#1
So I've come to you once again, Pit, in search of your advice!

This week I started my music major in composition, and the course requires me to learn piano and solfège. I don't own a piano or a keyboard of any kind, I have zero experience with them and the little I know I read online. Basically I need a cheap keyboard where to practice piano at home. The catch? I'm in the TIGHTEST budget, so I need the absolute cheapest thing I can find that can address my needs. I thought I would just get a bare-bones MIDI controller to connect to my computer, and right now I'm set on getting a M-Audio Keystation 88es. It's cheap, it's full-size, has semi-weighted action and I can give it other uses (writing scores in Finale, composing music, as a controller for VSTs, etc). The cons are that it has no speakers, no sound of its own, but it's the best I can afford (as far as I know). As I'm a newbie I have some doubt and I don't know if I'm better off looking for something else. I'm just looking for anything where I can practice piano and solfège. Be aware that I'm in Costa Rica, so not all brands are available to me and prices might be higher in here.
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Last edited by cxrlxscr at Mar 10, 2012,
#2
I have an M-Audio Oxygen 26 and it's great. M-Audop are fantastic man, if you can gtet one cheap then go for it.
#3
Quote by cxrlxscr
The cons are that it has no speakers, no sound of its own, but it's the best I can afford (as far as I know).

That's only a con if you don't realize the better keyboards generally don't have any built in speakers. Plug it into a stereo or headphones and you're golden.
#4
Yeah a midi controller will do you fine, and my mate has that exact keyboard in his studio and it's pretty good. You might be able to find something cheaper, but if you're in Costa Rica I'm not too sure about that. Have a look in some music shops if you have any nearby (and then find it cheaper online, of course).
Edit: maybe check out Behringer
Last edited by captainsnazz at Mar 10, 2012,
#5
I'm familiar with M-Audio keyboards, we have them in college, but you have to put them through a software instrument on your computer (or possibly a separate sound module, but I don't know of any off hand) I think.

Actually, you seem to know that already. In that case, M-Audio keyboards are pretty good, you shouldn't have any problems with it.
Last edited by G!! at Mar 10, 2012,
#7
I have the Keystation 61es and actually use it over my other keyboards that are more expensive (over twice the price of the keystation) and nicer. I have even gigged with it a few times. It gets used for couple hours a day for the last 3 years and still works great.

The reason it doesn't have speakers is its MIDI. MIDI isn't sound its just computer language that makes the computer makes sounds.
#8
Quote by Alex Vik
That's only a con if you don't realize the better keyboards generally don't have any built in speakers. Plug it into a stereo or headphones and you're golden.


I just mentioned it for practicality's sake.

Quote by captaincrunk
That is EXACTLY what you need. The semi weighted action will feel more like a real keyboard anyway. It's perfect. Get it.

If you need help with software I can get you some free piano stuff.


I liked the keys, they're much comfortable than many keyboards in the same price range. I'm only a beginner, but some digital keyboards felt like actual toys.

Oh, and I would much appreciate some help with software. The faster I can get this set up, the better so I may jump right into practicing.

Quote by FireHawk
The reason it doesn't have speakers is its MIDI. MIDI isn't sound its just computer language that makes the computer makes sounds.


I'm aware of that, I was only comparing it to digital keyboards and virtual pianos, which have their own sound engines.
Wave goodbye to the past.
You've got your whole life to lead.


Fender 60's Lacquer Jazzmaster
Schecter C-1+ with SD '59
Egnater Tweaker 15
PolyTune noir
Algal Bloom fuzz
Fingerprint Redux fuzz
Nocturner reverb
Flashback delay
#9
What you really need is a new amp.

281-330-8004, that's my cell phone number, hit me up on the low
#10
Quote by FireHawk
I have the Keystation 61es and actually use it over my other keyboards that are more expensive (over twice the price of the keystation) and nicer. I have even gigged with it a few times. It gets used for couple hours a day for the last 3 years and still works great.


I'm interested to know more about your experience with it live. What did you use it for? How did you have it set up? For comparison, what are you other keyboards?
Wave goodbye to the past.
You've got your whole life to lead.


Fender 60's Lacquer Jazzmaster
Schecter C-1+ with SD '59
Egnater Tweaker 15
PolyTune noir
Algal Bloom fuzz
Fingerprint Redux fuzz
Nocturner reverb
Flashback delay
#11
As long as you have something to generate a sound, Midi controller is your best option.

But without a midi interface and sound generator it's pretty much useless.
#12
Quote by cxrlxscr
I'm interested to know more about your experience with it live. What did you use it for? How did you have it set up? For comparison, what are you other keyboards?


Live I used it for synths, the Keystation was my main board.. It was ran beside an AKAI Pro MPD 24 that I used to trigger samples. I had a small old Novation 2 octave board (don't know the name) than I ran for other synths as well (mainly so I wouldn't have to switch between 2 main song, occasionally I would play simple synth things on the MPD24.

I was pretty hardcore, as I brought a desktop on stage. All three were connected via USB. Keystation was MIDI Channel 1 (it can't chanage), the novation was MIDI Channel 2, and the MPD was MIDI Channel 3. All synths VSTs were controlled through FL Studio 10. My Line 6 UX2 was ran to a PA for the output.

The keystation took the biggest beating as I would slam my hands on it when I started getting into the music. The Keystations aren't built very strong so I must have just got lucky not to break anything.

Other boards I have:
-Yamaha MM-6 - it has an excellent arpeggiator, and good built in samples (especially the strings).
-The old Novation is buried in a closet somewhere idk where it is it had a green screen and some notes wouldn't pick up (I got it for free though).
-I had recently a Novation Nocturne I just got rid of (needed money and didn't need board).

So really I only have 2 boards I use now.