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Re: Any decent Midi/USB keyboards these days? (37keys/aftertouch; Sculpture)

Het Buzzy - have you considered Push? It will be out on March 5. An
early tester at Ableton forum said:

"I just tried the latest pads from Akai. I am biased, but I have a
studio that is filled with velocity sensitive products, and these are
the most sensitive pads I have ever played, while still retaining the
solid feel of Akai pads. This is obviously subjective, so I encourage
you to try these pads side by side with anything else on the market

Videos up at https://www.ableton.com/en/push/

But maybe you are trained on the traditional chromatic piano styled
keyboard? Then you should of course stick with that. You should ask
for weight keys in the music store to get the best playing action in a
MIDI keyboard. I learned that from classically trainde colleges. For
me, coming from a guitar background, the Push with its chromatic pads
layout seems very attractive. Especially since the last three years of
Stick playing have taught me a better attack accuracy in finger
tapping (the reason trained piano players want weight keys). And since
I recently started using virtual electronic instruments with loads of
layers and note based control over many octaves I'm not very happy
with my trusty old microKONTROL. It has three octaves plastic mini
keys. When playing note/switch sampler patches I have to program its
drum buttons to send the exact MIDI notes to switch. A full keyboard
(or preferably PUSH) would be so much faster.

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen

On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 8:16 PM, Art Simon <simart@gmail.com> wrote:
> Well, I'm happy with both my Akai MPK49 and M-Audio Venom. You can get
> some really good deals on the Venom these days. The Akai has afterouch
> and the Venom doesn't. Honestly though, I'm not sure I have very high
> standards in keyboards, and I've never played a Korg Trinity, so I
> can't compare the keyboard actions.
> On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM, Buzap <buzap@gmx.net> wrote:
>> Hi folks
>> I'm looking for a compact yet capable midi (or USB) keyboard. Year 
>> after year, I go through the same procedure: Go to a music store, try 
>> out ALL available midi/USB keyboards - then go home empty handed... 
>> Sure, with a 2000+ EUR/$ synthesizer, you sometimes get nice keyboard 
>> action. But usb keyboard controllers?
>> Once in a while, I unbox my beautiful Korg Trinity and I'm amazed how 
>> musical & expressive the keyboard plays: My right hand plays a 
>> wonderful (I believe Fatar) top quality keyboard with responsive 
>> aftertouch. In my left hand, I have a joystick (x = pitch, y+/- = two 
>> modulations), ribbon control and two switches directly available.
>> I have to yet recreate that experience on a midi/usb keyboard + 
>> software setting.
>> As for software, Logic's Sculpture was an exciting discovery recently. 
>> Can't believe I've ignored such a great physical modeling instrument 
>> for so long... I love it!
>> With hardware keyboards, I still have problems.
>> First a word on quality/responsiveness/aftertouch:
>> Is it me or do midi/usb keyboards in recent years lack the quality of 
>> simple keyboards in the 90ies?
>> I mean, in early 90ies, even a cheaper Yamaha/Casio keyboard would have 
>> decent action. Even the crappy old Casio VL-1 from the 80ies has better 
>> built quality than most laptop-sized keyboards nowadays.
>> Talking about responsiveness: Hardly any keyboard seems to have 
>> aftertouch. Lack thereof completely takes the life out of the virtual 
>> instrument for me.
>> Then modulation wheels (yuck):
>> If the compact keyboards provide any modulation/pitchbend at all, it's 
>> mostly wheels (vs joystick). I wonder: How do you actually manage to 
>> use two (=pitchbend+mod) wheels at the same time? With a joystick, I 
>> can manage more parameters easily (see above). Mod wheels? I don't 
>> know...
>> Here a word on 37 keys:
>> I find 2 octaves utterly useless. First, you only get real two octaves 
>> when you play the note "C". For any other note, you only have one 
>> "real" full octave. And for entering chord progressions, it's never 
>> enough.
>> With 37 keys, you can start off in the middle octave and you can always 
>> jump up/down one octave (then realign with octave buttons). For me it's 
>> perfect for single handed playing. For two hands, I at least need 5 
>> octaves minimum. So don't know why people come up with 25/49-keybards.
>> While we're at it: Why start with the note "C"? Starting with F/G would 
>> be much more useful...
>> Ok, so, what are my options? My favorite being the Korg Microkey...
>> KORG MICROKEY 37 (http://www.korg.com/microkey)
>> + compact size
>> + good keyboard action
>> + pitchbend and mod wheel!
>> - lacks aftertouch
>> - no sustain pedal
>> NOVATION SL 37 / successor?? 
>> (http://novationmusic.de/midi-controllers/sl-mkii)
>> + As far as I remember, action was quite nice.
>> + Expressive controls (joystick, touchpad, aftertouch)
>> - too bulky, faders etc. take a lot of space
>> ? Not available anymore, any decent successor???
>> ALESIS VORTEX KEYTAR (http://www.alesis.com/vortex)
>> +/- it's a keytar! :-)
>> + Has aftertouch!!
>> ? Any experience playing it / or keytar advice in general???
>> ?
>> As always, looking forward to your feedback :)
>> Buzap
> --
> Art Simon
> simart@gmail.com