Another keyboard/workstation reccomndation thread (sorry)


Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Hey there, I am a 20 year old student(first hint of a low budget) and have been playing the guitar for round about 5 years and decided to start playing the keyboard as there was one around the house. I am going to university in late September and so I cannot play the keyboard anymore, besides it's a Yamaha PSR E303 which I've not heard too good things about, and so I was wanting to buy a new keyboard to personalise.

At first I wanted just a keyboard with different sounds and such (which I now know to be an arranger), but the more I read I discovered about workstations and such. This got me intrigued as I had planned on starting my own beats and such, making my own music, and after messing around on my mother's keyboard I found it much more interesting and fun and easy to do it on the keys. As such I am now interested in getting a workstation as I can do all this on it, however my budget is limited to £400 GBP, maybe around $600 USD, and I am absolutely swamped in information and don't have any experience and so I am currently blind in this area of models. I can possibly stretch it if I think it's worth it but I am not that willing to go above that.

My dilemma is, I don't have a clue about keyboard models apart from the fact that Roland and Korg, and Yamaha, are the best and probably the only ones to get, so I am stumped as to what keyboard to get.
Furthermore is it possible to buy a better quality keyboard of another type which is a cheaper type overall, such as arranger) and use it as a MIDI board I think, and play it through software on the laptop, basically when combined with my laptop becomes a workstation. I did think of a MIDI controller such as a MicroKorg but I would like to have a keyboard I can just switch on and jam to.

Which of the two would be a better solution and for my budget what would be the best option in terms of actual models? If possible, this budget would include some speakers for the keyboard as well.

What I would like in detail would be:
- To produce my own music either from the keyboard itself or through the laptop or both
- Good sounds, basically all or most of them anyways as they're what matter imo
- Something that will last me a while and I won't outgrow and maybe need replacement in about 5-6 years
- Wheels and knobs for effects, vibrato, pitch bend etc
- Maybe some accompaniments from random arppegiators such as on the MM6 or the Korg KARMA feature

Doesn't have to hit all these, sounds and music production would be my main features I am looking for. I know it's a pretty low budget but this is where you guys can help me out to get something with less features or something to fit my budget.

Thanks for your help, I really need it!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
584
Reaction score
9
Location
Perth, Scotland
Use the PSR and your laptop and get some recording software, some VSTs (modelled instruments), something to monitor with, headphones and maybe a few sample CDs.

Have you any friends that do this already and can get you started?

You'll also need some way to send audio and midi info into the laptop.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
154
Reaction score
0
Location
Toms River,N.J.
You know....beginners are constantly posting on this forum and asking for a keyboard within whatever budget they deem they cannot go beyond,that does absolutely everything they want it to and this is why Skipp(the moderator),is not likely to address your request.

She has however,created a user guide on this forum,for novices like yourself,so I strongly urge you to read through it.

Since you took the time to outline your situation in detail,I will simply suggest a keyboard workstation for you,that is in accordance with your wishes-but beyond this,you really need to read through Skipp's articles.

If you want a self sufficient keyboard workstation-that also doubles as a midi controller for software and that has quality sounds,then look into the Yamaha M06 and forget about arranger keyboards,altogether.

You can customize your recording to your liking,but the M06 also has preset accompaniments and arpeggios.
It has a built in 16 track midi sequencer in it and the M06 has the best sounds you'll find in a workstation keyboard,for the price.

It is however,$1,000(USD) new,so if you want it cheaper,you simply have no choice but to buy one used,but your not likely to find one for $600 used,though.

So if your not willing to stretch your budget beyond $600 then I,nor anyone else on this forum,will not be able to help you.

Try to understand that folks here(nor anywhere else),do not want to constantly spoon-feed beginner keyboardists,simply because folks like you,are not willing to do their own research.

This is the age of the internet and anyone can find out what they need to know,buy just taking the time to visit the manufacturer's website's and visiting online music retailers.

Also,it may be in your best interest to peruse through some YouTube videos....which is as simple as typing in "Yamaha M06" in the YouTube search bar.


Good luck,


-Elwood
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
You know....beginners are constantly posting on this forum and asking for a keyboard within whatever budget they deem they cannot go beyond,that does absolutely everything they want it to and this is why Skipp(the moderator),is not likely to address your request.

She has however,created a user guide on this forum,for novices like yourself,so I strongly urge you to read through it.

Since you took the time to outline your situation in detail,I will simply suggest a keyboard workstation for you,that is in accordance with your wishes-but beyond this,you really need to read through Skipp's articles.

If you want a self sufficient keyboard workstation-that also doubles as a midi controller for software and that has quality sounds,then look into the Yamaha M06 and forget about arranger keyboards,altogether.

