Tag Archives: electronic keyboard

ARTURIA Analog Experience – The Laboratory 49 MIDI Controller

ARTURIA Analog Experience – The Laboratory 49 MIDI Controller

ARTURIA Analog ExperienceThe Arturia Analog Experience with Laboratory 49 is basically a total MIDI Keyboard Controller which means you can set it up with the Analog Lab software and control everything from the keyboard. They call it a hybrid synthesizer.

This version is a 49-key MIDI controller and uses the Laboratory software which comes with over 3,500 presets. Arturia is a leader in the software synths business, they have sounds from the Minimoog V, Moog Modular V, CS-80V, ARP 2600 V, Prophet V, Prophet VS and Jupiter-8V instruments.

This system is surprisingly inexpensive for the quality and the number of sounds.

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Here are the main features:

  • Includes Analog Laboratory with 4300 synths sounds and 200 scenes.
  • All presets are carefully selected from the Arturia Classic Synths (Mini V, Modular V, CS-80V, ARP 2600 V, Prophet V, Prophet VS, Jupiter-8V, Oberheim SEM V and Wurlitzer V). These TAE® powered sounds offer unparalleled audio quality.
  • Fast filter the presets to your requirements: by Instrument, by Type, and by Characteristics.
  • In-depth Preset Editing available for the owners of the Arturia Classic Synthesizers (Mini V, CS-80 V, etc.). Edit your sounds on the original instruments within Analog Laboratory.
  • 200 Scenes organized by musical genres offering complete live sets, including : loops assignation to pads, splitting and layering of two synths and advanced arpeggiation melodies.
  • Straight forward Editing, with a complete array of parameters for tweaking sounds : Filter and LFO sections, 4 Key Parameters differing for each preset, Chorus & Delay mix, 2 ADSR envelopes, 4 pads.

The Analog Lab Software is pretty cool. It has different modes of operation that appeals to a wide range of users.

The Graphic Studio Mode shows the synths and keyboards. The Sound Mode shows all the available sounds that you can choose from. The Multi Mode allows you to create customs splits in your keyboard. With The Performance Mode you can create custom chords for a live performance.

The Laboratory 49 can also be used as a midi keyboard controller for all of the popular sequencer programs: Steinberg Cubase, Digidesign Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Apple Logic Audio, MOTU Digital Performer and Cakewalk Sonar.

If you love amazing analog sounds and want to have total control of your software from your keyboard this is a great buy. This Arturia MIDI keyboard is very high quality and used by professionals like Jordan Rudess, Danny Saber and Alan Hewitt.

 

Akai Pro LPK25 Review

Akai Pro LPK25 ReviewAkai Pro LPK25 – A Keyboard For Ants?

My Akai Pro LPK25 Review was inspired by this little mini keyboard that I saw the other day and had to check it out. This is the Akai Pro LPK25 Laptop Performance Keyboard and it is so cute!

Not only is this MIDI keyboard controller small, it is packed with really cool features too.

The list price for the Akai LPK25 is $129 but Amazon has it through this link for $72.24 >>> Amazon

The Akai Pro LPK25 Laptop Performance Keyboard is a smaller sized relative to the MPK series of keyboard performance controllers. This keyboard has 25 miniature keyboard keys that are velocity-sensitive, plays like a synth and is a wonderful solution for working remotely with your laptop.  The LPK25 is less than 13 inches across and weighs in at under a pound, you can put it in your laptop case, backpack or tote bag for extreme portability.

Some of the Features are:

  • USB-MIDI controller works with virtually all audio software
  • 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys
  • Arpeggiator, sustain button, octave up and down, and tap tempo controls
  • Plug-and-play USB connection for Mac and PC requires no driver installation
  • Small enough to fit in a backpack or laptop bag
  • Four programmable memory banks
  • Comes with editor software for Mac and PC
  • USB bus powered–no additional power cable needed

Despite its looks the LPK25 is not a toy, it’s a very usable and convenient MIDI controller as you can tell by the features listed.

