Music Production!

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by supercooled, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. supercooled macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Happy New Year, MR.

    I'm making a new start and would like to pursue a passion of mine that's been put on the burner for some time now which is music production. Is there a relatively cheap intermediate level USB keyboard that I can get to learn programming music on? I don't want one of those 108 keys that span across my desk but more a mini one. I'm into progressive/deep house music.

  2. Mac Composer macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2010
    Full keyboards only have 88 keys, not 108.
    There are many different smaller size keyboards available, 49, 61, etc.. Even very small ones. Just google the, lotsa choices. Don't bother getting a pressure sensitive keyboard unless you're already a proficient player.

    If you're using Garageband, you can just use loops and not even bother with a keyboard.
  3. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    I disagree. Pressure sensitivity opens possibilities for much more varied playing styles; even if he isn't proficient at the moment then a pressure sensitive one is much better to learn on. Without pressure sensitivity he might as well just use the option in Garageband to play using the computer keyboard.
  4. Mac Composer, Jan 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011

    Mac Composer macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2010
    My point was if the OP doesn't even know how many keys there are on a full size keyboard, then he's obviously new to this. He's looking for a mini keyboard according to his post. From a financial standpoint, I think he'd be wasting his money, spending extra for a pressure sensitive kybd.

    Once he begins working with in a DAW, he can edit his keyboard performance there. It's much easier to draw that type of midi data in a DAW's graphic interface, than it is to develop the keyboard chops needed to play it in.

    If you're serious about learning how to play a keyboard instrument, you're much better off learning on a real piano. Some of the more expensive midi controllers come very close to the feel of a piano, but if you trying to learn on a low budget keyboard, it's much harder to learn to play.
  5. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Thanks guys. I'm not trying to compose intricate sonnets, just some loops here and there. If you guys listen to electronic music you'll know it's largely comprised of simple loops. I guess I could use Garage Band's software keyboard to accomplish the same thing.
  6. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    It's not like there is a lack of small, affordable keyboards, even with velocity-sensitivity. Take the Korg Nanokey for example. To be honest I think it would be harder finding a quality keyboard that isn't pressure sensitive...
  7. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    I've always had decent luck with the M-Audio Oxygen series. Worth a shot, and not too terribly expensive. I don't believe they have weighted keys, but they're all velocity-sensitive.
  8. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Is a shorten keyboard ideal to learn playing on? I see Garage Band has some lessons but I would imagine as a beginner, the last thing you want is to adjust knobs and sliders to move up/down the octaves.

    I like the M-Audio Oxygen 25. Looks like a very compact but has a lot of features.

    Any thoughts?
  9. hakukani macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    Mine works great. I have a full sized keyboard, but I use the Oxygen 25 for composing. It sits right above my computer keyboard.
  10. happle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    here's what i have. everything was cheap but also good for a beginner setup. and i did a lot of research before i purchased everything, and i couldnt be happier.

    - M-Audio Axiom 25 - The Axiom is very nice and has more features than the Oxygen, you can find one for a good price used on ebay.

    - M-Audio Fast Track USB II Audio Interface - get one on amazon, you will need an interface eventually

    - Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones - you will need them for mixing accurately. get them on amazon, you will not find a better pair of studio headphones for this price.

    - Klipsch Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers - THX certified...decent quality, good to check your mixes on, and good to listen to house or any music on. They have good bass and get very loud. All for a great price. I personally make dubstep so i need the bass.

    - Your DAW of choice, mines Reason 5.
  11. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Yes a keyboard will be useful but the most important thing in a studio is sound. If you can't hear what you're doing it's so frustrating. If you're just starting out you may think that having ok sound will do the trick but it won't be long before you're not sure if you're hearing your mix or your speakers when you're mixing on bad speakers. I'd much rather make house music with good sound than a keyboard.

    For good speakers, you're looking for near field monitors, they differ from standard speakers in that they try to reproduce accurately the sound you feed them, standard speakers try to "sound good". There's a pretty big difference between the two, sounding good usually means a compressed sound with not a lot of middle frequencies. For house, you'll probably want a sub.

    Either way, a keyboard is nice to have, if you don't have any previous experience with keyboards, you might as well just get the 25 key (get it velocity sensitive especially useful for drums). M-audio have a pretty good value.
  12. happle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    yeah but this is why i suggested he gets a set of klipsch promedia 2.1 speakers, which are thx certified and fairly accurate (good for checking mixes).

    but for his main mixing he can use sennhesier hd280 pro headphones.

    plus bottom end in house is a major concern, and he is not going to be able to afford a good enough set of monitors thats going to hit the lows he wants. cheap monitors do not get very loud nor have much bottom end to them which is why i got the klipsch and sennhesier headphones until i can afford a good set of monitors.

    edit: plus hes obviously not insanely serious about production just yet which just further justifies my suggestion.
  13. SFXsource macrumors newbie


    Mar 5, 2009
    The MAudio Oxygen will work perfectly for your purpose, compact, effective, and hard to break
  14. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    Another vote for the M-Audio Oxygen series. I had a Oxygen 49 that was quite good... best part is you can pick them up used for less than $100 (in Canada!).

    Look hard enough an I bet you could get one in the US for $60?
  15. Plumbstone macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2007
    A Major factor in electronic music is the abilty to tweak your sounds in real time, otherwise your music will sound flat and linear, if you want it to develop and flow you need to tweak those synths...

    A mouse works ok but it is essential imo to have a few knobs and sliders. The novation remote series are great for this, but there are loads of others too, including the m-audio lot. KOrg have just brought out an all in one keboard/controller/drumpad unit. not sure what its called but looks good.
  16. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    City of Angels
    If you actually want to learn how to play a keyboard as an instrument get a 49 key or higher MIDI controller. A 25 key is best used for melodies with one hand. I can also vouch for the Oxygen. A Keystation will do the trick too.

    And while the knobs and sliders (the control surface) are not that useful for playing, they're extremely helpful in music production.

    After you get your controller, mess around w/ garage band let your needs dictate what gear you buy...
    - speaker monitors
    - pad controllers (IE MPD's)
    - audio interfaces
    - better software / instruments
    - etc
  17. PRPS macrumors member


    Jan 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    i have an M-Audio Axiom 49 (2nd gen) which i am extremely happy with. it syncs (knobs, faders, along with other controls) great with Logic 9.

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