my next set up, I'd prefer to be a mop of hair hunched over a few MIDI controllers and a laptop instead.

I'm fairly set that when I can stump up the cash, probably with my final loan installment, I'm going to get me an AKAI APC40 as seen here.

What I need also is a decent MIDI Keyboard, compact enough to fit in a laptop gig bag, so about 2-4 octaves (probably more on the 2 side). It has to be durable, because I'm clumsy and hopeless with equipment when I'm drankzed. Also, it would be sweet if there was something that size with weighted or semi-weighted keys, though I can't seem to find anything that fits the bill so far.

What are your recommendations for keyboards guys? Should I be looking at Novation/Yamaha/Korg/M-Audio or is there a budget keyboard that you think ticks the aforementioned boxes? Sliders and controls aren't a huge must, I might add, as the APC has that all nicely wrapped up.

Just incase this tempers your suggestions I'm on OS X using Ableton Live 8.2.5.

Hit meh, shartscrale.
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Rushkoff
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Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 103
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely a thread I want to keep my eyes on, I'm currently using a Nanokey into Logic Pro and whilst I love the portability of it - only having one octave really limits it's use. It's perfect for drums etc (much better than a Nanopad IMO) but I'd really like to get a proper 2-4 octave one myself (since uni is also finishing up for me Smile )
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Rhysyrhys
The Kraken


Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 2920
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see some interest. Just for your heads up I was looking at these bad boys, maybe they'd be off some interest to you? \

Novation Nocturn 25/49

Novation Impulse

3rd Gen M-Audio Axiom (lots of octaves and cheap for it too)


And some other stuff too. But you get the general jist, under 200 squids, keys and stuff.
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Sloan
Sexy Predator


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 11794
Location: Atlanta GA, USA!!!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dude, there are a ton of cheap controllers now with faders, knobs and shit that look awesome for a few hundred bux. i've got an m-audio keystation 49e, that would be too big for a backpack. it doesn't have a lot of fancy knobz, but i don't do much key based stuff anyway.
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plaidbeer
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Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Posts: 1247
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rhysyrhys wrote:
Good to see some interest. Just for your heads up I was looking at these bad boys, maybe they'd be off some interest to you? \

Novation Nocturn 25/49

Novation Impulse

3rd Gen M-Audio Axiom (lots of octaves and cheap for it too)


And some other stuff too. But you get the general jist, under 200 squids, keys and stuff.


Out of those you listed, I'd be tempted to look at the Impulse. It has a lot of cool features and I've had good luck with Novation stuff through the years.

I have an older Novation, a ReMOTE SL61 (mk 1) that is the only keyboard I still have. I hardly play synths anymore, except for impOSCar and the synths in GarageBand, but it feels great to play. It's made of plastic, but it's fairly sturdy and it has a huge display screen so that you can see the parameters change in real time when you move the sliders and knobs. And it has aftertouch, which can help your playing be more expressive (one of the main reasons I kept it). It also has automapping, which is a huge plus when using soft synths (maps out the parameters of the soft synth to the knobs/sliders on the keyboard). I also had a Novation Nova desktop synth which sounded really good.

I can vouch for Novation's tech support. They've always been responsive and helpful when I've contacted them. Chris Huggett, one of the guys who has designed some of the Novation stuff, was the designer behind the EDP Wasp and the OSCar.
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NickS
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 9231
Location: Nr. Basinggrad, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want semi-weighted + aftertouch, M-Audio also do the Axiom 49, 199 at Dolphin Music - it's what my son chose. Looks like the Novation Impulse may have one or two more bells and whistlles for the extra 50.
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mellowlogic
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Joined: 01 Mar 2008
Posts: 1014
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently using the Akai MPK 25. The unit is sort of large, but I'd think you could put it in a decently sized backpack. The keys have a nice action to them. I think the best part about this controller is that it has presets for various popular DAW software suites. You can basically plug n play with ableton live, which is what I'm doing at the moment.

http://www.akaipro.com/mpk25
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Gabriel
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Joined: 11 Apr 2010
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Location: UK/US

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a M-audio keystation, but I didn't really like it.

My friend has an Akai MPK88 that I'm secretly very jealous of though.
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