I would like to

  • learn the Piano and
  • make beats.

I searched on the web for a while and read about Digital Pianos and USB/MIDI Controller Keyboards. I thought about buying a Controller Keyboard.

But I am still not sure whether it serves my needs to learn the piano. I mean, is it possible to use these USB/MIDI Controller Keyboards without a Music Production Software like FL Studio? I mean like turning on the PC, striking a key, and hearing a sound? Of course, it would be cool to have it working without a PC turned on at the same time, but as far as I know, this is not possible for a Controller Keyboard.

I also want to plug in my headphones to not disturb anyone and am not sure whether this is possible with Controller Keyboards.

Or am I looking for the wrong hardware?

Thanks in advance!

  • Can you clarify whether you want to learn to play piano specifically, along with the damper pedal and piano techniques, or if you want to learn to play keyboard instruments in general and just know your way around a keyboard? Also, if you can adjust your question to make it clear you are not looking for any specific product recommendations (which are off topic), but instead are looking for general guidance on what kinds of devices will help you achieve your musical goals. – Todd Wilcox Dec 19 '18 at 22:09
  • @PatriciaSauer Also take a look at piano mobile/tablet apps, like "piano companion" , "garage band", "Piano HD" – Bruce Dec 20 '18 at 7:48
  • Thanks for the replies. @ToddWilcox well, it's a good hint to differentiate between "piano specifically" and "to learn to play keyboard instruments in general". I did not think about this, sorry. I did not intend the first one. Thanks for also hinting that my initial post might look like I want specific product recommendations. That's not what I wanted. I wanted to get to know whether I need an E-Piano or a MIDI Controller not a specific product. Meanwhile, I am pretty sure that I need an E-Piano because I also want to use it without a PC. Can I close this post on my own? Cannot find it. – Patricia Sauer Dec 20 '18 at 21:16

Based on the comments, it looks like that answer to your biggest question is that a controller keyboard, or MIDI controller cannot make sounds on its own without a computer or some other sound source.

Instead, you should look for a "synthesizer", "portable keyboard", "arranger keyboard", "keyboard workstation", or "digital piano". Which one of those categories is right for you depends on the kinds of sounds you want and your budget. By and large, any example of one of those categories will also be able to control software running on your computer.

Based on your mention of making beats, I would suggest you look first at "synthesizers". They will probably make the kinds of sounds I associate with beats, DJ, hip-hop, and electronic music in general. Moog, Yamaha, Roland, Korg, Arturia, Behringer, and Novation are some of the top brands that make products at several price points in this area.

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