Is this a good keyboard for MIDI recording on PC?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MickeS, Jun 10, 2002.

  1. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    OXYGEN8 Keystation Series - USB MIDI Software Controller
    I just started recording some music on my PC, using Cakewalk Sonar, but it's a pain in the behind to have to do everything with mouse and PC keyboard, so I was thinking of egtting a simple MIDI keyboard and hook up to the PC.
    Would this one be a good choice? I will mainly use it for doing drum tracks and bass parts, but some keyboard stuff too.
    /Mike
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    IMO that keybopard would suck BIGTIME. It's got what two octaves? That will suck the big wazoo for recording MIDI drum parts, believe me, I've done it. For bass parts it may be sufficient, but for any keyboard parts it will be insufficient.
    Nope. Don't do it.
    Does your sound card have a joystick port? Then you already have an MPU-401 interface, all you need is a $10 adapter that you can get at Best Buy or CrapUSA.
    Either of these would be a MUCH better choice than what you're looking at:
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/.../base_id/43071
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/.../base_id/44718
    That last one has the MIDI joystick adapter also. Those work fine.
    Search in the "Keyboard" department for MIDI controllers at www.samash.com and www.musiciansfriend.com .
     
  3. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Thanks for those links, Philip! They're cheaper than the one I looked at too, I like that. [​IMG]
    The keyboard in the second link comes with a joystick->keyboard cable too, so that's a pretty good deal.
    What does "velocity sensitive keys" mean? Is that the same as touch sensitive, so that it plays the tone differently depending on how hard I hit they key, or is it something else? The keyboard in the first link is "velocity sensitive" while the second one is "dynamically touch-responsive".
    Another question for you or anyone else: when using track-by-track recording in Sonar, I can't seem to separate the tracks. If I record a guitar part on track 1, then record a second part on track 2 while playing back track 1, it records both the new guitar part + track 1 onto track 2. It seems like it records anything that I play back at the same time. If I mute track 1 while recording track 2, it works. I've been searching for help about this on www, but I haven't found anything (didn't know which words to search for really). Could it be that I need a second soundcard for this to work?
    /Mike
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  5. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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  6. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Certain features such as aftertouch or breath control are only valuable if your synth engine responds to it. This is not usually the case in internal synth engines for PC as provided by Roland's GS virtual SoundCanvas or Yamaha's XG engine. These are generally found in external modules or synths.

    I use a Roland MC-80 standalone sequencer with a Roland expansion synth module inside. I use a Roland S-10 sampler keyboard as my controller (49 keys), and external controller boxes for octave transposing and velocity curve modifications. The synth engine is great with internal effects such as rotary simulators, phaser/chirus/delay effects, distorion and amp simulators for guitar and organ tones, all programmable with system exclusive messages. I hate sysex, but since the editor automatically performs checksum, this is not a problem anymore. I get very realistic sounding guitar tracks from the synth engine as a result.
     
  7. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    That little keyboard makes me think of the video for "Come Back Jonee" by Devo.

    You are definitely going to want at least 61 keys, even if you don't know it. And I really recommend going to a music store and actually playing the keyboard before you buy it. Get to know the difference between weighted and non-weighted keys. Up your budget a little, if you can; this is going to become a central part of your home studio, you just don't know it yet.

    Computer recording and sequencing is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, and it's certainly the greatest thing that ever happened to me as a songwriter. You are going to really enjoy this new world.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  9. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I didn't find any "loopback" setting, but I borrowed a SB Live! card and put that in in addition to the built-in motherboard sound that I was using, and the Live! card had no problem recording separate tracks. So I'm guessing that the problem is the crappy on-board sound. [​IMG] So I need to buy a new soundcard.
    The Live! card is $70, the SB 16 is $40. Except for the digital output on the Live! card, and additional software that comes with it, do you think I'd be OK with just buying the SB16?
    /Mike
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I agree, the problem probably is the crappy on board sound card. However, modern sound cards are pretty good these days, and very inexpensive.
    You should be fine with most modern sound cards. You may want to check with Cakewalk, I think they have compatability lists. I personally would make sure I get a sound card with a hardware wavetable synthesizer built in. I don't know how a software wavetable synth "engine" like the one in the SB16 will work with MIDI sequencing. It may be perfectly fine but I have no experience with that. You'll need the synth for midi sequencing, and some of the wavetable cards sound pretty good. I use an old cheap AOpen AW320 which works perfectly for Cakewalk for both digital audio and hardware wavetable synthesis. My knowledge on this particular subject is very dated - take with a grain of salt or ask on the PC board here.
     
  11. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Thanks for all your help and advice!
    I bought an OEM version of the SB Live! for $40 shipped, so that should take care of my soundcard problems. I will probably buy the keyboard in the first link you gave me, but probably not for another few months or so.
    I'll be back with more questions then, I'm sure! [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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