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Thread: Merits of semi-weighted keys

  1. #1
    jamie_drum is offline Senior Member
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    Merits of semi-weighted keys

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    Hi Folks.

    I'm a guitarist but like so many I have been lured into the world of digital audio and soft synths. Last year I bought an M-Audio Oxygen 8 to control the soft synths and have some fun. Generally, I have been very happy with it.

    Now, I'm no Glenn Gould, to say the least. I can play some chords with the left hand and a little melody with the right, but I'm not great. However, even I find the 25 keys on the Oxygen 8 very limiting. It leads to all sorts of MIDI editing afterward to put all the notes where I want them.

    So, I thought to myself, I should get a Radium 61, and sell my Oxygen 8. However, now that I have been doing some research, I learn all about these weighted keys, semi-weighted keys, and touch-sensitive keys. To be honest, I'm not sure what all these terms mean. However, I am now wondering if I should get the Keystation 61es instead, which has semi-weighted keys, and keep my Oxygen 8 for the control features. Or maybe I should look at one of the Evolution keyboards or another brand (although I have had good experience with M Audio).

    Ideally, I would like to try these all out, but that's a little difficult where I live. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    ssscientist is offline Info you can use...
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    Most modern keyboard controllers including your Oxygen 8 are 'touch sensitive' meaning that when you press a key harder the sounds gets louder or brighter or whatever parameter velocity is set to in the receiving unit.

    'Weighted keys' would give you the feel of an acoustic piano, but you would need to get used to the heavier action, and 'semi-weighted keys' fall somewhere in between the synth-type keys on your current controller and a real piano.

    If practicing up to play a real piano some time in the future is in your plans you should find a weighted keyboard controller - Fatar makes some that I've seen used at reasonable prices. If just getting notes into a sequencer is all that matters @ this point, save some money and get the Radium 61.

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    mikeh is offline 2.5K Gold Member
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    First off, I think a 61 key controller is the minimum needed. Rarely does someone really need a full 88) by you need at keast 61 keys.

    I agree that unless you came up on piano (or plan to spend time with an accoustic piano) you don't need and may not even like full weighted action. You may want to try out some semi weighted keys. I think they help, in particular if your technique is weak (none weighted keys can be triggered way too easy by a stray finger - resulting in false notes, etc.).

    Almost any "modern" keyboard is touch sentitive, which does respond to velosity, after touch, etc. but having a keyboard that "fights" at least a little is more enjoyable to play (even if accoustic piaon is not your main axe).

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