How Many Keys is Enough...?


abl

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I was about to buy the M-Audio Oxygen Pro 49, until I realized that I might be coming in short on keys....

I'll be using the controller a few different ways...

To control everything from:
-DAW faders, knobs, plugins, etc,
-VI Drums
-VI Horns n Strings (from a couple free Orchestral VIs)
VI- Piano, Organs, etc.

The piano parts are what makes me question that 49 keys is enough.

I'll be playing (or trying to play) boogie style, a la Billy Preston and Ian Stuart.

Will I need a full keyboard to pull this stuff off, or more importantly, to learn how?

Could I stay with the 49 keys, and break parts up into a few takes, from different octaves?

Or could I set the keyboard up in a way where I eliminate certain uneeded octaves?

Thanks.
 
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happyrat1

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For Drums, Horns and Strings, 4 octaves should work OK, but you'll end up switching Octaves when you switch instruments.

If you want to eliminate switching back and forth then I'd suggest 61 keys instead.

It also gives you more real estate for setting up splits and layers.

Gary ;)
 

abl

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For Drums, Horns and Strings, 4 octaves should work OK, but you'll end up switching Octaves when you switch instruments.

If you want to eliminate switching back and forth then I'd suggest 61 keys instead.

It also gives you more real estate for setting up splits and layers.

Gary ;)

Thanks. I'm not sure if you saw my entire post ... I accidentally hit submit early on.
 
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I'll be playing (or trying to play) boogie style, a la Billy Preston and Ian Stuart.

Will I need a full keyboard to pull this stuff off, or more importantly, to learn how?

Could I stay with the 49 keys, and break parts up into a few takes, from different octaves?

To play that kind of piano, I'd prefer 73 or more keys. But 49 definitely won't do.

Performing the left hand and right hand parts separately is a bad idea. While people do often practice each hand of a complicated piece separately, ultimately the goal is to be able to play it all together, and you're not going to be able to learn to do that if you don't have enough keys to play both parts at the same time. Also, there can be a "rhythmic interplay" between the left and right hands in the music, which contributes to the "feel" of how you play the piece, and you're not going to get that playing one hand at a time, either. Ultimately, there's a difference between thinking of a 2-hand part as "two musical parts that you play at the same time" versus "a single musical part that just happens to take 2 hands to play" and you'll never experience the latter perspective without having enough keys to play the two parts at the same time.
 

abl

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To play that kind of piano, I'd prefer 73 or more keys. But 49 definitely won't do.

...There's a difference between thinking of a 2-hand part as "two musical parts that you play at the same time" versus "a single musical part that just happens to take 2 hands to play" and you'll never experience the latter perspective without having enough keys to play the two parts at the same time.

That makes perfect sense. I'll have to sacrifice up the faders, knobs n pads to stay in that dirt cheap range.

The Oxygen Pro had some cool features..
-Full sized semi-weighted, velocity sensitive keys
-Aftertouch
-Note Repeat

Any model(s) come to mind, that are worth checking out and cheap?

Thanks
 
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abl

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To play that kind of piano, I'd prefer 73 or more keys. But 49 definitely won't do.

Based on what I've seen available in my price range, a couple of the 61 key models have all the specs I want.

I've been watching YouTube videos of people playing some of the songs I like with boogie piano.
None showed the player leave the 5 octave (61 key) range. Actually, they were usually in the first 4 octaves, occasionally venturing into the 5th.

Would you prefer 73 or more keys just to have the option of using an extra octave or two?
Or were you basing your answer on the keys sometimes being the main instrument, and not always in the background?
 
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Boogie Woogie tends to go low and high, as in the video below. 49 keys seems unrealistically cramped to me. But if the particular things you want to do can be done in fewer keys, well, you may know that better than I! ;-)

 
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I’ve been looking at a few 61 key models. I want something to travel with do I can play on extended vacations. The 49 key models just seemed underwhelming.
 
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I was about to buy the M-Audio Oxygen Pro 49, until I realized that I might be coming in short on keys....

I'll be using the controller a few different ways...

To control everything from:
-DAW faders, knobs, plugins, etc,
-VI Drums
-VI Horns n Strings (from a couple free Orchestral VIs)
VI- Piano, Organs, etc.

The piano parts are what makes me question that 49 keys is enough.

I'll be playing (or trying to play) boogie style, a la Billy Preston and Ian Stuart.

Will I need a full keyboard to pull this stuff off, or more importantly, to learn how?

Could I stay with the 49 keys, and break parts up into a few takes, from different octaves?

Or could I set the keyboard up in a way where I eliminate certain uneeded octaves?

Thanks.
I would definitely say you should go up to at least 61 keys for more flexibility
 
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I was about to buy the M-Audio Oxygen Pro 49, until I realized that I might be coming in short on keys....

I'll be using the controller a few different ways...

To control everything from:
-DAW faders, knobs, plugins, etc,
-VI Drums
-VI Horns n Strings (from a couple free Orchestral VIs)
VI- Piano, Organs, etc.

The piano parts are what makes me question that 49 keys is enough.

I'll be playing (or trying to play) boogie style, a la Billy Preston and Ian Stuart.

Will I need a full keyboard to pull this stuff off, or more importantly, to learn how?

Could I stay with the 49 keys, and break parts up into a few takes, from different octaves?

Or could I set the keyboard up in a way where I eliminate certain uneeded octaves?

Thanks.
 
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Trust me on this, 73 keys, NOTHING less than that. at 73 you can boogie with both hands
 
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I found a folding piano that looks promising. Jeremy see reviewed it and doesn't think it's so bad.
 
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