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View Full Version : OT: Musicians - MIDI Keyboard Recommendations?



Matt
11-05-2007, 12:53 PM
Guys

Need some help here!

I bought an Edirol PCR-M30 MIDI keyboard controller a while back (probably JUST outside of warranty now). I've not exactly used it much, but one of the keys is losing its velocity sensitivity, this is a common problem with this model I'm NOW finding out from various new reviews I've read.

Rather then bother getting it repaired I'm looking to buy a better one. Just needs to be a MIDI controller, no sounds are needed.

Can any musicians out there recommend something that will last and looks half decent?

:)

Any help will be greatly appreciated as I'm not really up on what brands are supposed to be good.

Cheers
Matt

art
11-05-2007, 02:02 PM
I bought my EMU Xboard 49 a year ago and I am happy with it.

http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?category=532&subcategory=533&product=13558

I am not a professional musician but after reading many reviews of many midi controllers I came to a conclusion that it would give me good quality for the price. I paid under $200 for it at the time.

P.S. This particular controller comes in 3 different sizes: 25, 49 and 61 keys

P.P.S: I had a chance to have a look at m-audio keyboard at a local store but in my opinion xboard feels a little better.

Verlon
11-05-2007, 02:46 PM
Only thing I can say is that if you ever spend time playing real piano, weighted keys make the transition smoother.

Spent a bunch of time on a little cheap midid keyboard attached to a nice midi bank, and discovered it was not exactly the same skill set as weighted keys.

If you DON'T care about that, you might just look for something like a cheap casio keyboard (with velocity sensitive keys). You can probably find those for <$100 and then just use it as a MIDI controller.

GregMalick
11-05-2007, 02:55 PM
I have both M-Audio & Novation controllers. No problems after years of use.

But if I was buying today, I'd get this one (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ReMOTEsl37)

It has LCDs above the knobs which change depending on the software it's hooked up to. I have such a poor memory - I need something like that. Comes in a larger configuration too.

I guess it all depends on what you want to spend.

art
11-05-2007, 03:11 PM
The m-audio I saw at the store was KeyRig 49. It appears to be one of their less expensive products which might explain my impression of it. Of course m-audio has full range of midi keyboards.

I agree with Verlon about the weigted keys. The one I have has semi weighted keys (which seems to be nothing more than a pieces of steel glued under the keys). It is still not heavy enough for me, but it's ok for my (limited) needs. :)

p.s. congrats on the 5k'th post

Matt
11-05-2007, 03:13 PM
I've been looking at the Novation ReMOTE ones actually!

Thing is, the Compact 25 has too few keys, the Compact 49 too many for what I need, 37 would be ideal, but they don't do the cheaper Compact version of that, only the more expensive SL one :(

A 37 key Novation ReMOTE SL Compact would be perfect!

GregMalick
11-05-2007, 04:20 PM
A 37 key Novation ReMOTE SL Compact would be perfect!
Yep, that's the one I'd go for - if I was in the market for one.

$500 though.
Yet I remember when midi controllers were a grand. Back in the Atari ST days.
:D

Surrealist.
11-05-2007, 05:59 PM
StudioLogic has a great one I bought a few years ago. 88 weighted keys for around 350 bucks US (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Studiologic-SL990XP-88Note-Weighted-MIDI-Controller?sku=708348). Controller only and I have been happy with it.

Hopper
11-05-2007, 06:04 PM
I'm not a musician, so I asked a friend of mine who is. He's probably got about 15 workstations and countless controllers. He seems to think that M-Audio and Novation are solid products. He has the Novation and said it's the only one he's touched since he bought it (of course, that could have been yesterday). He said the backlighting was fairly impressive and the key "feel" was excellent.

However, he did mention to "stay the hell away from anything with a Numark label on it". His recommendation for big synths were Korg Triton and Yamaha Motif

archijam
11-06-2007, 01:51 PM
I have the m-audio and have not had problems at all with it tho I would check the action on the keyboards .. I find them all different. Several people that borrowed my keyboard liked it .. others didn't.

Plus I swear the one T Raumsmhire using at RockWerchter in Belgium had the same on stage .. and was dancin round with it too :)

j.

tyrot
11-06-2007, 02:46 PM
dear matt

i have M-audio products from Sound Card to Speakers to Midi Keyboard and all of them is really performing well..

i use large midi keyboards(61) i dont use small stuff..

Best

Sledgehammer
11-06-2007, 03:57 PM
I have always liked the Fatar controllers by Studiologic.

Or is it the Studiologic Controllers by Fatar?

Either way, one question would be if you wanted weighted keys or not.

If you are near a guitar center or Sam Ash, go in and hammer on a few of them. They also tend to bundle some software with them every so often

Sande
11-07-2007, 03:15 AM
The m-audio I saw at the store was KeyRig 49. It appears to be one of their less expensive products which might explain my impression of it.
Yep, I probably have just that, M-Audio 49e. Fits my purposes perfectly, but then again, I can't really call myself a musician. :)

art
11-07-2007, 09:19 AM
Yep, I probably have just that, M-Audio 49e. Fits my purposes perfectly, but then again, I can't really call myself a musician. :)
Neither can I, that's why I also have a a relatively inexpensive unit and not a $500 one :). Whatever we have, it is definetely better than qwerty keyboards :)

inquisitive
11-07-2007, 10:23 AM
I purchased an actual keyboard to function as a controller many years ago (so I could use its sounds too if needed) Korg X5, and have a couple of rack modules Roland jv1080 and orbitv2, figured it would give me the most flexibility, from the looks of it, seems my sequencer its going to be an Amiga with Bars&Pipes (previously an old mac).

RedBull
11-11-2007, 01:59 PM
The reason i went with the Edirol PCR-80, is due to it's build quality, people warned me that the M-Audio and Evolution Midi Keyboards, really don't have a nice weighted/heavy robust keys, and in hindsight i really do bash my Roland good, and it's always taken the beating, i really don't think the others would of.
It's worked flawlessly for around 4 years now. (XP64)

There are better control surfaces, but just for a Midi keyboard, the feel is very important.