I can't believe the poor quality of midi keyboards today

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
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KVRAF
3201 posts since 28 Jan, 2011 from MEXICO

Post Thu May 27, 2021 12:54 pm

If you want piano action you have to go for Roland high end digital pianos or Kawai, those companies make their own weighted piano actions, with wood and the whole mechanism mimics the one of a grand piano, but you have to spend 1,500 USD or more.

Even nord uses the fatar weighted action which isn't not even close to Roland and kawai, even casio makes a better weighted action than fatar.
dedication to flying

KVRian
586 posts since 13 May, 2015

Post Thu May 27, 2021 1:42 pm

Are there any digital pianos with hammer action keys that have midi out, preferably on DIN as well as usb? Haven’t found one yet but some of these pianos are in a similar price range to the higher end midi controllers. Won’t have the same knobs and sliders for extended control of course but I have been thinking I could supplement one with a smaller cmidi controller.

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KVRAF
2344 posts since 31 Jan, 2003 from Ghent, Belgium

Post Thu May 27, 2021 1:50 pm

SHall1000 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 1:42 pm
Are there any digital pianos with hammer action keys that have midi out, preferably on DIN as well as usb? Haven’t found one yet but some of these pianos are in a similar price range to the higher end midi controllers. Won’t have the same knobs and sliders for extended control of course but I have been thinking I could supplement one with a smaller cmidi controller.
Here's one:
https://www.thomann.de/be/roland_rd_88.htm
Or a midi controller for the same price:
https://www.arturia.com/products/hybrid ... ii/details
And yes, most keyboards / synths / midi controllers with DIN MIDI are mid to high end nowadays. If your budget is small, consider buying second hand.

Edit:
I found a cheap one: https://www.thomann.de/be/thomann_dp_26.htm
You should improve your googling skills! :wink:
Last edited by T-CM11 on Thu May 27, 2021 2:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

KVRian
586 posts since 13 May, 2015

Post Thu May 27, 2021 1:59 pm

Thanks. Was hoping to find something more in the £500 range but as you say at that price will likely lack connectivity such as midi DIN.

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KVRAF
6698 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Thu May 27, 2021 1:59 pm

SHall1000 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 1:42 pm
Are there any digital pianos with hammer action keys that have midi out, preferably on DIN as well as usb?
Take a look at the Kurzweil stage pianos.

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KVRAF
2344 posts since 31 Jan, 2003 from Ghent, Belgium

Post Thu May 27, 2021 2:01 pm

SHall1000 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 1:59 pm
Thanks. Was hoping to find something more in the £500 range but as you say at that price will likely lack connectivity such as midi DIN.
See my edit:
Edit:
I found a cheap one: https://www.thomann.de/be/thomann_dp_26.htm
You should improve your googling skills! :wink:
Here's another one, probably still within your budget:
https://www.thomann.de/be/kawai_es_110_b.htm

KVRist
154 posts since 27 Jun, 2019

Post Thu May 27, 2021 2:22 pm

Most midi controllers IMO are mostly scams and not worth the price at all. They contain no sounds and for the price you pay, you can get a very good roland, yamaha or similar keybord workstation for similar money.

On reverb.com the Roland FA-06 used is $698 and has a crazy amount of sounds (better than most VSTs) and can control your software instruments via midi very easily.

When I first started making music I also use to seek out midi controllers, but it’s really a waste of money IMO when you can get actual synthesizers and keyboard workstations that have midi and also have great sounds. And almost all I have played through the years have much better keyboard action than midi controllers. Just my opinion of course :)

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KVRAF
2344 posts since 31 Jan, 2003 from Ghent, Belgium

Post Thu May 27, 2021 2:35 pm

SoftSynthLover99 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 2:22 pm
On reverb.com the Roland FA-06 used is $698 and has a crazy amount of sounds (better than most VSTs) and can control your software instruments via midi very easily.
Bad choice for people who are looking for a keyboard with a lot of (configurable) sliders and/or knobs. However, I do concur that it's a great (hardware-based) sound source, especially for that price.
note: despite the topic title, the OP is talking about controllers, not synths. Not everybody cares about non-software synths.

KVRist
154 posts since 27 Jun, 2019

Post Thu May 27, 2021 2:58 pm

T-CM11 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 2:35 pm
SoftSynthLover99 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 2:22 pm
On reverb.com the Roland FA-06 used is $698 and has a crazy amount of sounds (better than most VSTs) and can control your software instruments via midi very easily.
Bad choice for people who are looking for a keyboard with a lot of (configurable) sliders and/or knobs. However, I do concur that it's a great (hardware-based) sound source, especially for that price.
note: despite the topic title, the OP is talking about controllers, not synths. Not everybody cares about non-software synths.
Well most modern (and even older) keyboard workstations/synths are full fledged midi controllers as well. That particular roland actually has a DAW control mode and you can map all the knobs, faders and even play midi drums via the drums pads etc and do pretty much everything mostly any midi controller can.

A lot of times basic midi controllers don’t stand the test of time either (because they are cheaply made) and in the end you spend more $ because you have to replace them often.