You can customize your recording to your liking,but the M06 also has preset accompaniments and arpeggios.
It has a built in 16 track midi sequencer in it and the M06 has the best sounds you'll find in a workstation keyboard,for the price.

It is however,$1,000(USD) new,so if you want it cheaper,you simply have no choice but to buy one used,but your not likely to find one for $600 used,though.

So if your not willing to stretch your budget beyond $600 then I,nor anyone else on this forum,will not be able to help you.

Try to understand that folks here(nor anywhere else),do not want to constantly spoon-feed beginner keyboardists,simply because folks like you,are not willing to do their own research.

This is the age of the internet and anyone can find out what they need to know,buy just taking the time to visit the manufacturer's website's and visiting online music retailers.

Also,it may be in your best interest to peruse through some YouTube videos....which is as simple as typing in "Yamaha M06" in the YouTube search bar.


Good luck,


-Elwood
Hey Elwood, thanks for your response.

I'm sorry if I came across as lazy in finding my own stuff, but things like these even though you read you still need a good opinion. Infact in Skipp's post is where I learnt about workstations and so I have actually read it but because I don't know what to look for in a keyboard for my needs then I can't just decide for myself.

If you were given information about cars which you had no experience about, in a booklet you still would not be able to decide what is best for you without someone telling you. Alot of things are rated through word of mouth and that is what I came here to find. I'm sorry if this is too much to ask of you, I just wanted an opinion.

I don't think what I meant came out right, because I am not experienced in keyboards. I've seen info about the MM6 and x50 which are within my price range but I've not seen much information on them which will help me. I don't trust websites with any affiliation to the particular product or sale of any products as they are bias and can make anything seem like gold. I don't want to just read a bunch of stuff on the net and go and make a big mistake, like I nearly did with the triton, trinity, MM6 or x50 as I can afford all of them yet I don't know anything about how they compare to each other.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want world class stuff, because as I said I know it's a low budget. But if I can find something that has some of the stuff I'm looking for I'd rather buy it than buy something that doesn't convinced my budget can't fit it, as I don't know everything about keyboards.

The keyboard doesn't have to be self sufficient as I said. As long as it has some basic sounds and I can use it to make music via the laptop if such a thing is possible. If not, then please let me know.

Now when I also said what was important, it's just that if there's any boards that could fit my price range, the ones I would make the priority would be the ones with any of those features rather than expecting it to have all.

Would it be better to get a midi keyboard and just a standard grand piano to record things? One of my friends is in a great jazz band and the pianist has an 88 electric grand and a midi keyboard which don't cost to much when put together and sound great to me.

Anyway what I meant to say, what is the best board you recommend for that budget? I can go up to 500 which is about $700 USD, but I won't be gigging or doing anything professional with it, just a personal thing for hobbies.

Thanks alot, hope that clears things up.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Use the PSR and your laptop and get some recording software, some VSTs (modelled instruments), something to monitor with, headphones and maybe a few sample CDs.

Have you any friends that do this already and can get you started?

You'll also need some way to send audio and midi info into the laptop.
Thanks, this is the sort of response I was looking for.

Would I need a midi keyboard for that then?

I can't take this PSR as it's staying at my mum's so getting a new one is a must, so what do you recommend? Does the board matter if it's going through the laptop and being processed there?
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
154
Reaction score
0
Location
Toms River,N.J.
Ok then....I probably should have read through your post again & perhaps I would have been clear on exactly what you wanted(sorry,my bad).

Assuming that all you want to do at this point is instrumentation,then I think the Propellerhead Reason 4 software will cover your sound needs very well and since you have a laptop,the Reason 4 software is very CPU efficient,so it would be ideally suited for the typical and limited processing power of a laptop.

Software and a midi controller is definitely the way to go,on a budget.The Propellerhead software is $300(USD),a Behringer U-Control UMX-series midi controller will run you anywhere from $100 to $150(USD)(depending on how many keys you want) and then of course,you'll want to upgrade your audio card in your laptop,by getting a audio interface.

Audio interfaces are easy to install and very handy for connecting a microphone(for example) and there very reasonable(but I wouldn't spend any less than $100(USD).

As for monitors,you could pick up a pair of Behringer B1030A monitors for $200 a pair and your grand total will be around $700

Alternatively,you could buy something like the EnergyXT DAW,which is a software workstation for around $100 and this way,you would have the freedom to choose whatever VST's from whichever company you'd like.

This option would save you $200,so you would have this amount to spend on VST's,but I think the Reason 4 software workstation is a better deal,because you get an excellent variety of sounds for the money.

