Recommend midi keyboard?

highwaycat

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I’m trying to figure out what’s compatible with ezkeys, I guess all modern mike keys will work?
I see cheap ones for sale locally.
Also considering a light weight and comfortable one, I don’t need a lot of features.
 

Skyhook

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I’m trying to figure out what’s compatible with ezkeys, I guess all modern mike keys will work?
I see cheap ones for sale locally.
Also considering a light weight and comfortable one, I don’t need a lot of features.

Get something by M-Audio or Swissonic or somesuch... just make sure you get one with full sized keys.
 

Quexoz

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I got a M-Audio Keystation 61es and I've been happy with that. Probably out of production by now, but something similar should be out there. Unless you're going for something more "mini"? I just needed something with mod/pitch wheels on it.

EDIT: current version seems to be a Keystation 61 MK3...and the price of them has more than doubled since then, ouch. The 49 key version is $119. I think I paid $69 for the 61es.

Amazon link.
 

woodman

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To split a hair, you don't need a full-bore MIDI keyboard, just a USB MIDI controller keyboard. It doesn't even have to have MIDI in/out jacks. Your DAW provides the sounds as you play in your parts. Run your controller USB-out into your computer's USB-in. Pretty much plug-n-play.

I can't really "play" keyboards — I generally compose my parts in the MIDI window (piano roll) bar by bar or section by section. I've got a 49-key M-Audio but rarely plug it in ... my smaller M-Audio Oxygen 25 fits compactly beside my computer keyboard and makes for a great workflow for my purposes. Real keyboard players will probably chuckle or gag, but it works for me since I'm pretty hapless when it comes to all that.
 

Quexoz

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Yep, same here. When I was shopping for mine I thought I needed the Midi ports for my Focusrite 2i4. Turns out the USB connection is all I needed, no extra power adapter or anything. Just plug it into the PC USB and choose VST in the DAW. It can be a mini-Moog, a piano, drums, whatever.

I was using mine to do a couple Gary Numan (bows in respect) covers. Basically just experimenting with all the new toys that came out since I started playing guitar "back in the day" when 'home recording' meant you actually had to lug all your gear to the drummers house if you wanted drums and record it out of the air with a cassette recorder.





and an original

 
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highwaycat

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I got a M-Audio Keystation 61es and I've been happy with that. Probably out of production by now, but something similar should be out there. Unless you're going for something more "mini"? I just needed something with mod/pitch wheels on it.

EDIT: current version seems to be a Keystation 61 MK3...and the price of them has more than doubled since then, ouch. The 49 key version is $119. I think I paid $69 for the 61es.

Amazon link.
I just picked a 61es up locally today it works great with ezkeys and ezdrummer too.
I got it for $40.
 

highwaycat

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If I upgrade later on, do they make one with the keys closer together and not as deep of a press?
The es feels like real keys I can see that being good for practicing.
 

Obsessed

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I bought the cheapest used 25 key MIDI keyboard I could find on fleaBay for $25. It is USB and it works, but if I was going to do it again, I would at least buy a new M-Audio 25 key Oxygen (if they still make it) and/or one with a MIDI connector out for my interface. A bigger one would be easier and not requiring scrolling, but I just wanted something that sat in front of the computer temporarily. It does the job just fine, but if you play piano (I don’t), a 61 key might be worth it.
 

24 track

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I have an edrol, oxygen 8, and 2 arturia keysteps , the difference between them is the editrol and oxygen 8's are controlers that use midi to attach to your synth , the arturia key steps have a built in 8 chanel 32 note sequencer, arpagiator and has cv, gate, mod, and pitch outputs as well as USB to midi and can be found for about 100.00 , I also Have a korg M50 and a Kurzweil K2000 full synths I would look at the arturia units they are well worth the dollars

you can see the Keystep above the Korg M50

20210506_124320.jpg
 
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TomBrokaw

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I have a Nektar Impact GX61 and I am happy with it. Enough keys to get a good idea of what a given synth patch sounds like across the range and it fits on my desk. I used to have an M-Audio Axiom 61 and that had extra knobs, sliders, and drum pads, but I didn't use all that and it took up more space. Keys, pitch bend, modulation, plus transposition controls. Works for me. I don't play piano BTW.
 

codamedia

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I’m trying to figure out what’s compatible with ezkeys, I guess all modern mike keys will work?
I see cheap ones for sale locally.
Also considering a light weight and comfortable one, I don’t need a lot of features.

