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Full Sized Keyboard Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by gamerz, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Hello everyone,

    I am in the market for a full sized keyboard. It doesn't need to have all the fancy effects and different instruments and all that. It just needs to sound, and feel like a piano, so it needs weighted keys.

    Any recommendations?

    EDIT: I would also like it to plug into my laptop, but not necessary.

    Eric D
  2. macrumors 6502a


    What's your price range?
  3. macrumors 6502


    Under $300 Canadian.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    I got mine about two years ago, and I think that back then the cheapest 88 weighted keyboard was the Triton LE 88 (which is what I bought). There was also the option of getting a weighted 88-key midi controller (with no onboard sounds) and pairing it up with Reason and some high quality samples like Reason Pianos, but most of these controller sucked back then (according to reviews). I'm pretty sure that there are good weighted 88-key midi controllers these days though.

    The Triton LE is discontinued, but you can look into the TR-88 which is the modern equivalent. If you don't need any sounds besides pianos, however, then you are probably better off with a stage piano, but I've never owned one so I can't recommend any.

    EDIT: Oops, just saw the price range :eek:. I don't think that 88-key weighted keyboards come that cheap, unfortunately. You can get a midi controller for that much, though. There's this for under $300 US, but it's semi-weighted, you can get the weighted version for a bit more, but you would still have to pay for the software (such as reason) and the sounds for it.
  5. macrumors 6502


    Anything cheaper that that?

    And what do you mean when you said that you still have to buy the software and sounds?

    Eric D.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Ok, I think I will purchase the Keystation 88es from JR.com.

    Are they a reputable dealer?

    And I will also need a pedal for it... any cheap ones?
  7. macrumors 6502a



    Bare in mind that the 88es is a controller, so it will contain NO sound.
    You either need an external sound module or connect it to a mac and use a software (DAW) like Garageband or Logic and activate the synths and samples within them.

    Plus if you want a properly weighted keyboard, 88es won't be the one. It's much lighter than a proper keyboard or piano. But you won't find too many great ones for your price range.
  8. macrumors 6502


    Hold on,

    So... The 88es, has no sounds?

    I have garageband, so what would happen if I plugged it into my mac, opened garageband, and just started playing?
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Nope, it's just a controller, meaning that it only controls a software synth such as Reason.

    Yes it should (perhaps not after opening it, but with a few clicks more...). I'll try it when I get home and I'll let you know if it's possible. Keep in mind however, that it will only sound as good as the samples that are included with garageband, which are decent, but not neccessarilly realistic. Also consider that you will be hearing it through your Mac's speakers and you will always need your Mac in order to play. You need to decide whether that's good enough for you or not.

    If you do decide to buy a MIDI Controller, then you're probably going to need a MIDI Interface (and a MIDI cable) to connect it to your mac. That'll be like $40US extra, depending on which one you get.

    True, the 88es is only semi-weighted, but it's probably the best you can get for that price range. One more thing, I've never tried those M-Audio controllers, I was just giving you examples so you knew where to look, but I can't actually recommend them since I've never used them. You should probably ask in some proper keyboard forums if you want to know which controllers are better.
  10. macrumors 6502


    Doesn't the 88es already come with a cable to connect with my mac? Just plug and play?

    I don't really want to pay $40 more for a cable...
  11. macrumors 6502a


    It'll come with a USB cable. It's plug'n play.
    Garageband starts off with a piano track as default. So you should get it straight away. It's also got a lot of other decent samples so you'll probably have some fun.

    Basically a controller keyboard (like 88es) is just as it sounds. It controls. So it doesn't generate anything apart from midi data. So if you're happy with just using it on your mac, then it won't be a problem.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Ok, you're right, it says it has a built-in USB MIDI interface, so you wont be needing any of that.
  13. macrumors 6502



    Thank you for all your help!

    And does it support the use of a pedal?
  14. macrumors 6502a


    The sustain pedal that Maudio sells is actually quite good.
  15. macrumors 6502


    Alright, thank you all very much!

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