Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

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clubbedtodeath
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Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by clubbedtodeath » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:35 am

Good morning chaps

I'm looking to get myself a 3-octave controller keyboard to take with me in my laptop bag for softsynth control that's portable. Essential features would be:

- 3 octaves with full action. (I can't stand 25-key controllers)
- USB powered
- octave key switches
- modulation wheel
- velocity sensitive
- No more than 55cm long. This is about the largest thing I can fit in laptop backpacks.

I've been looking at the MidAir 37 and the Novation stuff, but nothing quite grabs me. Anybody got any recommendations?

Cheers
A

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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by Maschinengeist » Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:52 am

I'd like to help but I'm out of the loop on this. Been way too long I played music and used a compuer with VSTs. But I'll ask my local customers. Maybe one is using something you'd like.
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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by tallowwaters » Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:45 pm

Korg MicroKontrol - mini keys

Fatar makes some really cheap ones with bare bones stuff - I think they are the CMK line

Best controller I ever had was a Korg Prophecy. h**l, you can get them cheaper than most controllers.

Edit- s**t, just noticed you want USB. Good f**k luck finding 3 octaves!
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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by guesswho » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:02 pm

•Line6 Toneport KB37 (http://line6.com/toneportkb37/)
•Edirol PCR-A30 (2 1/5 octave)
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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by Syn303 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:10 pm

clubbedtodeath wrote:Good morning chaps

I'm looking to get myself a 3-octave controller keyboard to take with me in my laptop bag for softsynth control that's portable. Essential features would be:

- 3 octaves with full action. (I can't stand 25-key controllers)
- USB powered
- octave key switches
- modulation wheel
- velocity sensitive
- No more than 55cm long. This is about the largest thing I can fit in laptop backpacks.

I've been looking at the MidAir 37 and the Novation stuff, but nothing quite grabs me. Anybody got any recommendations?

Cheers
A
I have a Roland/Edirol PC-50 midi controller keyboard, that might suit you?

49 full-size, velocity-sensitive keys (okay slightly more than 3 octaves)
12 Selectable Velocity Curves
Octave Key Buttons
3 Digit 7-segment LED and Rotary Encoder
Pitch Bender / Modulation Lever
Access to Connections on Side Panel
Sustain and Expression Pedal Ports
MIDI Out Port
3 Ways of Power Supply (USB-Bus/Battery/AC Adaptor)
USB powered

I haven't used it, and your in the UK, if interested PM me,
i'm selling it rather cheaply at the moment.
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clubbedtodeath
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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by clubbedtodeath » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:45 pm

Syn303 wrote:I have a Roland/Edirol PC-50 midi controller keyboard, that might suit you?
Way too big, unfortunately.

Since I'd be lugging this thing around, it has to fit snugly in a backpack -- hence the 3-octave limit.

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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by guesswho » Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:51 pm

clubbedtodeath wrote:
Since I'd be lugging this thing around, it has to fit snugly in a backpack -- hence the 3-octave limit.
Seriously, check out the Toneport KB37. Pretty much has everything you are looking for and more.
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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by cv1978 » Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:27 am

I use a novation x-station25.
Has great templates for vst and asio software. Great feel on keyboard with velocity, release velocity, and aftertouch. has k-station analog modelling synth built in a well, and is a midi/usb/audio IO and mixer. I use it for 1. its own sounds
2. a second synth mixer
3. a midi controller (with audio return)
4 a vst controller
5 to operate sonar
ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

seriously you need to at least check this thing out

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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by andrew13 » Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:42 am

Well it might not have 3 octave ranges, but the M-audio oxygen 49 is good. It may have 49 keys but it's pretty small for it's amount of keys. i have one myself and I pretty much love it, because I'm in a band and we pretty much carry everyhting outselves to our gigs so it's pretty good. It also has a USB connection thingy. It also has pictch shifter, modulation wheel, pitch bend. It's all there.

It might poke a little bit out of your backpack though but it'll be alright if you zip it up tight. I do it with mine
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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:46 am

clubbedtodeath wrote:Essential features would be:

- 3 octaves with full action. (I can't stand 25-key controllers)
-
- No more than 55cm long.
These two are mutually exclusive unless you go mini keys. The Novation Remote SL 37 looks like the best 3 octave controller out there but it's 64cm long.

clubbedtodeath
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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by clubbedtodeath » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:27 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions gents; it's appreciated.

The KB37 looks really tempting, but I already have a USB soundcard as it is, and I'm doubtful about running 24-bit/44Khz audio and sequencing MIDI across the same USB connection.

It looks like the MidAir 37 might be the one: looks pretty cheap, and only just over my 55cm limit. It's wireless too, so I can move around with it.

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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by steveman » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:22 pm

clubbedtodeath wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions gents; it's appreciated.

The KB37 looks really tempting, but I already have a USB soundcard as it is, and I'm doubtful about running 24-bit/44Khz audio and sequencing MIDI across the same USB connection.
Stereo 44k/24bit ina & out is well below USDB 1.0s bandwidth, 16 channels of MIDI should add virtually nothing. USB has a bad rap for audio from it's early days. Thysi was more down to poor drivers than anything else, shouldn't be a problem these days.

Arturia's Analogue Factory comes with a neat 2 1/2 octave controller. I do wish more companies would do this size rather than 25 note. That extra 1/2 octave (with the bottom F) makes all the difference.

clubbedtodeath
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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by clubbedtodeath » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:53 pm

steveman wrote:Stereo 44k/24bit ina & out is well below USDB 1.0s bandwidth, 16 channels of MIDI should add virtually nothing. USB has a bad rap for audio from it's early days. Thysi was more down to poor drivers than anything else, shouldn't be a problem these days.
I have a Edirol UA-4FX, which is USB 2.0. It will record at 24-bit/44Khz, but you can forget echoing audio back out while recording: it'll choke.

I gather that USB 2.0, although of similar bandwidth to Firewire, is not as good at handling parallel or intermittent data transfer: yet it's quite good at sustained output.

The end result is typically better performance on Firewire -- this has been my experience when comparing Firewire and USB hard drives.
Arturia's Analogue Factory comes with a neat 2 1/2 octave controller. I do wish more companies would do this size rather than 25 note. That extra 1/2 octave (with the bottom F) makes all the difference.
Totally!

I wish they'd taken it down to E though, which would be handy for guitar-related stuff.

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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by steveman » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:54 pm

clubbedtodeath wrote:
steveman wrote: I have a Edirol UA-4FX, which is USB 2.0. It will record at 24-bit/44Khz, but you can forget echoing audio back out while recording: it'll choke.

I gather that USB 2.0, although of similar bandwidth to Firewire, is not as good at handling parallel or intermittent data transfer: yet it's quite good at sustained output.

The end result is typically better performance on Firewire -- this has been my experience when comparing Firewire and USB hard drives.
Really? I have no problem doing stereo 24-bit/44Khz with my Line6 Toneport (this includes adding software amp modelling on the way in).

Agreed FW is a better solution overall (it was designed for media transfer...).

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Re: Compact 3-octave controller keyboards?

Post by clubbedtodeath » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:43 pm

steveman wrote:Really? I have no problem doing stereo 24-bit/44Khz with my Line6 Toneport (this includes adding software amp modelling on the way in).
But do you echo the audio back out to the headphones through the sequencer?

(I don't mean direct monitoring, but through VSTs on an audio track)

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