Electric Keyboard With Midi Output – Unique controllers not only allow customization of productivity tasks such as those of the Swiss military, but also creative inspiration.
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Electric Keyboard With Midi Output
It’s never been easier (or cheaper!) to make music with a computer and a cheap MIDI keyboard. Until recently, even the most basic home studios required a higher degree in electronics to understand how to connect everything. Now you have access to incredibly powerful, great software and hardware for live music production. The Core is one of the best MIDI keyboards out there.
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Coupled with a decent computer, audio interface, and maybe a set of studio monitors or mixing headphones, a MIDI keyboard means you’re in the (show?) business. With the right keyboard you can enter all the notes and chords you want to set the world on fire with. Don’t start frying just yet, though, because you’ve yet to choose the right MIDI keyboard for you. It’s a bit more complicated than plugging old things into your computer with piano keys. The world of MIDI controller keyboards is vast and much more varied than a planned high school science fair project. How many keys do you need? Which type of connection suits you best? How much should you spend? Consider all of these (and more) before cashing royalty checks for all of your future endeavors. Don’t worry though, we’ll break it all down for you. Here’s our pick of the best MIDI keyboards.
There are great MIDI keyboards on the market, with key count, size and weight options, including CV/Gate connections for interfacing with modular synthesizers. Some are for general use, while others are specifically designed to work best with digital audio workstations (DAWs) and music production software. What they all offer is compatibility with MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, an industry standard connection/communication protocol that converts keyboard interactions into instructions from computers, musical instruments, and other external processors/sound modules.
We looked at all of these options when compiling our list of the best MIDI keyboards. To narrow down our best controllers in each category, we draw on our experience as experts in the field, most notably having spent three years writing both as a professional musician and writer for leading music technology publications.
, IGN.com and more. In addition, we verified critical consensus, user impressions, and use cases from popular music producers and composers based on peer reviews.
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Since MIDI keyboards don’t make any sound by themselves, it’s tempting to grab one and put that money into something else in the studio (maybe you’re looking at a fancy new monitor for a nice screen you can hear sitting there). But when you consider that your MIDI keyboard may be the centerpiece of your studio or live performance, and that you’ll hold it in your hands more than any other piece of equipment, you begin to understand why it’s worth the investment. It. Since price often dictates not only quality, but also quantity of options, it’s helpful to start with a budget and work from there, adding additional essentials such as matching knobs and sliders. Regardless of your budget, rest assured that all the keyboards on this list are worth your hard-earned money.
Why it made the cut: By combining a smart DAW and computer with a full keyboard, you can finally take your eyes off the computer and focus on the music.
Modern music production is all about DAWs or digital audio workstations. Because of this, we tend to train our eyes on computer screens, for better or for worse. German company Native Instruments thinks it’s even worse, so it’s designed a line of MIDI keyboards that encourage you to move away from the computer and interact more with the keyboard itself. Called Komplete Kontrol, they range from small to large, with our pick of the best MIDI keyboards, the S88, at the top.
As the name suggests, the S88 has 88 keys, fully weighted Fatar keys with hammer action, for pianists looking for the feel and control of an acoustic piano. It also has two control pedal inputs to make sure your playing is spot on. The keyboard contains a row of eight rotary encoders and a circular four-way push encoder that drives a high-resolution two-color display. The next feature is how NI takes your eyes off the screen. With deep DAW integration, this oversized MIDI keyboard can duplicate parts of your DAW on dual screens, allowing you to mix from the keyboard, for example. It also integrates with the software via the included Komplete Kontrol application and can run standalone or as a DAW plugin. This saves you the trouble of creating MIDI cards to control things like filter cuts, by mapping native instruments and participating third-party software directly to knobs.
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The Komplete Kontrol S88 doesn’t come cheap, but as a full-featured MIDI controller with a piano-style keyboard, it just begs to be the centerpiece of your home studio. For musicians who enjoy performance but don’t need all the buttons, check out the Komplete Kontrol S49 or Kontrol S61 for similar add-ons without the extra octaves.
Why it made the cut: This controller combines good looks and build quality with a creatively inspired approach to MIDI control.
Creating modern music is more than just playing notes on a keyboard, drums, effects and unique chords are all part of the experience. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice to have a controller that can adapt to the situation? Joué Play, a MIDI keyboard controller from the French studio company Joué Musical Instruments, fits in perfectly.
The Joué Play is modular and has a rubber controller mat that can be swapped out depending on the task. The four-module version we reviewed (there are two more) includes a standard piano-style key controller, one for a drum pad, one for a guitar rim pad, and a second keypad, but no black keys, which are compatible with these. Likes to experiment with scales. Additional controls vary by module, but the transport and octave buttons are the same for all modules. Beds sit on metal and wood bases – an RFID chip tells the system it recognizes the module’s controls, and the whole unit is reassuringly secure. It’s also a sight to behold, with two different color options to choose from, a clear fire (shown above) and a more subdued aqua.
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The end result is a unique controller that not only offers the Swiss military adaptability to the production tasks at hand, but also inspires creativity, with a unique control surface such as an XY board and raised foam domes that encourage experimentation. Joué Play works with any software tool, but integrates most deeply with connected apps. While the app looks great, some may find the editing functionality lacking. In that case, you’ll want to spend the extra $50 for the Pro software upgrade, which unlocks more customizable controls and MPE (MIDI Multi-Function Expression).
Why it made the cut: Keys, pedals, knobs and even a free bundled DAW – what more could a beginner want?
Want to hit the road but don’t know where to start? As long as you have a computer, Akai Pro’s MPK mini mk3 offers a solid and affordable entry into the world of music production.
For those who don’t know, Akai Pro is the company behind the MPC line of hardware samplers, a series of bullet boxes designed for hip-hop and other music genres. What does this have to do with MIDI keyboards? The MPK mini mk3 (the world’s best-selling MIDI keyboard, according to Akai Pro) borrows some of that MPC hardware magic and combines it with MPC Beats, the DAW version of the in-car music production control system. For about $100 you can make music with the best.
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Think of the MPK mini mk3 as a one-to-one MIDI controller. It features 25 knobs, eight drum pads, full tempo control via direct channel and multi-pole knobs from the MPC (unheard of at this price point), eight infinite encoders for controlling software instrument parameters, an assignable X-Y joystick, even an OLED display for visual feedback. Light enough to walk with and sturdy enough to glide through your studio while drumming.