MIDI keyboard advice

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by noiseordinance, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. noiseordinance macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2012
    Hi there. I have a rMBP 15" that I run Logic Pro 9 on. I'd like to get a small, cheap midi keyboard but I'm not sure which direction to go. I have maxed out my two USB ports: I have a Scarlet 2i2 via USB, and a USB 3 hard drive for audio files, etc. I see USB MIDI keyboards out there but I'm not sure if I degrade throughput at all if I add a USB hub to this mix. Can anyone suggest any recommendations?
  2. ChrisA, Jul 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The amount of data added by a MIDI keyboard is trivial. Even your disk drive is not using anything near the bandwidth you think it is. Look in "Activity Meter" at the disk's I/O rate. Even when recording to disk it is not all that high. DOn't worry about the amount of data on the USB3 bus. You are not using even 1/4th of it right now.

    Your biggest problem might be power. Plugging in a lot of USB bus powered devices might require you to buy a powered hub. Get one with a rubust sized power cube.

    They make 8 port powered USB 2 hubs, just get one of those conect it to one of your USB ports and plug the USB 3 disk in the the remaining USB 3 port on the Mac.

    With your Flash drive in the rMBP you don't need to record to an external disk. The internal flash is faster. Use the external drive for backups.

    As for which keyboard to buy, the firt question is if you need piano action weighted keys or something much simpler. They make all types. So watch the quality of the key action.
  3. noiseordinance thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2012
    Thanks much. That's great advice. I think the root of my question was a poor understanding of the capabilities of the USB interface, which you definitely answered. As you said, I'll keep the hard drive on its lonesome and use a USB hub for the other devices. I mainly record to a separate drive since the 256GB hard drive on my laptop is pretty tiny. Plus I like to keep the OS drive freed up as much as possible since I run tons of vsts and such. Anyhow, thanks much! Buyin' a USB hub now.
  4. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    You can get something like the Alesis Q49(keys) for $100. You want at least a mod wheel. Aftertouch is nice but you can always draw that in.

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