Beginner/bought keyboard, now what?


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I bought a used midi keyboard, does it matter which one I bought?

Anyway, I bought one without realizing what kind of software I would need to get to be able to use it. I am wondering if anyone here can recommend me some software to use .. and how to connect my keyboard to it, or my headphones? I tried one software, but it felt too complicated.

I am really not good at these kind of things, so any information would be really great.

Thanks.
 
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happyrat1

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If you're looking for software recommendations then YES, make and model number matters.

Gary ;)
 

Rayblewit

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Let us know make and model. People here will be able offer some relevant suggestions.
You say you are a beginner. I say welcome to the wonderful world of creating and playing music.
Ray
 
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Welcome.

To add to what Gary and Ray have said, if you have an iPad or even iPhone with a Lightning connector then it is very easy to get started.

You will have or be able to install Garage Band (it is free) on your iPad plus there are a mass of virtual instrument sound software available for free.

To do the above all you need is a geniune Apple Camera Adaptor and standard USB cable.

Please come back to us with more information.

If you have Android then that will probably work as well but I myself do not use said system.
 

happyrat1

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Right now all that we know is it's a "MIDI keyboard"

That could be anything from, a controller to a Kronos.

Waste of time responding until he responds.

Gary ;)
 

tjw

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You might also pass along what your goals are.... product/demo production, songwriter/composer collaboration, teaching, study, kids ?
 
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If you're looking for software recommendations then YES, make and model number matters.

Gary ;)
Hey, thanks for the response. My keyboard is a M-Audio Oxygen 25 (3rd gen). What do I need to start using it with a PC, Windows 7? Any info would be appreciated.
 
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Let us know make and model. People here will be able offer some relevant suggestions.
You say you are a beginner. I say welcome to the wonderful world of creating and playing music.
Ray
Thanks! My keyboard is a M-Audio Oxygen 25 (3rd gen).
 
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Welcome.

To add to what Gary and Ray have said, if you have an iPad or even iPhone with a Lightning connector then it is very easy to get started.

You will have or be able to install Garage Band (it is free) on your iPad plus there are a mass of virtual instrument sound software available for free.

To do the above all you need is a geniune Apple Camera Adaptor and standard USB cable.

Please come back to us with more information.

If you have Android then that will probably work as well but I myself do not use said system.
I don't have any apple products. I'd prefer to work with a PC, and mine is only a Windows 7 .. but I could have access to a windows 10 computer too.
 
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You might also pass along what your goals are.... product/demo production, songwriter/composer collaboration, teaching, study, kids ?
Well, right now it's just for my own hobby ... I don't have any experience mixing music, so now it's just figuring out how this keyboard works to actually start doing -something-. I really need any and all basic information.
 
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Welcome back.

I hope you have some PC knowledge.

Search for the Driver for your midi keyboard, download and install it

This is the product

Search out for the manual on the M Audio website

Register at BandLab, then download and install their DAW which is called Cakewalk, best of all it is free.

Obtain a USB cable to connect your keyboard to your PC

Search out tutorials for Cakewalk online and watch

Connect everything up and you should be good to go.

Good luck
 

happyrat1

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M-Audio is USB MIDI Class Compliant.

IT DOES NOT NEED DRIVERS!!!!

With Windows 7 you should start off by installing Cakewalk By Bandlab on your computer.



And then you should look at installing some free VST Plugins to make the actual sounds.




If you are still confused about how to use the software search for video tutorials on youtube.

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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I don't think you'll need a driver for your M-Audio for most uses, but it's recommended that you install the driver if you want to be able to do certain things; I forget what they are, exactly, but the manual for your particular model should have any pertinent information regarding that. I just went ahead and installed the driver for my M-Audio, even though I didn't think I'd ever need to do the things that it enables. [EDIT: I was just looking for the documents on M-Audio's web site, and there is no driver that's specifically available for the Oxygen 25 controller because none is needed. So now I just have to wait for Gary/@happyrat1 to say "I told you so." :p There was no driver needed for my Axiom 61, either, but there was one available anyway in case it was ever needed for certain types of operations.]

The first "problem" I ran into after I connected my M-Audio to my computer and tried to play some virtual instruments with it, was that there was a very noticeable delay between the moment when I struck a key and the moment when a sound was produced on the computer. This delay is called "latency," and it's something that's inescapable (even light takes time to travel from point A to point B-- for instance, it takes about 8 minutes for the light from the Sun to travel to the Earth-- and electrical signals travel a lot more slowly than light does).

There can be numerous causes of latency, but in this particular situation (using a MIDI controller to play a virtual instrument) the principal culprit is usually the audio driver. If you're using a Windows computer and your sound card doesn't have an ASIO audio driver available for it, you can install a free "fake ASIO" driver called ASIO4ALL which will help a lot, although an actual ASIO driver is preferred. DAWs often come with ASIO drivers, so if you install a DAW then you can try using the ASIO driver that comes with it.

Even with a great audio driver, another culprit that can cause latency issues is the buffering of audio data. I don't know how much you know about basic computer-related stuff, but a data buffer is like a little waiting room where the computer lets data collect (like people waiting to get on a ride or whatever) until the room is filled up, then it opens the exit to let everyone out as a group, then closes off the exit again so a new group of people can start to accumulate, etc. If the audio buffer is set too large, you can notice a definite delay in the audio when using a MIDI keyboard, although for stuff like playing back a song the delay will be unnoticeable since you can't tell that there's a delay between the moment the computer reads specific bits of audio data from the file and the moment when those specific bits of audio data produce a sound from the speakers. So decreasing the size of the audio buffer can help to dramatically decrease any latency issues.

Aside from that, latency can also be caused by the other hardware and software involved, such as (but not limited to) how long it takes the keyboard controller to detect that you've just struck a key, convert that keystroke and its velocity into a MIDI Note event, and send that MIDI Note event to the MIDI Out data port; how long it takes the MIDI data to travel along the physical cable to the computer; and how long it takes the virtual instrument software to interpret the received MIDI data and generate the appropriate sound.

You can't do anything about most of those things, though. But you can do something about the audio driver and the audio buffer size.

PS -- I know that's a lot of information that you probably weren't interested in reading, but the moment you experience latency issues you're going to be looking for an explanation as to what's going on and how you can make it stop doing that annoying delay thing. So as Barney Fife would say, "Nip it in the bud! Nip it, nip it, nip it!" ;)
 
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SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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ALSO -- When I bought my Axiom and registered it at M-Audio's web site, I received an email saying that my ownership of the M-Audio controller made me eligible to install and register a complimentary copy of the Ignite Music Software from AIR Music Technology:


I believe M-Audio and AIR Music Technology are affiliated with each other. They are also affiliated with Avid, so your M-Audio controller may have come with a complimentary license for Avid Pro Tools First-- which is free anyway, although a license may allow you to install certain plug-in products for it. And some M-Audio equipment comes with complimentary licenses for other virtual instruments and soft synths from AIR Music Technology. So be sure to register your M-Audio controller if you haven't already, and grab any and all bonus software that you're entitled to.

Personally, I don't care much for Avid Pro Tools First, because I find it to be rather limited (for instance, you can't save to your computer, only to the cloud), and I've had some issues with it. Updating to the newest version of Pro Tools First helped resolve my issues, but I had never received any notices that such updates were available, either through Pro Tools First itself or through the Avid Application Manager-- even though I did regularly receive notices that updates to the Avid Application Manager were available. So I found it rather annoying that it was apparently all on me to keep myself notified about any new versions of Pro Tools First, and then manually download and install them-- which sometimes required uninstalling the previous version of Pro Tools First to make sure everything ran smoothly.
 
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