Hi all,

I'm a guitarist and I am now in a position where I'd like to start doing some recording. I'm not really looking at recording releasable/sellable music, more just recording my ideas at this stage (so that they can be played to others in a band as a starting point, for instance). I've got a good soundcard, and all the right gear for recording my guitar, so I'm set there.

I am thinking about how I can record/simulate the other instruments. (Obviously, I don’t want to have learn drums, bass, etc…!!!) I know enough about music theory to be able to bang out a few chords on a keyboard, and so was thinking about buying a decent(ish) keyboard with a simple, built-in drum machine. Is that what you guys would recommend?

I have heard that you can get something called a MIDI-Keyboard, but have no idea what this is. Could this be a viable alternative to a normal keyboard?

I know that getting something like a Yamaha keyboard would sound pretty cheesy, but like I say above, that is fine for getting ideas down.

Any advice/opinions gratefully received.

Thanks in advance!

Most keyboards have MIDI on them, anyway. It is basically an interface between a keyboard and another keyboard/computer. It tells other devices how to read the information coming from a keyboard.

For your purposes, MIDI is probably the way to go. You can play the other instruments on the keyboard into your music software, then fix mistakes in timing and pitch afterwards.

Otherwise, you can probably even get away without one. Most software programs for music have MIDI editors on them, so you can basically just bring up all the instruments and input the notes one by one with the mouse.
Hi FleaFlicker!

Thanks for the information. I don't fancy inputting all the notes manually; that sounds like it’ll be quite arduous! I think a keyboard is probably the way to go then (as I can just use it as a normal keyboard, or record in MIDI).

I am currently using an old version of Cakewalk for recording. I like it because it’s easy to use. Is it pretty easy to alter MIDI files using Cakewalk do you know?

Can anyone recommend any good keyboards that’ll do what I want? I guess my budget is up to £200.