The difference with Reason 4,is that it's just a midi sequencer(no audio multi-tracking),but you could add this on later,with Reason Record.

I know this is a lot of information that I throwing at you,but you could also check out the forum on the KVRaudio website,as it's an excellent resource for software and the people there are very knowledgable and helpful there.

I think that website will very beneficial in giving you some additional insight into this platform of recording.


-Elwood
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
817
Reaction score
13
Since everything is already said I just want to adress one thing:

She has however,created a user guide on this forum,for novices like yourself,so I strongly urge you to read through it.
Say what?!!? :D

Having a cute girl on a piano does not make me a female lol!
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
584
Reaction score
9
Location
Perth, Scotland
To Skipp: don't burst Elwood's bubble. You're a cute girl draped over a keyboard and that's the end of it.

To Elwood: sound advice in your last posting. Sounds like you've a lot of experience and knowledge to share - isn't that what's great about help forums?
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Ok then....I probably should have read through your post again & perhaps I would have been clear on exactly what you wanted(sorry,my bad).

Assuming that all you want to do at this point is instrumentation,then I think the Propellerhead Reason 4 software will cover your sound needs very well and since you have a laptop,the Reason 4 software is very CPU efficient,so it would be ideally suited for the typical and limited processing power of a laptop.

Software and a midi controller is definitely the way to go,on a budget.The Propellerhead software is $300(USD),a Behringer U-Control UMX-series midi controller will run you anywhere from $100 to $150(USD)(depending on how many keys you want) and then of course,you'll want to upgrade your audio card in your laptop,by getting a audio interface.

Audio interfaces are easy to install and very handy for connecting a microphone(for example) and there very reasonable(but I wouldn't spend any less than $100(USD).

As for monitors,you could pick up a pair of Behringer B1030A monitors for $200 a pair and your grand total will be around $700

Alternatively,you could buy something like the EnergyXT DAW,which is a software workstation for around $100 and this way,you would have the freedom to choose whatever VST's from whichever company you'd like.

This option would save you $200,so you would have this amount to spend on VST's,but I think the Reason 4 software workstation is a better deal,because you get an excellent variety of sounds for the money.

The difference with Reason 4,is that it's just a midi sequencer(no audio multi-tracking),but you could add this on later,with Reason Record.

I know this is a lot of information that I throwing at you,but you could also check out the forum on the KVRaudio website,as it's an excellent resource for software and the people there are very knowledgable and helpful there.

I think that website will very beneficial in giving you some additional insight into this platform of recording.


-Elwood
Thanks, it is alot of info but I'll get through it!

I was reading up on reason 4 and found it often compared to cubase. How does cubase compare? I'm asking this because I can get a yamaha mm6 for £389 and comes with cubase free, and so I have both a keyboard to play and something resembling a synth. Would this work as well as reason 4 and a MIDI keyboard?

As I understand, the cubase is cubase LE, but I know there is a cubase 4, which I've read is better than reason 4, but I don't know if cubase LE matches up at all. Even if it's slightly worse I would prize this option as I like the sounds on the mm6 and it looks ideal for what I want.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
154
Reaction score
0
Location
Toms River,N.J.
Since everything is already said I just want to adress one thing:



Say what?!!? :D

Having a cute girl on a piano does not make me a female lol!
Skipp,

Remember my first line in my old post under the General Discussion category,more specifically the thread titled; Learning To Funk?

This is what I had said;

Woah lady...with all due respect,do you really think the Korg M3 Xpanded pianos are crappy??

It was my mistake initially,about your gender,but it's not my fault that I thought you were female all this time,as you could have corrected me back then..................but then,I suppose that you were having fun with it all this time.:D

-Elwood
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
154
Reaction score
0
Location
Toms River,N.J.
Ogola,

I don't really know anything about Cubase,except to say that Cubase is an audio platform that supports VST's and Reason 4 in of itself,is a midi sequencer-based platform,that has multiple synth engines and it's other instruments are exclusive to Reason 4 only.

I know that in general,LE versions of software have limited functionality,as they are basically just "teaser trailers"...which are designed to just wet your appetite for the full version upgrade.

Also...I don't really know anything about the Yamaha MM6 and I've never owned a Yamaha product.....not as of yet,anyway.

Others might be able to assist you here,but you could really do yourself some good,by spending some quality time at Motifator.com(they have their own forum).


-Elwood
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
hey guys, i was gonna go for the reason 4 & midi controller option after reading your comments but I managed to come across a 450 GBP roland juno g on gumtree which i thought would be good after reading good things about it.

would i still need reason 4 ontop of this?
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top