View Full Version : MIDI keyboard/controller

10-15-2013, 07:04 AM
Lately, I have been playing around with LMMS (http://lmms.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php) (a free audio workstation software), and it's actually fun. It also allows to connect a MIDI keyboard to input notes (instead of clicking them on the "piano roll"), and I'm considering to get one. However, I'm entirely clueless.

I looked at eBay and there is a very large variety of different models in a wide price range. Various are just "dumb" controllers without own speakers and such, and others are "proper" keyboards. This may be an opportunity to learn some basic keyboard playing, but since I don't know if it's something I would stick with, I'd ideally like to spend $200 or less.

Would this be enough to get something decent that works on its own but also as a "controller" (and if so, what specs do I need to be mindful of?) or should I just go with a MIDI controller? (Those seem to be around $70 on average for 49-keys models -- is there anything that's import to check on?).

Thanks for any thoughts!

10-15-2013, 09:03 AM
Hi Mivo,

If all you envisage yourself doing is using the keyboard to enter notes, then you'll find a MIDI controller for under a $100 dollars that will do the business fine. Look out for the software packages that come with them, try and get one that comes with a great deal of software to play with (stand alone or plug-in synths, etc.) and make sure you don't need a separate purchase to actually hook it up directly to the computer.

If you don't always want to have your computer on and you think you might enjoy actually learning the keyboard, then you will swiftly tire of the tiny (typically 24 key) keyboards and having to key shift to get upper and lower octaves, all the time, so you should consider getting a 49 key instrument (at least) that is touch sensitive (- put simply - the harder you hit the keys, the louder it sounds) with built in speakers for portability. Make sure it has got a headphones socket and preferably a built in USB interface! Older models only had MIDI sockets and they require a MIDI interface, which has largely been superseded by USB interfaces.