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> Keyboard/midi Controller, Recommendation
Jim S.
post Mar 24 2015, 06:51 PM
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Hey I'm planning on getting a keyboard to learn on and it would be nice to use as a midi controller for Superior Drummer or whatever.

I'm not entirely sure how midi controllers work and if all usb keyboards are midi AND if it works with Piano Roll in Logic. That's my plan, have this Keyboard play through my amp and have the capability to control a vst in logic.

Does this make sense?

I have found some local ones which are 49 key midi controller but I assume they only work with a computer and only have 49 keys. That seems a low number of keys.

There are also keyboards which are midi and have a usb but don't know if they'll control logic. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Bogdan Radovic
post Mar 24 2015, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (Jim S. @ Mar 24 2015, 06:51 PM) *
Hey I'm planning on getting a keyboard to learn on and it would be nice to use as a midi controller for Superior Drummer or whatever.

I'm not entirely sure how midi controllers work and if all usb keyboards are midi AND if it works with Piano Roll in Logic. That's my plan, have this Keyboard play through my amp and have the capability to control a vst in logic.

Does this make sense?

I have found some local ones which are 49 key midi controller but I assume they only work with a computer and only have 49 keys. That seems a low number of keys.

There are also keyboards which are midi and have a usb but don't know if they'll control logic. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Jim - I have M-Audio Oxygen 49 midi keyboards. They are only midi so you need a computer to get sounds from it.
If you are planning to play the keyboard using its own built in sounds and audio processing, you are not looking for midi controller rather full fledged keyboards with midi capability.

What is important here is that keyboards can work over usb and send midi signal that way (this allows you to control piano roll in Logic). Some keyboards might have the "old" midi out/in jacks which can be a trouble if your audio card on the computer doesn't support this kind of interface.

When it comes to number of keys, I find 5 octaves a minimum and at times slightly limiting.

If you find some keyboards online that you like, please share a link and I'll check them out and try to figure out if they have midi support.


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Jim S.
post Mar 24 2015, 07:45 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Mar 24 2015, 02:09 PM) *
Hi Jim - I have M-Audio Oxygen 49 midi keyboards. They are only midi so you need a computer to get sounds from it.
If you are planning to play the keyboard using its own built in sounds and audio processing, you are not looking for midi controller rather full fledged keyboards with midi capability.

What is important here is that keyboards can work over usb and send midi signal that way (this allows you to control piano roll in Logic). Some keyboards might have the "old" midi out/in jacks which can be a trouble if your audio card on the computer doesn't support this kind of interface.

When it comes to number of keys, I find 5 octaves a minimum and at times slightly limiting.

If you find some keyboards online that you like, please share a link and I'll check them out and try to figure out if they have midi support.



Casio WK200 Keyboard
http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/msg/4921655724.html



Hey Bogdan thanks for the quick response! Your really helpful.

There's one I found and although the pics don't show usb, the ad says it does.



Yamaha YPP 50 76 Key Piano
http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/msg/4884310728.html



That one is a bit out of my price range but seems like a really nice one. What do you think?

After looking at the old style midi your talking about I'm wondering if I could plug this into my gnx4 which has midi in and out and usb? Do you think that might work?
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Bogdan Radovic
post Mar 24 2015, 08:09 PM
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Interesting, here is what I found about Casio one: http://www.casio.com/products/archive/Digi...yboards/WK-200/

It indeed says it has USB for midi, but I think that you should check this with the seller and maybe ask him to send you some pics and confirm the midi functionality of the keyboard. For example, I'm not sure if it requires some drivers to work with the computer etc.

That Yamaha is a digital piano, not really keyboard so I don't think it has lots of different sounds built in.
Not sure about the midi too, couldn't find clear info.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 25 2015, 08:42 PM
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You can get a "midi controller" typically cheaper as they don' have on board sounds. You plug them in by usb typically and they control logic or whatever else you are using as your sound generator smile.gif

A midi controller keyboard and a laptop with logic and a pair of headphones is a full Midi Production Studio smile.gif


If you want something that works without plugging in to a computer, you need something like the one Bogdan linked with it's own midi "brain" inside. I personally went for the dumb keyboard and laptop.

QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Mar 24 2015, 03:09 PM) *
Interesting, here is what I found about Casio one: http://www.casio.com/products/archive/Digi...yboards/WK-200/

It indeed says it has USB for midi, but I think that you should check this with the seller and maybe ask him to send you some pics and confirm the midi functionality of the keyboard. For example, I'm not sure if it requires some drivers to work with the computer etc.

That Yamaha is a digital piano, not really keyboard so I don't think it has lots of different sounds built in.
Not sure about the midi too, couldn't find clear info.



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Bogdan Radovic
post Mar 26 2015, 12:37 AM
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I just remembered keyboards which I saw a lot of local bands use here, they are Korg X5D. They are quite old and should be popular on the used market yet not very expensive. For those you'd need midi to usb adapter though as they seem to have only old school midi out connectors.

Please take the above suggestion with a grain of salt because I have never actually played these keys, I just heard from musician friends that they are pretty cool and saw them used relatively often on gigs.


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Jim S.
post Mar 26 2015, 12:53 AM
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Hey thanks guys, I believe I found the right one. I talked to a guy at the local music store and he found me a couple. He uses his for exactly what I'm trying to do.

This is pretty exciting I'll post some recordings once I get all set up! Thanks guys!
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Bogdan Radovic
post Mar 26 2015, 12:56 AM
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QUOTE (Jim S. @ Mar 26 2015, 12:53 AM) *
Hey thanks guys, I believe I found the right one. I talked to a guy at the local music store and he found me a couple. He uses his for exactly what I'm trying to do.

This is pretty exciting I'll post some recordings once I get all set up! Thanks guys!


Awesome to hear that Jim! smile.gif


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Jim S.
post Mar 27 2015, 01:06 PM
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Ah I picked up a Yamaha yg235 and this thing is big. It's not 88 keys (76) but still, it takes up a lot of room. Fairly quickly I was able to pump out and record a nice jam. I'd post the recording but I screwed it up merging the 3 tracks. This time I had drums, bass, organ and guitar recorded in 1/2 hr.

When I'm walking around "air jamming" I'm not singing guitar parts, I'm jamming to the bass/rhythm. That's quite strange considering I play guitar. When Id sit down to play the jam in my head it wouldn't come out right. This has gone on since I remember first playing the guitar. Well I got to record and play guitar over the rhythm last night and wow what a difference. There is more direction, there's a fullness from the bass and low mids that I have never been able to play over.

I haven't hooked this into logic yet but read many reviews of people using this are keyboard with good results! This is awesome!
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Bogdan Radovic
post Apr 1 2015, 10:10 PM
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QUOTE (Jim S. @ Mar 27 2015, 02:06 PM) *
Ah I picked up a Yamaha yg235 and this thing is big. It's not 88 keys (76) but still, it takes up a lot of room. Fairly quickly I was able to pump out and record a nice jam. I'd post the recording but I screwed it up merging the 3 tracks. This time I had drums, bass, organ and guitar recorded in 1/2 hr.

When I'm walking around "air jamming" I'm not singing guitar parts, I'm jamming to the bass/rhythm. That's quite strange considering I play guitar. When Id sit down to play the jam in my head it wouldn't come out right. This has gone on since I remember first playing the guitar. Well I got to record and play guitar over the rhythm last night and wow what a difference. There is more direction, there's a fullness from the bass and low mids that I have never been able to play over.

I haven't hooked this into logic yet but read many reviews of people using this are keyboard with good results! This is awesome!


Great to hear you found the keyboard Jim and that you are having fun with it. What you mention about imagining music/melodies in our head is something which happens to me. Sometimes I just don't think in terms of a specific instrument like what guitar or bass would play but I try to imagine a song as a whole in terms of groove and harmony changes. It is a bit random as other times I'd imagine specific melodies for example. What I find that works when composing is, when you are stuck on the instrument, try to imagine/sing the line for the instrument. Almost always I'd find the more creative line this way. This is because our mind is not stuck in familiar rhythms, techniques or patterns rather things completely free. Thinking about it, having good technique and purpose of it ultimately to only allow you to get the music from your head out. Music doesn't come from the technique itself.


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Check out my lessons and my instructor board.
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My solo and band songs : Keep Going On, Night Vibe, Kad Te Vidim, Susret, Plava Silueta
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