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#969709 - 07/27/12 06:05 PM Music making equipment question  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
scpoet Offline
Casual Observer
scpoet  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
South Carolina
Hello Everyone!

This is my first time posting a question so it may have been answered before but I didn't come across a similar one. Here goes...

Since my budget does not allow for a MIDI-enabled workstation (like the Kronos), would it be a good compromise to purchase a dedicated keyboard controller (it would be used in conjunction with recording software like Cubase)?

Thanks for your responses!!

#970247 - 07/31/12 11:06 AM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: scpoet]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,528
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,528
Crozet, VA
I googled "midi keyboard controller" and came up with a few items. You could get the Alesis Q25 25-Key Keyboard Midi Controller for only $79. I can't comment on its quality, though since I have never used it. M-Audio has sub $100 25 key midi controllers also.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#970263 - 07/31/12 02:59 PM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline

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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Hey scpoet, welcome to JPF.

I'm not a real keyboard player, but I've done a lot of midi entry with an Emu keyboard controller. I've got some of the Emu sound packages which are pretty good. I also use some of the midi sounds in Cubase and they are pretty good also. I think getting a good controller would solve you needs for a lot less than getting one of the high dollar workstations.

Just my opinion. Hope that helps.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.

Mike Dunbar Music

#970266 - 07/31/12 03:17 PM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,443
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Posts: 8,443
First off, welcome aboard!

If you're a pianist, you won't be satisfied with anything less than 88 weighted keys for a controller.

If not then 76 or 60 keys would suffice.

John smile

#970521 - 08/02/12 03:30 PM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,160
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,160
Indianapolis, IN USA
They have even smaller keyboards that have 2 octaves, give or take, and serve as an input device for online work. If you just want to get the notes in there to play with on a sequencer on a computer, there's a wide variety of options you can do with that will fit right on your desk next to your mouse and computer keyboard. If, however, you want to "play" the device like a piano, and have room for it near your computer the options explode. If you want to ever be able to use it as a stand alone instrument (to take somewhere, or play live with others) you might even want to look at a used older keyboard which might even have a full keyboard, weighted keys (or semi weighted) and also would have a full array of onboard sounds and features while still costing under a couple hundred bucks. Give us more info and we can help narrow it down for you.


Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

#970899 - 08/06/12 02:31 PM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Good advice given already. My advice would be to save up and buy a decent midi keyboard as this is the heart of production. It will be worth spending the extra as the results are far superior to a simple midi controller. There are plent second hand on offer that compare in price to a brand new controller. Cubase is great. I use it but it is expensive piece of kit especially if you are on a limited budget and just doing home recordings. There is Reaper as an alternative that would do a reasonable job and leave you enough cash for a workstation or quality midi keyboard.

#970908 - 08/06/12 04:29 PM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: scpoet]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,427
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

Top 40 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,427
Originally Posted by scpoet
would it be a good compromise to purchase a dedicated keyboard controller (it would be used in conjunction with recording software like Cubase)?

Absolutely yes. That's the way to do it.

#971214 - 08/09/12 12:01 AM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
scpoet Offline
Casual Observer
scpoet  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
South Carolina
Thanks for welcoming me and all the great advice, gentlemen. Settled on a Yamaha MOX6 as the master keyboard for the time being. Will look into Reaper but still leaning towards Cubase if I can manage it.

#971215 - 08/09/12 12:07 AM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
scpoet Offline
Casual Observer
scpoet  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
South Carolina
I enjoyed your article on sharkproofing oneself. You're right. The sharks are always waiting for the next meal.

#975614 - 09/06/12 11:45 PM Re: Music making equipment question [Re: scpoet]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,074
Dave Rice Online content
Top 40 Poster
Dave Rice  Online Content
Top 40 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,074
Hi SCPoet:

You've already been welcomed aboard... but not by me... so, Welcome to JPF!

You've already purchased a great music making machine and I'm guessing you have some musical skills. If not, I hope you took the time to look over an Arranger Keyboard. Several manufacturers carry varying price range Arrangers. Yamaha's Tyros is probably "king of the hill" today, but things always change in the music biz, every aspect. The Tyros is a shade under $5,000. bucks. E-Bay and other used gear sites will have arranger keyboards (Korg, Roland, Yamaha and others) at prices all over the map.

I do my best to keep my music creation as simple and straightforward as possible. I don't use MIDI and I don't record multiple tracks with my digital recorder. I simply re-record as many takes as needed to get the gist of the song across as I create what I call "worktape" demos. I am fairly prolific and don't have a budget for paying real "talents" to create demos for my songs. After the "song" has been recorded into a digital recorder, I transfer the file into my PC for editing. I usually spend about as much time doing edits as I do recording.

By now, you've probably already forgotten this thread but if you have questions or I can be of assistance... just ask.

All the best to you and for your musical success.


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