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Thread: Thinking about getting a midi keyboard/ controller, specifications

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    Thinking about getting a midi keyboard/ controller, specifications

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    I use reason 10 and reaper
    In reason I use kong drums, and have been getting into soft synths. So:
    -16-pad drum for Kong, in rows of 4 if possible (for accuracy)
    -Reasonable amount of knobs or faders (not sure what the standard is? I'd hate to have some parameter knobs left without a controller on the keyboard)
    -polyphonic after-touch
    -not sure if this matters on midi keyboards, but a reasonable amount of polyphony? like 16 or more
    -about 49 keys or mid 30's
    -about $300 range

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    Polyphony doesn't matter, it's dictated by whatever you're controlling. Poly aftertouch is extremely rare (but regular AT is very common) - forget about it. There's no "standard" amount of knobs/faders (although they tend to appear in banks of 8) and most modern softsynths have so many controllable parameters that no controller is able to handle completely...

    So - with those pointers in mind, you can probably whittle down the choices to something you like. There's a limited amount of 16-pad controllers anyway...

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    Quote Originally Posted by krushing View Post
    Polyphony doesn't matter, it's dictated by whatever you're controlling. Poly aftertouch is extremely rare (but regular AT is very common) - forget about it. There's no "standard" amount of knobs/faders (although they tend to appear in banks of 8) and most modern softsynths have so many controllable parameters that no controller is able to handle completely...

    So - with those pointers in mind, you can probably whittle down the choices to something you like. There's a limited amount of 16-pad controllers anyway...
    Oh, for polyphonic aftertouch, I didn't know about that. But I've had these ensoniq synthesizers for years and they have it so I kinda expected it, but I can live without it.
    I guess I can do without having every controllable parameter on, just use the most important ones.

    Currently looking at the alesis VI series if anyone has input on it.

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    Good ol' Ensoniqs are kind of the exception to the rule

    I actually saw the Alesis series as I was writing that reply but as I have no 1st hand experience with it I was hesitant to recommend it. At least it ticks most of your boxes.

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    I actually picked it and it's been good. Though I was skeptical I made a bad choice because it's not a default supported device in reason so its knobs and buttons weren't mapped to devices, I was able to solve it by finding a custom codec Alesis VI61 Controller Maps for Propellerhead Reason: Here!
    and following this guide


    So now I got many of my own reason devices mapped how I want them. Not exactly a welcoming entry to the midi controller world, I spent the whole day trying to solve it, but I'm glad I didn't quit so fast and was rewarded
    Still.... I'm somewhat deadset on having almost every thing mapped to a device and not having to touch the mouse so I've been thinking of getting something like a novation XL to go alongside it. Don't know how i'd go about it though, my interface, scarlet 18i20 has one midi input and output. Would I want to get another cheap usb midi interface for it? That would work?
    Last edited by Laocorn; 03-26-2019 at 04:39 PM.

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    Since practially every modern MIDI controller connects to a computer via USB, the "classic" MIDI ports on your interface are more or less irrelevant in this situation (of course there are plenty of synths etc. that don't have USB). Are you talking about the Launch Control XL?

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    Yes, Launch Control XL. You're saying it could control midi parameters via usb, no midi connections needed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laocorn View Post
    You're saying it could control midi parameters via usb, no midi connections needed?
    Yes. In fact the only output of the Launch Control XL is a single USB port - there isn't traditional DIN MIDI on this.

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    I got it now, neat. I had been having my keyboard connected to usb and midi... unplugged the midi now.

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