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I'm confused whether to buy a keyboard or a Midi keyboard for learning aw well as producing music. Basically, I'm an intermediate level keyboard player and a beginner level music producer. I want to learn/practice my music at the same time I must be able to make tunes in a DAW using the same machine. What should i go for, a normal keyboard like Yamaha Psr I425 or a midi keyboard like Novation Launchkey MKII 61 Keyboard Controller to control my DAW? Which would be more useful in my case?

  • Do you currently have any keyboard at all? – topo morto Sep 11 '16 at 17:47
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First decide what you want to do. If you primarily want to learn and do production aside, then buy the Yamaha PSR I425. You can always buy reasonably priced equipment for production when you learn to some extent. In fact, you can also use the Yamaha keyboard as a midi keyboard, though you may not have so many midi features as the Novation one may provide. Also, bear in mind that you can use the Yamaha PSR I425 as a midi keyboard but you can't use the Novation midi keyboard as a digital keyboard for learning/performing. You need a computer to make a midi keyboard function - that's what it's meant for.

In my personal opinion, learning music well (like seriously, WELL) is always the best thing to do before moving into production or related stuff.

However, if you just want to fidget with production stuff for now and just learn a petty couple of things to get started, and don't want to seriously pursue music at the moment, then, only then, you can choose to buy the Novation midi keyboard. However, since you sound like a beginner, I'd recommend working with a (smaller) 2/3 octave midi keyboard first and then moving to a bigger keyboard. You can, for example, buy the Akai Professional LPK25 Laptop Performance MIDI Keyboard to begin with. It'll cost you about INR 5000 (USD 75 ~ approx). This is if you choose to buy a midi keyboard at all. Also note one more thing: if your preferred DAW is FL Studio, then you better get a midi keyboard because digital keyboards just fail to work properly with FL Studio when connected via midi.

[P.S. A DAW ideal for using with Digital keyboards connected as midi keyboard is Cosos Reaper.]

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    You might also consider the DAW you're using/additional features you get with the LaunchKey controller + Ableton combination. Also, your desired style of music and if you plan to play digital piano v. synth-like, when it comes to the weighting/grading of keys, et cetera. – aeroNotAuto Sep 12 '16 at 19:47
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First; I am not a musician, I am an audio engineer. Second, I disagree fairly strongly with the given answer. Not that the solutions as given are wrong, but they are not the highest priority. The highest priority is, how powerful and reliable is your DAW? followed closely by do you have an audio interface?

If your DAW is new and/or under warranty, and you have an audio interface, I think that there is no point buying a Yamaha unless you like the sound. You can easily do everything you need in terms of practice with a software synth, and in my experience things like Synthesia reduce the learning curve geometrically. Even assuming you have no interface (just whatever audio is on the mainboard or an expansion card or something) you will still save learning time and have far more strategic flexibility when it comes to sounds.

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