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iPad controller recommendations Keyboard Controllers
Old 5th December 2017
  #1
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Thread Starter
iPad controller recommendations

So, I upgraded my ipad to the pro 9.7” so i’d have the processing speed to take advantage of some of the great iOS music apps.

Now I need a controller that’ll work with the ipad. Unlike working with a Mac or PC, which can supply power to many controllers thru the USB cord, I don’t know if the iPad Pro 9.7” has enough battery power to do that.

My needs are simple. I want something small and light, but at least 49 keys, that I can sit up in bed with! Ideal place for trying out different apps, and auditioning sounds.

So- small and light, inexpensive, preferably pitch and mod above (not crucial though), and hopefully be able to increment thru presets. And decent keybed feel. Used is fine.

Have been pursuing local Craigslist ads, and its a bit confusing, there’s Mark 1 and Mark 2, etc., versions of many of these boards but even the newer versions of the board are often not marked as such.

Anyway, your input is appreciated!

Randy
Old 8th December 2017
  #2
Randy... I generally work with 25-key controllers, so if you find an inexpensive 49-key dealie that can sit in bed with you, share the knowledge, will ya? (lol) Anywho, had I not (gotten/been blessed with) either the MPK Mini or the Arturia MiniLab, I'm hearing the best thing for iPads is IK's newest iRig Keys I/O 49. At around $300 brand new, we can debate 'inexpensive' all day. But it has the pitch and mod touch-sensitive ribbons, it can run on AA batteries, and if you normally use either GarageBand or SampleTank (which comes with it among other "good-ities and nice-ities"), I'm sure it will allow you to audition presets quickly and easily. BUT...it also has a built-in AUDIO INTERFACE. 24-bit, 96KHz. I'm no authority on preamps, but I gotta believe they make pro-level ones, which almost makes $300 a reasonable price. Check out the IK website for more specs and see if this is an option for you.

Past that, the Alesis Q49, Korg microKey2 49 and the M-Audio Keystation 49 II are your >$150 options that I know of, though the jury is still out on whether or not they encroach on my mattress space...

~9~
Old 8th December 2017
  #3
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Thread Starter
Damn,,, my token expired? GS ate my posting.

To recap, thank you phatmaddness! I should have posted my criteria:
- under $100 used
- full sized keys that have a decent action, not super noisy, not super deep
- super basic controls ok

Would love it if this could be powered by an ipad, most of these require more juice like coming from a Mac or pc.

Going cheap this time around due to budget, as i get more experience i’ll Up my game!

Randy
Old 11th December 2017
  #4
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randelph View Post
Damn,,, my token expired? GS ate my posting.

To recap, thank you phatmaddness! I should have posted my criteria:
- under $100 used
- full sized keys that have a decent action, not super noisy, not super deep
- super basic controls ok

Would love it if this could be powered by an ipad, most of these require more juice like coming from a Mac or pc.

Going cheap this time around due to budget, as i get more experience i’ll Up my game!

Randy
You will find a used Edirol PCR-500 for under 100 that works with the iPad. You need the newest CCK (it has a USB and lightning connections and will power the PCR and iPad.)

Other than that I’d say not going to happen under $100. The PCR key feel is nice and used by many touring bands.
Old 11th December 2017
  #5
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Thread Starter
@ Moonwhistle,
Thanks for the info. Yeah, i’ve Read user reviews for other edirol controllers, high praises for the action.

So you’re suggesting a CCK that plugs into power and both recharges the ipad and supplies power to the keyboard? Not sure what to look for on the web, i see various products, some of them over $100.

Will the Edirol PC-500 power up directly from the ipad without having to invest in this new CCK you’re talking about? I did a search for IOS controllers, and Sweetwater listed ones that could be powered directly from an ipad with just the camera connection adapter. That’d be an ideal solution for me. All the Novations feature this for example.
Old 12th December 2017
  #6
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

It’s called the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter and it is an essential piece of kit if you’re using the iPad for music.

The Edirol cannot be powered with just the iPad.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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iPad can easily power an m-audio axiom for hours. Pretty good keybed & overall quality, very handy octave buttons. I have the 61 key, paid $125 used a year ago.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Nico@SunnySide's Avatar
 

Hi there,

For a small and light controller, did you check out Roli Blocks Seaboard?

It is a bit above your budget, but totally worth it for couch/bed/train/plane/outdoors

Seaboard Block - Super Powered Keyboard | ROLI

- is Bluetooth connected (no wires, MIDI or other, minimal latency : less than USB!)
- Battery powered : can stand a few days of intense use without charging.
- it is new tech and a new instrument with many expression possibilities (5D touch)
- works great with iPad or iPhone (free Noise app is great, many expressive sounds and cheap expansion packs)
- is 25 keys more or less...but you can add a second one just by magnetically snapping it side by side, or on top of each other organ style. A studio colleague has 4 of them allowing for a full grand piano range, or 2 on top of each other.
- has a range of nifty small controllers with performance/recording functions, also magnetically clipped together.
- works great with Moog Model 15, you can use as a simple keyboard with any iOS music app

I’ve tried many keyboards for iOS of different sizes with the Camera Connection Kit (Novation, M-Audio, Akai, Korg), while ok to use, not nice with the adapter plus cable + sometimes extra power needed.

Afaik, all other bluetooth midi keyboards have max 25/37 keys and are less fun to work with than the Seaboard,

Best,

Nico
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