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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » MIDI Controllers and Interfaces
Help Me Decide On A Controller
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Scott013



Joined: Aug 16, 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 1:41 pm    Post subject:  Help Me Decide On A Controller Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, so, I've been thinking for a long time about how I would get started in electronic music. I now know for sure that what I want is a MIDI controller. I do some programming, and I have programs like Reason and Kontakt 2 on my computer which I would love to use with a controller.

Now I want to make sure I choose what is best for me. I don't have a lot of money to spend (I'm an unemployed highschool student) so I want decent quality for a really cheap price.

I won't be trying to be a one man act or anything, so I don't need anything that has exceptional ability to multitask, but I do want a bit of freedom. I'll probably playing in a Radiohead-ish band with some friends (I'll probably do some guitar playing in that too). One thing I really want is the ability to change parameters with knobs and sliders, Kontakt2 has a lot of capabilities for that sort of thing.


Ok, so I've found two main options that suit my needs, feel free to recommend be anything else though:

1. PCR-M30 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=key/search/detail/base_id/130136

The thing I love about this and some of the other Edirol products is that it has so many knobs and sliders built in, it also has two expression pedal ports. Apparently it can function as a stand-alone instrument as well... All though I'm not sure exactly how it works. A disadvange of this is that is only has 32 keys. I'm not all that experienced with keyboards, but I know that is smaller than most.

2. M-Audio Keystation 49e http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=key/search/detail/base_pid/703605/ + Behringer BCR2000 B-Control Rotary http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=key/search/detail/base_pid/701762/

The advantage of this would be more keys to work with, and more knobs to use. It is more expensive though, and like I said, I don't have a lot of money. As well, I can get the PCR-M30 here locally, but I would have to order the other these two things in.

So that's pretty much it! So can some of you experienced artists give me a reccomendation? I've never actually USED either of these, so it is extremely hard for me to tell. (You can go into a music store and try out guitars, but MIDI Controllers are completely different.)

Thanks in advance.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, you seem to have done your research. Of course, money is an issue that you can't avoid, but you mentioned both of these options.

The second one is much more powerful - go with that one. You are right, if you are going to use a keyboard, get one with as many keys as you can. Even if you aren't a great player, you'll make better music if you aren't stuck in a narrow range. The knobs on the BCR are rotary encoders with LED collars. This is a big improvement over the knobs plain old potentiometers on Edirol keyboard. There are many reasons for this. The main reason is that the computer can set the knobs to their starting positions when you change presets. This makes a profound difference. It won't be long before all MIDI controllers will have the encoder type knobs. Don't invest in obsolescent technology.

I hope other people chime in here and give you some other opinions. I have a BCR2000 and it's very nice. Works great.

When you get this stuff and start making music, let us hear some of it.

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
you'll make better music if you aren't stuck in a narrow range.


Nonsense, erm, I mean I do not agree immediately :-)

I'm not a keyboard player, but I've always liked the NM Classic's keyboard for it being as short as it is. Maybe because I've been playing on bamboo flutes for years, their range is pretty limitted (1), but it makes you come up with inventive things to make melodies work.



(1) : 2 octaves at best, but above about 1.5 octaves keying is different for for each one.

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Scott013



Joined: Aug 16, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the advice Mosc, it's very encouraging when people help out.

So, I think I'm leaning more towards the second option, I had no idea that the knobs on the Edirol were different. I'm going to look at a few controllers/regular keyboards with MIDI-out that have a fair amount of keys and are cheap.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There are a few other MIDI controllers that have the encoders. Maybe people will chime in if the know of them. I can't think of any other than the BCR2000 because I'm not gear hunting at the moment.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:

I'm not a keyboard player, but I've always liked the NM Classic's keyboard for it being as short as it is. Maybe because I've been playing on bamboo flutes for years, their range is pretty limitted (1), but it makes you come up with inventive things to make melodies work.


I only saw this one now.

I'm reminded of what I thought of when I first heard of Gameboy music. What I thought was great about this is tha tyou could cary your instrument with you all the time which might enable you to get much more intimate with it. As great as grand piano sised keyboards are when you are sitting behind them; they to take up a lot of space and if we are honest; they simply don't travel well.

Personally I realy like the EMU Launchpad. It's just one octave (inclusive) but transposing by both octaves and single keys is lightning fast. It fits in my laptop bag and it's quite sturdy. Also; it doesn't look like a piano keyboard and the keys are numbered starting at "0" which I find very pleasant for controling melodies relatively to something (instead of absolute relative to a scale), it's looks and feel also make it more intuitively suitable for controling home-brew sequencers.

All of those might be relevant factors (and there's always the DX7 for proper piano-style doodeling).

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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good one Kassen, I wasn't thining about that direction anymore. The Emu Command Stations are the evolution of the launchpad...the "keys" are basically drumpads you could bang things out with. Plus a touch strip, lots of knobs, and the proteus sound engine to boot.
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