Looking to buy a midi keyboard to use with my desktop and laptop (will be purchasing these soon!) I don't need all the bells and whistles. I will be using the M audio with Pro9. I mainly use Daws Reasons and FL10. I am looking for the best but most economical midi keyboard. I would like a real keyboard feel. Any recommendations?
Something I learned about midi keyboards - you have to be willing to waste money on them in order to get the most out of them.
Don't hum and haw too much about which one to get. Just buy one and try playing with it for a month. If it feels like they keyboard is not helping you to get where you want musically, buy a different model and sell the old one.
So you've wasted a bit of cash, but isn't your music potentially worth far more?
It's not even about price, in my opinion. If you write your best tunes on a crappy old keyboard, but find yourself making dross on an expensive hammer action thing, which is the better piece of equipment?
Because a typical synth-action controller is nothing like a piano.
But if you want a controller with knobs that's also a synth, take a look at the Yamaha MOX-8 which you can use as a MIDI controller, has 88 keys and decent feel, has a sequencer, a built in USB interface, thousands of presets, etc $1600
Yes, this is definitely what I want and I would buy the Kawai VPC if I could. But it's above my limit (3000 NOK ~ 516 USD).
Lets say it should feel and play as close to a piano as possible. I don't care about fancy stuff. I could need 8 buttons for Ableton Live (the racks where you group instruments or effects in have 8 buttons which you can map to whatever you want, so I have a lot of instruments and effects which have 8 main knobs to control).
Well I was told by a longtime music buddy...that It didn't matter...just buy the cheapest one.....then I see all these different models; some with knobs, pads, etc. So most economical means the best bang for the best buck.
Actually go to a bricks-and-mortar store and try it!
When buying ANY keyboard for music, drive down to your local gear store and try it out for at least several minutes.
I used to do this with any keyboard I was considering for a MIDI stage setup - either I'd hear the sound of a keyboard live or on the radio or I'd read a review, then I'd go in and try it in the store for awhile, playing stuff I was doing live or writing.
In the store, playability was key. Was the keyboard touch heavy like a Rhodes 73, was it light but responsive like a D6 Clavinet, was it your then-typical on-or-off organ keyboard like a Prophet V?
How easy was it to change sound parameters? Were all the ADSR and waveform controls available at once, or was it just one-knob for one parameter at a time like the Yamaha DX-7?
While computer programs can give you a multiple-control layout, nothing matches the knobs-and-switches layout of a Prophet V or Dave Smith's new instruments like the Mopho 4X. You can easily make quick, on-the-fly changes to your sound with these keyboards.
The Mopho 4X is a little large for a very portable setup and has only four built-in voices, but if I were looking for a controller with accessible analog sounds built-in, I would buy it. It also offers full MIDI I/O from the guy who invented it, Dave Smith.
DISCLAIMER - I worked for Sequential (maker of the Prophet V and Dave Smith's first company) in 1985.
Sadly most of them have crappy key beds.. Keys are: Too springy.. Cheap plastic... Too stiff... To clattering and loud... Too short.. Too thin... I could go on and on. I wish all has the same action as Yamaha XF key beds. They are the best IMO. For 88 keys the best I have played besides a real grand is a Roland RD700x, which I am blessed to own. Definitely the most beautiful stage piano I have ever owned and nothing else I've tried even comes close.