Help with MIDI keyboard!


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Hi all I'm wondering if anyone can help me! My 14 year old has been teaching himself how to play piano, we wanted to get him something better to practice on, and without knowing really what we were buying, we got him a Fatar Studio 1100 midi keyboard. Of course, we have no real idea how to set it up

What is the cheapest, easiest way to use it, without connecting it to a computer? Can I make it work with a speaker or amplifier?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 
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Fatar Studio 1100 has no sounds in it, it's just a controller. If you don't want to connect it to a traditional computer, you could connect it to an iPad or iPhone, for example, which could be cheap if you already have one.
 
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Thank you, we tried that, but stil couldn't get sound (we can record the down and play it back) and there any apps you vould recommend?
 
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Sorry, it was a typo! I meant we can record the sound (what he's playing) and play it back.....but can't hear in real time.
 
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Assuming you have an Apple device.

Keyboard controller > USB lead > Apple Camera Adaptor (official one, not a $5 knock off) > plug in to iPad or iphone.

On the iPhone or iPad download the free Garage Band app.

With everything connected start Garage Band and after selecting the instrument in the App play the keyboard and you should get sound out of the iPhone/iPad.

Other Apps are readily available.

Ignore the above if you only have Android.
 
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Thanks for your replies....I should have mentioned we're on android. Any app recommendations?
 
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MIDI on android has a lot of limitations. One of the best options is the VB3m organ, but it only gives you organ sounds.
 
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Is there another way? Perhaps through a speaker? I've heard a sound module could work, but they seem quite expensive for something I'm not sure about?
 
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Again, there are no sounds in your controller, so connecting a speaker is impossible. You need to have some device that can actually create sound (and you can connect THAT to a speaker). The sound-generating device could be a sound module (not cheap, though you might find something used), an iOS device (like iPad/iPhone), an Android phone (very limited, but probably not impossible, depending on your particular phone... latency can be a particular issue, where notes are heard noticeably after you play them), or your computer. You might even considering seeing if you can sell/trade-in your soundless controller, and get a keyboard that actually has sounds in it.
 
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Again, there are no sounds in your controller, so connecting a speaker is impossible. You need to have some device that can actually create sound (and you can connect THAT to a speaker).
I'm aware of that......which is why I asked about a sound module.

It sounds like it might need to be a computer for us though. What kind of software would I need?
 
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If you have just bought the MIDI keyboard it would be far easier if you returned it and bought a keyboard with inbuilt sounds.

Casiotone CT S200 is about £100, and is of reasonable quality and tone at this price point.

That said if it is a piano they want to learn then a keyboard with the keybed like there is on the MIDI keyboard you have is not the best, much better to have a digital piano with a hammer action. These do cost more:-

Casio CDP S100 £280

Yamaha P45 £389

Casio CDP S360 £460

Yamaha P125 £500

An alternate is to buy an iPad at £320 and a Apple Camera Adaptor at £39 and connect it up to your MIDI keyboard, believe me this will be far less hassle than using a Laptop where latency (the delay time between pressing a key and sound being heard) can be a real problem.

You can then download the free Garage Band App onto the iPad and use the musical instruments supplied within the App to make music, plus there are hundreds of music related Apps and more than enough learning to play Apps like Playground Sessions, Flowkey, Synthesia.

Using a Laptop and the latency issue is not just the only issue, there is the selection of a DAW (digital audio workstation) App that will actually work on your laptop, simply learning to use one is a large task, it is the piano sounds within the App that you would use. There are other ways of generating sounds but again setting up can be problematic. There is no quick way of learning how to set up and use a laptop to learn to play a piano, the iPad route is by far easier, and vastly quicker.
 
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