A Few Facts on MIDI Keyboards – How to Use Them and What They Can Do
New computers are so powerful in comparison with old models, and you can do a lot of things with them. Many are not even informed what it is possible to do with these devices, and the list of all options is truly long. You can, for example, transform a regular computer into a virtual piano.
That’s one of the great possibilities. Your computer can become a musical instrument. So if you are a musician, for instance, that solution is really useful. Of course, you will need some software and additional tools to implement this in practice. MIDI Controller is typically the most important device of all others when it comes to this matter
What Does a MIDI Keyboard Controller Do?
MIDI keyboards are great tools for recording artists to utilize during a recording session. They are specialized digital keyboards that can be programmed to recreate a plethora of digital sounds and instruments. They also come in varying levels of quality, as well as size. You can find very small USB MIDI keyboards perfect for home use. You can also purchase versions that have weighted keys so that they feel like playing a real piano but still offer the same digital creativity. The best type for you depends upon how you play to use the instrument.
The term MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and has several very different ways of producing digital sound. It looks just like a piano keyboard, but it is completely powered by electricity. MIDI Keyboard Controller does not create music itself, however, it transfers your commands to computer music software that then delivers a melody based on your instructions. Of course, you have to have VSTi (virtual piano) software installed on your computer because one cannot work without another one. In combination, they can create magnificent music, just like a real piano can do.
Some MIDI keyboards have speakers attached so that they play sounds in real-time like a standard keyboard. But some MIDI controller keyboards are actually intended to connect to a PC and play sounds by filtering through a USB cable so that music is played via the computer. Both MIDI controller types can be uniquely programmed to recreate practically any sound that you could think of. They can recreate the notes of an acoustic piano, or recreate any sound from a helicopter to a Glockenspiel.
MIDI keyboards also come in a wide variety of sizes and styles to suit your specific tastes. If you simply want a keyboard for fun, you will be best served to buy a cheaper board with a smaller set of keys. These can come in two and three octaves and featureless keys than an 88 key MIDI keyboard. They also don’t feature as good of sound quality, but they can still be fun to play around with. Typically you won’t find a mini MIDI keyboard that features weighted keys, so you also can’t recreate the piano feel when you’ll be playing. But mini MIDI keyboards can still be used for recording, although they offer fewer options than a full-size board.
If you’ll be recording your best choice by far will be 88 key MIDI keyboards. These recreate the entire range that any piano can produce and allow you maximum creativity if you’re a musician. Also, the larger MIDI controller keyboards tend to include more options for programming the sounds you want to use into your computer, to make them more flexible for recording. When you’re looking to buy good MIDI keyboards, you’ll want to stick with a top brand like M-Audio, Akai, or Studiologic. That way you can guarantee their quality, and your happiness with the end product.
When you’re actually looking to buy MIDI keyboards, the best place to go depends upon the type that you would like to buy. You can find smaller toy boards almost anywhere, including department stores like Walmart or Target. These can be great beginner tools and only cost in the area of $60 to $70. For a big full size 88 key MIDI keyboard, you’ll likely need to go to a music shop to ensure quality. This type of MIDI controller is also substantially more expensive, with cheap models costing at least $200, and a top of the line board in excess of $400.
Can You Use a Regular Keyboard as a MIDI Controller?
Fortunately, it is possible to use a regular computer keyboard as a MIDI one, however, some problems are also expected in different cases. At first, you have to have appropriate DAW software that enables this function. So the keys from your regular keyword change their base function while becoming piano buttons.
They will typically be sorted by notes and melodies, so each button will have different command when it comes to music displaying. However, regular computer keyboards are not always as proficient as standard piano keyboards. Melodies often have different flaws if they are created in this way. That’s why you should use a normal piano keyboard despite the fact that a regular computer keyboard can serve for the same purpose.
How Many Keys Do I Need On a MIDI Keyboard?
There are different types of MIDI Keyboards, so their sizes and designs can vary too. It means they can have 25, 32, 49, 61, and 88 buttons. These are the most common combinations, but you can even find some different key combinations on the market. Still, they are not so popular like these above.
Piano keyboards with a low number of keys are usually ideal for beginners. They are easier to handle, so if you are new at this activity, you should definitely start with 25 or 32-button models. More experienced users can utilize bigger versions too. They typically require some advanced skills, so they are not suitable for beginners.
If you just want to try how these things work, you should choose the smallest version. It is simply portable and lightweight, so it can spare you of different problems.
5 Best Cheap MIDI Keyboards Review of 2019
Korg’s microKEY and nanoKEY series are a great example of high quality craftsmanship paired with low price.
The micro KEYs are great because they employ synth action keys which feel great to the player. This line has also managed to bust out of the traditional 25 key ultra-compacts and design a 61 key model as well! Read the full review here.
The nano KEYs hold their own in the market too. Designed to slip into your laptop bag and costing the same as a few trips to McDonalds, it’s hard to deny the allure of owning one of these fantastic MIDI sequencers! Read more about the nanoKEY here!
Alesis focuses on creating simple devices that get the job done without emptying your wallet! The Q series are great and even offer a few models for less than $100 too!
My Best MIDI Keyboard is all about providing the most current MIDI products and information to the reader as well as engaging the reader with charts, reviews and of course, encouraging the reader to comment on the pages they find interesting or have some useful information to contribute!
If there is a specific MIDI controller you would like to see reviewed here on the site, feel free to get ahold of us through the contact page.
As always, I hope this article has helped you choose the best cheap MIDI keyboard option for you! Feel free to add your two cents in the comments below if you’ve got some good info to contribute! Head over to the MBMK home to read more!
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