• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Topic: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    I use Garritan libraries in both Finale 2010 and sonar. I don't want a keyboard MIDI controller with weighted keys. How important is it to have one with

    (a) Velocity Sensitive Keys and
    (b) Aftertouch?

    Keyboards I've been looking at within my budget such as the M-Audio Oxygen 61 V3 does not have weighted keys but neither does it have Velocity Sensitive Keys or Aftertouch?. Instead it includes an array of assignable sliders and swithes which, personally, I would have no use for.

    Edit: The above does have velocity sensitive keys. With apologies.

    For a little less money there is the M-Audio Keystation 61es which does have velocity sensitive keys but not aftertouch and minimum sliders and switches. However, this does have semi-weighted keys. I don't want weighted keys so I'm unsure about the semi-weighted keys on this.

    It seems that I would have to pay almost double for a keyboard such as the Edirol PCR 800 which has both Velocity Sensitive unweighted Keys and Aftertouch. This also has loads of switches, sliders and pads; things I don't need nor would use.

    So my choices seem to be:

    Choice 1. (Edited - Velocity Sensitive keys Correction)
    For: Within my budget, has unweighted keys. Does have velocity sensitive keys.
    Against: No Aftertouch, unwanted sliders and switches.

    Choice 2
    For: Within my budget, has Velocity Sensitive Keys, minimum sliders and switches.
    Against: Without Aftertouch, has semi-weighted keys (not sure if this is really an 'against' or not).

    Choice 3
    For: Has Velocity Sensitive Keys and Aftertouch, unweighted keys.
    Against: Presently outside my budget, has unwanted sliders and switches.

    So how important is the aftertouch feature on a keyboard and without it on a keyboard is this easily managed separately within a sequencer?

    Can anyone suggest any other options or offer any other advice or suggestions?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Michael_uk; 01-27-2010 at 03:15 AM. Reason: M-Audio Oxygen 61 V3 does have velocity sensitive keys.
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona
    Posts
    4,045

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    I can't believe someone still makes a keyboard that doesn't velocity!

    Get a keyboard that has velocity and aftertouch. All libraries except maybe organ libraries use velocity. Many of the Garritan libraries use aftertouch for vibrato control.

    Jim

  3. #3

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    I would never use a keyboard without velocity.
    After-touch sometimes referred to as mono-touch, is not a necessity because that data can be drawn in, or played/overdubbed after the notes have been recorded.

    My opinion of keyboards is this,,, basically you never want weighted keys for anything except playing a piano. All other instruments are much easier to play "musically" without being intimidated by the heavy feel of the keys. A good analogy is trying to make a smooth crescendo for a timpani roll with weighted keys, (horrible).... non weighted keys allow the user much more detail in the dynamics without making your fingers bleed.
    On the other hand, playing a piano sound without weighted keys is miserable, but only if you know what a real piano feels like.
    Dan

  4. #4

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    I can't believe someone is making unweighted keyboards. I'd love to have one, if they make a model with 88 keys. Weighted keys make sense if you are primarily playing piano. That's only one instrument family out of all my sample libraries, however. (They're probably a good choice for playing percussion libraries, too.) It makes more sense for me to play organ, string and wind instruments on an unweighted keyboard, though.

    The absense of velocity sensitivity doesn't bother me much, since these days I'm changing the velocity settings after I record the tracks anyway (in Cakewalk Sonar, on the Event list view). I find this method preferable to changing the master volume in the mixer view (for instruments where velocity = volume, anyway). It gives me more precise control. Besides that, a lot of instruments have a distinctly different timbre when you compare their softer samples to their louder ones. The mixer views seem to be better for fine adjustments and controlling the master volume.

    In any case, if there is an 88 key totally unweighted MIDI keyboard controller (with or without velocity sensitive keys), I'd like to know about it. It's a purchase that I would seriously consider the next time I have some cash to spend.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  5. #5

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    i just bought the m-audio 61 two days ago. note this - it does NOT have a jack for an expression pedal. this didn't affect me because i also run my axiom 25 at the same time which does have an expression pedal.

    its great for a bare bones controller, which i needed.

    my axiom does have aftertouch for when i need it - but that is so rare that i didn't buy an expensive one that does. the ONLY time i ever use it is on the gofriller and strad - but even then i usually draw in the vibrato rate.

    i got mine for $169 at guitar center. you can probably get it cheaper but i couldn't wait.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    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

  6. #6

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    I much prefer the semi-weighted feel (not too mushy, not too heavy). I'm using a 76 note one now (CME UF7), but it would be nice to have a full 88 for keyswitches etc.

    However, finding an 88 key semi-weighted keyboard is not easy. The only one I could find was the M-Audio Keystation 88 (http://kellysmusic.ca/productinfo~s~...1100297540.htm ; note the Canadian dollars...It will sound cheaper in $US).

    Has anyone tried this one? Is it any good?

    Greg

  7. #7
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    California Redwoods
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    Neither of my keyboards have after touch. Both my Oxygen 61 and Fatar are velocity sensitive. Both will accept a sustain pedal. I do not suffer from the lack of after touch, which can be drawn in when needed. Both keyboards are weighted, but not overly well done. The Fatar is much better. Very much depends on how you plan to use the keyboard. Live performance requirements will be different than midi input.

