Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
Muzaa
KVRer
3 posts since 29 Jul, 2016

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:24 am

Hello
I am looking for a mini midi controller (which works with Windows 10). My concern is the keyboard.
I need a keyboard with very 'soft' keys, as for children toy instruments but with musical properties as for adult musicians.
Because of weak muscles disability I have a problem with pushing standard keys.
I would like to find such a midi that even after a gentle touch it catches the sound.
It is not a problem of such parameters as velocity settings, rather as mechanical construction of keyboard springs.
I am considering AKAI MPK MINI MK2 and Arturia MiniLab. I can't check them anywhere in my city and I have to choose and order it online. Which one would be better for me?
Maybe you can suggest any other very sensitive, easy to push, keyboard with or without velocity?

OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
930 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:01 am

have you looked at the cme xkey range? you can enter user definable velocity curves for that.

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DMG68
KVRist
72 posts since 2 Sep, 2012

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:08 am

Korg Nano Key 2

cake builder
KVRist
68 posts since 21 May, 2014 from USA

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:12 am

I would NOT recommend the Korg Microkey. On the default settings you have to pound the keys with extreme force to get full velocity, and even after using their utility software, I found the velocity curves to be unsatisfactory.

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fisherKing
KVRAF
1852 posts since 6 Aug, 2009

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:19 am

the korg, fun to carry around sometimes, is awful to play. definitely check out the cme xkeys (i have a 25key and the 37key). i take the 25 with me often. but a really nice experience to play...
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Muzaa
KVRer
3 posts since 29 Jul, 2016

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:28 am

Thanks for all responses!

Probably CME doesn't have a mini keyboard or I can't find it, yet. Regular size keys are more difficult for me to play.. Moreover, I can't see anything about how soft to touch are their xkeys.

As for Korg, I think I should try NanoKeys2 [thanks for advice DMG68!]. It looks soft on YouTube videos, some films suggest they are as soft as common computer keys that I can deal with. I won't try Korg Microkeys, as they seem to have very high keys and must be difficult to push.

Please pay attention in your advices that my point is mechanical resistance of the keyboard, not how the movement is transferred to velocity curve.

OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
930 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:39 am

Ah, sorry - the xkey are full size keys in pretty much as small a frame as possible.

In terms of travel/resistance - because the travel is so shallow (not much more than a mac keyboard) and the velocity curves can be remapped, you can set it to respond to very light inputs - but if the key size itself doesn't work for you then that's out.

fwiw, I just measured how much weight it takes to register with an on/off velocity curve and it's 50-55grams.

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GaryG
KVRAF
5761 posts since 13 Jan, 2003 from Kent, UK

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:50 am

Muzaa wrote:As for Korg, I think I should try NanoKeys2 [thanks for advice DMG68!]. It looks soft on YouTube videos, some films suggest they are as soft as common computer keys that I can deal with.
I'd second that recommendation, I use the nanokey2 all the time. I don't have any issues with full size keyboards but I find moving between a laptops keyboard and the nanokey much more consistent/fluid/productive from a workflow perspective, similar force on both boards etc. Also, you may read reviews about the build quality; I think a lot of commentators are confusing the NK2 model with the original model which was awful (literally cheap laptop keys). I've found it sturdy and bears up to being chucked in my laptop bag repeatedly (and on the floor after I've missed the bag occasionally. :))
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rod_zero
KVRAF
3018 posts since 28 Jan, 2011 from MEXICO

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:04 am

the Xkey from CME works like a computer keyboard, not as an standard music keyboard. if you are confortable using a laptop keyboard then the Xkey from CME could work for you.
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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
24157 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:33 am

Maybe something like PUSH or a Launchpad would suit you. Depends what works with your DAW. Push 2 takes very little pressure to trigger notes, and can be set for different responses.
The minikeys on the Microbrute are also very easy to press. No velocity, just note on and off. Works as a midi keyboard over midi and USB. Not really what you asked for tho ...

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
6678 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:37 am

The Keith McMillan mini keyboards like the k-board can be made to be extremely sensitive. Personally I prefer the cme xkey, which are full size but very shallow. And I had issues with the qunexus pitch bend and returned it twice. But it was prettying playa me otherwise to a light touch. I would just recommend trying one first.
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deastman
KVRAF
7169 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:12 am

I find Push (both 1 and 2) to be a very hard and unpleasant surface to play.

I was also thinking that the k-board might be an interesting option.
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dformd
KVRian
517 posts since 20 Dec, 2008

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:37 am

My experience: tried six Qunexus keyboards and every one of them had problems - not all of the keys had the same velocity response (even after adjusting the sensitivity settings in the setup editor); some keys occasionally didn't detect presses at all. According to my local dealer they're frequently being returned. I imagine the Kboards (same keyboard without the CV stuff) have the same problem, but I haven't tried them.

Muzaa
KVRer
3 posts since 29 Jul, 2016

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:22 am

Thank you all for the responses! Thanks to you I decided to buy Korg Nano Key 2 and I am happy with them :)
I thought they would be even easier to press, but probably it is not possible. I'll try to manage with them for now. Thanks again!

Straight2Vinyl
KVRist
291 posts since 10 Mar, 2017

Re: Mini Midi Controller with sensitive keyboard

Post Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:25 pm

Have to resurrect this old thread. I just picked up a used laptop to do some recording on the go and need a portable midi controller. I have a Seaboard Rise Block and hate playing it. It's too damn small to ever play a chord and triggering notes by accident happens too easily. I just want something I can play and a quick KVR forum search gave me an option with the CME Xkey 25. Awesome. Love this forum.

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