The "Which keyboard should i get?" Overview // Read first!


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Here's a bit of a weird one. Especially as I am a keyboard player. My daughter wants to buy her fiance a midi controller keyboard but she doesn't know anything about them. Neither do I. I play keyboards with the sounds already in them. I know her budget is $250. I'm going to ask her what kind of music he does vecause I think that will impact the decision. Just thinking out loud here.
 
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SeaGtGruff

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You can buy inexpensive semi-weighted or unweighted keyboard controllers for $250 or less, but if you want to get a weighted keyboard suitable for learning piano on then you'll probably need to spend at least $450. So the type of keyboard he's most interested in playing-- that is, organ/synth versus piano-- will be a factor.

Another factor will be how many different controls-- dials, buttons, sliders, pads, etc.-- are available for modifying the settings in the virtual instruments.

The number of keys is another factor, but you can get an 88-key controller for under $250, so it isn't necessarily as important as the other two factors, especially since a given line of controller will usually be available in different numbers of keys-- 25, 49, 61, and 88.

Once she finds out a little bit more about what he would be most interested in, let us know and we can make some informed suggestions.
 

happyrat1

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In addition to what Michael just said, my $0.02 is to avoid the cheapest models at all cost. Stick with Novation or Akai or other name brands else you may discover some ugly bugs along the way.

Gary ;)
 
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Arturia Keylab Essential 61 sits at a $259 price, it is probably one of if not the best at c$250, a Novation Launchkey 61 is presently c$210 and this is another contender as Gary suggests.

A good quality fully weighted keyboard can be quite expensive in the Arturia Keylab mk 2 88 is $900 and at this price they may well be better advised buying a fully integrated keyboard like a Roland Juno DS either in 88, 76 or 61 form.
 

happyrat1

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I own an Arturia Keylab Essential 49 and I would not recommend it.

Arturia has paranoid DRM and non standard MIDI protocols which it recently screwed up with a massive firmware update.

Upshot is that it no longer works properly with anything except their own stupid software.

Likewise I've owned an M-Audio Oxygen 49 in the past. That one couldn't keep up with the notes and kept dropping them until I turned off velocity.

Like I said, with off brands you get what you paid for.

Seriously your daughter should consider doubling her budget.

Whatever you end up buying, make sure you test it out thoroughly and make sure the store has a good exchange/return policy cause there's a good chance you'll need it.

Gary ;)
 
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I've noticed how people post the same exact question over and over again...

Which keyboard should i get? I have xxx,xx moneyz and what can i get?
I play in a rock band... which keyboard should i get... etc etc...

Well first of all - try searching the forums before you ask a question that's been
answered a million times already. I'm almost sure we covered every aspect of music and/or budget.

But anyhow... I'll try to write some kind of an overview in the next few days and stick it up
this subforum or under this thread.

edit (Ian) - I've uploaded Skipp's excellent guide in several parts to the article section - you can read it here:
https://www.keyboardforums.com/buying-keyboard-f85.html
RD-88
 
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I get it. IÈm stuck trying to decide whether I should get a Korg Wavestate of a Moog Grandmother. They're both great and do different things but in one way they both also do the same thing. I want to get into using a step sequencer. It's something that I've always wanted to do.
 

happyrat1

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Either one is groovy but you may have to wait a few months for stuff on backorder from China right now. From what I've seen the past few weeks, the warehouses have emptied out, and covid and politics have delayed the regular shipments from China by at least 100% to 200%.

Meanwhile, the dealers, panicked in the first few days to unload surplus inventory and now if it lists as "in stock" that's your only hope of seeing it before Fall. Prices dropped like crazy in the first few days of the lockdown, but now they're back up to normal again, but half the major items are on backorder til god only knows when.

Personally I still recommend that you save yourself a bundle and go for the Behringer Model 4D when it comes out. It's initial shipments have also been frozen by covid.

And for that matter you already own a Kronos. How easy would it be to dedicate a couple of octaves as a controller for a module?

Why spend all that extra money on keys when any keyboard will work? Less weight to haul to gigs as well. :)

Gary ;)
 
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happyrat1

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BTW, you could easily MIDI up an Arturia Beatstep or Beatstep Pro to your Kronos and be able to step sequence the Kronos sounds.

You really don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get into this.

Gary ;)
 
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