Here are what some owners say:

Samuel says:

The LPK25 has a good build quality. I travel often and it’s perfect for that. Still, there are two major annoyances so I can’t give it five stars.

It feels like an instrument more than a toy and it is possible to play expressively, though for me it requires much concentration to hit the keys hard enough to make a sound yet soft enough to avoid running out of velocity response. I could not find any evidence that it is possible to program the velocity curve.

There is room for improvement but it is still the best in its class.

Review paraphrased for length.

G.J. Oshea says:

I use FL Studio 10 on a laptop that i like to bring around with me to friend’s houses, the laundromat, etc. The LPK25 is the perfect edition to my traveling studio! It is a great price for the quality…it does not feel like a cheap toy (like some other MIDIs in the same price range) the key sizes are perfect, and it still fits in my backpack with my laptop. It’s perfect for easily, and effortlessly trying different riffs, and progressions.

Any downsides? Okay, fine…the keys have a pretty decent reaction to velocity, but you do have to be a little aggressive to get it the loudest, or to react as highest velocity.

Review paraphrased for length.

I use it with my 13″ Macbook Pro and Apple Logic Pro and I love the ease of use and portability. One of the biggest complaints is that the velocity response is not great. This is not really an issue for me because it does not replace my studio keyboard and if I am doing a keyboard part I will use the studio keyboard.

I hope you enjoyed my Akai Pro LPK25 Review. If you like to get out of the studio and work at a coffee shop or somewhere a little more interesting, this is the perfect little mobile MIDI controller. Keep in mind that the Akai Pro LPK25 is a controller and has no sounds inside its cute little brain.

Yamaha YPG-535 Review

Yamaha YPG-535 Review

Yamaha YPG-535 ReviewMy Yamaha YPG-535 review will cover the basics of this keyboard. The Yamaha YPG-535 is a very good starter piano. The reason that this is one of the best midi keyboards that is good for piano players is that it has 88 keys and a Graded Soft Touch keyboard.

The Graded Soft Touch keyboard is a step down from the full weighted keyboard and feels a little different, less like a piano but better than a touch sensitive keyboard. When you get to the ends of the keyboard the keys are a little stiffer but not a big deal to me.

I like the sound of the piano, it is equipped with the Yamaha Live! Grand stereo sample. There are also multiple instrument sounds like clarinet, trumpet, flutes, saxes, electric pianos, organs and orchestral strings.

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With the Yamaha YPG-535 you also get the Yamaha education suite which helps new players to learn with 30 songs internally and 70 more on the CD-ROM that is included when you buy this midi keyboard.

I use the USB connectivity features to connect to my computer. I can then use the Yamaha YPG-535 as a midi keyboard controller. There is also an internal 6-track sequencer so you can compose and record right from the keyboard.

  • Here are some features of the Yamaha YPG535:
  • Piano Centric Features
  • USB Connectivity
  • Lyric, chord and notation display
  • Ease of Operation
  • Yamaha Education Suite
  • 6-track recorder
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Full Keyboard Mode

I hope you enjoyed the Yamaha YPG-535 Review. This is a great midi keyboard for the beginning to advanced player. If you are looking for a real piano feel this would not be the one to get. You should look at something like the Yamaha DGX-530. If you are looking for some great features and a good quality keyboard for a reasonable price then this is a great midi keyboard to consider.

Why The M-Audio Axiom 25 MIDI Controller Is A Great Buy

The M-Audio Axiom 25midi keyboard reviews

The M-Audio Axiom 25 MIDI controller is a great combination of production power and performance. You can get the most from any music software with this MIDI keyboard.

The Axiom 25 features semi-weighted keys which is important if you like the piano feel. Large dynamic trigger pads make programming beats easy and also allow for one-shot sample triggering and the encoder knobs and buttons are real-time controllers for the music software.

With M-Audio‘s DirectLink mode you have control of common DAW functions such as transport, track pan and the mixing features, as well as many virtual instrument parameters. Some of the compatible DAWs are Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Live, and Reason.

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I like that you can use the fader and encoder knobs to fine-tune the mix. This is a great feature that allows the user to get away from the mouse occasionally. You can also use the transport buttons to navigate through the session.

