This is probably an incredibly dumb question, but...
I want a keyboard that I can load MIDI sounds or whatever onto. I don't know if MIDI sounds is even what I'm trying to say.
So say theres an instrument in Ableton or something that I like...say a grand piano sound that I think sounds really good or just some weird bell or something...and I want to load that onto a keyboard to play in a live setting..without having to have a laptop.
What do I want? What is the cheapest of this thing that I can get?
I'm sure it exists...I just don't know what it is. Just a regular keyboard?
A link to the simplest version of this would be great just so I know what I'm after.

I think you need a controller. Like the person above me posted, they can be found relatively cheap just about anywhere music stuff is sold.
I can only listen to so many breakdowns and "spoken word" vocals before I wanna puke.

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That's enough, Djent people. We get it.
Wouldn't I need to have that hooked up to a computer to use the sounds? I want to hook it up to my computer, download the sounds, and then be able to play them into a PA without the computer.
I didn't see anything about storing sounds or having a data bank or anything on what was linked. I could be wrong though.
it's usb compatible, so you can probably transfer sounds from your computer to it but i'm not sure though.
What you're looking for is called a sampler. You load samples onto it, and use the keyboard (or any other midi device) to trigger them live by sending note on/off signals.

Hardware samplers are traditionally very expensive and fiddly to program.

Software samplers are much less expensive and much easier to operate.

The thing is.... you'll need to bring out a laptop or something to host your software samplers.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
I don't know of any keyboard that's capable of running/importing VST instruments, sorry. What you're looking for simply does not exist.

The 2box DrumIt Five has a similar capacity where you can load drum samples from your VST library, but as that's an electric drum kit that's not really any help. It;s also basically what a sampler does.

Your best option would be a rugged, reliable laptop (or rackmount PC, ideally) and a hardware MIDI keyboard like the one posted above.
It's a pain, but there is an advantage - if you're using good VST instruments, it could potentially sound better than a $5000 professional stage piano, at a tenth of the price.

Theoretically, you could have a keyboard with full VST support - you'd have a small touchscreen in the same place as you get on most keyboards, powered by an embedded PC (like you get in touchscreen ticket machines, checkouts etc, which are usually running Windows underneath). This would probably be running customised Linux of some sort for economy, and would allow you to load and edit VST instruments.

A smartphone processor or Atom would probably be powerful enough (1.5Ghz dual core or something like that) with maybe 4Gb of RAM and a flash card or SSD for storing samples.

A nice idea, but the development cost (programming a custom operating system, ensuring stability, making VSTs work on Linux etc) and other cons (long start up time, latency) would absolutely outweigh the benefits.
Last edited by kyle62 at Nov 29, 2011,