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MIDI Keyboard vs Keyboards
novusseclorum
post Jun 18 2011, 19:04
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Hello all! I've been searching for a while and have been looking through the forums, but I haven't found a answer to my question of whether I can use a regular piano key board such as a casio lk-230 with a program such as fl studios or would i be better off with a Keystation 49e.

I am new to the world audio production, but i know the basic difference between the two, a regular keyboard is a keyboard with preset sounds but a midi keyboard is an external divice that must have a daw to make sounds, so my question is if i get a regular piano keyboard that has midi capibilities can i use it with a daw such as Fl Studios?

Again any answer with a explaination will be helpfull. If this topic is inappropriate for this board,please move it/contact me.


If you have links to other forums which could better answer this question, please feel free to post them! Thanks for all the help!
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AndyH-ha
post Jun 18 2011, 19:54
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If the keyboard has a midi connection, it is a midi input device that can be used to create midi files in appropriate programs. Most, if not all of them, are two way: computer midi file can be used to play the keyboard. The fact that the keyboard can function stand-alone, without a computer, does not compromise its midi functions.

My experience is very limited, I don't know if there might be modern keyboards that are somehow fundamentally different, but what I described above is so common, I would think these hypothetical others must be the infrequent exception.
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Brand
post Jun 18 2011, 19:58
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QUOTE (novusseclorum @ Jun 18 2011, 20:04) *
if i get a regular piano keyboard that has midi capibilities can i use it with a daw such as Fl Studios?

Yes. It must have a way of sending midi to the computer. Either through a standard midi connector or USB. The Casio you mention only seems to have USB, which probably can function for midi input/output, but I won't say this 100%, better check first.

For a more (computer) music oriented forum, I usually recommend KVR Audio.

This post has been edited by Brand: Jun 18 2011, 19:59
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db1989
post Jun 18 2011, 23:54
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If using a regular keyboard, make sure yours is better than the very cheap one I recently dug out; I expected little from it but was nonetheless aghast to realise that it completely lacks velocity sensitivity! Mind you, that may be just as well, in making me less likely to play it and be thereby embarrassed . wink.gif
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novusseclorum
post Jun 20 2011, 05:34
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After doing some further research i found that that people with the particular casio I mentioned were able to connect to there computers through its midi connection but were unable to transfer files to fl studios. I would like to get this particular keyboard instead of the MIDI because I think it would be easier for a starter like me to learn with something such as the cassio, but i dont know. If anyone would care to shed there views over the learning curve on MIDI keyboard it would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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terhardp
post Jun 20 2011, 07:16
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I've quickly checked out the two keyboard models you've mentioned. The first one is a beginner's arranger keyboard and the other is a standard MIDI controller. Keyboard is a general term, it can mean a part of the instrument or the instrument itself. Usually this means keyboard workstation - a synthesizer / sampler that has keys or arranger workstation. This doesn't need any additional equipment to make sound. A MIDI controller keyboard, on the other hand, is used to create MIDI data and to trigger the sounds from a hardware / software synthesizer or sampler. When talking about software, you don't have neccesarily have the DAW if you just want to play the keyboard using the sound from a certain software synth or sampler. There many of them that can work as a standalone application. You can, for instance, equip a laptop with the SampleTank or similar software, and in conjunction with a good MIDI controller, you have a complete sampler keyboard setup, like for instance, Nord Stage.

Most keyboards / MIDI controllers nowdays have an USB port for connecting to a computer or other equipment. In most cases, this substitutes the traditional MIDI ports and eliminates the use of seperate MIDI interface. In order to record / playback MIDI in DAW, you have to have both MIDI IN and MIDI OUT connection established. In case of the USB interface, the bus usually provides both, but with traditional MIDI setup, you have to connect both MIDI IN and OUT on your hardware to the computer using the MIDI interface. One of the most practical solutions is to use something like M-Audio UNO.

When it comes to music production, a good MIDI controller keyboard is of utmost importance. For me personally, as a pianist, the quality of the keys itself is crucial. Most of the controllers have semi-weighted keys, which provide better resistance / response than the ones found on the most of the cheaper keyboards and synths, but they are still not fully-weighted, to simulate the feel of the real piano. I myself, I'm currently using M-Audio Axiom 49. Generally, this is really good MIDI controller, as it has faders and knobs, but I'm struggling with it while recording my current album of piano music, since it doesn't have full-weight keys and I'm lacking a couple of octaves. So I will probably have to buy an additional piano MIDI controller, like Fatar Studiologic.