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The Axiom 25 controller’s Instrument mode is really cool. This allows for  a single button to instantly map the fader, buttons, and encoders to any virtual instrument within your DAW. You can directly access parameters such as filter cutoff, LFO rate, and envelope settings.

The M-Audio Axiom 25 is very compact and lightweight and is powered directly from your computer’s USB bus. This is one of the most important features for me.

Here are the M-Audio Axiom 25 Features:

  • 25-key velocity-sensitive semi-weighted-action keyboard with assignable aftertouch
  • DirectLink mode automatically maps controls to common DAW and virtual instrument parameters
  • Dedicated Instrument mode button lets you instantly switch between controlling mixer and virtual instrument parameters
  • 8 assignable trigger pads
  • 8 assignable rotary encoder knobs
  • 1 assignable fader
  • 6 dedicated transport controls
  • class-compliant with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X
  • powered via USB or optional power supply
  • built-in USB MIDI interface including standard MIDI In and Out jacks
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M-Audio is one of my favorite MIDI Keyboard manufacturers out there. I like that the products are high quality and easy to use. I also have M-Audio speakers and a larger keyboard and I have not been disappointed yet. If you need a good compact MIDI keyboard controller the Axiom 25 is a great choice.

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Akai Pro MPK Mini Review

I’ve been looking for a new portable MIDI controller for a while now and was thrilled to find the Akai Pro MPK mini. This small MIDI controller is great!

I need something to use with my Apple Logic system that I run on my laptop and this 25-note keyboard is perfect.

It has 8 back-lit, MPC-style pads and 8 Q-Link knobs that give you tons of input control. I like to use the pads for drum inputs more that the keyboard.

I like that the  MPK mini has velocity-sensitive keys. This will allow me to accurately express dynamics and that saves a lot of fixing time.

You can create cool leads and  great driving bass-lines with various time denominations and patterns with the built-in Arpeggiator. I use the tap tempo buttons a lot!

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Check out the features!

  • Ultra-portable software MIDI controller
  • 25-note, velocity-sensitive mini keyboard
  • Eight backlit, velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads (2 banks, 16 total)
  • Pads can send note information, MIDI CCs and program changes
  • Eight assignable Q-Link knobs to adjust virtually any parameter

Look at what new owners say:

Jason D. Says:

The MPK Mini is a combination of the LPD8 and LPK25, which is a great thing if you’ve been considering both!

This is my first MPC product but I am an experienced keyboardist. I like the pads and how they light up when you hit them, however, they aren’t as sensitive as some might prefer, and I’m inclined to agree. It tends not to register some lighter hits, so I’m having to get used to how hard I have to hit it. The knobs aren’t as nice as professional grade knobs, but they work nicely for such a compact unit. The keyboard has mini keys and they are very sturdy. The keys are fine for their purpose of capturing ideas. I do not consider them performance worthy.

The purpose of this product is portability and to allow you to capture ideas when you don’t feel like lugging around larger equipment. For these reasons, I find it to be an excellent product.

Definitely pick this product up if you’re looking for something extremely portable with acceptable mini keys and very playable MPC pads.

Review paraphrased for length. See the full review here.

If you are looking for a good controller that is portable and easy to use, the Akai Pro MPK Mini is a good choice. Highly recommended for working away from home, not so much as a studio controller.

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Excellent MIDI Controller – M-Audio Oxygen 49

M-Audio Oxygen 49

The M-Audio Oxygen 49 is one of my favorite MIDI controllers because of its ease of use and number of control options. I bought an Oxygen 8 and it worked well but didn’t have enough keys so I upgraded to the Oxygen 49.

The Oxygen 49 has 49 keys (hence the name)  so it is not a full keyboard and the keys are not weighted so if you are looking for a good performance keyboard this is not the one for you. But if you want a mid size MIDI controller keyboard that has assignable faders and knobs this is a great option.

