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Mini-Keys on Synths - Do You Take Them Seriously?

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  • Mini-Keys on Synths - Do You Take Them Seriously?

    I have a Novation MiniNova here for review with mini-keys, and of course, Korg has been doing synths with mini-keys for some time; most of the portable/laptop companion keyboards use them too.



    I actually don't find them problematic, but I'm not a keyboard player in the sense of having played fine pianos all my life. So I'm wondering - what do y'all think of mini-keys? They're fine? Deal-breakers? Don't care? Do care? Inquiring minds want to know.
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  • #2
    I got a Korg MicroSampler and find the size of the keys are good for my fingers, which I suppose would be medium sized. I also get the bonus of being able to easily streach my fingers out to play those hard to get at chords, that I find hard to do with the normal sized keys. After a bit of practice it is also no problems for me to do just as fast lead lines as I can with the normal size board, not that I would be classed as a fast player compared to a pro keyboard player.

    I think the deal breaker on these are how they make the instrument ultra light and portable, especially so if they are being carried around a lot.

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    • #3
      I'm a keyboard player with large hands, so as you may guess, I don't like them, and have never owned a keyboard with mini-keys.



      If I were using one to play simple stuff, trigger samples, and that kind of thing in either a studio or live setting, I'd use 'em.



      For any sort of actual playing, no way.
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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
        View Post

        I have a Novation MiniNova here for review with mini-keys, and of course, Korg has been doing synths with mini-keys for some time; most of the portable/laptop companion keyboards use them too.



        I actually don't find them problematic, but I'm not a keyboard player in the sense of having played fine pianos all my life. So I'm wondering - what do y'all think of mini-keys? They're fine? Deal-breakers? Don't care? Do care? Inquiring minds want to know.




        Don`t use them. Wouldn`t touch one either. Reminds me of a toy.

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        • #5
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          • #6
            I have a Micro Korg . It is great for me , but I mostly trigger arpeggios.



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            • #7
              I've been a keyboard player for many years and I wouldn't consider buying a synth with mini-keys, I just don't enjoy the feel of them. It probably has something to do with muscle memory developed from years of playing a full sized keyboard that doesn't translate to mini-keys. Mini-keys are best for non-keyboard players who want to input notes into a program like Ableton Live as they're building tracks/loops, or for doing very simple things live.

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              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by techristian
                View Post

                I have a Micro Korg . It is great for me , but I mostly trigger arpeggios.



                Dan




                Those are fun. I played that for a couple of gigs because my main keyboard was in the shop, and it was fun. We used it for some analog type sweeps, and I played some keyboard parts. Not something I would want to do on a regular basis, but a really fun keyboard.
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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by Ed A.
                  View Post

                  I've been a keyboard player for many years and I wouldn't consider buying a synth with mini-keys, I just don't enjoy the feel of them. It probably has something to do with muscle memory developed from years of playing a full sized keyboard that doesn't translate to mini-keys. Mini-keys are best for non-keyboard players who want to input notes into a program like Ableton Live as they're building tracks/loops, or for doing very simple things live.




                  I think you hit the nail on the head for me Ed, (pardon the pun), I can only play keyboard with my right hand, I have never been able to sync both hands, not that it matters for me when creating multi-track music, do the bass with right hand, do the lead with right hand, I suppose it depends on the type of sound the keyboard produces, like the MicroSampler is really an overblown loopstation with one major benefit of being able to use the mini keyboard to do some real interesting octave looping stuff, I think that is a real boon, especially when playing along with guitar, the audio possibilities seem endless to me, well I am in with my mini keyed little beast.

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                  • #10
                    mini-keys = toy











                    would not.
                    I will be banned soon, so don't get too attached.

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                    • #11
                      Although I'm primarily a guitar/bass/vocal/sax guy with larger than average hands, I actually like mini keys. I'd like to have something smaller than my regular keyboard just for recording the simple key parts I play. That said, I spent many years playing a mini Casio and then a CZ-101 so maybe I just got used to them. I've never played keys live except the token two or three songs a night so this is coming from a guitarist who has done a boat load of sequencing midi parts over the years.
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                      • #12
                        25 years ago when I was living in Italy for a year I took a CZ-101 (because I couldn't really lug around anything bigger). It didn't take me too long to adapt to the spacing, but when I was back home in my studio I always used a MIDI controller with full size keys (as I now do with my MicroKorg).

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                        • #13
                          I read the post, sorta ignoring the subject header.



                          So no, I don't take a keyboard seriously if I see mini-keys on 'em. I'm not saying that they can't be useful or fun at all, just that I don't take them seriously.
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                          • #14
                            It's all a matter of personal preference, but for me there is no option but 88 weighted keys with AT......
                            Originally Posted by co&cafan808


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                            • #15
                              Just bought an inexpensive M-AUDIO 88-key MIDI generator. Full-size keys. I don't think I would like mini-keys... I'd be liable to make mistakes, inasmuch as my brain is trained to play regular size keys. Alas, the new keyboard has "springy" (not weighted, but not quite organy either) keys.
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