#1
I really want to get into electronic music
I saw the You Rock Guitar thingy online
Does work? Should I buy it or should I just get a midi keyboard and learn to play it?
#2
For producing electronic music, you don't really "play" anything. The MIDI keyboard is used minimally as a controller to adjust things like filter parameters and for inputting notes which are usually adjusted and quantized on a piano roll type interface. And that's even if one is used at all. Many producers don't even use a keyboard at all during production. It's pretty much all learning to program MIDI sequences in a DAW and learning how to get certain sounds out of synthesizers using filters, etc.
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#3
A midi keyboard is a lot easier to use than a midi guitar for electronic music. I have been creating midi sequences for more than 20 years now and I do 98% of my editing on the keyboard (and an Alesis drum machine). While it's technically possible to just create a sequence without a keyboard it's much more difficult. With just very basic keyboard skills (like mine) you can do a lot with a midi keyboard. Buy used and don't spend a lot on a keyboard. You can get what you need easily for $100.00 on Ebay. A lot of people buy keyboards for their home or their kids to take piano lessons on and dump them on Ebay. Look for a Yamaha as they are often cheaper than others (like Roland) but the Yamaha still has nice sounds. Personally I don't like the sounds on Casio keyboards. They are much cheaper but sound much cheaper.

Although I am a guitar player I have some basic keyboard skills and I own a few keyboards including an old Korg Poly 6 and Roland Juno for recording really unique sounds but you need to understand how to program them. In order to create a sound on older synths you need to know about oscillators, filters, wave forms etc. to be able to create anything unique.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 6, 2015,
#4
For sure get a midi controller. I would be interested in messing around with a midi guitar controller, especially if they worked bends into it, but if you really want to get into it, you'll want to know your way around a keyboard.

It's really easy anyway. All you need to know is the key of C or its relatives. Basically only the white notes, because you can always transpose everything if you really wanted to.

But finding the key isn't so tough either, and you can two hand stuff, and don't need to be a physical master of your keyboard. It's just a great way to mess around with something and find something great while using your feel and ability to play whimsically.

You actually really need to "know what you're doing".

You can strictly program, but there are situations also where you'd really want to use a controller.

A guitar is also more cumbersome. a Midi keyboard is something where you can just input a quick lick from the same chair you're programming from.

But it could definitely be cool to have a midi guitar if it allowed all those articulations. Same thing for a violin. I would like to have a midi cello if it could let me use all the articulations you could get out of strings. That would be amazing. I don't' know how they would do it, but it would be pretty awesome.
#5
Quote by Rickholly74
Look for a Yamaha as they are often cheaper than others (like Roland) but the Yamaha still has nice sounds. Personally I don't like the sounds on Casio keyboards. They are much cheaper but sound much cheaper.



With the right setup and plugins though, the sounds that the controller generates really don't matter at all. For me, feel is the best way to choose a controller, aside from control interfaces on the unit. But I have two sorts I like. For playing instruments, violins, bass, trumpets saxophones, and a lot of synthesis I guess as well if it has some decay, I like a weighted keyboard for more feel, and it lets me do fast runs.

But I like semi weighted for sounds that don't have a decay, because the spring action lifts the key when you let go, so you can have more control over your cutoff.

For OP, I would go with semi weighted. I think it's worth it. And something with decent controls on it is cool too. Something like an axiom 61 would be decent. That would be more longer term though I think. To start with, I don't think it really matters that much. Basically any old thing with either USB or with a midi->USB adapter, will do imo.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Sep 6, 2015,
#6
Quote by fingrpikingood
With the right setup and plugins though, the sounds that the controller generates really don't matter at all.


The controller doesn't make sound on its own though. That's the point. It just controls other things. Unless you are using a non-controller as a controller, synth most modern synths with a USB or MIDI out have some capacity to be used as a controller.
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#7
Quote by theogonia777
The controller doesn't make sound on its own though. That's the point. It just controls other things. Unless you are using a non-controller as a controller, synth most modern synths with a USB or MIDI out have some capacity to be used as a controller.


