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The Death Of Two Octave Keyboards..... Please?
Old 16th October 2013
  #31
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meh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
Companies are cutting away from very basic but important features. Just how much it costs you to have midi connector as well?
5 bucks? I'd pay an extra 5 bucks for ANY synth or controller to have standard midi ports. I'd pay 30 extra. And as far as the idea that a particular controller is too small for it, which is a reason reviewers in SOS and such tend for forgive this....like....what?? Put a 1 and a 1\2" height bump on the back corner of the thing and give me my midi ports! How small does it need to be? Ipad small, ultraportable small. Fashion small. Manufacturers seem to create for fashion more than function lately. It's shameful

Also forgive me, I'm not trying to say 2 octave keyboards shouldn't actually exist. Despite the title (I was angry) Just that it's absurd that so many do while those who'd prefer 3 octave boards (which I think most people would be happier with) have so little to choose from.
Old 16th October 2013
  #32
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meh's Avatar
[QUOTE]Minikeys ... ugh! Toys. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy 2 octave keyboards. I happen to think they look cool and plan to buy one for live applications. The thing about keyboards is that most of them look too nerdy and uncool. [\QUOTE]

No, of course no-one is forcing anyone. They're fine for some, they have a place. But it's not in your backpack and this is what I'm talking about. When you're hoofing it you're keyboard needs to be small AND be as versatile as possible. 2 Octaves don't take you far. If you think they look cool, then buy one and see how much you care about looks when you don't have the keys to play the music in your head.

Quote:
I basically don't need Liberace piano flourishes or any other grand gestures from my keyboards. Small and tasteful suits me fine.

////

On stage - I have drawn some conclusions about what an audience likes to see on stage. I think the image of keyboard players being surrounded by walls of keys and knobbage is a relic from the past that was borne out of necessity that no longer exists.

But that's way in the other extreme, there's so much in between in there that the manufacturers are just plain ignoring. I can only barely play two handed so I'm not being an "I'm a real musician" snob. I just know that hitting a wall is hitting a wall. Looking good might be nice, but it's more irrelevant than you seem to realize. A fan isn't going to care either way what you have on stage. The size of your keyboard won't send a lover of your music packing, or bring a hater of it flocking.

But it might help you to make better music.
Old 16th October 2013
  #33
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
I think Casio should make this, a new MT series, synth, 3-4 octaves mini keys, at least 8 knobs, rompler featuring basic waveshapes and wave data from their past MT and PT keyboards, "fantasy?" you got it! Bitrusher and bit crash big knobs, the second being a complete audio range sweepable pitch knob, like the volca beats pcm speed knob. with VA filters, custom drum kits, 4 part multitimbral, arpeggiator.

It's a neat way of remarketing their hex layer rompler synthesis, just with new samples, all packaged in a highly retro box, woodgrain, hell yes! Hipsters will love 'em

The Casio MT X01
Old 16th October 2013
  #34
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Ive dealt with 25 keys before and it really is a stretch to get a full part down sometimes although im in need of some new keys and that subphatty looks pretty damn sweet but its 25 keys and Im assuming all the encoders can be re-purposed for midi learn - right?
Old 16th October 2013
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
Yep. Been putting off getting a QuNeo but will pick up one soon I think. An interface like those would be a lot more appealing on any desktop synth than two octaves of keys or minikeys... would look cooler/more futuristic too.
@robot Have a look also at Livid Elements. Lets you put together your own choice custom controller with very little diy hassle.

I love my little 2 octave that sits under the rack of hardware samplers and synth stuff, as to make setting up programs/making sunds and triggering the odd drums easy without taking any room up. If I want to 'play' I'll turn around to the proper keyboard behind me.
Old 16th October 2013
  #36
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I just got a Livid Base and was going to get a brain jr kit before they shipped it which would have given me a bunch of rotary controllers. 30ml sliders. For $120...Damn. But the base has very interesting touch strips that could be very cool so..Back to the Sub - would you sell an SE-1x for the Sub? Ive got a Slim phatty so I could polychain.... And I need keys - Id use it as a midi controller when not in use as a sub
Old 16th October 2013
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
I just got a Livid Base and was going to get a brain jr kit before they shipped it which would have given me a bunch of rotary controllers. 30ml sliders. For $120...Damn. But the base has very interesting touch strips that could be very cool so..Back to the Sub - would you sell an SE-1x for the Sub? Ive got a Slim phatty so I could polychain.... And I need keys - Id use it as a midi controller when not in use as a sub
About to make myself a tiny 16 button mute box for dubbing with a 16B, a Brain Jr and an omni board. Pot them in a box, done. USB powered and ready. Very much looking forward to it. That, and two launchpads will be a very cool dubbing solution.
Old 16th October 2013
  #38
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as someone whos opinion I respect - what do you think of the subphatty and getting rid of the se-1x to fund it?
Old 16th October 2013
  #39
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
as someone whos opinion I respect - what do you think of the subphatty and getting rid of the se-1x to fund it?
Who, me? lol

