OK, so I have Sony Acid Music Studio 8.0 (not Pro) and I finally figured out how to use its MIDI functions/bundled softsynths. Trouble is, playing them using step recording is tedious and not much fun at all. So I need a MIDI keyboard. I'm trying avoid spending a whole lot of money seeing as the electronic side of my music is even more of a hobby than my guitar playing (though I do want to go into audio engineering/production, so that could change), but it looks like the better MIDI keyboards are $400+...any experience with cheaper models like the M-Audio Oxygen models? I want to have at least 49 keys but I can deal with 37 if need be. I'm not Rick Wakeman, but I am a "player" so 25's too limiting.
It's funny; I used to hate MIDI because it meant companies could make synths without keyboards and I loved the idea of racks and racks of keyboards. But then a friend pointed out that all the video game music I loved growing up would've been much more difficult to create without MIDI. Not only that, but there's some great softsynths out there for much cheaper than hardware synths. I didn't really understand how MIDI worked until recently when I saw a YouTube video making the analogy of audio being like an MP3 or CD or live band and MIDI being sheet music; it's not music on its own, but more guidelines for how it should sound.
Feel free to laugh at me for finally joining the modern world in music.