In an attempt to purchase or choose the best MIDI keyboard, many are left puzzled, left in the middle of amusement and perplexity when they encounter a variety of Keyboards with exceedingly equipped features that make them indecisive and not necessarily because they’re not choosy.
Far from that, the thought made on the acquisition of Keyboard is beyond what many may think. It’s what requires critical reasoning and careful decision. The sounds produced by your proficiency on the keyboard are dependent on the kind of choice you make to settle for a particular type of Keyboard.
You might be stirred to ask, ‘Why do I have to undergo such cumbersome task all because I tend to decide on picking a suitable, compatible and trusted Keyboard to foster the widening of my venture?’ You might want to venture in as a means of playing for one’s pleasure and talent, as a professional in music production or perhaps as a virtuoso.
Whichever motives you harbor in you, you surely need tips to serve as a guideline so to say or prevent you from purchasing something that will bring you crops of regret, disinterestedness and living one in derelict.
It is important you get acquainted with a few things such as the synthesizers, starter pianos (If one is a newbie in the world of music), the types of keyboard and their common specifications, actions assigned to features and what they are meant for. Also, which kind of brand to patronize to avoid the ones who won’t see to your problem if there’s an uprising one, and a long stretch of other needful tips that will aid you to own a lasting and helpful Keyboard in the building of your skill.
The following tips are:
1. Consider The Number of Keys
The crucial thing to consider before the purchase of a MIDI keyboard is the number of keys. It should be the preclude consideration to make of which other tips should lie on. One’s familiarity with the keys, most especially for beginners, is exposure to other effects, the faders, the knobs, and others. You need to know the sizes; its weights, widths, length, and space it could occupy on a table which it is placed on.
MIDI Keyboards comes in different dimension crested with different sizes and a different number of keys. This could serve as merit or loopholes to any of this keyboard. Some occupy more space, some are mobile, and some are too fragile. The benefits, in some cases, envelop the loopholes. The commonly used keys are :
25-Key: This key is light, mobile and fragile, best played with one hand, apparently due to the keys. This is being left behind by experts; perhaps it doesn’t produce the quality of music sounds for production.
49-Key: This is also a mobile keyboard size, played with two hands. Its emergence is fast overwhelming the important of the 25-key MIDI Keyboard.
61-Key: Also, a two-handed keyboard with some key count that produces classic organ.
88-Key: This is the heaviest of all keyboards, played with two hands, with key count meant for acoustic piano.
We have also got some uncommonly used key such as the 33 and 37-key, 73 and 76-key. The 25-key and 49-key are made with a synth or semi-weighted actions. Some have just the semi-weighted action which deals with the ideal way of playing speedily. Some keys have hammer actions; some have the waterfall keys and other assisting features. It would be extensively explained below.
You need to familiarize yourself to the action permeated to a key; your awareness of this helps build your skill, such as:
Aftertouch: Some Keyboards are clasped with the feature of the aftertouch data, assigned with series of effects to beautify or give a feel to the player; it encompasses the pitch bends, volume swells, vibrato, etc. It comes to notice when punctured for a long period of time. It could come in two; channel or polyphonic aftertouch. The first send only one aftertouch message no matter the puncture of the key. The latter sends an individual message.
Synth Action: There’s a need to know the ideal for playing the keyboard, especially when one is new to piano playing and keys puncture. How fast to depress a key, the sound it produces and all.
Waterfall Keys: Smoothed semi-weighted keys (this allows just like the synth-action the idea of playing and the dynamism of velocity), basically to emulate organ keys.
With the above, it is certain to arouse the interest of many to get from the 49-key above. While many are unsatisfied because the 49-key Controller is not enough to play a Rhodes emulation. Some persons prefer the usage of keyboards with velocity and aftertouch.
2. Consider The Knobs And Controls
After getting to know the size of Keyboard controller, the number of keys it consists, then find out for better keyboards with knobs, faders, and pads that will give an enthralling feel of functionality to the sound. You sure want to acquire one that will bring out the best of your music dexterity.
The recommendation will be made in the latter parts of this discourse.
Control devices equipped in many MIDI keyboards allow for the maneuvering of sounds generation and DAW controls. If truly mapped to the correct function, it is saddled with the function of emanating better pleasing sounds and also to have access to the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).
The pads are made with rubbers, sensitive to velocity; it stirs events from drum hits and the changes of patches.
These are assignable for a function, ascribed primarily for endless encoding and potentiometers.
This is basically for equalizer control and organ moderation.
This is not often time present in every keyboard, if present in any; it’s posses with a variety of function that helps the player a great deal.
This could be assigned for accessing the menus, settings, splits, transpose function, or octave up/down.
This contributes hugely to the refining of the vocals, singing quality to notes played. This is a part of the keyboard with a mouthpiece mashed with the teeth and blowing into it.
Some Keyboards have a screen that displays the activity of the players being carried on, on the keyboard. Recently made keyboards have screen unlike the antiquated of the 1980s.
Some MIDI keyboard controllers come with a foot controller that serves as an additive controller to music production. There are four principal types:
This produces a replica function of a piano sound. It ensures and maintains such melodic sounds that soothe the model of the player’s taste.
This controls various parameters like the volume, effects, and patch changes.
MIDI Stomp Boxes
It does several things like patch changes, looping or playing chords, etc. It serves the same purpose as the guitar pedalboard.
Organ Foot Pedal Keyboards
This is organ bass notes as it sees to its moderate, organization and blends to produce a resounding melody. Its sends value to the MIDI.
The above controls are important factors that needs enquires for the purchase of the Keyboard Controller.
You certainly want to exert the best from you. It is essential to acquire a Keyboard that will extensively promote and aid in building your skill. Get compatible Keyboards based on its flexibility, portability, and most especially consider the keys, sounds, knobs, compatible DAW and other specifications.
