USB MIDI Keyboard

Harrison

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Hi everyone,

I'm looking to buy my wife a small USB MIDI keyboard she can plug into her laptop to play a few tunes. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I'm not interested in the roll up rubber keyboards as they are not great, needing very hard pressing to make the keys work. It needs to be a proper keyboard with keys. So far I've been interested in the Akai LPK25 Laptop Keyboard Controller. Does anyone own this and if so what do you think of it?

Any other recommendations or advice?

Also, what easy to use software would be good for someone who doesn't have experience with MIDI software and sequencers?
 

User1301

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Hey Harrison - now this is MY field :)

Have a look at the Korg Nano Key...

I use it for Garage Band stuff but it can be used with anything. I also use it with the Korg Suite of Retro Synth's for the Mac which lets me have the 01W, M1 and so on sound sets. Very good!

The little Korg is great for composing tracks when out and about.

http://www.korg.co.uk/products/software_controllers/nano/sc_nano.asp

Cheers

John
 
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salaxi54

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If i may join-in the conversation.. :) it all comes to personal "taste" i think! Now, what i mean, is that keyboards that usually "go" with laptops are small in size. This has its pros and cons though...
Small means usually two octaves, and depending to the model, it might be with mid or full-sized keys. A detail that comes to mind is that you might want touch-sensitivity (dynamic), meaning the harder you play, the louder it sounds. I see John has mentioned Garage Band, which is an excellent starter's music suite, but unfortunately it's Mac only. I can't recommend any particular sequencer software, due to the fact that i'm an Apple-fan on this field, using Digital Performer when i don't do something on the Amiga side of things. And trust me, DP is no newbie stuff! Even setting it up will take a while. But, some keyboards happen to come escorted by basic software. Check that detail out, and who knows, you might have a free suite you still don't know about! (y)
 

User1301

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Oh - meant to say, the Akai is a fine wee machine too and the useful thing about the Akai is that it has a built in Arpeggiator (for all those Guru Josh moments that you want to recreate lol) but I imagine that it might not work on all MID software (the arpeggiator I mean).

I use the PC as well because although Garage Band is great for just coming up with quick tunes, I need more powerful software on the PC to do other things (and my PC is much faster than my Macbook).

I have a synth Rack at home for messing about with and it's great fun to have the PC and Mac doing different things and controlling different Synths but as Salaxi says - it's all about personal preference.

I like my wee Korg Nano but the Akai seems good too :)

Also - I haven't used it but apparently this http://www.acoustica.com/mixcraft/ is quite good and is similar to Garage Band (allows playing of loops and soft instruments etc).

John
 
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