#1
What is the difference between Synths, midi controllers, and digital keyboards?
From my rough understanding:
Synths are mainly used for analog setting/sounds?
They all have many different effects so i have no idea what the difference is between them all.
Can someone help me out?
#2
Synthesisers create sounds, whether it be through sampled sound, edited wavelengths, frequencies, etc. They are a piece of hardware or software. They only create the sound, and therefore need input from a keyboard or computer.

MIDI controllers are a piece of hardware that is used to manually input MIDI data onto a computer or through a synth, they are usually in the form of a keyboard.

Digital keyboards are a keyboard with the synthesiser or soundbanks or whatever on board.
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#3
Quote by rabidguitarist
Synthesisers create sounds, whether it be through sampled sound, edited wavelengths, frequencies, etc. They are a piece of hardware or software. They only create the sound, and therefore need input from a keyboard or computer.

MIDI controllers are a piece of hardware that is used to manually input MIDI data onto a computer or through a synth, they are usually in the form of a keyboard.

Digital keyboards are a keyboard with the synthesiser or soundbanks or whatever on board.

Hes pretty much summed it up right here.

More basically:

Synths - create sounds.
MIDI Controllers - Does what it says on the tin
Digital Keyboards - a keyboard with soundbanks.

You can buy additional soundbanks to go with the keyboards, also.
#4
The main thing that confused me was that on the guitar center website in the keyboard section, it had "Digital Keyboard" "MIDI Controllers" and "Synthesizers" all in separate categories. They all had keyboards, so I had absolutely no idea what the difference was.

By the way, what is MIDI data you speak of?
#5
Quote by rabidguitarist
Synthesisers create sounds, whether it be through sampled sound, edited wavelengths, frequencies, etc. They are a piece of hardware or software. They only create the sound, and therefore need input from a keyboard or computer.

MIDI controllers are a piece of hardware that is used to manually input MIDI data onto a computer or through a synth, they are usually in the form of a keyboard.

Digital keyboards are a keyboard with the synthesiser or soundbanks or whatever on board.

I'v always wondered, what do you use?
#6
and also, what is the best for a beginner at piano?
I would like to have a lot of different sounds, like drums, analog, a good grand piano setting, just in general a large variety that i can practice with.
is the advantage of MIDI being able to put music straight onto a computer?
#7
Quote by Gaber1999
What is the difference between Synths, midi controllers, and digital keyboards?
From my rough understanding:
Synths are mainly used for analog setting/sounds?
They all have many different effects so i have no idea what the difference is between them all.
Can someone help me out?



Synths can be software, or hardware, (both in keyboard or rack mount format).

Digital keyboards are mostly keyboards with on board synth sounds. Normally these are called "synths" as "Digital pianos" and "digital keyboards" normally refer to simple keyboards with on board sounds and are not geared towards synths.

There are different types of MIDI controllers which are solely made to control synths. They can connect with MIDI or USB these days. USB is nice and easy although MIDI is still popular on most synths. These controllers dont have any sound on board, they control...that's it.

Tweak's guide in my sig goes over all this and for more info on this subject go to the proper form, (R&R).

If you are learning piano go for something like a real acoustic. If you can't afford that, get a fully weighted 88 key keyboard with on board sounds and MIDI in and out. The Yamaha units are nice although Roland makes great keyboard type patches. Korg is more geared towards syths and electric type sounds.

There really are no synth boxes out there that do it all...they all do one thing best and the other patches on board are "ok"...
With a sequencer on your computer and an audio/MIDI interface you can get VSTis and such meaning you can play software based synths and buy more for cheap.
Last edited by moody07747 at Nov 2, 2008,
#8
Then there's stage pianos, which are basically weighted keyboards with better quality synthesized organ, piano, EP, basic strings & clav sounds, but that's about it. Synth keyboards have all the synth brass and pads and strings and stuff.
#9
MIDI is musical instrument digital interface
basically its a stream of data you input into a computer, be that an actual harddisk or a keyboard or whatever, it has the ability to play back your data
MIDI is just numbers
#10
..but synths and keyboards can also be midi controllers lol...


basically if you need to get something get a cheap keyboard with midi, download synth and piano software solved