Are you a stage player, a virtuoso, veteran, or professional? Then do not puzzle or leave your audience with seething, screeching, and honking tone.
Cheer them with mind-blowing, captivating and alluring sound, something that will be struck their heart and leave memorable traces in them.
This is better achieved with foreknowledge on compatible keyboards. The second tip should come in mind are the keys, the controls, and other crucial functions. Your decision if duly made, is a determinant to the quality of music you intend ushering to the public.
4. Consider to Buy MIDI Keyboard Having More Than 25 Keys
Most experts in music production would be quick to christen the 25-keyboard as archaic, outdated, or loss of value. It’s partly correct in some sense because it hinders the production of a complex composition of sounds, or maybe the user is concerned with creating a bass or instruments made with one hand.
It does not hide the merits on the usage of 25-key; it has more portability and occupies a few spaces. Its portable state makes it so easier to move places, on a train, and play. The loopholes of the 25-key are the inadvertent shortage of the player’s creativity and the innovation to formulate better sounds. The more keys a Keyboard is equipped with, the more pathways are to the creation of the creative atmosphere. Indeed 25-key occupies little space and are more cheap and affordable; one has to consider the limitation and complexities that are inherent in the course of using it in music production.
Do ensure to get keyboards with more buttons, pads, and knobs. You could assign these midi parts to a specific function that will hasten, free, and ensure simplicity.
5. Consider If It’s Multitimbral
A multitimbral Keyboard sends multiple channels of MIDI information. The multi-timbral Keyboard is a fascinating keyboard as it allows the player to concomitantly play different timbres, otherwise known as sounds or patches.
This might be rare for most Keyboard, but ordinarily imagine the magnificence of playing different tones at a time due to this befitting feature, how will your listeners, astounded by this blend of tones, react? Sure, their reaction is an addition to you as you will win more score to yourself.
The instrument which may be multitimbral include synthesizers, samplers and music workstation.
Also, consider the polyphony. Polyphony is a simultaneous playing of keys with simultaneous production of the tone. It could be six notes being six notes; either they sound at a time, or it follows after the stoppage of the other.
NOTE: There are discrepancies that exist between polyphony and multitimbral. Polyphony deals with simultaneously playing different notes at a time, but Multitimbral is the simultaneous playing of different sounds at a time.
It is important to watch out to these two highlighted features for it will go a long way for your music production.
Storage is extremely important to be checked on, for it enables the reservation of needful files that envelops multitudes of tones and sounds. You should pursue a better storage capacity that won’t only assist your work at that juncture but beyond even after freelancing or practicing. For those who are new to music production, practice makes perfect; it is better achieved with the aid of wide storage capacity so target a better one.
8. Sampler and Sequencer
This deals with tone generation and how the synth works. You need to target a bevy of a keyboard that is made with the availability of this feature to explore the more in music production.
For clarification on what a sampler and a sequencer is;
A Keyboard sampler can record any natural sound with an attached microphone, which may be converted and used as a waveform or a sample. The waveform is accustomed to a particular key on the keyboard.
A Sequencer can be a simple record button that saves a performance in the real-time. The sequencer helps send different tracks on different MIDI channels to MIDI connected keyboards, modules and computers.
9. If You Want All In One
This is basically the interest of a few persons who want the encompassing of all. You need a synthesizer. A synthesizer is an internally interwoven equipped basically for sound emanation. The synthesizers could produce real word sounds like kettle drums, boiling oil, the rattling of iron, and possibly creates new sounds that are never known.
This unique feature is what many taste for since it gives the privilege to formulate resounding melody and captivating sounds. The synthesizers could be connected to PC or via using the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).
This is where you notice the similarity of the synthesizer to the sample and sequencer. They deal primarily with tone generation and modulation. Therefore, why not concede on better Keyboard that has the explained features and soar higher in your music field.
10. Buy From Verified Brands
Quite a number of times do fault bumps up or erupting so suddenly that it alters our progress and effectiveness. In cases like this, consumers of the MIDI keyboard controller are left to worry about these setbacks that have aroused with no clue of pinpointing what had purged the faults. Some consumers who know the warranty fixated on these acquired products are made to return to the producers to help repair or replace it with another.
So why do patronizers need not to be oblivious when it comes to better brands to acquire? It is primarily to make things so easy for you peradventure sudden faults hampers or cripples the functionality of your keyboard. We have cited a reason above, and in addition, you’re being acquainted with brands and the end products they create.
In some cases, they are brands that are more specific in the production of a keyboard with a unique function.
The next and irresistible tip that determines your buying of a MIDI Keyboard is the decision you make. On what basis will your decision be made? On the effectiveness and functionality of the Keyboard Controller, or will it lean on the affordability of the Keyboard?
We’ve made a brief, concise and succinct explanation on the above ten tips, to supplement it with this last point shows our commitment to guide you in the purchase of the best MIDI Keyboard that will spur out the inherent skill in you, to help join hands in making waves in the music industry.
So, do take your time, research, make a good comparison on various MIDI Keyboards before you order for one. Strive for the best.
This article should serve and assist you, give you advice and direction. It is cogent not to skip any of the outline tips, as every bit that makes these 11 tips contribute to a wider extent.
Therefore ruminate on them, make a stern decision, fasten yourself with the tactics and endeavor to adhere to them to guide you towards the processes of being an expert in the music industry or perhaps it’s for one’s pleasure, your familiarity with this techniques will promote the production of exhilarating sounds that smoothen oneself.
Hi, I’m Drum & Bass music producer and founder of MusicGearo and Integraudio.com. It was a pleasure for me to work with various artists and was featured on popular channels and labels. I love to make new and exciting projects!