I haven't tried a Sub Phatty....SE-1x to me is nice but not love-nice.....in any case you have to decide what sonics will be most inspiring and useful within your vision of a soundscape. What sonic building blocks do you want to construct your sound from? Just base you decision on that and not on what other people say about a synth.

OP: sorry for the OT.
Old 16th October 2013
  #40
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Yeah sorry OP. Karloff questions like that shouldnt make the decision for someone (god help them if thats the case) but getting a response from more experienced people is the game here - Ive got a Slim Phatty so I can polychhain and I think the menu diving on the se-1x ****s me enough. Ive been literally seconds away from selling it and recoiled. Now Im pretty sure Ill do it. Sorry for the OT all
Old 16th October 2013
  #41
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Your prayers are answered:

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/20...o-se-keyboard/

Old 16th October 2013
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthio View Post
Technically the original Mopho keyboard already answered the prayer a while back since it's 2.5 keys. That extra 0.5 makes a difference!
Old 16th October 2013
  #43
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where am I?
Old 16th October 2013
  #44
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
@robot Have a look also at Livid Elements. Lets you put together your own choice custom controller with very little diy hassle.

I love my little 2 octave that sits under the rack of hardware samplers and synth stuff, as to make setting up programs/making sunds and triggering the odd drums easy without taking any room up. If I want to 'play' I'll turn around to the proper keyboard behind me.
Nice, I didn't know about them. I've been kicking around an idea of making a pad controller that has something like a mini-joystick underneath the pads, seems like their diy products could be useful for that. The feel of aftertouch on key and pad controllers just doesn't feel right for me. Have a brother that's a mechanical engineer that is interested in helping out, so it shouldn't be hard to get the parts fabricated if I do end up with with a design that works. X/Y control is what makes the QuNeo interesting, imagine that it still feels like a standard pad controller, maybe I'm wrong.
Old 17th October 2013
  #45
Gear Addict
 
Percivale's Avatar
I feel that for the recently released 25-key synth, they keys are just there to allow immediate use, i.e. playing without hooking up separate MIDI controllers. Most of the "money" goes to pay for the synth engine or "brain" itself. To ask for more better/more keys would likely add to the cost.
Old 17th October 2013
  #46
totally agree with OP. ime 3 octave should be minimum. and death to minilkeys on synths.

i do understand the need for minikeys controller for some ppl who travel arround a lot. but on a synth - id rather its without keyboard (so ppl can hook up their own controller) than with mini keys or 2 octaves. it takes room and effects price too, yet i see no purpose, just gets in the way.
Old 17th October 2013
  #47
Registered User
I'm thinking that mini keys probably only make sense in Japan - they tend to be petite and overcrowded yet affluent. Useful toys for some people.

I still think keyboards in general look uncool on stage, but little ones are cool.

I think the argument should be that synth makers should make more rackmount synths, so we can use whatever keyboard suits us best.

I guess they stopped because of expense - and also there was a reaction against 80's rackmount stuff. I fell for the desktop approach, but then after a while you realise that industry standard 19" rackmount is the only way to go.

I wouldn't mind if they made a plastic rackmount box to keep the price down. As long as they had adequate audio shielding and internal power supplies.

I understand the problems of getting power supply designs certified - which is why they cheap out and use third party wall warts. But maybe somebody could make a third party lightweight rack chassis with a universal power supply, so that audio product designers could fit their proprietory stuff too without having to get it re-certified?
Old 17th October 2013
  #48
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pr0gr4m's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
...There is something about a small keyboard that takes away the pretension and awkwardness of a keyboard on stage...
I will give you that a 5 octave synth standing between you and the audience is an awkward barrier but show an audience you can play it and as transparent as a microphone. However I respectfully disagree with the pretentious part.

