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Just bought a mini usb midi keyboard. Please throw ideas at me.

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  • Just bought a mini usb midi keyboard. Please throw ideas at me.

    Was cheap and I felt (rather than know) that I could use it to add simple organ or/and other instruments to my recordings with Reaper. It's the AKAI LPK25

    lpk25

    The description promised an almost plug and play easiness of use.... But I must be dumm because even EZdrummer doesn't really work for me.

     

    I have never used midi before and that stuff is way over my head so I need help. Please don't be afraid to talk to me as to a child learning to eat with a spoon. I won't be offended...

     

    Specific questions (may or may not be stupid questions...):

    - How do I have access to virtual instruments without breaking the bank and be sure it will work? I saw  "microsoft GS wavetable synth" and "microsoft synth" in windows somewhere and was wondering if W7 doesn't have a usable synth or VST on board (not very optimistic).

     

    Reaper user: What's the way to access the VST and make them record and sound in the edit window. I tried it with EZdrummer and I saw the level meters go up and the midi little thingy bars showed up in the visual clip but no sound the hear! (arrggghhhh...).

    Are there Free plug-ins safe to use (don't know why I wrote that) and decent enough for some instruments like organs and strings?

     

    I have more questions but I'll first leave it at that. Feel free to add infos I didn't ask but you think I should know.

     

    Thanks!

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    Yamaholic --- PpP --- Old geezer with a grey beard

  • #2

    (By the way, Korg makes a mini midi keyboards and controllers for about $50 as well)

    As far as getting the keyboard setup for midi, the best thing you can do is read your help files. Each daw program is a little different and since I dont run Reaper I cant give you specifics. In my other DAW programs, the basics are to get the DAW program to proper recognize the hardware> Set up a midi track> Select the proper midi Ports> Select the proper Send and Receive channels> Insert an virtual instrument into that track> Set the proper voices to work with that midi instrument> and get the virtual instrument to play back on your monitors so you can hear whats being played.

    Some of this stuff may be set up to defaults and some may need to be changed for your device. Chances are midi is turned off because a midi device wasnt available when you installed the DAW program. You need to get the harware recognised then route your midi signals to and from the virtual instrument. Nothing is automatic so you have to do it all manually.

    Someone who runs reaper may be able to give you specific steps, but I still suggest using your help files. Theres allot of signal routing with midi and you have to know exactly what you're doing to make connections vs hoping you stumble across the right settings.

     I run Sonar for audio recording but for Midi and it sucks balls. Its default settings require me to tweak all kinds of stuff just to get it going and get sound from a midi track and even then you have too many perameters to tweak for different virtual instruments. I give Kutos to those who have mastered midi recording with Cakewalk products. Its too much of a hassle for me.

     I found Cubase to be the easiest of all for midi recording myself. I plug in a midi Keyboard and it practically recognises it right off the bat. Plug in a virtual instrument and its pretty much ready to go. I think Cubase has a button you can press that will scan the harware and set up the midi devices input and output connections and from there its just setting up tracks. Again I have no idea how simple reaper is, but you may want to check the Reaper site. Maybe they have a forum tere if you get no responces here. Be sure to read the device manual as well.

    Comment


    • Zooey
      Zooey commented
      Editing a comment

      I'm not a Reaper user, but just scanning google search results for "ezdrummer in reaper" reveals dozens of videos and threads about using EZ Drummer in Reaper.


    • Jkater
      Jkater commented
      Editing a comment

      Thank you WRGKMC and Zooey, I figured out how to make it work in Reaper.

      I also checked the internet for free VST instruments and most are synth that I don't care for and wouldn't use for my purpose. They also sometime bring a warning in my computer that such files could harm my computer. Don't know what that is and it may be nothing but I'm not sure I want to risk it.

      Since I really need instruments rather than weird sounds, I reckon I'd have to buy one and I found something not too pricey that seems very interesting: Jazz and big band instruments including keys and drums

      Jabb3

       

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  • #3

    I use Reaper too. I plan on getting the AKAI MPK Mini with the drum pads. I have EZDrummer as well, but I'm thinking I'd like to be able to assign individual drums to the pads and layer them in real time to a click track rather than sift through the 100's of non-descript groove files in EZDrummer. It's such an whip, and was always my main issue with using MIDI drums.

    I've found a few good free VSTi's - mostly pianos, organs and synth stuff. I found a REALLY good Mini Moog sim, but the name of it escapes me. Try http://www.kvraudio.com/ if you haven't already.

    Comment


    • Jkater
      Jkater commented
      Editing a comment

      SaintJames wrote:

      I use Reaper too. I plan on getting the AKAI MPK Mini with the drum pads. I have EZDrummer as well, but I'm thinking I'd like to be able to assign individual drums to the pads and layer them in real time to a click track rather than sift through the 100's of non-descript groove files in EZDrummer. It's such an whip, and was always my main issue with using MIDI drums.

      I've found a few good free VSTi's - mostly pianos, organs and synth stuff. I found a REALLY good Mini Moog sim, but the name of it escapes me. Try http://www.kvraudio.com/ if you haven't already.


       

      Hi St-james,

       

      I just had a look at the Akai MPK25. A lot of controls and seems well specified (word?) but just so you know, many reviewers are unanimous about the drum pads being stiff and hard to use for nuanced dynamics. You can rework the notes afterwards but it's nice to feel how we want it to sound. As to the keyboard itself, I don't know if it's the same as the LPK25 that I had but I found it to be also on the stiff side (still playable though) and being two octaves only, you'll find yourself often wanting that couple of notes just outside. Strangely, the price difference between the the LPK and MPK is enormous : 40













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