Midi Controllers ?


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Hi ALL,

I currently own a Yamaha SX700 which is just fine when playing as what its designed for an Arranger Keyboard, now after 100 plus days in lock down and getting bored I discovered the joys of Cakewalk and VSTs which certainly give you a lot more voices and other possibilities

Now I am not that well educated on using a DAW but getting there as at 72 things take a little longer to go in, any way my question is, while I can use the SX700 pretty well as a midi keyboard there is a decide lack of control over other things from the sx700 ( not many knobs you can use to alter settings on the flyin cakewalk ) so would buying a midi controller with more rotary controls be the answer or am I barking up the wrong tree ?

All the best , Brian
 
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Depends upon how seriously you want to develop and use your DAW for. For simply using VST’s then no you do not need a MIDI controller, I use an iPad to provide additional instrument sounds on my digital piano.

I have dabbled with DAW’s and bought and sold a few different MIDI keyboard controllers so perhaps if I explain my own dealings that will help.

I started buy buying an Alesis that was about £120, it connected up OK but the keybed was terrible for serious playing with velocities all over the place so I eBay’d it.

Then I bought a Roland A49 only to find I needed a power supply for it then that was returned double quick since configuring it was a nightmare.

Next was an Arturia Keylab Essential, integration was good and it worked but again a terrible feel to the keybed.

Now I am in limbo having sold my keyboards I wanted something better and so I bought a Roland A800 Pro which was problematic setting it up, especially on the Mac but it worked well on the Windows laptop. More importantly, the keybed feel was considerably better and more like the Korg Pa700 that I used to own but still it had an inconsistent action so that was returned and I bought a digital piano.

So yes a MIDI keyboard controller will provide the controls you seek but finding one with a good keybed is the problem.

Hence if you want to play complete songs on your potential MIDI keyboard controller you will best best advised to spend a fair amount of your hard earned to get a unit with a playable keybed.

Do go to a Music Store and try a few and I suggest that you seek out a Native Instruments S series, not for its controls, but just to get the feel if its keybed which I find is the best in its price range. The downside is that DAW integration of NI kit is a nightmare for a newbie but you will then get an idea of keybed feel.
 
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Hi Biggles,

Thanks for the reply, I am planning on just using the Yamaha SX700 as the midi keyboard as the Keybed is pretty good so I can live with that.

What I am really after is just a midi controller with out a keyboard on it, something with a few rotary encoders on it it for altering things whilst recording, I will probably have to set this up on a different midi channel and assign it to different instruments to achive what I want , but is this achievable ? that`s really what I want to know, two different midi devices run entirely separate of each other
something like a this


All the Best, Brian
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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You can use additional controllers, like pad controllers, but you'll need to merge the MIDI data from your keyboard with the MIDI data from your controller.

Fortunately, when you add a MIDI track in most DAWs, they usually default to "All devices" and "All channels" for the MIDI input, which means they will merge the data for you.

But if you want to get more specific than just "All devices" and "All channels" for every MIDI track, then depending on the DAW you might need to use another app, such as Midiflow, to merge and route the MIDI data as desired.
 
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