• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Topic: Keyboard: What are the most important...

  1. #1

    Question Keyboard: What are the most important...

    Hi everyone,

    I have never had or used a keyboard so I know almost nothing about it. Since I realize now that it is of enormous help for composing with the computer, I decided to buy one of good quality and performance.

    I need some advice and where else to find the best answers to my questions if not here!

    So here they are:
    What are the most important things I should look for in a keyboard?
    Which keyboard are you using and what are the pros and cons?
    How many octaves are sufficient for normal work?
    What should I know about the keyboard concerning GPO?
    Which one do you find best responsive to touch?

    So far, these are my questions. Thanks in advance for your replies.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    Hi, I'm not familiar with the professional keyboards most people here use, because i use the lowest price one out there. I have a M-Audio Keystation 49e (49 keys), it is a 99 dollar keyboard i got on sale at Fry's Electronics for 79 us dollars.

    I like it and it is easy enough to use the octave buttons to change to any 4 octave range of 88 keys, but i'm always wishing i had got the 88 key version.

    I sometimes use my mom's Yamaha DGX-205 which has 76 keys, but has no mod wheel and this is considered a home keyboard, not a professional one.

    These don't have a real piano feel, to some that's important and to some it isn't, i like the feel of them, but in my opinion the more keys, the better.

  3. #3

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    If you play piano, I can say personally that not having a good weighted-key controller will mess you up. If you are used to that touch it is rough.

    For GPO, mod wheel is pretty important, although any decent MIDI controller will have the ability to assign a slider or something to controller #1.

    M-Audio makes good stuff. Check out their keyboards. Anything under 49 keys will slow you down. 88 is best, of course.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  4. #4

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    i think you'd be best off with an axiom. it has literally everything, including aftertouch (i'd say a must for things like strad and gof). depending on what size you get knobs or knobs and faders. it has the control pad that you can use with your DAW (a huge time saver that really helps workflow). it also feels great.

    i would just go to a place like guitar center and try out different ones and see what you like better. but make sure it has usb plugins, multiple pedal inputs, pitch bend, modulation, try to get aftertouch, and other than that got for what feels best. hope that helps.
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  5. #5

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    I have an e49 and its fine. I didnt go for the 88 key as its getting a bit to big for just a basic midi controller, plus the 49 is cheapest. However if its the only keyboard that your going to own then I would say 88 keys minimum plus mod wheel. (I have a yamaha P80 which is a full blown properly weighted stage piano, so I really only got the e49 for its modulation wheel. However, I find it very easy to use, the octave buttons are no problem whats so ever. you'll get to the point where you are using them subconsciously.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    Most important for me are a good weighted action and assignable sliders.
    I definately need a Mod Wheel and also Pitch Wheel.
    I'm using a Yamaha S90. 4 assignable sliders ... wish I had 6 or even 8.

    I couldn't live without 88 keys.

  7. #7

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    Hello, Yudit

    You may know from posts and emails that I think the combination of keyboard and software is unbeatable, and for me along with many other musicians, is just indispensable. One quick example of how invaluable they are - to be able to record Mod Wheel with GPO in real time is such an intuitive process, yields excellent results, and takes a fraction of the time it does to laboriously draw all that data in.

    As you can see from your thread here, and probably already knew, there's quite a range of prices for keyboards. It's obvious that you should get the biggest and best you can afford.

    Meanwhile, some people are using fairly modest boards with good results. I'm a good example, I think. I use a VEry humble MK-4902 keyboard which I bought used for $40. Why do I use that? It fits my budget. It has one assignable wheel, pitch bend, only 49 keys, very un-piano-like keyboard action (synth style action) and no After Touch. - When I need to apply AT, I need to draw it in with the pencil tool in Sonar's Piano Roll View.

    The limited number of keys I adapted to easily, using the handy octave shift key, but naturally to have a full sized 88 keyboard would be superior.

    The buttons for assigning whatever controller I want to the wheel are easily accessible and quick to use.

    This keyboard suffices.

    Just pointing out that even with the bare minimum, you're better off than without a keyboard!

    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    I have many keyboards. My favorite is my Yamaha Motif ES8. It has sampling, sequencer, and all the other goodies.

    It comes with the software to connect to your compouter. You can check the features out here: http://www.samedaymusic.com/product--YAMMOTIFXS8

    I will add that it will take months if not a couple years to master this machinery, but here's a great website that will help you every step of the way http://www.motifator.com/forums/index.php?Cat=1,2,4

    Probably Korg would be my second choice in keyboards. Both the Korg and Yamaha manuals suck though. There's a DVD available for the Yamaha that is a little easier to follow.

    Good luck, John
    Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

  9. #9

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    Hi Yudit -

    I can't believe you composed your last beautiful piece without a keyboard ! Yes, definitely, do get one. As I might have mentioned to you, I have a full-sized Yamaha P-60 which is a wonderful piano, being touch-sensitive and having a lovely tone, but of course it doesn't have a mod-wheel or any other gizmos. I often wonder if I should get a small keyboard just for playing in string parts etc which also need mod-wheel data. If you don't play the piano, you don't need a big keyboard. Touch-sensitive keys are useful if you record piano (on the Garritan system, it responds normally to velocity) - but of course a mod-wheel is hugely useful. Apart from that, I wonder how much use all the other switches and buttons are.

  10. #10

    Re: Keyboard: What are the most important...

    Viv made a good point. Before choosing a keyboard, you'll have to decide just what you you expect it to do. If you're a pianist you'll definitely want an 88 key, weighted keyboard.

    Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts