Looking for a Midi Controller Keyboard, advice?


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Heya everyone :D

I've been looking for a keyboard for some time now, but I haven't managed to make any headway at all. I basically just want to be able to sequence with it, having its own sounds isn't important, as atm I'm only going to be using it through Reason.
However I really need something with a minimum of 61 keys, and decent dynamics for regular practice.

I looked at the M-Audio Axiom 61 http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/axiom-61/69336
but reviews seemed pretty mixed. Some people thought it was amazing, and others said it was glitchy and unreliable with not-so-good dynamics.

Everywhere I look people seem to be recommending the M-Audio Prokeys 88SX, but I was kinda turned off by the fact it's a stage piano, and might not fufill my main need, which is just a midi controller.

This is gonna be the first keyboard I buy, and I figure you'll all know more about them than I do.

Any help finding a decent, MIDI-compatible keyboard for around £250 would be much appreciated.

Thanks.



-edit-
Oh, and if even if you can't suggest a keyboard, just advice on how important the extra bells and whistles on a pure midi controller are would be great. Like the assignable knobs, sample pads, etc. It's stuff like this pulling me away from the stage pianos.
 
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If you are using it with reason, then the knobs/pads/buttons etc. could be very very useful. The Prokeys 88 is a fabulous midi controller, but a super crappy stage piano.

So as long as you don't plan on using the onboard sounds which are horrendous, and are not concerned about having a weighted action, the prokeys could be up your alley.

The axiom61 is also a good choice, very reliable with Reason. You could also look into Novation, which I've heard good things about, but have never tried myself.


Heya everyone :D

I've been looking for a keyboard for some time now, but I haven't managed to make any headway at all. I basically just want to be able to sequence with it, having its own sounds isn't important, as atm I'm only going to be using it through Reason.
However I really need something with a minimum of 61 keys, and decent dynamics for regular practice.

I looked at the M-Audio Axiom 61 http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/axiom-61/69336
but reviews seemed pretty mixed. Some people thought it was amazing, and others said it was glitchy and unreliable with not-so-good dynamics.

Everywhere I look people seem to be recommending the M-Audio Prokeys 88SX, but I was kinda turned off by the fact it's a stage piano, and might not fufill my main need, which is just a midi controller.

This is gonna be the first keyboard I buy, and I figure you'll all know more about them than I do.

Any help finding a decent, MIDI-compatible keyboard for around £250 would be much appreciated.

Thanks.



-edit-
Oh, and if even if you can't suggest a keyboard, just advice on how important the extra bells and whistles on a pure midi controller are would be great. Like the assignable knobs, sample pads, etc. It's stuff like this pulling me away from the stage pianos.
 
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I've owned both the Axiom 61 and the KeyStation 88es (the one that's just a semi-weighted controller). The Axiom had better action and the extra knobs and sliders were great. I didn't find the trigger pads to be that good though; as a one-shot trigger, sure, but for controlling a drum kit, I found that they weren't responsive enough to pressure, and it took a lot of energy to get them to send a signal at full volume. Overall though, I personally loved it.

As for the Keystation 88es, maybe it's just my model, but I've found the velocity sensitivity to be off. It's not that it's non-existent, but when comparing it to the keyboard on my Nord Stage 73 (the semi-weighted model), the Stage responds really well to velocity, but playing the Stage through the Keystation makes sound at the same volume as if I was really pounding the keys of the Stage. I never got the opportunity to use the Axiom to control the Stage, but I suspect the Axiom would be much better in that regard.
 
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Everywhere I look people seem to be recommending the M-Audio Prokeys 88SX, but I was kinda turned off by the fact it's a stage piano, and might not fufill my main need, which is just a midi controller.
The 88SX is the 88es with a few sounds attached so that it can work as a standalone if necessary. I like it because although I mainly use mine as a midi controller, I can use it as a stage piano as well, and it is by far the lightest around.

I'll second satchmo on extra knobs and sliders - as you get more advanced with Reason, chances are you'll find yourself needing them. Stage pianos don't normally have these extra controllers, the 88SX certainly doesn't.
 
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Thanks, guys.

It's nice to hear some helpful responses. And cheers to Satchmo, I will be needing plenty of knobs and buttons with Reason. The axiom looks pretty cool at the moment.

http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/keystation/12292 I also saw this, which looked like it could be a nice step up from the Axiom, insofar as having proper hammer action and a full key range, without losing the functionality.

Would this be a good choice? Since it's just about impossible for me to try one out.

Thanks again for the help, everyone.
 
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Honestly, you really should try them out. Find a music store that sells them; controllers are becoming more and more popular these days as computer-based recording becomes more affordable and demands less of an investment on the computer side, so you might be surprised at what your local music store has. No advice from anyone will be as useful to you as actually trying them out.

That said, I'm heading back to the music store tonight and will have a bit of time while my wife shops elsewhere, so I can see if they have the model you just linked and try it; that'd at least compare it to the other M-Audio keyboards I've played.
 
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cheers

Whoops, I didn't see you'd already mentioned the keystation, Kanthos. My bad.

I'd really like to try 'em out, but many of the music shops round here closed down 'cause they were being beaten out by Sound Control. This includes all the specialist keyboard shops.

And then sound control went out of business, despite our branch being popular. Now I haven't got anywhere nearby to try stuff out, really.

It's a real pity.
 
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The local music store didn't have that particular model, so I didn't get to try it out. Sorry :(
 
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