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Full size or mini midi keyboard???

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  • Full size or mini midi keyboard???

    I'm interested in getting a USB midi controller to use with Garageband. Ive seen a range of 2 octave USB keyboards nicest looking ones for a good price being Alesis Photon25 and Edirol.

    But then again theres the full size keyboards like M-Audio(very cheap feel) and Edirol PC-50.

    How important is it that you have a larger keyboard when using software synths. Is there an octave switch that lets you go up and down instantly?

    I personally like the Edirol PC-50 for price and size. ANyone know anything about quality and reliability of these? How important is it that you have plug'n'play for Garageband. Do drivers slow things down?

  • #2
    Originally posted by mazza_lives
    How important is it that you have a larger keyboard when using software synths.

    Whew, almost thought you were talking about small (MicroKorg-sized) keys . Generally, with electronic music, you 'program' and you can leave the intricate stuff to the program itself (or arpeggiator), and since you generally lay down several tracks you don't need something like lead + bass.

    Is there an octave switch that lets you go up and down instantly?

    Generally yes.

    I personally like the Edirol PC-50 for price and size. ANyone know anything about quality and reliability of these?

    Every keyboard has a different feel; even though nowadays most keyboards are made by dedicated manufacturers (Fatar). For quality - well, you'll have to test that out yourself, if you want light (which can be perceived as flimsy by some) or heavy (which can be perceived as frustrating because you have a hard time getting full velocity).

    The only downside I see with the PC-50 is that you have very little in terms of realtime control; no knobs or sliders. This might be less than ideal when using some software synthesizers.

    How important is it that you have plug'n'play for Garageband. Do drivers slow things down?

    Garageband works with samples, not with instruments like VST or AU. As soon as you are going to use those (in Logic or Cubase) (ASIO)-drivers are going to play a role; then again, so will your audio interface.

    The "slowing down" is latency and does not depend on your MIDI keyboard.
    "Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.
    Synthesizer Programming Megathread - add your tips & tricks or ask how to recreate sounds!

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    • #3
      I'd definitely go for something with full size keys.

      I just bought an Edirol PCR-M50 and it's great.

      Definitely get that over the PC 50 one.

      Much better quality.
      -----------------Mike PensiniPiano/Keyboard/Producer/Musical Director/Writertwitter.com/mikepensini | facebook.com/mikepensinimusic | youtube.com/groovatious

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      • #4
        There's no general rule for electronic music. Some people do a lot of sequencing. Some people like to play things out. Some people do both. If you are planning to play things out at all, go for a bigger keyboard. Even with octave switching, smaller keyboards can be a real handicap

        Plug and play doesn't mean no drivers - it just means they are already present in the operating system. As far as quality of hardware and quality of drivers, you should look for reviews and get input from folks with hands on experience with the particular instrument
        www.NothingExpected.com
        www.AhdChild.com

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