Midi Recorder with digital piano or workstation?


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Hi all. Useful looking forum! Hope you can help.

I used to (before work got in the way) do lots of midi work with Cakewalk and an SY55 keyboard & TG300 tone module. I have a 16-year old daughter who is at Grade 8 piano and is very interested in music and composition but she doesn't always have access to a pc and she struggles to get to grips with midi software at present anyway. So...

I'm maybe looking to get a (used) workstation type keyboard for her. I think I'd rather have a keyboard with a built-in sequencer if possible so she can practise in her room and not feel inhibited by our presence! I'd also like to have weighted - preferably hammer action - keys. The Yamaha DGX-620/630 and the Casio PX410R would be high on my list if I can find them at a decent price but they seem to go for silly money on ebay at present so I'm looking at a possible alternative if anyone can help on this front please? Budget up to £350. Kicking myself for missing a DGX-630 on ebay last night that ended up going for £275.

I'm now wondering if there are "hardware" type sequencers that are easier to use than midi software sequencers out there? Then I can look at the cheaper, more standard "stage pianos" that have nicely weighted keys but no sequencer on board. Don't even know if this sort of thing exists? Would like something that can either take real-time input or step-input for trickier orchestral bits if poss?
 
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Yes - there are hardware midi sequencers - standalone ones. Most people I know have moved on to computer stuff because of the ease of use.

What is she interested in writing?

The technology has really moved on - don't know if you had audio in your version of Cakewalk - you can use the software like multi track recorders now (for audio).

Scoring - if that's what she'll be doing - I still regularly use manuscript paper and pencil for knocking out rough ideas quickly (and she play them back on her piano). If you have access to a computer some of the time - notation programs have come a long way too.

If she is still at school maybe you could ask what they have in the music department? Perhaps the two of you could make an appointment to see the head of department - have them show off the toys to both of you.

Good luck.
 
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Thanks for the speedy response! She is doing AS and then A-level music at the moment and as part of that she does composition of various types. So far she's experimenting with what, to me, sounds like medieval chamber music! But she'll move on from that. The school have lots of real pianos and they use sibelius for score stuff. They also have loads of cheap and nasty Yamaha keyboards with the nasty auto-accompaniments... yuk.

I used Cakewalk Pro Audio - still do on occasion, but have lack of space until new year when building work will give me a dedicated study and I can set up the keyboard stuff again. My daughter won't have a pc in her room which is where the keyboard will live and although I have a laptop she can borrow from time to time, it's an old machine and struggles to even tell me the time of day half the time... I'd just like her to be able to do quick & easy recording as the mood takes her, build up some backings and other parts then maybe connect up to the pc to finish off the job in a more dedicated package if needs be - but she'd be able to come up with some pretty nifty stuff with 64-voice polyphony and 6 tracks I think.
 
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I'm afraid I'm out of ideas for easy midi multitracking without a computer. Something with a little sequencer built in to it - exactly what you said you were thinking about in your original post.

Sorry I'm not more help.
 

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