#1
Hey, I'm having a dilemma. I'm wondering how important semi-weighted keys are. Do they have a better impact on the expression of your playing? That's what I've heard.

I'm either getting this semi-weighted MIDI controller:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002H0GF0/

or this non-weighted MIDI controller which has a bunch of nice features:
http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Oxygen-49-49-Key-Controller/dp/B0031SCV46


In theory, semi-weighted sounds a lot better in key-playing, but the second one is cheaper with a whole lot of features for my DAW. I'm not sure which one I should sacrifice.

Help please.
#2
Heres the dealio based on my experiences with piano (concert level) versus general synths.

Non-weighted controllers are better for synths, especially lead synth because they tend to output a consistently high volume and you can't really change it. When playing a synth you don't normally need alot of dynamics and there isn't a whole lot of change.

Weighted controllers are alot better for any kind of piano playing. If dynamics aren't important I'd lean for the Oxygen with all the knobs, which would be better for messing with synths knobs and such.

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Really it's up to you. If you plan on doing piano playing semi-weighted keys won't be much better than synth-action non weighted. If you can, head to a guitar center and feel the difference between the three types of actions (Non/Synth, Semi, and Full).
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Last edited by Ghast at Dec 11, 2011,
#3
I'm not really a piano player, but I play around with it for fun and use it for composing. From my limited experience, it seems like weighted/semi-weighted keys are actually heavier than real piano keys. Plus the fact that, theoretically, you should be able to play faster with non-weighted, if you care about that.
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#4
The difference is more that non-weighted keys simply don't have any dynamics. I don't really know if it's actually possible to not get a 100% volume note out of them. You'd have to go into the midi notes in your DAW and manually adjust the volumes.
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#5
I'm going to write some piano-oriented music. Like Piano-folk or something or Piano/acoustic.
I will eventually do some synth based stuff as well though, but I want the option to heavily express the dynamics/velocity of the sound like a piano.

I feel like if I don't get the weighted keys, I'm going to regret it. If I do, I can get a MIDI fader controller for all those features the Oxygen has in the future.
#6
Quote by Ghast
The difference is more that non-weighted keys simply don't have any dynamics. I don't really know if it's actually possible to not get a 100% volume note out of them. You'd have to go into the midi notes in your DAW and manually adjust the volumes.


Oxygen is velocity sensitive too, but the thing is I'd figure non-weighted would be very hard to expressively play with still. This is why I feel I'd regret it.
#7
I'd go to a store and try them back to back and see which one will work with your style the best.
#8
I don't have a store that's more than an hour away. In the end I can feel it in my bones that I need weighted keys.
#9
In my experiences (I have a semi-weighted and a none semi-weighted) the main difference is the feel than the sound. Your going to have dynamics on either if you have pressure sensitive keys and after touch. It's just they have different feels to them. I prefer semi weighted on everything myself.
#10
Its basically just preference I'd say. My brother plays piono. He learned on weighted keys so playing on weighted/semi-weighted feels more natural to him. He has a little bit of a difficult time on non-weighted keys as they just don't feel as good under his fingers. My 2 cents.
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#11
Quote by FireHawk
In my experiences (I have a semi-weighted and a none semi-weighted) the main difference is the feel than the sound. Your going to have dynamics on either if you have pressure sensitive keys and after touch. It's just they have different feels to them. I prefer semi weighted on everything myself.


Wouldn't it make it more controllable with semi-weighted in theory though? With the weight of the keys, you'd have to press a bit harder to get full velocity of the signal, therefor making the velocity range feel more stretched out than non-weighted, where it you would have to tap very lightly to do quiet notes.
#12
Quote by Clay-man
Wouldn't it make it more controllable with semi-weighted in theory though? With the weight of the keys, you'd have to press a bit harder to get full velocity of the signal, therefor making the velocity range feel more stretched out than non-weighted, where it you would have to tap very lightly to do quiet notes.

yeah it is true but really its easy to adjust between semi weighted and non weighted keyboard. I find i can never get full velocities semi-weighted

the truth i still have the same velocity range in both types of keyboard its just the average that drops so one is quieter than the other
Last edited by FireHawk at Dec 12, 2011,
#13
I would think your semi weighted keyboard isn't calibrated correctly if you can't get a full velocity note out of it.

If I wanted to treat a semi weighted keyboard as a synth I could probably just turn of sensitivity somehow in my midi device settings.
#14
no its just you have to hit it ****ing hard to get full velocity...normal playing is around the 50-75% range. it should be harder to get full velocity with semi weighted. where as my non weighted is about 75-100%. Its a lot easier to get softer velocities on the semi-weighted for sure.

Like said before though I can record the same thing with either (and other keyboard I have used/owned before) and you couldn't tell the difference its all about preference. I prefer semi-weighted keys myself. I only use my non-weighted because it as an awesome arpeggiator, and I need two keyboards live.

you can't turn off semi-weighted feel because it is mechanical and not a digital effect. you can turn up velocity sensitivity, but your keys will always be weighted if you get a weighted keyboard.

EDIT: Btw my preferred keyboard is the Keystation 61ES that you linked lol (although its very lacking in features)
Last edited by FireHawk at Dec 12, 2011,
#15
So I've gotten my 300 dollars yesterday, and I had to whittle down my cart, like throwing out a shock mount for my mic, but I decided to go with the Keystation. I'm sure it'll come in handy, and if I need to use it as a synth, I will just make it so all velocities register as 1 constant velocity.