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Thread: Midi controller keyboard

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmac74 View Post

    It needs to be compact so a 32 key board perfect
    I wouldn't go for a 25 or 32 note keyboard. I wouldn't go for anything below 49 keys. Admittedly, with all of them you should be able to go up and down in octaves, but 49 is the perfect halfway house between compactness and a fairly wide scope.
    Quote Originally Posted by mcmac74 View Post
    It's a keyboard controller I'm looking for rather than just a keyboard. I write all my synth parts by playing along to the track...as far as I understand midi (without the use of a virtual keyboard ) I just dont get how I'd be able to create / write parts without a physical keyboard to experiment with. I can get that it's no problem if you're really proficient at music theory, have a good ear and can read music, but I'd just be guessing what notes will sound good as I programme into sequence.
    I'm with you on that one. Right from the start of my virtual instrument life back in 2004, in fact, even before I got some of the gear, my intention was always to use a real time, real sound instrument and I quickly discovered that even back in 2004 it was viewed as passé. No one ever seemed to know what the heck I was talking about. It was like trying to explain to a high tech surgeon that I was trying to knock people out with a hammer over the head and some brandy before cutting them open. Except of course that if a bomb goes off and someone is trapped under the debris, one might have to perform a live amputation without the benefit of what you'd have in a theatre....
    My point is that you know how you'd like to do things. Sometimes, advice that doesn't answer your specific request might be great ~ it might give you a way you'd be prepared to go with and open up different avenues that become part of your mode of recording. And it's good to consider a range of opinions sometimes, even if some of what you hear is outmoded.
    I recall you specifying in another thread that you were very much a hobbyist and as such, I don't think up to the minute ways of doing things are really so important to the exclusion of anything older. I say that as someone that still records on an ancient standalone DAW.
    Most of what I record is done on real instruments played by myself or friends or sung. But I also use VSTis exclusively for colouring with those instruments that I don't know anyone that plays them. I do things in real time, triggered from a controller keyboard. I have loads of VSTis housed in Cubase 5 essentials {well, there's ancient for you !} and what I do is connect my controller keyboard to the laptop that Cubase is in and basically go into whichever programme I want. I'll then audition sounds {although I've usually got an instrument in mind} and connect to my DAW and play in real time. I actually hate the idea of MIDI in the sense of inputting notes first and then just attaching the sound to those notes later. I don't know, I kind of see myself as very much a halfway house kind of hobbyist in the sense that I appreciate the progressions of the last 20 or so years but I also see no reason to abandon much of what I was comfortable with from "before." It would probably be different if I was on a deadline or if my livlihood depended on it ~ but it doesn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    5 Come back to it a month later to redo, and try to remember what patch you used,
    6 Come back to it a month later to redo, and try to remember what patch you used,
    5 Come back to it a month later and the VST remembers what patch you used.
    Because I'm often tweaking whatever parameters are part of the vsti, when I'm finished and logging out, the option always comes up to save that particular setting. I never do but I easily could.
    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Working with a hardware synth is a compromise and a historic way to work now - especially as music changes so rapidly, so that favourite bass synth sound is soon so old!
    I pretty much agreed with most of what you said but not this bit. I don't think it's a compromise but with the caveat that if that's what a person wants. Same with the historic way to work and the changing nature of music today and the old sounds. I've long tended to be of the mind that rather than throw out the old, the new earns the right to sit alongside the old. I like specific keyboard sounds from a particular time {the late 50s ~ the early 80s}, be they mellotrons, synthesizers, electric pianos, clavinets, organs etc, for example. I may use them in ways that weren't being used when those instruments were in their infancy and heyday, but sonically, that's where my heart is.

  2. #12
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    I get that, but I've now got my ancient korg M1 sounds from a vsti and the korg is now leading up against the wall with the Roland from the same era. The Roland 1080 in the rack has gone too, and the Yamaha XG is on the way out too. My aim is to get the mixer out of the studio. A soundcraft that is only there to get the keys into the system with all the faders in a line is wasted space now. I still use the sounds in the korg triton for the moment, but at some point that will probably be replaced by a vsti hopefully. Every vsti is better than the real synth, not for sound, but for automation of the features. I have a Roland GS synth which I need at the moment so my hardware free studio can't happen quite yet, but it will come. I never sell old guitars or synths so my junk room has quite a growing pile I can't face selling, but the dust grows. My son has told me I'll probably die before I ever play the things, but I can't face selling them. He will!

    Every time I load up old cubase files from the 90s, it takes ages to get the old synths patched and working, but much of my income comes from reworking old stuff, and it's infuriating when cubase tells you it can't talk to the 1080 and you have to repatch them to the equivalent vsti sound that often has different patch numbers. I'm very happy to lose hardware whenever I can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grimtraveller View Post
    I wouldn't go for a 25 or 32 note keyboard. I wouldn't go for anything below 49 keys. Admittedly, with all of them you should be able to go up and down in octaves, but 49 is the perfect halfway house between compactness and a fairly wide scope.
    I'm with you on that one. Right from the start of my virtual instrument life back in 2004, in fact, even before I got some of the gear, my intention was always to use a real time, real sound instrument and I quickly discovered that even back in 2004 it was viewed as passé.
    I can only relate to my previous way of working and have never explored midi...who knows, maybe 6 months down the line I'll wonder how I managed without it. I'm not a proficient keyboard player so the idea of easy edits without punch recording certainly appeals! ...and on reflection, I think you're probably right about the number of keys and 49 may be a nice balance for me 👍

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    Bigger keyboards also work for those kinds of sample players that have loads of samples - percussion is a common one - so many different sounds that even a 49 key controller has perhaps 12 below and above what you have with sounds on. It also means you don't need to press buttons to go from a bass synth sound to a high lead sound - they're all there in the right place.

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