MIDI keyboard with drumpad and weighted keys on budget?

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hotmitts
KVRian
Topic Starter
645 posts since 27 Nov, 2003 from UK, Polegate

Post Fri Apr 29, 2022 4:11 pm

I'm looking for a new MIDI keyboard on a budget (if possible) with hopefully these features:
Weighted keys or at least a nice playable feeling (49 keys ideally)
Basic transport controls
Drum pads of a playable size
Overall not too plasticky (within realistic expectation)
Compatible with Reaper, Ableton and Reason

The one that has caught my eye so far in terms of these features and budget is an M-Audio Oxygen 49 which is around £150 here in UK.
Wondered what others are using?

hotmitts
KVRian
Topic Starter
645 posts since 27 Nov, 2003 from UK, Polegate

Post Sat Apr 30, 2022 2:42 am

Any thoughts?

chk071
KVRAF
32228 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat Apr 30, 2022 2:48 am

Budget keyboard and weighted keys? Hmm... as far as I've always seen, if anything, you get semi-weighted keys on a budget.
hotmitts wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 4:11 pm The one that has caught my eye so far in terms of these features and budget is an M-Audio Oxygen 49 which is around £150 here in UK.
The Oxygen doesn't even have semi-weighted keys.

I don't think 150 pounds really fit your requirements. Either up your budget or lower your expectations.

hotmitts
KVRian
Topic Starter
645 posts since 27 Nov, 2003 from UK, Polegate

Post Sat Apr 30, 2022 2:58 am

I think the later 'pro' versions claim to have semi weighted keys

https://m-audio.com/home/pro-series

chk071
KVRAF
32228 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat Apr 30, 2022 3:01 am

Does the 49 key Oxygen Pro also cost 150 pounds?

Not a big fan of M-Audio in general, TBH. I had 2 keyboards from them (Oxygen 25 2nd gen and Axiom 49), and a set of speakers. The speakers were OK, but, especially the Axiom wasn't really great. The encoders went jumpy after very moderate use, the keys were sticky and stiff, and didn't have a good feel to them, and the keys went yellow from sunlight (although that's a pretty common issue with plasti devices).

Dunno. How about the Arturia Keylab Essential? Costs 189 pounds at Thomann (not sure about shipping costs though). The Arturia keys have a pretty nice feel to them.

hotmitts
KVRian
Topic Starter
645 posts since 27 Nov, 2003 from UK, Polegate

Post Sat Apr 30, 2022 3:13 am

Yes it's roughly £150. I'll look into the Arturia, looks good.
I've only ever had a generic keyboard with basic functions so it's time for an upgrade but I haven't tried any of the 'names'

chk071
KVRAF
32228 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat Apr 30, 2022 3:30 am

Also check out the Novation keyboards, or the Native Instruments A series keyboards, if you can live without drum pads (they only have 8 encoders, but work with the nice Komplete Kontrol software. Also nice keybeds.).

I have the Novation Impulse 49, which is also good, but, a bit long in the tooth now. You surely get some better DAW integration with more modern keyboards.

Sometimes it's also interesting to take a look in the sales ranking at Thomann: https://www.thomann.de/de/cat_rank.html ... &gk=TAMA49

User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
32993 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Sat Apr 30, 2022 4:09 am

Novation ReMote series is worth checking out. Has semi-weighted keys, rotary encoders & drum pads. I have the original SL model which is now 16 years old and still works perfectly. :)

Hewitt Huntwork
KVRian
1406 posts since 2 Jun, 2003

Post Sat Apr 30, 2022 4:24 am

Yeah, weighted keys and drum pads are kind of two different markets in the eyes of manufacturers. Weighted keys also tend to be in a higher price range.

I have a Novation Launchkey 37 Mk 3 that I really love, and sometimes I wish I'd gone for the 49 key version. It's way better than the Nektar 49 I used to have, and way better than my old M-Audio (but that was acquired in 2005, so probably anything today would be better.)

