#1
Hey Pit

So i've just realised that on top of guitar, I actually enjoy playing keyboard/ piano, and I have been thinking about buying a decent keyboard that I can hook up to my laptop and play around with (I guess it's USB or MIDI Music Keyboard?).

I'd like to be able to use it through some speakers, and use it with recording programs (I usually use Reaper, could it work with that?) for keyboard/ piano parts, as well as drum parts. Would I need a special type of keyboard for that or some plugins or something? (I really don't know much about this).

How much do I need to spend to get a decent musical keyboard that can do this sort of stuff? and how big would it be? I don't want a super short keyboard, but I don't want a full scaled piano either

I have done a quick uneducated search, and have found this . Please let me know what you think of it and correct me if it is not what i'm looking for.

I would be putting it into a pretty much standard laptop. I'm not sure if anything else is required.

I'm just presuming that some people in the pit have experience with this sort of thing because were all musical people on here If not, please give me a link to somewhere that can help me.

I think i've put this in the right section, but if not I can delete it.


Thanks!
#3
I'm currently using a really old keyboard (which I got for free! It has 5 octaves so it's pretty good) that happened to have a MIDI -out and I hooked it up to an M-Audio MIDISport 1X1 which I got for about 40 euros ... voilà, I have it hooked up to my computer's USB!
#4
I would get a keyboard with at least 5 octaves (61 keys).

I have an m-audio keystation 61es and I'm pleased with it.
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#5
Quote by Mad Marius
I would get a keyboard with at least 5 octaves (61 keys).

I have an m-audio keystation 61es and I'm pleased with it.


I'd love that but I don't think I have the room Would a 37 or 49 keyed (sp?) one not be enough?
#6
Quote by Lr-Mtb
I'd love that but I don't think I have the room Would a 37 or 49 keyed (sp?) one not be enough?


If you will ever want to play something with both hands (like a classical piece, or some bass + synth thing) you'll run out of range which is annoying to say the least.

Also, make sure it's velocity sensitive. Very important.
Dear God, do you actually answer prayers?

Yes, but only in a way indistinguishable from random luck or the result of your own efforts.
#7
Ok, are there any that are 61 keys (i'm guessing that 61 is just a standard size) thats under £100, I didn't plan on spending that much, but I guess it would be worth it in the end. And what would I need to connect it to my laptop? Just by USB? or MIDI as well, because as far as I know, My laptop doesn't have anything MIDI on it. Or would a USB > MIDI cable work? lol. I think I have a cheap ebay one lying around somewhere.

And would I also be able to get some synth sounds from it? I'm hoping that I can just download and install a load of extras through Reaper or some other program. I'm pretty sure thats what my old school did, but they used Cubase instead.
Last edited by Lr-Mtb at Aug 25, 2010,
#8
I can only really comment on the one I have. In pounds, I'm guessing it cost about £120 including a sustain pedal (give or take). It connects to the PC through a regular USB cable, no other midi connection required. Windows (XP and 7) detect and install it automatically.

It doesn't have its own sounds, but that's OK, because there are mountains of VST instruments out there, many of them for free, with sounds of all shapes and colors. In terms of features however, it offers the bare minimum: 61 velocity sensitive keys, pitch and mod wheels, octave buttons and volume slider. That's about it, however I've never really needed anything more.
Dear God, do you actually answer prayers?

Yes, but only in a way indistinguishable from random luck or the result of your own efforts.
#11
Do you want to play synth or classical & jazz?

If you plan on the latter, I recomend you invest in an electric piano with acctual weigthed keys, feels much more like a real piano.
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Morley PVO +
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Boss DS2
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Digitech Timebender
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(offboard; Whammy IV, Crybaby 535Q, Digitech RP100A)
#12
Ok sounds good, and thanks.

Does anybody have any specific recommendations to a keyboard though, except the 'm-audio keystation 61es' which I am looking into.

Edit:

Quote by Penn100
Do you want to play synth or classical & jazz?

If you plan on the latter, I recomend you invest in an electric piano with acctual weigthed keys, feels much more like a real piano.

A bit of both. So the weighted keys are a better idea?
Last edited by Lr-Mtb at Aug 25, 2010,
#13
Quote by Lr-Mtb
Ok sounds good, and thanks.

Does anybody have any specific recommendations to a keyboard though, except the 'm-audio keystation 61es' which I am looking into.

I have the axiom 25 which is by m-audio. I like it well enough, though it's obviously rather small. If you don't think you need a longer keyboard just remember this: Chords.
#14
Quote by Lr-Mtb

A bit of both. So the weighted keys are a better idea?

Yes, but they are way more expensive ($500 bucks and up...), and generally have less built in sounds, but that shouldn't be a problem if you are going to drive it troucgh your computer. Also, they are pretty much only sold with 6 octaves and up.

The advantage is that the weighted keys feels a lot more like an actual piano, where a synth generally has pretty much no resistance when you push the keys.
Fender Jaguar
Morley PVO +
TC Polytune
Fulltone Ultimate Octave
Boss DS2
Blackstar HT-40
Digitech Timebender
TC Trinity

(offboard; Whammy IV, Crybaby 535Q, Digitech RP100A)
Last edited by Penn100 at Aug 25, 2010,
#15
Ok then, that would be waaaaay to much. This M audio one looks pretty good, and it says that the keys are 'Semi-Weighted'. Maybe thats a bit better? I'm going to look on Ebay now anyway for a slightly cheaper one..
#16
Quote by Lr-Mtb
Ok then, that would be waaaaay to much. This M audio one looks pretty good, and it says that the keys are 'Semi-Weighted'. Maybe thats a bit better? I'm going to look on Ebay now anyway for a slightly cheaper one..

I picked up an M Audio Keyrig 49 for about $60. It has all the standard stuff on it, volume slider, mod and pitch wheels, and octave up and down buttons.
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#17
Do you have any problems or regrets getting a 49 key one? I was looking for 61 keys now because I thought 49 would be too small to be used as a full keyboard.
#18
I've got a Keystation 49 and don't really miss the extra keys, then again I'm far from being any good at playing keyboard and only really use it for weird synth stuff. The only thing I wish it had is weighted keys. Can't really complain though seeing as I got it for £15
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#19
I went for an M audio Oxygen 49 Key because its compatible with pro tools (idustry standard software)... its a good piece of kit, I use it with virtual instruments in Reason quite a lot as well as the Pro tools plug ins.
"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."- Jimi Hendrix
#20
Ok, what about the Beringer U-Control UMX49, I can't find any reviews but i've found it pretty cheap. It has 49 semi weighted key which I guess is the best im going to get on a tight budget. Shall I go for it?

Ok.. Found a review and apparently its really bouncy and isn't weighted well, I guess i'll look around again tomorrow..
Last edited by Lr-Mtb at Aug 25, 2010,