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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Keyboard suggestions please!


Hi, I've started and am planning on making trance tracks. Currently I'm only using software, namely Fruityloops 3 and more recently, Reason 2.0. I'm finding it hard and tedious to not only put my musical ideas onto the program. More importantly, it's very hard to create music without a keyboard in front of you
So, here's my dilemma. I'm in college and have access to very little funds ~$100, or maybe a cpl hundred depending if I find a good summer job. I need a decent keyboard that I can hook up to my software so I can play the keyboard with the synths, etc that my software is set on, and control the volumes, resonances, filters, cause currently in Reason, I'm reduced to painting levels slowly and painfully on the "edit automation" feature (reason 2 users will know what i mean). Not sure what the other features keyboards have these days, like sequencers and stuff, but I have a feeling that it could be out of my price range.
I've talked to people here and there online and have received a few suggestions, but am not sure which road to take. One person has suggested that I get a cheap Oxygen 8 controller off of eBay (~$75-115). Another told me that midi controllers are no longer the way to go, and that I should go straight to a full keyboard (the oxygen is just 2 octaves, which is a slight minus). I have no idea what to get, and am very sketchy on the difference between a controller, a keyboard, a workstation...gahh so many names and they all have piano keys!!
If anyone can help me out with explanations and most importantly suggestions for what kind of keyboard I should get, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Someday I'll own a Korg. Lol.
February 11, 2003 @05:50am

I would suggest a Oxygen8. This would be your best choice for what you are doing.
February 11, 2003 @05:51pm

Actually I've been checking around reading message boards and stuff, and many people have been saying that it lasts a year, its keys stop working within a month, etc. I don't know if I want to take that risk with the Oxygen. Especially if I'm considering eBay.
How about the Evolution MK-249C?
It's almost twice the price, but it seems like it comes with a piece of mind.
49 keys, 12 controller knobs, a load of other stuff, and it seems to be more sturdy.
Anyone have any ideas about the Oxygen 8 vs. the Evolution MK-249C?
February 11, 2003 @10:43pm

I don't know if it's the Evolution, but one manufacturer actually has a series of controllers with knobs or sliders that do not have full MIDI resolution for the controllers (0-127), they jump a bit. Edirol, a company related to Roland (or owned by), has a newer series of controllers similar to the Oxygen8. It may be worth looking in to.
Personally, I would get a keyboard, though. Some hands on experience programming a VA would probably do you good. You could pick up a used Prophecy or JP-8000 and still be able to have fun with your computer off.
February 11, 2003 @11:24pm

I'm in college now and my PC is on 24/7.
At home, I've got a real piano, so its no prob there either.
Hmm the edirol 49 key midi USB one looks pretty good...price is comparable to the Evolution...
ahhhhh i hate it when there are so many choices.
Edirol's says it has templates for Reason...maybe that'll sell it for me...
Found this on another post:
What does this mean?....
"This also seems the case with the Edirol device, as its MIDI In is disabled when the USB port is active (else I would not have returned it in the first place)."
Anyone have had any experience with either?
February 12, 2003 @01:08am

Someone may have wanted to loop other devices through the Edirol to bring them all into their PC. But maybe the Edirol will not merge MIDI in to the USB out or even the MIDI out when USB is connected. That's just a possibility.
February 12, 2003 @03:49am

Oxygen, Evolution, or Edirol will give you the flexibility to control a lot of your parameters from your keyboard. However, it will be me skiping on the actual playing surface.
The alternative is something like a Fater Studiologic 161, which has 61 keys and should run you aroudn $150 on eBay.
February 24, 2003 @11:10pm