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Topic: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

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  1. #1

    [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    Heh...

    some of you may know that until now I didn't have midi controller, or keyboard, or any kind of instrument in my house actually. And it was a big troulbe, since I'm classically trained pianist and can play (extremly) well.

    So 3-4 months ago I found, by sheer accident a Casio PX110 (Privia). Piano like, not midi controller, no knobs, no mod wheel or pitch bend (the big minus for this keyboard), but fully weighter, not evenly distributed, normal length piano (which actually feels like a real piano, considering it costs £300, and much much better than any M-audio or Fatar or even Yamaha pianollas I've tried), so I bought it immediately. The good thing? It has it's own lovely stand, it's own pedal (sustain), and it's own sounds. Push the ON button and you can hear immediately. No need to open the computer.

    The bad?

    I. No mod wheel, no pitch bend, so I still don't even want to touch the Strad...
    II. I didn't have a midi input! My soundcard was the crap that was in the computer from starters, and since I've always been 100% digital it didn't play much of a part. So all I had was that cruppy Raltek 97 or something simmilar.

    Obsessed to fix my studio a bit, since my software is lovely and costs more than £4000 currently, I went on and bought a great soundcard the Lynx ONE. Brilliant in everything, almost too brilliant. The Lynx guys assume that I have monitors and some kind of console, which I have neither! So the cables provided, which are 1 midi and 1 audio with 6 XLR ends, was of no use to me!

    Installed the card, and I've still (after 2 months) not heard a single thing from it. Keep listening from the cruppy old one!

    But, but, but, dispite my fears yesterday I went on, and bought a new midi cable, of 1 meter (no longer, don't need longer) and pluged in the keyboard. And to my amazement, I could input midi through the keyboard and listen through the other card. YAY!

    And then it hit me:

    How on earth could I live without this?
    since yesterday I've done 2 (piano mainly) pieces of around 3 minutes, each. This would be days of work otherwise! and I did them in a few hours both!

    Still the old card gives a cruppy 14 ms (WOW!) of latency, which there is no way to battle, since all audio is coming out of that card, but I can live with that for now.

    In all it just feels great to try things and hit the * (Cubase) and record everything you play (even if you have to move them and quantitize them for now)

    I'm still waiting for:
    i. set of monitors big, and lovely
    ii. amp
    iii. hardware EQ
    All custom made from a friend (and thus late ) After that I'll kill the old soundcard and enjoy my new life!

    I have been an idiot but saw the light! May the rest of you know about this and follow my example. Get a midi controller, or keyboard or something, if you don't have one!

  2. #2

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    You're play piano "(extremely) well", have £4000 in software and you've been composing by mouse?!!! Sorry, but that's funny. I could barely play piano and I couldn't have imagined buying Sonar without a keyboard to plug into it.

    A smaller board as an add-on can be a great idea, if the big keyboard is bare and flat enough that you can lay the small board on top of it with the top row of keys almost hanging over the bottom row (like a two-tier organ). I've got a cheapo 89key barebones board (only has PB/Mod wheels and a volume slider) with a loaded 49key board sitting on top flush. Since the top board has a single lever for both PB and Mod, I always reach for that...plus the little one has a ton of buttons/levers/sliders to use if needed.

    Sounds like you need to get that new card hooked up...even my cheap Creative X-Fi card can do 5ms most of the time. Yeah, your productivity should go up signifigantly

  3. #3

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    Congratulations on your new keyboard!
    Your post just jumped into my eyes...
    Although I have a piano and compose with it, with a notation program and Cubase, I realize that my next project is definitely going to be buying a keyboard!
    I just wonder which one??? I would like a soft sounding one (for piano parts) and very sensitive to dynamics (if that's how you define a keyboard).

    Yudit

  4. #4

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldGeezer
    You're play piano "(extremely) well", have £4000 in software and you've been composing by mouse?!!! Sorry, but that's funny. I could barely play piano and I couldn't have imagined buying Sonar without a keyboard to plug into it.
    I know, but without a room of my own, a kid who is ready to get into his 4th year (and was really naughty), and everything on the living room, until recently, it wasn't easy.

    Plus the orchestral stuff I do, are sometimes a bit complicated so I imagine it is the same to input notes on Finale (to which I'm also good at ) and then import into Cubase for further work.

    Additionally half of my workload is for my PhD, which requires only scores.

    I hope this explains the choice to wait for a keyboard.

    As for the "(extremely) well", the last piece I played (in concert) before giving up having any kind of keyboard in my house was Prokofievs Tocatta op.11 . Those who know, know it's a damn difficult thing to play. Those who don't: http://www.nikolas-sideris.com/AGS/prokofievop11.mp3.
    (warning, cruppy recording from a video camera...)

