Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?
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Old 21-01-2013, 11:16 AM   #1
SweHockey
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Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

I'm using a small 25 key MIDI-keyboard today, but I want to upgrade to a bigger one.

But also, I want to learn to play the piano, so I will not just use it for music production.

Should I go buy a "real" synth, or just buy a bigger MIDI-keyboard and use the sounds on the computer? Can I use a synth as a MIDI-keyboard if I plug it in the computer?

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Old 21-01-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

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Originally Posted by SweHockey View Post
I'm using a small 25 key MIDI-keyboard today, but I want to upgrade to a bigger one.

But also, I want to learn to play the piano, so I will not just use it for music production.

Should I go buy a "real" synth, or just buy a bigger MIDI-keyboard and use the sounds on the computer? Can I use a synth as a MIDI-keyboard if I plug it in the computer?
If you just want to learn to play the piano and aren't interested in synthesis - then I'd suggest a regular cheap musical keyboard with midi-out, or maybe something like the [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
if you find one at a good price. I've noticed sometimes people wanting to learn to play piano are dissapointed when the synth they buy can't emulate a typical piano sound...so just make sure you know what you want before you buy. If it's that piano sound you're after - get a used casio / roland keyboard with midi-out to practice on...then upgrade in a few months and spend your money more wisely if you really want a full-on synth.

But yeah - most synths have midi-out, either as USB or more likely an actual midi-port, which would need to be plugged in to your audio interface (assuming you've got one and it has midi ports). Also I'm sure someone else could suggest a good rompler / keyboard that would suit your needs.
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Old 21-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

If you're interested in piano then you really need something with 88 weighted keys.
Trying to learn on anything else will make things harder when you go back to your teacher to play.
I'd suggest you look around your local area for a used Yamaha clavinova or similar electronic piano.
I was considering buying a used Casio myself just a couple of days ago for 120.
Most of them have MIDI out so you can plug into your interface.
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Old 21-01-2013, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

Thanks for the answers.

I may have used the wrong word here. Synth is probably not what I'm looking for. I am interested in synthesis, but I don't think I need an analog synth right now. I can use my software synths for that.

So a electrical piano or something would be what I'm looking for, but it seems like you got that


So maybe the best thing would be a keyboard with 88 keys. What kind of keys am I looking for. I want that pianofeeling. Is it weighted keys or semi-weighted?
How do I know I get the real pianosound if I buy a keyboard. Do every keyboard have that or just certain brands?

I'll also look after those with MIDI-out, and maybe even USB. Or I'll have to buy an interface.

Last edited by SweHockey; 21-01-2013 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 21-01-2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweHockey View Post
Thanks for the answers.

I may have used the wrong word here. Synth is probably not what I'm looking for. I am interested in synthesis, but I don't think I need an analog synth right now. I can use my software synths for that.

So a electrical piano or something would be what I'm looking for, but it seems like you got that


So maybe the best thing would be a keyboard with 88 keys. What kind of keys am I looking for. I want that pianofeeling. Is it weighted keys or semi-weighted?
How do I know I get the real pianosound if I buy a keyboard. Do every keyboard have that or just certain brands?

I'll also look after those with MIDI-out, and maybe even USB. Or I'll have to buy an interface.
I can't post a link, but check out the M audio Keystation 88es. It's fairly cheap for an 88 key midi keyboard.

I think it has some basic stock sounds with it, but if you wanted a hyper realistic piano sound specifically, you would have to look at getting a decent sample of a piano.
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Old 21-01-2013, 11:14 PM   #6
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweHockey View Post
I'm using a small 25 key MIDI-keyboard today, but I want to upgrade to a bigger one.

But also, I want to learn to play the piano, so I will not just use it for music production.

Should I go buy a "real" synth, or just buy a bigger MIDI-keyboard and use the sounds on the computer? Can I use a synth as a MIDI-keyboard if I plug it in the computer?
Well for me I'm satisfied with the sounds I can get from vst (including piano) at the moment so a midi controller works. But there are some synths out there that def are crushing some of the better vsts (so i'm told ). All in all you could probably do very well either way. The question is will a hardware synth (Non Analog) give you something sonically that you absolutely have to have? Everyone might answer that a little differently. Oh and yes most synths will have some form of midi in/out whether it be the regular cables or usb.Just be sure to check out its description to be sure. I recommend the MPK by Akai. for a straight controller though. It comes with 88 fully weighted keys if you like.

Last edited by Cole; 21-01-2013 at 11:18 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 21-01-2013, 11:29 PM   #7
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

If you ahve a bit more money to spend ($500 USd or more). I'd suggest you get an electric stage piano with weighted keys, and of course midi output/input.

Look into the Yamaha "P" series (p140, p150, etc...)

They are perfect for learning piano and also using as a midi trigger for your electronic production.

good luck!
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Old 21-01-2013, 11:40 PM   #8
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

Hardware synths don't crush vsts nowadays. I have a few VA's and real analogs, but the fun is in the knobs. Vsts like diva and lush101 are hardly different from the real thing.

have you seen the kawai vpc?
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Old 22-01-2013, 12:08 AM   #9
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

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Originally Posted by SweHockey View Post
So maybe the best thing would be a keyboard with 88 keys. What kind of keys am I looking for. I want that pianofeeling. Is it weighted keys or semi-weighted?
If you want the real piano feel, its gonna have to be completely weighted
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Old 22-01-2013, 07:08 AM   #10
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

[quote=steeboo;1029564]Hardware synths don't crush vsts nowadays. I have a few VA's and real analogs, but the fun is in the knobs. Vsts like diva and lush101 are hardly different from the real thing.


Since I've never owned any analogs (never even heard one in real life!) and have only owned a Korg Triton back in the day this is good to know. Lots of info here for the OP and me as well! I knew Diva and Lush were good "hardly any difference" says a lot. Thanks.
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Old 22-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #11
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Re: Synth or a MIDI-keyboard?

It seems like it's easier to find a cheap digital piano. What's the difference?

I can find a Hemingway digital piano pretty cheap, with 88 hammer action keys and MIDI in/out.

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