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How to use the M-Audio Oxygen 49

The M-Audio is easy to use. Just plug in the USB cable and it shows up. You can control many parameters of your DAW with the 8 knobs and 9 faders plus there are dedicated buttons for play and record as well as track select buttons.

The Oxygen 49 is designed to be used with the most popular virtual instruments and digital audio workstations. I use this controller with Pro Tools, Logic and Reason and it works well with all of them.

Here are some features of the M-Audio Oxygen 49

  • bus powered 49-key USB MIDI controller – easy computer cnnnectivity
  • 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable sliders – control DAW and virtual instrument parameters
  • DirectLink mode – instant controller mapping to DAW functions
  • dedicated transport and track slected buttons – streamlined session control
  • Pro Tools compatible – extends industry-standard functionality
  • Bus powered 49-key USB MIDI controller – easy computer connectivity

 

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The M-Audio Oxygen 49 has been a great controller for the music that I create and I would highly recommend it if you are searching for a good inexpensive MIDI controller solution.

What Is MIDI?

What is MIDI?

MIDI is an acronym that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and was developed in 1983. MIDI is a set of basic instructions that enable MIDI gear to communicate with each other and with computers.

The technology was originally designed for synthesizers and is now used with computer software as well an MIDI keyboards.
The first basic MIDI instructions dealt with how to play notes and how to control the output volume. The technology quickly increased functions to be able to control standardized MIDI song files, new connection mechanisms such as FireWire, USB, and Wi-Fi, new markets such as mobile phones and video games and a new world of alternative based MIDI products.

Click Here to Make great beats fast!
If you are going to do anything with music and computers you really need to know what MIDI is and how to use it. Here is a great program for music production.

 

 

The Portable Yamaha YPT-200

The Yamaha YPT220 keyboard is the perfect electronic MIDI keyboard if you want to play anywhere you go. It is powered by either a power adapter or six AA batteries. It has the standard great Yamaha piano sounds as well as drums kits, basses, guitars and a total of 375 great sounding voices and a portable grand button that brings up a great sounding piano without having to search the sound bank for it.

Amazon.com has the best price here.

The YPT-220 has the Yamaha Education Suite that can teach you how to play piano from using both hands at once to one hand at a time if you wish. It comes with 102 songs and 100 preset styles to play along with. This is a great learning tool. Amazon has a great package on sale now that includes the keyboard, stand and headphones.

Here are some features:

  • Number of keys: 61 (organ style)
  • Number of voices: Stereo Grand Piano + 361 XGlite + 13 Drum/SFX/SE Kits
  • Display: Custom LCD
  • Tone generating technology: AWM Stereo Sampling
  • Reverb: 9 types
  • Number of preset styles: 100
  • Number of preset songs: 102
  • Amplifiers: 2.5W + 2.5W
  • Dimensions: 37.2 x 4.6 x 13.7 inches (WxHxD)
  • Weight: 9 pounds, 11 ounces
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Look at what current owners have to say:

Bridget

I had a keyboard as a kid and bought this for my boyfriend’s 8 y/o daughter. While most of the features are too advanced for her, she’s catching on!

I did a lot of searching. The price for just the keyboard was somewhat standard for a sale price at at least one store, but I couldn’t find such a reasonable bundle anywhere. Any parent who considers this MUST purchase the headphones, and the stand is a blessing. It keeps it off the floor and makes for a more realistic piano lesson at home.

Good sound; lots of bells and whistles. Sure it doesn’t have 88 keys, but most people don’t use the top or bottom keys very often. I think this keyboard is just perfect!

Review paraphrased for length. Read the complete review here.

Gregory S.

Performs as advertised. My daughter is learning to play songs from the built-in tutor in the keyboard. I can’t say enough about the hours of entertainment she gets out of this. It’s a quality keyboard at a great price. I am a satisfied customer.

You can get a great deal on this keyboard through this link at Amazon.com.

If you are looking for a MIDI keyboard to use with a sequencing system or with external synths I would not recommend this one becuase it is not as advanced and doesn’t have the features you need for composing or sequencing. However, if you are looking for an easy to use portable keyboard the Yamaha YPT-220 is a good choice.