Cheap, portable MIDI Keyboard Controllers
Word of Mouth
Thread Starter
#1
6th February 2011
Old 6th February 2011
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Cheap, portable MIDI Keyboard Controllers

On my desk in my home studio I have an Axiom Pro 61. Personally, I love it and I think it does everything I need it to do and then some, but obviously it is not the most portable MIDI controller.

I'm looking to get a smaller, lighter, more portable controller for when I wanna pack up my Maschine and my laptop and make music outside of my house, or even inside my house but outside of my studio. I am trying to decide between these 3:

Akai MPK:
Buy Akai MPK Mini Laptop Production Keyboard | Keyboard Controllers | Musician's Friend

Korg MicroKey:
Buy Korg MicroKey USB MIDI Keyboard | Keyboard Controllers | Musician's Friend

M-Audio Oxygen 25:
Buy M-Audio Oxygen 25 - USB MIDI Controller | Keyboard Controllers | Musician's Friend

They all have different features that I like - I like that the Akai has drum pads and encoders, I like that the MicroKey has additional USB ports and more keys than the other two, and I like that the Oxygen has transport controls as well as encoders.

Which would you guys choose and why?
#2
6th February 2011
Old 6th February 2011
  #2
Gear interested
 

I was in this position last year. And I bought the Oxygen 25.
I didn't "need" the pads, it is reliable, cheap and useful. The rotary dials are easily setup with VST controls etc.
Also, I prefer the feel of the keys over the other two.
Hope that helps
Word of Mouth
Thread Starter
#3
6th February 2011
Old 6th February 2011
  #3
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollowman View Post
I was in this position last year. And I bought the Oxygen 25.
I didn't "need" the pads, it is reliable, cheap and useful. The rotary dials are easily setup with VST controls etc.
Also, I prefer the feel of the keys over the other two.
Hope that helps
Thanks for the response. I don't really need the pads either as I will always be using this in conjunction with my Maschine. All I really want this controller for is playing chords and laying down basslines and lead sounds.

I am starting to think that the MicroKEY is my best option. I really like the extra octave that it has and the fact that it serves as a USB hub is a sick bonus. Also, having owned a MicroKORG XL in the past, I am familiar with the key size and feel that this controller will have. I am thinking that my 15" MBP, my Maschine, and the MicroKEY will make a pretty capable on-the-go studio.
#4
6th February 2011
Old 6th February 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 

The thing you've got to watch out for with cheap midi keyboards is the balance between the white keys and black keys. Play a chromatic scale, listening carefully to see if the black keys play louder. If they do, every time you play a chord with a black key in it, the voicing of the chord will be skewed by the loud note dominating. Likewise with melodic lines.
#5
6th February 2011
Old 6th February 2011
  #5
Gear interested
 

Full Size Keys is a must

if you are a player or want to be a keyboard player in the future you should start with full size keys. Getting used to the spacing is key in the long term. The Korg is small keys, great value and well built, the M-Audio is full size and also well built. My favorite is the Akai MPK, the rotary pots / faders are solid.

All are easy to plug into your system and will work out of the box.

So my vote goes to the Akai MPK Mini. But if you can push to the MPK25 (Full Sized Keys) I would, it is the business.

Akai MPK25 Full Sized Keys
#6
7th February 2011
Old 7th February 2011
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Word of Mouth View Post
On my desk in my home studio I have an Axiom Pro 61. Personally, I love it and I think it does everything I need it to do and then some, but obviously it is not the most portable MIDI controller.

I'm looking to get a smaller, lighter, more portable controller for when I wanna pack up my Maschine and my laptop and make music outside of my house, or even inside my house but outside of my studio. I am trying to decide between these 3:

Akai MPK:
Buy Akai MPK Mini Laptop Production Keyboard | Keyboard Controllers | Musician's Friend

Korg MicroKey:
Buy Korg MicroKey USB MIDI Keyboard | Keyboard Controllers | Musician's Friend

M-Audio Oxygen 25:
Buy M-Audio Oxygen 25 - USB MIDI Controller | Keyboard Controllers | Musician's Friend


They all have different features that I like - I like that the Akai has drum pads and encoders, I like that the MicroKey has additional USB ports and more keys than the other two, and I like that the Oxygen has transport controls as well as encoders.


Which would you guys choose and why?
I have used all three , so here goes:

The oxygen25 ( really nice device all round) has always been very popular since first version- it's compact too.

I bought the Akai (the drum pads are nice to play on, but the keys are an 'acquired taste'), used it for a week and kept it my drawer until I sold it.

The Korg Microkey 37 notes is a surprise little number. The keys feels nice (kinda plays like a hammer action even though it's mini). I kept this one as I like playing/writing with it at night with Logic.But the so-called hub cannot power my Nocturn plugin controller.


But I'd like to advice that you get the Korg instead of the others , and maybe add the M-audio Keyrig 25 (very slim, cheap and pretty good)




Mobile setup:
MBP,Duet,Korg Microkey,Novation Nocturn
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