Something above like I mentioned or the many other suggestions here are not gonna break as easily because the overall build quality is much better and the keybed plays better (which the OP seemed to be interested in).

Even if he never used the sounds in something like that and just used it as a controller, he would be much better off IMO instead of spending $500 on a midi controller that likely won’t last 3-5 years.

KVRian
586 posts since 13 May, 2015

Post Fri May 28, 2021 12:17 am

T-CM11 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 1:50 pm
You should improve your googling skills! :wink:
Thanks. Will do. :wink:

KVRist
101 posts since 2 Mar, 2018

Post Mon May 31, 2021 7:09 am

chk071 wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 9:59 am
Know what bothers me more than the keys on the low cost controllers? Lack of Aftertouch. The Impulse is the only relatively low cost controller which has it, apart from the M-Audio Oxygen Pro (I don't think very highly of M-Audio though...).
Depends on your definition of "low cost" somewhat, but the Studiologic SL88, Nektar Impact GPX88, and Swissonic ControlKey 88 all have it. The first one is the most expensive at $500, the others considerably less.

T-CM11 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 1:50 pm
most keyboards / synths / midi controllers with DIN MIDI are mid to high end nowadays.
? Not true. A number of cheaper ones still have that, although I think it's slowly being phased out across the board.

SoftSynthLover99 wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 2:22 pm
Most midi controllers IMO are mostly scams and not worth the price at all. They contain no sounds and for the price you pay, you can get a very good roland, yamaha or similar keybord workstation for similar money.
:dog: No you can't. Good lucking finding an 88-key Roland, Yamaha etc workstation for anywhere near the cost of many 88-key MIDI controllers out there for $500 or less. And containing no sounds is partly what DEFINES a MIDI controller. They are for people who don't need the onboard sounds etc and plan to use VIs exclusively, and most also want some controls on board like transport controls while still keeping costs down.

That said, I agree it seems most of the controllers out there don't have very good keybeds and it is a shame. It shouldn't be hard to offer one with a quality keybed - nothing amazing, just a synth action or semi-weighted keybed that is solid quality. I think most people care more about that than the bells and whistles like drum pads.

KVRAF
28781 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon May 31, 2021 7:25 am

mixyguy2 wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 7:09 am
chk071 wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 9:59 am
Know what bothers me more than the keys on the low cost controllers? Lack of Aftertouch. The Impulse is the only relatively low cost controller which has it, apart from the M-Audio Oxygen Pro (I don't think very highly of M-Audio though...).
Depends on your definition of "low cost" somewhat, but the Studiologic SL88, Nektar Impact GPX88, and Swissonic ControlKey 88 all have it. The first one is the most expensive at $500, the others considerably less.
Not the best brands though, IMO. Nektar might be decent, but, Swissonic, uh...
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRist
101 posts since 2 Mar, 2018

Post Mon May 31, 2021 7:36 am

Have you used the Swissonic? Opinions on any keyboard vary, and I have not used any of these, so can't say...just FYI that there are options.

KVRAF
28781 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon May 31, 2021 7:43 am

Yeah, fair enough, and, the price on the Nektar is very affordable.

TBH, I haven't used Swissonic yet, only go from hearsay. Maybe I'm wrong.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRian
645 posts since 13 Feb, 2013

Post Mon May 31, 2021 7:55 am

Kinh wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 4:51 am
Was at the music store yesterday, excited about buying a new keyboard (for the hell of it) and I was amazed at the crappy quality of the keys on all of em.

The Akai MPK261...Terrible! The keys are wafer thin, not squared off (like Impulse) and they spring back like a diving board..totally unnatural .

Arturia keylab...crap!

The Native Instruments one... also thin and tacky. There's nothing high end about this at all except it's got slightly better action than the akai.

And the bloody Novation sl mkiii, the "flagship" one, flagship my ass, the action is absolute rubbish and the build quality of the keys seems thinner than the akai. Also the keys wobble are are noisy. The Impulse's keys blows them all out of the water, it's solid as a rock, not springy, you can bang the hell out of it and the keys wont snap like these will and that was released 10 years ago! Why couldn't they make the mkiii like that? If I took this thing home I would've snapped a key in under a month. Do they come with replacement keys?

Shit, I was bitterly disappointed. And then there's the supposed "weighted" keyboards like the M-audio hammer. That's not a piano action! It's the same as old freaking church organ, slow and heavy. Id love to see someone play Flight of the Bumblebee on that.

I can only agree. I'm highly frustrated since years. They feel really bad regardless of the price. Never understood why the NI is regarded to have quality keys. But the AKAI mpk249 was not so bad from the feel of the keys. Im wondering that you dislike the mpk261 that much. I thought it was more solid and with a good amount of resistance compared to most others in the store when I checked.

I would easily pay 500$ for a simple midi keyboard with really solid and nice feeling keys and a good velocity response.

The velocity response is very bad often too you can't test this in a store. It's often difficult to get 1-127 steps reliable out of them or the curve feels wrong.

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