As for the advice which of the keyboards to choose, in your case I would probably advocate the Casio. If you're learning, you'll probably be easier with an arranger type of keyboard, not necessarily because of the accompaniment styles it has, but because of many practical reasons. Arranger keyboards are the most "complete" and "compact" keyboards out there because they're all-inclusive. They have keys, synthesizer, rhythm machine, on-board speakers and MIDI interface, so I would definitely recommend this to a beginner. MIDI controller keyboard, on the other hand, is just keys or keys with knobs and faders and other controllers. On it's own, it's useless.

I hope I would make your decision easier.

This post has been edited by terhardp: Jun 20 2011, 07:31
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Brand
post Jun 20 2011, 09:18
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QUOTE (novusseclorum @ Jun 20 2011, 06:34) *
After doing some further research i found that that people with the particular casio I mentioned were able to connect to there computers through its midi connection but were unable to transfer files to fl studios. I would like to get this particular keyboard instead of the MIDI because I think it would be easier for a starter like me to learn with something such as the cassio, but i dont know. If anyone would care to shed there views over the learning curve on MIDI keyboard it would be appreciated.

What kind of files do you mean?
You usually don't transfer any files from a keyboard. That might be a feature of some more expensive keyboards (perhaps transferring midi or audio recordings, which you saved on the keyboard), but in general you wouldn't expect to have such capability.

For your choice, eventually it depends on what you need most. If you want to use the keyboard without the PC sometimes, get one with speakers built in (and midi out, since that's a pretty standard feature anyway). If you plan on using the keyboard connected to the PC all the time and need to tweak knobs and sliders etc. inside the program, get a midi keyboard. But the Keystation 49e is not really a good example, since it doesn't have many controls. Between the two, I'd recommend the Casio.


QUOTE (terhardp @ Jun 20 2011, 08:16) *
In order to record / playback MIDI in DAW, you have to have both MIDI IN and MIDI OUT connection established. In case of the USB interface, the bus usually provides both, but with traditional MIDI setup, you have to connect both MIDI IN and OUT on your hardware to the computer using the MIDI interface.

For playing back or recording MIDI inside the DAW you only need MIDI OUT from the keyboard to the MIDI IN on the PC. You don't need both. You only need MIDI OUT from the PC to MIDI IN on the keyboard if you want to play the sounds on the keyboard (that's why most midi controllers don't even have MIDI IN).
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db1989
post Jun 20 2011, 12:16
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While weíre discussing models, has anyone any experience or knowledge of EMUís SHORTBoard or LONGBoard? Looking now, it both (1) seems to be marketed as a standalone device, in contrast to the print advert being indicative of a dedicated controller, and (2) doesnít seem quite as spectacular as it did in said advert! But Iíve seen EMU referred to favourably here and in other locations, and the price was reasonable IIRC, so I thought itíd be worth asking.
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DonP
post Jun 20 2011, 14:05
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QUOTE (terhardp @ Jun 20 2011, 01:16) *
When it comes to music production, a good MIDI controller keyboard is of utmost importance. For me personally, as a pianist, the quality of the keys itself is crucial. Most of the controllers have semi-weighted keys, which provide better resistance / response than the ones found on the most of the cheaper keyboards and synths, but they are still not fully-weighted, to simulate the feel of the real piano.


I don't know where weighted keys start on their current lineup. We have a Yamaha full size. To my limited experience the keys feel pretty similar to a Yamaha grand piano, and distinctly different than a Steinway. So the family resemblance carries more weight than one being electronic.
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terhardp
post Jun 20 2011, 15:47
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QUOTE
For playing back or recording MIDI inside the DAW you only need MIDI OUT from the keyboard to the MIDI IN on the PC. You don't need both. You only need MIDI OUT from the PC to MIDI IN on the keyboard if you want to play the sounds on the keyboard (that's why most midi controllers don't even have MIDI IN).


Yes, that is true, I appologize for writing otherwise. When dealing with some older MIDI equipment I tipically connect both MIDI IN and MIDI OUT even though this is technically not necessary in every case.

QUOTE
I don't know where weighted keys start on their current lineup. We have a Yamaha full size. To my limited experience the keys feel pretty similar to a Yamaha grand piano, and distinctly different than a Steinway. So the family resemblance carries more weight than one being electronic.


I can't say I have much experience with keyboard workstations that have full-size keyboard, as I didn't own a single one so far. But there is significant difference between the semi-weighted and fully-weighted keys on keyboards. That's why I'm about to purchase a fully-weighted MIDI controller in addition to semi-weighted I already have because it just isn't enough when composing / performing more advanced piano music.
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novusseclorum
post Jun 28 2011, 00:59
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Thank you all for the help! I made up my mind my mind on the Casio-lk230.

Ill keep you guys posted on how it works for me.

Thanks again for all the help especially terhardp as well as all the other posters.
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