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Best midi keyboard for 500-600$?

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  • Best midi keyboard for 500-600$?

    Hello from Italy guys,
    this is my first message in harmonycentral. I've joined it because every question I've googled was here
    I'm an intermediate user of FL Studio 8,I a use cheap mute midi keyboard but now i want to change my approach to it buying a "serious" keyboard.I produce acoustic pop and progressive music.
    I'm a newbie in keyoards, so I I'm here to ask you what's in your opinion the best keyboard for a 500-600$ range price.
    I've seen Axiom Pro 64 and Novation Remote SL , but any idea is well accepted!
    Thank you very much

  • #2
    What is your main requirement? Control, or the (ever subjective) "playing feel"?

    Fully weighted controllers tend to give better velocity response (They tend to detect a lighter touch more reliably), but most come with less features. They also tend to cost more. Right now outside of CME 88 key and the Maudio Pro 88 (which has mixed opinions) there's not a lot around. Akai is coming to the rescue with their MPK88 controller, but it's unlikely to cost below $600 (Lets hope they're sensible and it's in that ballpark. If so they could clean up in the market!)

    If it's control over VST's then, even with something like a Remote SL, you're going to have to get involved in assigning stuff more than you think. It's not very complex but will require some effort. Other than the Remote SL there's only really the Axiom Pro to compete. Note that there is also a non-pro version of the Axiom which uses cheaper materials in places and evokes a more mixed response.

    If you're not that fussed about having controls auto-assign to VST's I'd probably go with the AKAI MPK61 when it becomes available. Most recent VSTs can assign to their own CC's anyway and, iirc, Fruity can map stuff on its own too, plus most control surfaces have multiple memories so it's as difficult as pushing the number for that VST!

    Otherwise, if you are fussed, I'd say the original Novation Remote SL (although a lot of people have complained about the rather shoddy build quality, which is more noticeable on the 61 key as the plastic can flex in the middle!). The new Remote SL 61 Mk II is currently very overpriced also and I recommend you don't buy that until Novation come down to reality with their European prices. They removed one of the displays and expect you to pay 100 euros more for it. No thanks.

    CME have good build quality for the price (relative to everything else out there, which isn't saying much) but I know there's people around with bad things to say about them. You could also widen your choice of keyboards to something which offers less control and then pair it with something like a Remote Zero SL or even a Behringer BCR-2000.

    Unless you can find it significantly cheaper elsewhere, I'd also go through Thomann.de for the 3 year warranty they offer..

    Comment


    • #3
      Edirol PCRs

      The M-Audio Axioms

      Novations

      Comment


      • #4
        the Axiom Pro is excellent. for me it boiled down to that and the Remote MKII. I tried out both, liked the feel of both for different reasons, but the Axiom Pro won out because it plays better with Logic (ymmv)

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you very much for your clear answers.I've spent my time to check those keyboards, so I'd take some time to reflect about my choice.
          A friend want to sale me an E-MU X-Board 61 he never used for 120$. Please could you say me if it can be a good choice?

          Comment


          • #6
            I have heard lots of good things about the Xboards

            I don't know if you're interested but, this is a great deal as well :

            http://keyboards-midi.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-KX61-USB-Keyboard-Studio-Controller?sku=706167

            Comment


            • #7
              what bout yamaha kx61? quality you can trust, and cheapo
              <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"></font></div>

              Comment


              • #8
                what bout yamaha kx61? quality you can trust, and cheapo


                Only 4 knobs, no sliders. I think he could do better.

                What about the Novation SL61? It's one of the nicer MIDI controllers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you very much for all your gentle answers.
                  Finally I took an Xboard 61.
                  It's perfect for what I need to do, maybe too much:-)
                  A lot of knobs, very good building quality, aftertouch, and a lot of included software.And a good price! Best choice for me

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    the Axiom Pro is excellent. for me it boiled down to that and the Remote MKII. I tried out both, liked the feel of both for different reasons, but the Axiom Pro won out because it plays better with Logic (ymmv)


                    Do the Axiom Pro keys feel better than the Axiom's keys? The Axiom's keys felt boxy and a little stiff to me. I preferred the Novation X-station keys so I sold my Axiom.

