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MIDI Keyboard and Software.. (1 Viewer)

JasenP

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I have an Audigy Platinum with MIDI in and I'm looking to get a MIDI keyboard for my PC and I have no idea where to begin. It's for my girlfriend who misses her piano terribly but there is no way we could get it into our apartment let alone play it for fear of noise complaints.

She wants a full-size keyboard with weighted keys. It only needs to replicate the sound of a piano. Also, how do the foot pedals figure into this?

Where do I start? What kind of software should I get?

Vince maybe you can help?
 

Kevin P

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Check a music store--they should have a good selection of keyboards with decent piano sounds and weighted action keys, and anything electronic these days have MIDI jacks on them.
Popular brands of keyboards include Korg, Roland and Yamaha. I haven't researched them in years so there are no doubt other good brands out there too.
You could even get a weighted keyboard controller that produces no sound at all (it outputs through MIDI), and an external sound module that has the best sound for you. Sort of like "separates" for music gear. :)
If you have the money and the room, you could get one of those electronic "player pianos" that's a real piano that can play music via MIDI or disks. Then you'll have the best of both worlds.
KJP
 

JasenP

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Kevin thanks for the reply.

Standalone units are extremely pricey. My brother was Manager of a local music store and even at cost the Korg etc.. were over $500

I am hoping for something made for direct input to a PC. Creative makes a product for that but it doesn't have full-size weighted keys. I'm hoping to spend under $200. :b

Am I being unrealistic?
 

Darren Lewis

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Hi JasenP, I'm afraid that you won't get an 88-note weighted keys keyboard for $200. A good make of weighted-keys keyboards is Studiologic's Fatar Range but their cheapest 88-note weighted keyboard is over $1000.
Most of the good keyboards (including the master controllers) have the facility for a sustain pedal (the sustain command is a MIDI signal).
A midi controller keyboard that uses a soundcard (or another type of sound module) is a good option. You can upgrade the sounds a lot easier by using stand-alone sound modules or samplers (there are software driven ones that run on the PC). You can also use powerful computer-based sequencers to record your work.
You might be able to get a second-user keyboard for your budget.
 

JasenP

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I told you i didn't know what I was doing! I was looking for A midi controller keyboard. No sound etc... just to plug in my pc.
 

Kevin P

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You might want to hit some used music gear stores/websites for some good deals. E.G. the Yamaha KX88 is an older but popular controller (88 weighted keys), maybe you'll find a good deal on one somewhere.

KJP
 

Philip Hamm

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Kevin's on track. An 88 note MIDI controller with weighted keys is going to run some big bucks, and you should be able to save a lot of money by going used.

But for a pianist there is no substitute. A smaller "synthesizer" keyboard will not cut it, nor will a controller with less than 88 keys (though that's a more acceptible substitute).

I would forget using the PC for anything but MIDI Sequencing and look for a nice standalone Piano controller (and a piano sound module if required). I don't know what's good and what's bad, all I know is my brother John loves his Kurzweil PC88 but that's a very pricey unit. Andy has a nice controller and piano module also, he may have some good advice for you at a more modest price range.......

Plan on another $50-100 for the piano style sustain pedal.

Plus you'll need some amplification... Stereo or HT should work nicely.
 

Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

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I use a 76-key semi-weighted controller (Roland A-33) that works fine for me. It was $499 new, so it would obviously be much less used. For piano sounds, I'm very happy with my Alesis NanoPiano module, which you can find really cheap ($150-200) these days if you look.

There are stand-alone digital pianos for as little as $799 that I have seen, but the quality of the instrument is pretty poor. But $200 is unrealistic. It's just not going to happen.
 

Kimmo Jaskari

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Actually, there is no problem with using the PC sound card... they all have the ability to use soundfonts now (the creative cards) last I looked, and you can get very nice piano sound out of it (within reason).

Not the route a pro would go, obviously, but for a hobbyist it should be good enough. And of course you can use the computer as a sequencer to "record" the stuff you play if you wish (with extra software).

Keep in mind that Jasen wants to keep the cost way down, so the soundcard will work for what he wants to do.
 

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