midi keyboard/ virtual instruments recomendation

garww

New member
ok... spoke with another GC rep and he said the Akai and Native midi keyboards suited more towards electronic sounds and a Roland (Juno ds61 for example), Yamaha or Korg would be better suited for natural conventional instrument sounds (upright bass, orchestral instruments, mandolins, etc. with the Roland having the best quality sound. The Roland juno ds61 with built in sequencer and includes probably all the VSTi's I would ever need.
If I want authentic sounding instruments I guess I'll have to move to the higher price @ $700 or around $500 used. Unless someone suggests otherwise...??

Your's is message #6 and in message #5 I suggest the mx49. The mx49 was on my list and should have better sounds that what I bought.

Haha My very first MIDI keyboard had drum pads, ?? 7-track sequencer, 61 mini keys and a vectoring joystick. Also have another 61-key with vectoring. That's four voices at the compass points and you can blend them to varying degrees with the joystick. Close, the xw-p1 gives me the sliders for 6 PCM sound generators
 

wuzzo

668- the neighbour of the beast
As a guitarist you could do what I did- forget about using a MIDI keyboard and play MIDI guitar with a Fishman Tripleplay guitar pickup.
It's a WiFi MIDI guitar system which comes with a bunch of very useful synths and sample apps. You access its patches via the solid TriplePlay software installed on your computer. I use my laptop for live performances.
You can use the TriplePlay software in your sequencer. I use Reaper- which is cheap and reliable- but you could even use Audacity, which is free.

I also use a hardware synth- a Roland GR20- and the TriplePlay tracks just as well as that, if not a shade better as it has fine software adjustments for styles of guitar playing.
As far as I'm aware you can fit the TriplePlay pickup to any guitar that has a minimum of 9mm between the bridge pickup and the bridge. Mine's on an ES 335.

Has the MIDI guitarists' time come ? Yes sir.

Of course, keyboard players have the advantage of being able to play a whole mass of notes simultaneously. :)
 

SamWattRock

New member
I was in your situation, but was lucky enough to find a nice Casio WK-1200 (with stand) at an estate auction for $15. It has a 200 built in sounds, 100 rhythm sets, and it's own speakers, which helped me to get started with it, but are no longer used (much). It has MIDI out and in and velocity-sensitive keys are what I use now and with a few PreSonus and Native Instruments instruments software chunks, I can do more than what I figured on initially. Oh, it needed a MIDI to USB converter, called a Uno from M-audio for about $40, bringing the total to $55.

While I'll never be offered professional work as a pianist, based on this experience, I've never spent $15 more wisely. Maybe it's time to go sale-ing (as in garage sale-ing)?
 

garww

New member
Those home Keyboards can be a lot of fun and there may not be much distinction from a workstation where the price points meet
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I've had a MIDI guitar - an Aria with Roland MIDI pickup and GS-33 synth, and it's not really ideal for my kind of music - I've never made it sound like a piano, and I've never made a piano sound convincing on a guitar sample. I suppose if I was starting from scratch and could only buy one - would be a simple keyboard - old synths are on ebay all the time, with dated sounds - but decent plastic unweighted keyboard and pitchbend and mod wheels. I would start with those.
 

ashcat_lt

Well-known member
I mean of course you have to change your playing style and kind of think like a keyboardist. I personally would never try to play both hands at the same time whether I'm on a guitar or a keyboard. But if you put a little thought into your note choices and chord voicings and actually play things that a keyboardist can and might, it can work fairly well.

The big thing for me is in the "feel", though. Dynamics and rythm. It's just more intuitive for me on the guitar because that's what I know.
 

garww

New member
Well, my 61-key semi weighted, after touch "synth" was not much over $100. When it arrived, a few of the weights had fallen to the bottom of the box. It's my FAV keyboard (not that I've a lot). I'm in real Desert dust and I need to clean the contacts, but it worked great for a 28 year old keyboard. Being around for awhile, there are tons of patches for it. I liked it enough that I got the rack version, also.
 

wuzzo

668- the neighbour of the beast
I've had a MIDI guitar - an Aria with Roland MIDI pickup and GS-33 synth, and it's not really ideal for my kind of music - I've never made it sound like a piano, and I've never made a piano sound convincing on a guitar sample. I suppose if I was starting from scratch and could only buy one - would be a simple keyboard - old synths are on ebay all the time, with dated sounds - but decent plastic unweighted keyboard and pitchbend and mod wheels. I would start with those.

