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Midi controller recommendation

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Ron C, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Holic

    Sep 12, 2006
    Long Island, New York
    I need to replace a Samson Carbon 49 controller that I use for bass, percussion and some keyboard parts when recording in GarageBand.

    I like the simple layout, full size keys and USB power of the Samson, but would like to move to something with keys that feel less toy like. It's done what I asked of it, but reminds me with every key press "you went with the bargain option". I don't play much piano anymore but have played some terrific pianos in my time along with my brother's '72 Hammond, so yes, I am a little spoiled in my expectations.

    Any suggestions for 37, 49 or 61 key units with full size keys that would meet that need? Pads and other controls are not needed.

    24 track likes this.
  2. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    too many to list ,whether its a workstation or a full keyboard synth , I have 3 right now all small , arturia keystep, with arpagiation and full poly sequencing built in mini keys ( thats a dissapointment, but is made up in functionality) , Oxygen 8 2 octave, Editrol 2.5 octaves , I may ber getting a roland 88 key unit ( remains to be seen)

    Roland makes some nice units but again some are full workstations so you have to look at applications, I have a Kurzweil K2000 to use with logic and a Korg M50 in my synth array
    I patch all midi through a Motu Midi timepiece USB to the computers and as a midi patch bays . go on line look at different manufaturers and read all you can before buying anything

    some to consider
    and with alittle investigation you will find more
    Ron C likes this.
  3. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 22, 2010
    Madison, WI
    I've found that there seem to be fewer good quality keybeds in pure controllers compared to instruments, whether organ-like or piano-like. And certainly none in the 100$ range like what you have.

    You haven't said whether you're looking for unweighted, wieghted, or hammer action style. Hammer action isn't common in less than 76 key versions.

    If you want waterfall keys like a Hammond, you're better off getting a single manual organ than something like a DMC. It's cheaper, though still above 1K.

    The cheaper hammer action controllers still feel cheap to me, just in a different way than unweighted controllers.

    All said, moving from $100 to $300 or so will give you a definite improvement.
    Ron C likes this.
  4. erratick

    erratick Tele-Holic

    Feb 11, 2013
    You want weighted or semi weighted keys.

    I don't have much experience but I went from Novation entry level to a semi-weighted Native Instruments a49 and the difference is night and day. The NI A49 was a huge improvement in feel.

    There are probably good options from other brands at that price point too.
    Ron C likes this.
  5. Biffasmum

    Biffasmum Tele-Meister

    May 12, 2019
    I have an old Edirol PCR50 with light keys which is nicer to play than a newer Akai MPK49 controller with pads and various other knobs and sliders I never use. I also have a weighted stage piano which is better for playing piano patches than funky synth bass lines.

    I use Logic and Maschine and have been looking at the Kontrol S49/S61 which comes with semi-weighted keys. Aside from being nice to play it also plays nicely with the two DAWs I use all the time. Lots of buttons, touch screens and transport controls save reaching for the qwerty/mouse all the time.

    Ron C likes this.
  6. runstendt

    runstendt Tele-Meister

    Feb 21, 2011
    Bloomsburg PA
    I don't see how you can possibly go wrong with this.



    Seriously though, these are really good MIDI controllers. As far as which controller to get, decide how much you want to spend, and pick one out. IMHO they are all more or less interchangeable within price range, asides from key size, which is easy enough to find out about any particular model. I've used M-Audio, Novation, Akai, and others, and could not see much difference between them. Of course, my keytar is my favourite to use in public.
    Ron C and bgmacaw like this.
  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    I use a M-Audio Oxygen 25. It's available in 49 key as well but I didn't have space for it so I went with the smaller model. Besides, my keyboard playing talent is rather rusty and limited anyway. I liked the feel of it better than the similar Akai models I tried out. I haven't felt any controller keyboards that felt as good as a real piano or organ that weren't cheapskate budget busters.
    Ron C likes this.
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