Which THIN midi keyboard controller to get?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
KVRAF
5096 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:59 pm

I need a max 2.8" thick 88 key midi keyboard controller. Space limitations require the keyboard to be thin. My studio viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7760&p=7777146#p7777146

Please offer your suggestions as the best key action feel and consistent velocity response. Also interested in the overall impressions. Yes I know that they will not be good/great but still I would like to get the best one possible.

Prefer weighted or semi-weighted. I may consider synth action keys.

Nektar Impact LX88+ $360 - 50” x 10-7/8” x 2.75” thick (3.5” to top of knobs) – 18 lbs. - $360 key action felt pretty good. https://nektartech.com/impact-lx88-controller-keyboard/

Arturia Keylab 88 Essential - $399 - 49.6 x 10.3 x 2.5 inches (1260 x 262 x 64 mm) weight: 18.7lb (8.5Kg) https://www.arturia.com/products/hybrid ... 8/overview

Keystation 88 MK3 - $229 - 39.1”x 7.4” x 2.6” (18.7 x 6.6 x 99.3 cm) Weight: 9.0 lbs. 4.1 kg https://www.m-audio.com/keystation-88-mk3

Midiplus Dreamer 88 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller - $209 - 50 x 10.43 x 2.76 inches. Weight: 19.4 pounds http://www.digime.com.cn/product_en-32.htm

Midiplus x8 II. 8.46 x 2.9 x 53.38 inches (discontinued?)

BTW for several reasons including that it is 1” thick I am considering the Linnstrument.
I have the Sensel Morph but it has only 25 keys. :(
Yes I have a few iPad midi keyboard controllers but it is very small and does not have velocity sensing. :(

I am asking now as Black Friday is approaching and want to prepare to make a purchase. :)

Edit: added Nektar Impact LX88+
Last edited by Kalamata Kid on Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KVRAF

Topic Starter

5096 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:49 pm

Comments will be greatly appreciated.

User avatar
KVRAF
31165 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:22 pm

I don't know the height, but the Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 would be my pick from the keyboards I've looked at recently ... it has wood ends too. Might wait for the black version. :ud:

Image

I have a Keystep which is very compact and the best mini-key instrument I've ever played.

KVRAF

Topic Starter

5096 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:35 pm

^^^
Yes the Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 is 2.5" Thin.
I tried it a month ago and and was not impressed of the key action.
But may still settle for it if I do not find a keyboard with better key action.
I will attempt to go back to Sam Ash and trey it again.

I would prefer the black version. Will it be available soon?

KVRAF

Topic Starter

5096 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:39 pm

Went to Sam Ash but they did not have the Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 in stock or on the floor.
But
They had the Nektar Impact LX88+ The key action was not bad at all. Felt solid. And it is black. I have an issue of the location of the USB and midi ports.

User avatar
KVRAF
6369 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:15 am

Kalamata Kid wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:59 pm
BTW for several reasons including that it is 1” thick I am considering the Linnstrument.
I have the Sensel Morph but it has only 25 keys. :(
If you‘d use my LinnStruMini design, the Sensel would give you a pretty nice 4 Octave range (7*13 keys...) With octave switches of course to get the full 127 range...

KVRAF

Topic Starter

5096 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:09 pm

I briefly tested the Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 (white) and Nektar Impact LX88+ at Sam (black) Ash yesterday.
In My Opinion:
The action is decent for both for the money but the Arturia is a tiny bit better.
Also the built in quality The Arturia is a tiny bit better.
But prefer black so this may require a coin toss to determine the winner.

Price quoted to me
Nektar Impact LX88+ $319
Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 $349.

After all this work I am now looking more at the Linnstrument 200 but at $1500 likely will not get.
Are there any sales for the Linnstrument 200?

KVRAF

Topic Starter

5096 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:43 pm

I began recently to consider buying the Native Instruments KOMPLETE KONTROL S88 https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... ntrol-s88/ primarily to get the Guide Lights. I bumped into this thread https://vi-control.net/community/thread ... ves.95759/ that has discouraged me from this purchase.

Yes, I still want a thin midi keyboard controller but am willing to to give up this spec to get one with Guide Lights and the other NI desirable knobs and sliders.

In an 88 key keyboard are there any other keyboards that have the Guide Lights?

Would be nice if there was a multi-touch Windows app that had a NKS keyboard with the Guide Lights and knobs.

KVRAF

Topic Starter

5096 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:51 pm

thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:22 pm
I don't know the height, but the Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 would be my pick from the keyboards I've looked at recently ... it has wood ends too. Might wait for the black version. :ud:

Image

I have a Keystep which is very compact and the best mini-key instrument I've ever played.
The black version is now available. :)
https://www.arturia.com/products/hybrid ... e/overview

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