New to MIDI - need pointers

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New to MIDI - need pointers

Postby ZeeOne » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:13 am

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.
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Re: New to MIDI - need pointers

Postby optimus prime » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:08 am

MIDI essentially IS digital sheet music. It also allows for control over CC parameters, which can be pretty much any function/parameter on a synth, software or otherwise.

The cheapest solution for what you want is probably the Oxygen 49 v3: Those knobs/sliders/buttons can be assigned to any virtual knobs/sliders/buttons on your soft-synth. That is achieved with CC parameters (previously mentioned).

Another option, especially if you're tight on space, is the Korg microKEY, teamed with the Korg nanoKONTROL. That would give you more-or-less the same amount of control potential, in a much more compact, and even somewhat modular package.

The smallest and cheapest option would be this: I know you're not interested in 25-key controllers, but you might consider this because it allows for a more 'producer', rather than a 'player' approach. And it's cheap and portable.

Also, maybe you don't want knobs/sliders/buttons at all. There are a few 49-full-size-keys models that are cheaper because they are basically just the keyboard.
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Re: New to MIDI - need pointers

Postby Cityfarms » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks for sharing..
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