If all one plays is the slim phatty then that's all they need on stage. But if there's a bevy of synth tracks and there's a 2 octave midi controller in front of the "keyboard player", there is nothing more pretentious...except for maybe the lone guy with the laptop.

But I am a bit old school and like to see my performers, perform...and I love a big Rick Wakeman live synth rig.

I have seen some bands with a few smaller synths on stage and as long as they are playing them and playing the song, I guess that's all that matters.
Old 17th October 2013
  #49
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Well one, many synths use 37. The jump from 25 to 49 seems to be a controller thing.
Two, many synths tend to be targeting newcomers with interest in portability, price, and sound design.
Three, mini keys suck in any way.
Four, 25 key performances can be challenging but not impossible if you have quick octave shift access.
And 5, mono and 25 keys seem to be OK. polyphonic is another story. Many classic monos had 25 in the past.
Old 17th October 2013
  #50
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25 note keyboards are no good for me- 3 octaves min. I would never put down serious money on a 2 octave board. I'd rather have a module.

Mini keys I really dig. I have fat fingers but no problem for me. It's a different technique and you can span more notes which suits me great. I would love a 5 octave mini key keytar. Best mini keys are made by korg on their micro series and even better, the slightly bigger keys on the ms20 mini. Id rather have 3 octaves mini keys than 2 octaves full size any day. I also sincerely hope this trend of after touch being a luxury will stop. I mean there are boards out recently that don't have after touch that cost a significant amount of dosh. Not good.
Old 17th October 2013
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga View Post
25 note keyboards are no good for me- 3 octaves min. I would never put down serious money on a 2 octave board. I'd rather have a module.

Mini keys I really dig. I have fat fingers but no problem for me. It's a different technique and you can span more notes which suits me great. I would love a 5 octave mini key keytar. Best mini keys are made by korg on their micro series and even better, the slightly bigger keys on the ms20 mini. Id rather have 3 octaves mini keys than 2 octaves full size any day. I also sincerely hope this trend of after touch being a luxury will stop. I mean there are boards out recently that don't have after touch that cost a significant amount of dosh. Not good.
The only mini keys I could deal with were on the korg microstation. Something about the 61 keys just clicked with me. But I could not play all night just on it and I would be afraid to record with it.
Old 17th October 2013
  #52
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRAZZ
mono and 25 keys seem to be OK.
They are not OK. Right, people play melodies spanning a whopping semitone and they are happy with 25 keys. Go to YouTube and see how many people play melodies that don't even go outside a single octave and that semitone I'm talking about is not an exaggeration either.

But some people want to play a high lead that has a bass note here and there, three octaves below. You can do it with the transpose button (meh) but what about a fast arpeggio in the highs with bass notes? Hit arpeggiator? LOL.

It is absolutely ridiculous how inadequate these modern synths are for a performance that tries to venture only a little bit out of the usual path. It's getting harder and harder to generate interest with a synthesizer. Musicians hide behind DAWs and there's hardly any honest synth music anymore.
Old 17th October 2013
  #53
Registered User
It just shows that we all have different needs and tastes. Which is why I prefer my synths to be in a rack, and choose the controller for the gig or studio. This isn't an all or nothing situation. I can appreciate that if real piano is your sound, then there is no option but to have 88 keys. But in the context of a guitar band that has a few samples or synth solos or perhaps a synth bassline, then a 2 octave keyboard can be perfect.

Sometimes simple and tasteful suits a song far better than a keyboard player trying to assert his manhood or whatever. That could be a compelling argument for requiring a keyboard player to only have a small keyboard ...

Limitations fuel creativity. And looking cool is more important than the music
Old 17th October 2013
  #54
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azurebirch View Post
They are not OK. Right, people play melodies spanning a whopping semitone and they are happy with 25 keys. Go to YouTube and see how many people play melodies that don't even go outside a single octave and that semitone I'm talking about is not an exaggeration either.

But some people want to play a high lead that has a bass note here and there, three octaves below. You can do it with the transpose button (meh) but what about a fast arpeggio in the highs with bass notes? Hit arpeggiator? LOL.

