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Topic: Keyboard Recommendations

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  1. #1

    Keyboard Recommendations

    I am probably going to be getting a keyboard soon...the M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 (or something) looked good, but then I heard a bunch of bad stuff about it on this board, so maybe not, eh? I also noticed an "es" version which has only two control wheels, modulation and an assignable controller, I believe? That's fine with me, I'm not too big on controls (velocity, modulation, and legato will just about do it for me). So here are the criteria:

    < $600
    88 keys

    About the weighting of the keys. I've played piano for about five years, and I'm not exactly a concert pianist, but I certainly don't mind weighted keys, I prefer them to those light plastic ones. Anyway though, I'm not really sure what "weighted" and "semi-weighted" mean in the keyboard industry. Does "weighted" mean it's like a piano? That's what I'm aiming for. And "semi-weighted," is that just in between the piano and plastic keys?

    By the way, this keyboard doesn't really need to fit every need I have - for example, if I can't manage a harp glissando, I'll just do it with a notation program. With all that in mind...what should I get? Thanks in advance and all that.

  2. #2

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    I use a Keystation 88 Pro and I really really like it. the action is perfect for all applications and isn't so heavy that it would preclude you from doing drum fills or whatever on it.

    Beware though that M-Audio needs to get a bit more of a uniformity going on for this line of keyboard. The first one I bought had really noisy key action. UGHHHH. The second one is just fine though.

  3. #3

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    OK...the general impression I'm getting is that weighted keys are better for playing keyboard instruments, but semi-weighted is better for brass, woodwinds, and strings. Is that it? If so, I'll go with the semi-weighted version, I think...

  4. #4

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    I have one of the Keystation 88's and am quite happy with it. The action is sufficiently weighted that my pianist fingers don't complain. The action isn't as piano like as the best Yamaha actions, but I'm not looking for ultra-real piano action - the Steinway across the room has that down pat.

    Plenty of controllers - if you run out, let me know.

    Price was great, and I use it in the studio and gigging out. I don't know about this "compatibility with Roland" thing. I use my out with a Roland JV-1080 module without incident. My only complaint for live use is that there is a slight delay sending program changes after you input them - I would prefer it be lighting fast for back to back songs.

    If you are not going to be USB powering it, you will have to buy an AC adaptor - it is not included. Also, you will have to download the Advanced Users Guide from the WWW site. The graphical librarian for it is a nice touch. I use it.

    - Nathanael

  5. #5

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    Why the heck can't someone design a keyboard with some type of magnetic or other electrically controlled resistance to give a variable touch keyboard? Or something mechanical- heck, if my exercycle can do it my keyboard ought to be able to without making a federal case out of it

  6. #6

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    If anyone wants a nice piano-style action on an 88-key keyboard then you can't go wrong with a Casio Privia X-100 digital piano. Use it for the keyboard only, I doubt the sounds would be all that great on a $500 digital piano, but if you want piano expression then this is the one to look at especially if you want to budget.

  7. #7

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    We haven't made any comment on Kawai hammer action kbs. They are very good and small. The problem is they include sound module, so they are a bit higher in price, althoulgh they can be useful as stage pianos for gigs.

    Anton

  8. #8

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    I am also interested in getting a 88-key MIDI keyboard and I've seen another one called the TMK-88 which also seems like a cheap option. I used to play the piano and would like to get back into in so I was was looking at the controller keyboard option.
    Would I be right in thinking that I can connect these keyboards directly to a normal PC to generate the sound?!? Or would I need some special sound card or something to get rid of any noticable latency? Or do I acutally require other hardware like a separate "sound module" to get it to work.
    Thanks,
    Hip.



    Quote Originally Posted by galvedro
    We haven't made any comment on Kawai hammer action kbs. They are very good and small. The problem is they include sound module, so they are a bit higher in price, althoulgh they can be useful as stage pianos for gigs.

    Anton

  9. #9

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by hiprobotamus
    I am also interested in getting a 88-key MIDI keyboard and I've seen another one called the TMK-88 which also seems like a cheap option. I used to play the piano and would like to get back into in so I was was looking at the controller keyboard option.
    Would I be right in thinking that I can connect these keyboards directly to a normal PC to generate the sound?!? Or would I need some special sound card or something to get rid of any noticable latency? Or do I acutally require other hardware like a separate "sound module" to get it to work.
    Thanks,
    Hip.
    You will only need a sound card with MIDI interface. If you own one, you'll be able to use you keyboard as controller by connecting both with a cable.

    Anton

  10. #10

    Re: Keyboard Recommendations

    The "es" version is complete crap. They put springs under the keys or something like that, but it feels awful. The other keystation is not bad, but I suggest trying one out. Personally I don't like the feel. The "hammer action" is more like "you push through a resistance point".

    Like you I've been looking for a <$600 keyboard, and I've actually been pleasantly surprised by the feel of the Casio Privia. It's compact, and comes with its own sounds and (small, built-in) speakers, and is only $500. Check it out.

    Victor.

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