Any midi keyboard will work... if you don't have a way to get "standard midi" into the computer, then you will need a board with USB midi, or a Midi > USB connector (roland makes a good one).

I used to use an M-Audio Axiom for years.... no sounds of it's own, just a controller. I recently sold that off and hunted down a used Korg X50 that I absolutely love. It's a really light weight (under 10lbs) 61 note keyboard with some great sounds of it's own (just turn on and play without a computer)... but also has USB midi and makes a great controller with a DAW.
 

radtz

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I have an edrol, oxygen 8, and 2 arturia keysteps , the difference between them is the editrol and oxygen 8's are controlers that use midi to attach to your synth , the arturia key steps have a built in 8 chanel 32 note sequencer, arpagiator and has cv, gate, mod, and pitch outputs as well as USB to midi and can be found for about 100.00 , I also Have a korg M50 and a Kurzweil K2000 full synths I would look at the arturia units they are well worth the dollars

you can see the Keystep above the Korg M50

View attachment 924654

Wow! So..... many.....knobs..... Reminds me of when I saw Giuffria back in the 80s.

 

Quexoz

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Wow! So..... many.....knobs.....

Hahaha. Even the VST virtual synths/moogs are like that. Talk about option overload! It's amazing the things that have came out since I started tinkering with guitars, and what you can do with it with a little effort. If I remember right, there were 7 different synths in that Are Friends Electric one, and I had no idea how to get a "Gary Numan" tone out of them.

How many cool riffs I must have lost over the years because I had no way to toss them onto a quick recording to remind me later.
 
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Lawdawg

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$40 for a Keystation 61es is a great choice and may be all you ever need.

If and when you want to upgrade your midi keyboard the things to consider are:

Keyboard action -- do you want a midi controller with a piano feel or a lighter synth feel

# of Keys -- if you get more serious about playing keys you'll eventually want a full 88 key controller

Other pads/buttons -- a lot of midi keyboards have other buttons and pads that can be used to control a DAW or to play and program drum parts. I bought a small Novation Launchkey 37 which is great for a light synth style keyboard with pads for drum programming.
 

Digital Larry

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I just got a Novation Impulse 49 used at Starving Musician for less than $200. I don't play keyboards very well either, but I can tap out little riffs which are good starting points for messing around.
 
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radtz

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I just got a Samson Graphite 25 for $50:
I've used a few different ones. I got this becuase I wanted an different mini controller and I wanted one with transport controls so I can start recording without have to have hands on another mouse or keyboard.
 

Ben Harmless

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I can't really "play" keyboards — I generally compose my parts in the MIDI window (piano roll) bar by bar or section by section. I've got a 49-key M-Audio but rarely plug it in ... my smaller M-Audio Oxygen 25 fits compactly beside my computer keyboard and makes for a great workflow for my purposes. Real keyboard players will probably chuckle or gag, but it works for me since I'm pretty hapless when it comes to all that.

It's astounding how close this is to my own experience, including the 49-key M-Audio controller that I don't plug in - literally the only difference is that I got an Arturia Keystep instead of the Oxygen 25. It's the right size for me, and tucks out of the way nicely. If I had it to do again, I might have picked up the 37-key Arturia instead, because it would cover the whole range of more organs and Mellotron stuff.

If I upgrade later on, do they make one with the keys closer together and not as deep of a press?
The es feels like real keys I can see that being good for practicing.

There are a bunch like this. My Keystep is a good example of "just a little smaller" keys and key travel. Anything that says "like, totally almost full size keys" is going to be easier for us non-key-players. This is a big topic on various synth forums and stuff. If you Google the product, someone, somewhere will comment on the feel and size of the keys.
 




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