                    I tried out a Studiologic something-or-other at GC a couple weeks ago and didn't think it was that great. The sales guy suggested comparing it with a Keystation and the Studiologic was better than that to me, but I suggested that I am spoiled now by the feel of my Roland RD700GX and he agreed. I walked over to the floor model for that and it really does feel an order of magnitude more real to me.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer">Gribs<br />
                    <font size="3"><br />
                    <font size="1"><i>...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.<br />
                    </i><br />
                    G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).</font></font></div>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      VMK-88+ Just picked one up and I love it so far

                      Comment


                      • bluescreendive
                        bluescreendive commented
                        Editing a comment

                        hello everyone,

                        i mostly play slow jazz and i'd love to get the most out of Ivory 2 grand pianos. i want to have all nuances and am looking for a suitable 88-weighted-key-action midi-controller in the price range between $400 - $900.

                        i want the controller to be compatible with a half-pedal (continuous sustain level, not just on/off).

                        since i'm newcomer into the midi-world, there's something i don't understand. does a midi-controller have to have an outgoing velocity curve option?

                        i've beed advised a Studiologic VMK-88+ controller. upon research i found out that VKM-88+ does have this velocity curve option. the most VST intruments have velocity curve settings, though. is it enough for a slow nuanced playing?

                        i'd be grateful to all of you for your opinions and recommendations.

                         


                    • #12

                      Hello from Italy guys, this is my first message in harmonycentral. I've joined it because every question I've googled was here I'm an intermediate user of FL Studio 8,I a use cheap  mute midi keyboard but now i want to change my approach to it buying a "serious"  keyboard.I produce acoustic pop and progressive music. I'm a newbie in keyoards, so I I'm here to ask you what's in your opinion the best keyboard for a 500-600$ range price. I've seen Axiom Pro 61 and Novation Remote SL , but any idea is well accepted! Thank you very much

                      ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************

                      By "cheap mute" keyboard ( what kind is your keyboard, by the way? ), I take it that it has "synth action" which is light-feeling, but not exceedingly so...

                      Next step up is semi-weighted, which provides a little more resistance, but is still easy to "move" with your fingers.

                      After that is "Hammer Action" which provides an action closely imitating (but NOT duplicating) the feel of a "real piano". A "real piano" has nowhere NEAR the resistance of the keyboard makers "idea" of Hammer Action-I know, because I have played real pianos for most of my life, and most every manufacturer of such, is WAY off ( except for Yamaha and THAT was on the MO8)

                      If you really WANT to spend a top price of $600 on a "serious keyboard" then I can't stop you. I too am "serious" but that doesn't mean that I mistake PRICE for FUNCTION. I always look for the biggest return on my dollar, even if I have to compromise just a bit (example 49 keys vs 61 keys, saving me about $50 or more!)

                      Compare these two controlers which basically do the same thing:

                      High End:

                      http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=600792&Q=&is=REG&A=details

                      Lower End( but not cheap):

                      http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/903690-REG/M_Audio_9900_65318_00_Oxygen_61_Key_USB_MIDI.html

                      If I can save you $400 between the two, then this post will have been worth it...

                      <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="5">http://soundcloud.com/skyy38</font></div>

                      Comment


                      • George321
                        George321 commented
                        Editing a comment

                        Here is my suggestions:

                         

                        1) M


                      • crimsonking49
                        crimsonking49 commented
                        Editing a comment

                        I would check out the Korg micro its 400 dollars and seems to do a lot for that price and it sounds pretty top end.If you can spend a little more I recomend the Roalnd BK5.Im an intermediate player myself and Im gonna upgrade to a Yamaha S750 arranger and Im also gonna get the Yamaha P35 for a straight up 88 key piano



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