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I noticed that the keyboard presses don't feel natural to me (compared to a piano) on my AKAI MPK mini. I think it is because of two things:

  1. i have to press a key slightly harder than i'm used to, or no sound is produced
  2. when making a repeating note on the same key, i have to raise the key almost fully up to the top otherwise the new note doesn't register at all

I'm not sure what these are called or if there is a setting for it. But I thought there might be. Thanks!

  • This sounds like an issue with the keyboard, not with the PC-side software. – Matthew Read Mar 20 '16 at 4:29
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Most software has a way to use "velocity curves" to match your keyboard playing style to your synth's idea of what note velocity it wants. I don't use Logic so I can't tell you exactly where to find that option - it's probably somewhere in the MIDI setup dialogs.

But if you are literally not playing some notes at all, rather than just playing them too softly, you can't do much about that except play "louder". Similarly you can't do much about problem #2, unless you have an expensive keyboard with mechanical adjustments built into it - and if you had that, presumably you wouldn't be asking the question.

A simple spring-loaded MIDI keyboard will never feel like a real piano, but for some purposes you want "accuracy" from a MIDI keyboard rather than "musicality", and for that a simple keyboard can actually work better, so long as it's not so "heavy" to play that it is physically tiring.

You can get "semi-weighted" or "hammer-weighted" keyboards where the mechanism is closer to a real piano action. Some also emulate the "let-off" of a piano action, which allows repeated notes to play when the key is only partially released. As usual, you get what you pay for - and the top end of the price range is well over $1,000.

The ultimate solution is to use a real piano that is fitted with a MIDI output system - either a "ready-to-go" system like the Yamaha Disklavier, or you can get "MIDI output kits" to convert any piano to generate MIDI data. But a top-of-the-range Disklavier costs nearer $100,000 than $1,000!

Of course it's better to visit a big music store where you can try different makes to find one that feels right for you, rather than buying "blind" by mail order.

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You can't do anything about the key travel of the Akai. There's an electrical contact near the top of the travel, one near the bottom. Delay between these two closing = key velocity = volume. If the key doesn't start higher than the top contact, or doesn't get down to the bottom one, no note.

One of the characteristics of a high-quality weighted keyboard is a good repeat response. I'm afraid the Akai, though it has many useful functions, is basically a cheap unweighted keyboard. Sorry! (Though you have to lift your finger to repeat a note on ANY keyboard, and if you can learn to do it on a cheap plastic one it will do wonders for your piano playing.)

I'm sure Logic has a "MIDI expander" function - if you play with velocities between, say, 80 and 100, it will map them to a range of 20 - 127. Some keyboards offer a choice of "response curves" which do much the same thing. But I don't see this option in the online manual for the Akai.

  • "it will do wonders for your piano playing..." On a properly regulated piano action, first part of the key movement intentionally doesn't play notes, which means you can get away with partially pressing unwanted keys. The first time most pianists try to play a harpsichord, where everything happens in the top quarter of the key travel, they tend to get two wrong notes for free along with the one note they were aiming for. Pipe organ keyboards feel much more like spring-loaded MIDI keys. And clavichords had mechanical "polyphonic aftertouch" hundreds of years before MIDI was invented... – user19146 Mar 20 '16 at 19:25

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