I'm not sure if whether or not it can generate its own audio affects the definition of midi controller, but I prefer controller a lot of the time regardless, because keyboard can sometimes be confused with computer keyboard.
#8
General when people say "MIDI controller" it refers to a keyboard that sends MIDI data to outside equipment and does not produce sounds of its own since that is not it's intended function. That being said, MIDI controllers come in many forms such as guitar shaped controllers, drum pads, full drum kits, footswitch type boards, bass pedals, electronic wind instruments (EWI for short, which is basically a controller for wind players), sequencers, etc, although keyboards tend to have the largest number of knobs, faders, etc for controlling various parameters on DAWs, external sound modules, pedals/amps with MIDI ins, etc.

Many actual instruments, such as MIDI capable workstation/synthesizer keyboards, theremins, guitars equipped with MIDI pickups, etc can also function as a controller, but are generally not referred to as such.
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#9
Quote by ----zero----
I really want to get into electronic music
I saw the You Rock Guitar thingy online
Does work? Should I buy it or should I just get a midi keyboard and learn to play it?


You can start with a MIDI controller (keyboard) and a computer and go from there.

Guitar is a bit tougher to use as a controller, since you need to add a hexaphonic pickup of some kind (piezo or other) and then feed the whole mess into a controller (if you can find an old used Axon 100, you're really sailing).

I started out as a keyboardist, and I'm currently using a Korg Kronos X (73 key version) with a separate non-weighted keyboard as a second key on a stand.
#10
Quote by dspellman
You can start with a MIDI controller (keyboard) and a computer and go from there.

Guitar is a bit tougher to use as a controller, since you need to add a hexaphonic pickup of some kind (piezo or other) and then feed the whole mess into a controller (if you can find an old used Axon 100, you're really sailing).

I started out as a keyboardist, and I'm currently using a Korg Kronos X (73 key version) with a separate non-weighted keyboard as a second key on a stand.


The You Rock Guitar thingy he is talking about is not actually a guitar but a fully functional MIDI controller in the shape of a guitar. It doesn't need a hexaphonic pickup or anything from what I understand. Just plug into a MIDI sound source and play it the way you would a guitar. That being said I don't know if it is any good or not since I haven't tried one.
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#11
Quote by theogonia777
General when people say "MIDI controller" it refers to a keyboard that sends MIDI data to outside equipment and does not produce sounds of its own since that is not it's intended function.


It has not really ever come up for me that anyone has made the distinction that a midi controller must not be able to internally produce sound.

There are many midi keyboards which do produce their own sound, sometimes through sample based systems, and sometimes through synthesis. I call them controllers interchangeably with those that do not.

You're the first person I've ever come across that ever had a problem with that, and frankly, I'm not really surprised.
#12
Quote by fingrpikingood
It has not really ever come up for me that anyone has made the distinction that a midi controller must not be able to internally produce sound.

There are many midi keyboards which do produce their own sound, sometimes through sample based systems, and sometimes through synthesis. I call them controllers interchangeably with those that do not.

You're the first person I've ever come across that ever had a problem with that, and frankly, I'm not really surprised.


The difference is a MIDI keyboard (a keyboard that is MIDI compatible, which is pretty much almost any keyboard made in the last 30 years other than cheap portable under $200 junk) vs a MIDI controller (a device, usually in keyboard form, the sole purpose of which is to control other devices).

MIDI capable keyboards, which are mainly workstations, synths, and mid to high end digital pianos, while having MIDI capabilities, are rarely used with other devices via MIDI. In fact, more often than not the most common external MIDI uses tend to be hooking a controller to a small synth (37, 25, etc) to increase the range.

Pretty much nobody would call those a controller since they are rarely used to control other devices. It's the same way that you wouldn't call a Gameboy a controller since it rarely acts as a controller for a separate device, with the exception of like three or four GameCube games that can use a Gameboy as a controller such as Four Swords Adventure.

MIDI controllers are used almost solely for controlling other devices, such as DAWs or keyboardless sound modules, and rarely have internal sounds of their own.

Does that make sense?
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Sep 6, 2015,