    A smaller board as an add-on can be a great idea, if the big keyboard is bare and flat enough that you can lay the small board on top of it with the top row of keys almost hanging over the bottom row (like a two-tier organ). I've got a cheapo 89key barebones board (only has PB/Mod wheels and a volume slider) with a loaded 49key board sitting on top flush. Since the top board has a single lever for both PB and Mod, I always reach for that...plus the little one has a ton of buttons/levers/sliders to use if needed.
    Definately. I'm looking for an Oxygen 8 prolly for around 100$ (£59) which will go to the midi out...

    Still atm, I'm completely dry and when the scholarship comes in, I'll start buying again.

    Sounds like you need to get that new card hooked up...even my cheap Creative X-Fi card can do 5ms most of the time. Yeah, your productivity should go up signifigantly
    And yes, I know. For now, I'm just practicing my phychici forces (to know 13 ms earlier what's going to happen, so to beat the latency ) But yes, as I said, I'm waiting for some serious monitors to come my way, and with the amp, it's going to be niiiiiiiiiiiiice in here.

    Thanks for your comments guys!

    sunbird: I really like this one, and noticed that works really really nice with pianoteq. Might post something next week or so to show what I mean. Couldn't "easily" reach 127 velocity... so it's fine, and the 30s and 25s was easy enough to reach. This means sensetive to me.

  5. #5

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldGeezer
    You're play piano "(extremely) well", have £4000 in software and you've been composing by mouse?!!! Sorry, but that's funny. I could barely play piano and I couldn't have imagined buying Sonar without a keyboard to plug into it.
    I found myself in the same boat. I am a pianist by training - I even have a weighted keyboard connected to all my studio equipment. But I get so little time to go in there that I find myself composing with the mouse-pad on our family laptop whilst looking after my daughters in an evening.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    since I'm classically trained pianist and can play (extremly) well.
    nikolas, if ever you find yourself with some spare time I'd like to try and get together Bartok's Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion. I know a few percussionists, but finding another pianist is proving a pain in the backside. Let me know if you're ever bored.

  6. #6

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu
    I found myself in the same boat. I am a pianist by training - I even have a weighted keyboard connected to all my studio equipment. But I get so little time to go in there that I find myself composing with the mouse-pad on our family laptop whilst looking after my daughters in an evening.
    Back in Greece I have 2 pianos (!) A semi-baby grand, from my wife, which sounds... ok, but is a grand, and a Krauss which is worth A LOT, and I bought it 15 years ago or so. I do prefer it from the upright Steinways btw


    nikolas, if ever you find yourself with some spare time I'd like to try and get together Bartok's Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion. I know a few percussionists, but finding another pianist is proving a pain in the backside. Let me know if you're ever bored.
    Bored I am, but I'm also busy. Still I'll search for the score (*ahem* college library) and have a look. I'm always open to new directions... Thanks

  7. #7

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    I don't know how you have managed without one for so long. I am in awe that you have.

    I could not live without aftertouch personally it is very useful with guitar patches and synths.

    I just need to get a longer keyboard now and I reckon the Novation might be the way to go..

    Simon
    www.sounds-and-images.co.uk

    And now also at Flickr!

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    NorthernSounds.NET.
    View Simon Fielder's Profile at NorthernSounds.net

  8. #8

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    Just an idea, seeing as you actually play piano pieces (I do bass, drums and guitar...sort of), if you can actually hear your keyboard's built-in piano while recording the midi data, you should just be able to lower the volume on the sampler piano's audio track and play to the metronome/drums while listening to the keyboard's built-in piano (zero latency). I'm pretty sure most of the big hosts have an option that allows you to offset the midi data to compensate for latency so it plays back (and prints out if your host exports to sheet-music) with proper timing.

    Maybe not, but if I were in your shoes and I did piano work, I'd look into it.

    Just an idea

  9. #9

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldGeezer
    Just an idea, seeing as you actually play piano pieces (I do bass, drums and guitar...sort of), if you can actually hear your keyboard's built-in piano while recording the midi data, you should just be able to lower the volume on the sampler piano's audio track and play to the metronome/drums while listening to the keyboard's built-in piano (zero latency). I'm pretty sure most of the big hosts have an option that allows you to offset the midi data to compensate for latency so it plays back (and prints out if your host exports to sheet-music) with proper timing.

    Maybe not, but if I were in your shoes and I did piano work, I'd look into it.

    Just an idea
    I can actually hear it, but in order to listen the expression of what I'm playing, I do the opposite. Lower completely the volume of the piano, and put higher the volume coming from the computer. But for piano pieces, I think this is an awesome idea, and me a moron for not thinking of it earlier.

    At least for the piano ones. For the rest (and maybe I'll dive in and get the SW from Bela ) I'll wait for Oxygen 8...

    Simon: Now I know EXACTLY what you mean, buddy

    Thanks all.

  10. #10

    Re: [OT] I've been blind and deaf! Without midi keyboard??!?!? how could I?

    I can't imagine sequencing by clicking things in anymore... I used to do that in the 286 days with Cakewalk's staff view and a Proteus/2... ugh.

    Nowadays I play virtually everything in live, even runs etc (I just cut the tempo in half for that).

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