88-key synth action or semi-wtd controller w/ aftertouch?


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happyrat1

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You had me until you mentioned aftertouch.

There were a few cheapo digital pianos and an 88 key controller from M-Audio that were semiweighted but I don't know if they're still on the market. None of them had aftertouch though.

Then again if you look at 76 key instruments you might get lucky. I remember my old Korg TR-76 was semiweighted with aftertouch.

Considering it's now about 15 years old you might find a used one for about $400 or $500 on ebay these days.

Gary ;)
 
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You had me until you mentioned aftertouch.

There were a few cheapo digital pianos and an 88 key controller from M-Audio that were semiweighted but I don't know if they're still on the market. None of them had aftertouch though.

Then again if you look at 76 key instruments you might get lucky. I remember my old Korg TR-76 was semiweighted with aftertouch.

Considering it's now about 15 years old you might find a used one for about $400 or $500 on ebay these days.

Gary ;)
Thanks, Gary -
Yep, that's the killer: the aftertouch. I'm currently using an Alesis QS7 (76-key w/ aftertouch) as my upper keyboard, but I'm in the process of reconfiguring my rig and would really like the additional real estate of an 88-key unit. Hard to believe it's not a standard feature these days.
 

happyrat1

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Well Kurzweil's new PC4 has aftertouch if you can live with a hammer action.

I own a PC3K8 which also has aftertouch and the weighted hammer action keys have a nice tradeoff in feel between synth action and piano feel.

Perhaps you should take a look at a used PC37 or PC3K7 instead.

You might find them to your liking.

Gary ;)
 
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Aftertouch on controllers doesn't seem to too popular these days. I've owned a number of Yamaha's that came std with aftertouch: S80, S90, and Motif ES all have it. But the are all weighted keys. The Motif ES7 has semi weighted but only 76 (?) keys. A used Yamaha is usually pretty easy to find at a reasonable price. That possibly could be a contingency arrangement.
 

happyrat1

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Channel aftertouch is when after you've played a note or chord, when you press harder on the keys it activates a MIDI parameter like modulation or tremolo. Channel aftertouch means it is activated for all depressed notes at the time.

Polyphonic aftertouch, which is rare, works the same way but only affects the individual notes depressed harder. The new ASM Hydrasynth has polyphonic aftertouch.

Gary ;)
 

Rayblewit

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Thanks Gary. Always learning stuff here at the forums. :)

Adding tremolo or other effect is a nice feature to have by simple means.

Ray
 

happyrat1

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But with aftertouch the feature does not activate until you press the key down with additional force. There's a spring loaded contact strip under the keys which only activates under additional pressure. so you can play normally and then add tremolo by pressing slightly harder instead of lifting your hand to activate the mod wheel.

It just adds another degree of expression to your playing. Like a pedal or a breath controller or a ribbon.

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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I was going to suggest the Studiologic Numa Compact 2x, but Kaneda beat me to it. It's an instrument, and I'm not certain how well (in terms of things like MIDI channel assignments) it would work as a controller, but it's been on my radar for a while. :)
 
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Thanks, all, for the suggestions and discussion. I'm traveling so just now able to respond.

I'd run across the Numa Compact 2x during my searches, and it looks like a contender. My problem with it is that I'd be paying a for all the guts of a synth when all I need is a MIDI controller. Since I do everything with software, the sound generating functions would be wasted and never used. And replying to happyrat1 and b3maniac, I'm using an Arturia Keylab 88 as my lower keyboard, which is a really nice hammer-action unit (with aftertouch). I'm not really a keyboard whiz, so I need something with a lighter touch for faster runs and solos, which is why I'm hoping to find something with synth action or semi-weighted like my Alesis QS7.

What I may end up doing is putting a couple of 49-key MIDI controllers side by side on the top rack. In my band, I often need to cover an enormous number of non-guitar instruments, so I really need all the keyboard space I can cram into a 2-level keyboard stand.

Truly appreciate all the input!
 
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I'd run across the Numa Compact 2x during my searches, and it looks like a contender. My problem with it is that I'd be paying a for all the guts of a synth when all I need is a MIDI controller. Since I do everything with software, the sound generating functions would be wasted and never used.
Depends on what you think of the action of the Compact 2X. If I really like something, I'm happy to pay a bit more, even if I won't be using everything the board offers. If it ticks all of your boxes, then I wouldn't worry about the 'overhead', not at this price point, anyway...
 
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Since you already have an Arturia Keylab why not stick with the brand and get a 61 key version, at least all the buttons and sliders will be in the same locations and probably set up with the same functions.

Or

You could compromise, and get a Roland Juno DS 76 and actually learn and use the inbuilt features and functions which once set up can be called up very quickly and easily adjusted on the fly.
 
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Since you already have an Arturia Keylab why not stick with the brand and get a 61 key version, at least all the buttons and sliders will be in the same locations and probably set up with the same functions.

Or

You could compromise, and get a Roland Juno DS 76 and actually learn and use the inbuilt features and functions which once set up can be called up very quickly and easily adjusted on the fly.
I already have the 76-key Alesis QS7, which has all the features I need except the 88 keys. I don't need to incorporate the inbuilt features because that just means another input at the PA and additional cabling. If I wanted to, I could use the QS7's synth capabilities, but I simply don't need it. All of my programming and I/O is done in Reason.
 
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Besides the Numa Compact 2X, there's also the cheaper Numa Compact 2. SInce you don't care about the built-in sounds, that would be almost the same, mostly you'd be losing the 9 sliders you can define to send MIDI CCs. (The other differences mostly relate to the built in organ and synth sounds which you wouldn't be using anyway.) Like Kaneda said, you pretty much never get a board that has only exactly everything you want but nothing more, and the Numa isn't so badly priced as a controller even if you don't care about its sounds.

If you're okay with used stuff, you could also look for a used Studiologic VMK-88 or 88+ which are soundless controllers with the same Fatar action. (Actually, I have one I haven't used in forever, that I should probably just sell... any chance you're in the New York/Connecticut area?)

(aside to Biggles... Juno DS doesn't have aftertouch.)
 

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