I can't speak for your kit- of course- but mine sounds just like it says on the tin. I've got a range of pianos and organ presets- all adjustable - which sound like the real deal. The electric pianos in particular are addictive- but I don't have any concert-quality grands. They're available though, for a price, but I'm currently happy with the acoustics, electrics, the honky-tonks and rock, blues and jazz organs . A very good keyboard player could make full use of a concert grand patch- but I'm just a guitarist looking to sound like a keyboard when required.
I've got a couple of MIDI keyboards- bought to use with Spectrasonics software- but I can access Omnisphere with the guitar now, via the TriplePlay.
 

swelborn

New member
"As a guitarist you could do what I did- forget about using a MIDI keyboard and play MIDI guitar with a Fishman Tripleplay guitar pickup. "

This looks like a good option for me too as a guitarist. I've heard great piano sounds on midi-guitar, but NOT the other way around. Although it's not piano parts necessarily that I'm looking to record though I'm sure I would in some cases. I'll probably go this route first then get a keyboard controller as I can afford next cuz it sounds like fun and might add more possibilities.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I have some very decent piano samplers, the trouble is not the sound as in the sound of that one note, it's how guitars are different from keyboards. I work with a concert pianist a lot and if you look at the midi note editor you see very odd things, notes overlap, and sometimes have tiny double taps, and left hand held notes, with other shorter ones close in pitch - and guitar based MIDI sources can't do this - and this means that while you can play a few sustained chords, melody lines are always going to be different. The best sampler needs the right notes - keys mean very specific ways notes change. Guitars cannot do many of these, but of course, guitars can do things keys can't. So you could play something on the guitar a pianist can't - authenticity, if that is your need means keys, but maybe there is scope for some unique stuff from a midi guitar on fixed pitch samples?
 

garww

New member
A lot of people think they need to quantize things, or, it's enabled and they don't know why it's sounding weird : ) No, I don't know how sensitive MIDI guitar controllers, are but if they can do Classical guitar, that would be good enough for me.
 

SeaGtGruff

Member
"Quantize" is one of those words that sounds like you surely want to use it.

Newbie: "Quantize? What the heck is that? Hmm. 'Quantize'... 'Quantity'... Well, of course I want more quantity! I'd better turn quantize on!"
 

wuzzo

668- the neighbour of the beast
"As a guitarist you could do what I did- forget about using a MIDI keyboard and play MIDI guitar with a Fishman Tripleplay guitar pickup. "

This looks like a good option for me too as a guitarist. I've heard great piano sounds on midi-guitar, but NOT the other way around. Although it's not piano parts necessarily that I'm looking to record though I'm sure I would in some cases. I'll probably go this route first then get a keyboard controller as I can afford next cuz it sounds like fun and might add more possibilities.

No guitar synth can accurately emulate all the characteristics of keyboards but they can, and do- sound like keyboards. More than that and you'd have to become a keyboard player. I'm happy to be a guitarist who can play keyboard sounds at the flip of a switch. BUT when it comes to creating non-conventional sounds then guitars and keyboards are on an equal footing- accepting the guitar's multi-note limitations. Of course, a software designer thinking in that direction could- perhaps already has- produced a software that adds multiple notes to a single guitar note on order to emulate a keyboard chord.
By the same token- perhaps there's a software that adds guitar-sounding ' bends ' and ' slides ' to keyboard notes . There are plenty of very clever buggers out there. :)
 

wuzzo

668- the neighbour of the beast
I have some very decent piano samplers, the trouble is not the sound as in the sound of that one note, it's how guitars are different from keyboards. I work with a concert pianist a lot and if you look at the midi note editor you see very odd things, notes overlap, and sometimes have tiny double taps, and left hand held notes, with other shorter ones close in pitch - and guitar based MIDI sources can't do this - and this means that while you can play a few sustained chords, melody lines are always going to be different. The best sampler needs the right notes - keys mean very specific ways notes change. Guitars cannot do many of these, but of course, guitars can do things keys can't. So you could play something on the guitar a pianist can't - authenticity, if that is your need means keys, but maybe there is scope for some unique stuff from a midi guitar on fixed pitch samples?

Yes- guitars sound best as guitars and keyboards as keyboards- but guitarists now have reliable and easy access to MIDI- thanks to kit such as the TriplePlay- and are able to work in the areas of original sound generation which were not previously an option- as far as I'm aware. I'm talking on a consumer level here.
 

ashcat_lt

Well-known member
The OP said they wanted to use MIDI to lay down tracks of "instruments I don't play". Since they only mentioned playing guitar, this leaves like every other instrument in the world, but we're all hung up on whether we can accurately mimic a very narrow range of those.

So like fine, you can't play a guitar exactly the way you might play a piano or organ. I'd argue that you can get at least as close as you would dinking on a keyboard you don't completely understand, and probably more accurate timing and dynamics.

But what happens when you go to bust out that sax solo? A sax generally can't play two notes at once, but it can jump a couple octaves between notes. That might be slightly easier on a guitar, but in this case it's probably a wash.

What about a sweet cello part? In my mind, a guitar is much more appropriate for trying to emulate string instruments. Most guitar>MIDI converters have each string on a separate channel, so you can even retune it to be fifths between strings like a cello rather than the fourths without restringing or messing around.

Like I said, if you really want to be able to say "I play guitar and keys", then go get a damn keyboard and learn to play. If you just want to play in fairly competent parts using various different MIDI sounds, why not just use the instrument that you already play?
 
Top