It is absolutely ridiculous how inadequate these modern synths are for a performance that tries to venture only a little bit out of the usual path. It's getting harder and harder to generate interest with a synthesizer. Musicians hide behind DAWs and there's hardly any honest synth music anymore.
I'm not saying that they are ideal at all, just possible. I personally cannot imagine doing a lead without 37 or really 49. That is why the Nord Lead is 49. I do think that rackmounts are also difficult for creative synthing. I need knob access fast and at reach. With this being said it is hard not to GAS for the cheap little 25 key analogs like the BSII.
Old 17th October 2013
  #55
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I'm surprised there's not more 32 key boards and controllers
Old 17th October 2013
  #56
Gear Addict
 

Yes, BSII, Moog Sub Phatty, etc are great in terms of sound quality and playability (with nice knobs). I would love to buy one of these, esp the Phatty.

The only thing that stops me is the 25 keys. It is a deal breaker for me and it really infuriates me, because the keyboard is the part where I find inspiration first.

I know that limitations force people to be more creative but 25-keys is a limitation that doesn't really spark any creativity in me. It kills my ideas before I can fully explore them.

I don't need MIDI, computer connectivity, polyphony and patch memory but I need to be able to hit all the notes I want within a fraction of a second in any combination without even thinking about it. This is the basic functionality which I don't have with 2-octave keyboards.

From the philosophical point of view, a 2-octave keyboard contradicts the concept of the synthesizer. An instrument of such a great timbral and textural range should not be artificially limited to such a small immediately available pitch range.
Old 21st October 2013
  #57
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meh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 165099 View Post

personally I don't at all understand the point of this as we're talking about MIDI enabled gear.. just as with a sound module, if I need more keys to play a part on my Nord, I just play it with a different keyboard.
Because I'm talking about portability. Bringing a portable synth out in a backpack that requires you to bring out another bigger keyboard to get the best from it defeats the portability factor. I need one portable unit that I can get the most out of for it's size, which means I'm talking about 3 octaves and minikeys.

Someone said above that they don't make sense for people with big (or "normal" I think they said) fingers. Well I definitely can't argue with that. Someone else said they only make sense in Japan, I definitely CAN argue with that. I'm not asian and I don't have unusually small hands and it does make total sense for me. It's a little cramped but you get used to it quickly and I can play quite comfortably on mini keys. and I remember this video....
which when I saw it I thought "this totally puts to rest the idea that mini keys are limiting" It immediately cut that self defeating BS out of my mind and opened my mind to mini keys. The only limit is YOU. (unless, yes, you have big hands )

Old 21st October 2013
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meh View Post
Because I'm talking about portability. Bringing a portable synth out in a backpack that requires you to bring out another bigger keyboard to get the best from it defeats the portability factor. I need one portable unit that I can get the most out of for it's size, which means I'm talking about 3 octaves and minikeys.

Someone said above that they don't make sense for people with big (or "normal" I think they said) fingers. Well I definitely can't argue with that. Someone else said they only make sense in Japan, I definitely CAN argue with that. I'm not asian and I don't have unusually small hands and it does make total sense for me. It's a little cramped but you get used to it quickly and I can play quite comfortably on mini keys. and I remember this video....
which when I saw it I thought "this totally puts to rest the idea that mini keys are limiting" It immediately cut that self defeating BS out of my mind and opened my mind to mini keys. The only limit is YOU. (unless, yes, you have big hands )

I love stuff like that, thank you. That was my first EVER synth when they first came out. Jeez it was a cool litle thing - shocking first ever intro into synthesis - the mod matrix is easy as now but at first..... talented little bugger
Old 21st October 2013
  #59
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
I'm thinking that mini keys probably only make sense in Japan - they tend to be petite and overcrowded yet affluent. Useful toys for some people.
Actually, the prevalence of unnecessarily wide 25 key keyboards have more to do with the stereotype of "normal" sized keys actually being normal and that normal fingers are "too fat" for "mini" keys. The "standard" key size today is an arbitrary standard imposed in the nineteenth century manufacturers in concert with composer Liszt.
Old 25th October 2013
  #60
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Concerning the release of the MicroBrute I think you got your answer.
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