    I find velocity sensitive keys useful for nearly everything. I can change anything I don't like, where velocity is not wanted, such as pipe organ. But some electronic organs are velocity sensitive, or so they were when last I used them, long ago. Some pipe organs have second touch, but I don't think velocity sensitivity can control it.

    The Oxygen 61 has a huge number of switches and sliders. They look nice, but I don't use them.

    The Oxygen 61 is much less costly than my Fatar, and in nearly all cases will do the job well unless you are a competent pianist and will use it in live performance. Therefore, I say, go with it and ignore the numerous control switches, which probably have no effect unless you install the software. You don't need the software. Just plug in the USB connector and go at it.

    Richard

  8. #8

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    Jim, Dan, EJR, Keith, Greg and Richard, Thanks for your replies. It's much appreciated.

    There is an error in my post which I have corrected. The M-Audio Oxygen 61 does have velocity sensitive keys. With apologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN View Post
    .....
    My opinion of keyboards is this,,, basically you never want weighted keys for anything except playing a piano. All other instruments are much easier to play "musically" without being intimidated by the heavy feel of the keys. A good analogy is trying to make a smooth crescendo for a timpani roll with weighted keys, (horrible).... non weighted keys allow the user much more detail in the dynamics without making your fingers bleed.
    On the other hand, playing a piano sound without weighted keys is miserable, but only if you know what a real piano feels like.
    Dan
    I completely agree Dan. I own a 'real' Knight upright piano, an excellent instrument, but I still wouldn't want a MIDI keyboard with weighted keys for the reasons you mention. However, from the options available it does rather look like I'll end up with semi-weighted keys.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland View Post
    ..... my Oxygen 61 and Fatar ..... Both keyboards are weighted, but not overly well done.

    Richard
    This is a puzzling one Richard. I've re-read the specs and tried some searching but I can't find any mention that the M-Audio Oxygen has weighted keys. Having said that, I did miss the fact that it's velocity sensitive. Can you confirm that the Oxygen 61 definately does have weighted keys?

    It looks like I'm heading towards the M-Audio Keystation 61es with velocity sensitive, semi-weighted keys and minimal sliders and switches. I'm just not so sure about the semi-weighted bit through having no experience of this.

    Thanks again for all your comments.
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  9. #9

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    For the last ten years, I have been using a Studiologic SL-1100 weighted keyboard with 88 keys, velocity, aftertouch and all the other bells and whistles you can think of. Studiologic still makes and sells MIDI controller keyboards, but they are considerably more expensive than M-Audio products. This keyboard is still operating just as well as it did the day I bought it and represents one of the best investments I have ever made.

    I highly recommend getting MIDI keyboards with all the bells and whistles because I have run into so many situations in which I have needed some kind of feature and did not have it (before I bought this keyboard).

    But the real point of my message is this: All the velocity and aftertouch and any other MIDI messages that you don't want can be turned on or off in sequencer programs like SONAR without making any adjustments on the hardware. It's probably true as well in many notation programs, but I have never looked into that. Not only can you turn them on and off, but you can filter out specific messages for specific MIDI features and allow others through (i.e., you can define the MIDI parameters to the nth degree if you want to).

    That's why I always recommend getting keyboards with all the bells and whistles. You don't have to use any of those features just because they're there, but you never know when you might want something that you didn't think about before you started. Filtering MIDI messages is so terribly simple and easy in most sequencers. And who knows what kind of feature may pop up in the future with products that haven't been released yet, like new orchestral libraries and other collections of samples that take advantage of those bells and whistles you haven't thought of any use for before.

    I don't mean to sound dogmatic about it, either; I'm just expressing my humble opinion because I have made a great many short-term mistakes in the past that turned out to be much more expensive in the longer run, either in buying additional equipment to accomplish something or in painstakingly laborious corrections and changes that can unexpectedly consume enormous amounts of time that I didn't budget for.

    I'm definitely a bells and whistles guy. That doesn't mean everyone else is, and as I have been in very tight financial corners before, I've had to settle for less when I failed to look around and consider my options more fully.

    I wish you all the best in whatever decision you come to.
    Arvid Hand
    Theory-Comp./Piano
    ASCAP

  10. #10

    Re: MIDI Keyboard - How Important Is Aftertouch?

    Quote Originally Posted by bionicbub View Post
    .....

    I don't mean to sound dogmatic about it, either; I'm just expressing my humble opinion because I have made a great many short-term mistakes in the past that turned out to be much more expensive in the longer run, either in buying additional equipment to accomplish something or in painstakingly laborious corrections and changes that can unexpectedly consume enormous amounts of time that I didn't budget for.

    I'm definitely a bells and whistles guy. That doesn't mean everyone else is, and as I have been in very tight financial corners before, I've had to settle for less when I failed to look around and consider my options more fully.

    I wish you all the best in whatever decision you come to.
    Hello BionicBub and thanks for your post.

    I don't think you're being dogmatic at all and you've made some good points.

    Much appreciated.
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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