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Topic: MIDI Keyboard Controller

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  1. #1

    MIDI Keyboard Controller

    There used to be a MIDI keyboard on the market with a flat surface on top where you could place a computer keyboard and pointing device. I don't remember who made it or what the model number was. I am wondering if anyone here knows.

    My current workstation desk has a slide-out shelf for the computer keyboard and a surface above that for my MIDI keyboard. The problem is that most chairs are meant to be used at desk height. So I am getting a lot of back pain from reaching up to the MIDI keyboard as well as a lot of neck pain from looking up at the monitor, instead of straight on. A newly purchased ergonomic chair did not help (it doesn't go high enough). I bought another chair, which is intended to be used as a drafting stool. The lowest height setting allows me to reach the MIDI keyboard comfortably and see the monitor without having to tilt my head, but I can't use the computer keyboard comfortably.

    It occurred to me that, if I replaced the MIDI keyboard with one that I could stack the computer keyboard on, it would be more comfortable than the current arrangement. I need 88 keys. I can connect via MIDI ports, USB, or Firewire.

    Thanks.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  2. #2
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Keyboard Controller

    I've seen other posts about this issue. The problem is that some of the less expensive digital pianos have space on them for a keyboard but they don't have a mod wheel. The more expensive digital piano have a mod and pitch bend wheel but no place to put a keyboard. And then there is the mouse also. None of the keyboard controllers will work.

    My idea is to engineer a swivel computer keyboard and mouse stand that would swing out over the keyboard as needed. It would have to be mounted using a hole in the desk instead of a clamp. I'm looking at some of the less expensive display swivel mounts and modifying one, maybe with the assistance of a good welder. It would have to be strong enough so you could rest your weight on it at times.

  3. #3

    Re: MIDI Keyboard Controller

    The same for me, please.

    Raymond

  4. #4

    Re: MIDI Keyboard Controller

    ejr - There are so many different options, and I suppose only if one has some kind of huge budget can The Exact Right Thing be arrived at.

    Here's a picture of my work area. It's a few years old but these main elements haven't changed. The computer keyboard is at a perfect height, sitting on the rolling platform this glass desk has built in to it. The MIDI keyboard is sitting on the desk itself, and is a pretty good height.

    Here's what's working for me with this particular set up. I can sit comfortably and type away on the computer keyboard. When I play the MIDI keyboard, I sit up straighter and the height of it seems fine even though it's about 2" higher than the ideal, judging by the slight incline of my arms. I have that board overhanging the edge of the desk, by the way, so it's a comfortable distance from me.

    The monitors are absolutely at the perfect height. I'm not having to look up or down at them. If you look carefully in the picture, above the headphones and between the two monitors, just under them - you'll see a glimpse of the glass platform on this desk intended for a monitor. If I used that, the screen would be too high and I would be bending my neck up a bit to see it, as you're describing. To get the eye-level height that I have with those screens, I stacked things under them, you can see boxed sets of records under the left hand screen, and the other one is on a wooden box that you can't see in the picture. They're perfect. Not only are they the right height, but they're much closer to me than they'd be on that floating platform.

    Anyway, that's what my particular set up is and it's really comfortable - arrived at by using the desk in a way it wasn't really built for.



    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: MIDI Keyboard Controller

    Thanks for the suggestions, but if the type of keyboard I want isn't available, the simplest solution would be for me to push the MIDI keyboard away from me and put the computer keyboard and pointing device (I use a Wacom tablet) there, then move it away when I need to play. I don't play much any more, with my arthritis, but sometimes it's the quickest way to enter notes.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  6. #6
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Keyboard Controller

    Here's the transformer DAW for some ideas.


  7. #7

    Re: MIDI Keyboard Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane View Post
    Here's the transformer DAW for some ideas.
    Very cool, Phil - That guy has made his work environment a living, breathing thing! I like it.

    Randy

  8. #8
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI Keyboard Controller

    I found a 3M Adjust Desk Mount Arm on sale for $99 that looks about right for making a swiveling keyboard and mouse stand. I will need to cut a hole in my table large enough to mount it with the clamp. It has a VESA monitor mount but I could make a keyboard and mouse stand out of a piece of 2X2 or 2X4 and plywood scraps and attach an old mouse pad or something to the plywood and then bolt it to the lower VESA mount holes.

    Right?

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