midi keyboard query

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by dogbone, May 3, 2007.

  1. dogbone macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954

    Right then, I'm wanting to buy a cheap midi controller to use instead of the GarageBand software keyboard, to input samples.

    What I am confused about, is how I use it with a presonus firebox that has a midi in/out. It has the normal midi plug plus a breakout cable with rca and a 5 pin din.

    I have seen a midi controller that is USB powered but I'm not sure if these units are suitable for what I want. In other words can a unit like this be plugged into the firebox midi input and does it also need the usb as well.
  2. sonarghost macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2006

    A usb midi controller actually uses the usb to transmit midi information. I personally use a USB midi keyboard for the same purpose as you seem to be looking for. You would just circumvent the Firebox midi in/out completely and just plug it into the usb port.
  3. Rollershapple macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2007
    I wouldnt go with that controller though. M-audio has a 49 key midi controller with all the same features for $99. Keystation49es. M-audio is a very reliable company also. Or go with a korg k-49 for $119.
  4. PianoPete macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    Cheap Way: With the firebox you could plug in any keyboard with a midi out. If all you care about is inputting notes & rhythms (or triggering samples), and dont care about things like internal sounds/velocity/aftertouch/weighted keys etc. you could probably find an old $10 board at a garage sale or on Ebay that will do.

    Easy way: For ease of use USB is probably the way to go, pretty much plug and play on Mac (at least it has been for me). Plus USB keyboards should also have midi so your not limiting it's use to USB only. Be aware that when powering a board via USB you wan't to plug it directly into the Mac, preferably into the port closest to the power supply, and not into the keyboard or monitor etc. Still you may end up needing a powered USB hub if your running more USB peripherals. (Not sure how well the MacBook/MBP handle the power demand but I would think you would want a Powered hub with a notebook).

    You may find that you want to control other midi paramaters with real knobs/faders/wheels on a keyboard instead of using a mouse/qwerty board in which case you would probably want a full fledged controller.

    The M-Audio products are pretty good as Rollershapple said. I dropped my Keystation 88 off it's stand at a gig once (rock and roll!!). I pulled out the dent made by it's falling on my big toe and it still works perfectly :D

    EDIT: With some (all?) USB keyboards, like the M-Audio Keystation 88 Pro, if you use USB you MUST power it via USB. You may damage the board if you plug it in using an AC adapter to an electrical outlet while it is also connected via USB. So if you want to power it using an AC adapter you have to go midi cable.
  5. harinezumi macrumors member

    May 4, 2007
    M-audio Axion25

    if you want a midi keyboard to use with garageband then a usb midi keyboard is probably the easiest and most hassle free way.

    currently im using axion25 by m-audio and it works great with Propellerhead reason and ableton live. but it works with garageband.

    with the way i use the keyboard there is no need for an external power supply even when my MBP 2.33Ghz is using its battery.

    also with the axion series and similar keyboards by m-audio and korg you get couple of knowbs and wheels and pads so there is no need for a separate mixer of such kind. well that is if you not going to produce big music (professionally).

    lastly, the last time i checked it with the m-audio and korg you either get a light version of reason or ableton live.

    hope it helps;)
  6. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    I personally am a huge m-Audio fan now. I have the Keystation Pro 88, and it rules!

    I haad an old m-Audio midi to usb passthrough, and it was okay, but there were some issues and hassle with it.

    If 100 bucks isn't too much, go with the m-Audio 49 key, or something similar that will plug straight in. It's worth avoiding the hassle.

  7. qwerty09 macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2007
    midi probs


    Would anyone try helping with this?

    My cme uf8 midi keyboard's driver won't install: the mac takes it through the installation procedure, but there's nothing there on restart.

    I literally have just the keyboard, the Mac <w GGbd 3>, and the USB wire. I imagine there might be somewhere I should be looking on the Mac for the 'installed' software, or do I need a further interface of some kind?
  8. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    Had a bit of luck and got an unused in the box Roland PCR M1 off eBay. I like compact stuff. I see now that it can send a midi through the usb and the midi interface at the same time if necessary.

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