Good luck with your search! If you want to watch videos on YouTube, usually Sanjay C has very thoughtful comparison videos.
If every KVR member wrote one review a year we'd have 1260 reviews each day!

anotherscott
KVRist
31 posts since 6 Oct, 2010

Post Sun May 01, 2022 10:05 am

For nice feeling semi-weighted keys and pads on a budget, I like the Samson Graphite 49.

For weighted (hammer action) keys and pads, there's nothing cheap.The least expensive I know of is M-Audio Hammer 88.

hotmitts
KVRian
Topic Starter
645 posts since 27 Nov, 2003 from UK, Polegate

Post Sun May 01, 2022 2:37 pm

Thanks for the suggestions folks.

Smasha
KVRist
169 posts since 4 Jun, 2010

Post Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:26 pm

Novation Impulse is broken on my new Kaby Lake PC and with a usb Audient id 4 mk 2 sound card.

It does not like the sound card I feel or it could be the chipset of this new i7 cpu.

Mucked about for ever and it does not get recognised as a midi device only when I restart the PC and then it only lasts a few seconds (after testing with a vsti) then the notes hang ,I have to close the DAW then when I retest it again,it is not recognised.

If buying a new PC,stay well clear of the Impulse.


Worked fine in my old Ryzen PC with an E-MU sound card.

It is an ancient KB and it's drivers have not been updated for a long time.

Might be the unstable ASIO drivers of the Audient ,who knows,was rock solid on an older system and card with low asio latency.

Don't ya love technology.

Too scared to buy another midi kb with today's plasticky cheap devices with shitful drivers made on the cheap for the biggest profit.

My E-MU 1212m has survived 4 PCs lol,that thing is going to my grave with me.

Audient is great n all but not in the same division as the mighty E-MU.

She is my most prized possession,I might marry her lol.

Impulse did not last either,withered away poor old thing.

What is the most STABLE midi KB out there?

Might not bother with all the players like Scaler out there and the REASon players.

Midi KBs are a PITR.

gtcrean
KVRist
36 posts since 10 Mar, 2021

Post Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:21 pm

I love my Alesis Vi61, got an older model used from guitar center for about $125. Semi-weighted keys but they feel great to me. Pads are excellent as well. It took some experimenting with different velocity curves for the pads/keys. Good luck in yr search!

dellboy
KVRAF
2026 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Post Sat Jul 02, 2022 5:16 am

Smasha wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:26 pm Novation Impulse is broken on my new Kaby Lake PC and with a usb Audient id 4 mk 2 sound card.

It does not like the sound card I feel or it could be the chipset of this new i7 cpu.

Mucked about for ever and it does not get recognised as a midi device only when I restart the PC and then it only lasts a few seconds (after testing with a vsti) then the notes hang ,I have to close the DAW then when I retest it again,it is not recognised.

If buying a new PC,stay well clear of the Impulse.


Worked fine in my old Ryzen PC with an E-MU sound card.

It is an ancient KB and it's drivers have not been updated for a long time.

Might be the unstable ASIO drivers of the Audient ,who knows,was rock solid on an older system and card with low asio latency.

Don't ya love technology.

Too scared to buy another midi kb with today's plasticky cheap devices with shitful drivers made on the cheap for the biggest profit.

My E-MU 1212m has survived 4 PCs lol,that thing is going to my grave with me.

Audient is great n all but not in the same division as the mighty E-MU.

She is my most prized possession,I might marry her lol.

Impulse did not last either,withered away poor old thing.

What is the most STABLE midi KB out there?

Might not bother with all the players like Scaler out there and the REASon players.

Midi KBs are a PITR.
I just checked and the Novation Impulse drivers are up to date with Windows 11 support so I doubt that the drivers are the problem. It could just be the cable if the fault is intermittent so have you tried a different USB cable?

https://downloads.novationmusic.com/nov ... impulse-61

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