14

I've looked into this before, and there really don't seem to be any keyboards like this available apart from the Jankó Keyboard. Whether that's because it's really a bad idea or more due to the current layout being a heavily established convention I couldn't say for sure. Some pros and cons: Pros: There are only two major scales to learn instead of 12 - ...


10

[are there] any guidelines as far as recording a mechanical instrument versus using a midi controller or synth? No, only pros and cons. It all depends on what you want the finished product to sound like, and what instruments and equipment you have available to you. Are there any benefits to recording a real instrument [eg piano]? Assuming you have an ...


8

If you truly mean "as if I were practicing on a true piano" (as in an acoustic one)... A decent weighted digital piano (which is actually a true synthesizer) will usually run $400-ish. I'd recommend a Yamaha DGX/YPG or Casio Privia if you don't mind some "clacking keys". Or a slightly better Yamaha Digital Piano to silence the "clack" of keys hitting the ...


8

Firstly, does your USB keyboard have MIDI out (DIN) sockets as well... ...or is it USB only? If it is USB only, then it is possible to get a hardware converter (from USB to traditional 'DIN' MIDI) that should work as long as the USB Midi keyboard is 'class compliant'. an example is http://www.kentonuk.com/products/items/utilities/usb-host.shtml. Once you ...


8

The real instrument will sound more real, but as you note, there are many challenges to recording acoustic instruments or anything with a microphone that are completely bypassed when using a virtual instrument plugin. With a plugin, you don't have to have an audio interface, microphone or cables. You don't have to have an actual acoustic instrument, which ...


6

Imagine learning to drive in a simulator and never getting in a car. (Would you call yourself a "driver"?) There are many physical aspects of piano playing that are impossible to reproduce without actually using your finger to accelerate a wood and fabric assembly. In contrast to the other answers so far, weighted digital keys feel very different to me. For ...


6

I believe that when J. Rudess is referring to "pattern based" he is talking about describing musical phrases as a series of relative intervals, and then repeating those series of intervals from different starting pitches. On a guitar this is straight forward to do by moving up and down the neck: play a particular passage, and then play the same ...


6

If you want to go really cheap, I found this little sound module on Amazon that costs only £50. Haven't tried it, but it should get the job done. Accepts both USB and MIDI as an input and in the product description states that it can power up a MIDI keyboard. Ammoon Midiplus MiniEngine, and Ammoon MIDIPLUS MiniEngine Pro


6

TL;DR Extra knobs and buttons are not absolutely necessary, but then again a MIDI keyboard is not absolutely necessary either, because you can just use a mouse. But since you're buying a MIDI keyboard, you most likely want to make it easier to play virtual synthesizers, and for that purpose the extra knobs and buttons are very useful. Even something very ...


6

You're probably running out of voices of polyphony. You haven't clarified what virtual instrument or synthesizer is the sound source, but most of them have some sort of voice limit, ranging from 1 to 128 voices. If you keep the damper pedal down, then voices can get used up very quickly. For most instruments, when the voices are used up and another note is ...


6

Hardware instruments (e.g. digital pianos) have a limit on the number of simultaneous notes that they can produce - this part of their spec is called "polyphony". As Todd explained, once you exceed the limit, notes start getting cut off. Some instruments try to do this in a clever way, cutting off the least noticeable notes; others are a bit more basic, just ...


6

You needn't calculate or estimate or do fancy math. Others have measured piano string decay rates, and they're messy: Measurements have been made on a high‐quality spinet piano to determine the initial amplitude and decay characteristics of the principal harmonic components of notes covering the entire scale. Decay rates of individual components varied ...


5

It is possible that you are making a couple of incorrect assumptions. Let's check it out. First, you said "I'm hoping this will allow me to experiment with different sounds over the lifetime of the keyboard rather than being locked in with the sounds that are normally built in to a digital piano." Having built-in sounds will not restrict you. Most stage ...


5

MIDI is a standard for carrying sound-related instructions like "start playing note 102 on channel 15 with velocity 187" from a producer (like a keyboard, a drum pad, or a sequencer in playback mode) to a consumer (like a hardware synthesiser, a software synthesiser, or a sequencer in record mode). So you really have two questions here: Can I buy a ...


5

If you're willing to do it DIY, single board computers like a Raspberry Pi have enough processing oomph to act as (simple) synthesizers. They come with a USB and sound ports, it's just a matter of piecing together the midi driver and a synthesis engine software. Some examples of Pi based synthesizers can be found here.


5

One way to think about it is: a single staff spans about an octave and a fifth, i.e. about 20 notes, so if your exercises/experiments fit within a single staff (treble or bass) 32 keys should be enough. With a MIDI controller, you should have the option of (octave) transposing the keyboard as necessary to cover either of these cases. The grand staff ...


5

I can't speak to the logistics of connecting your particular keyboard. But one piece of software that is useful for this (and has been around forever) is Scala. Depending on the abilities of your equipment, it can export tuning files in various formats or use MIDI pitch bends to allow real-time performance on an instrument that doesn't natively support ...


5

There IS software that claims to generate MIDI from audio input. 'Imperfect' would be too kind :-) Use a keyboard that DOES have a MIDI output. Life's too short to do it the hard way.


4

Trouble is, in the middle area, how would you know which black or which white note was the one you wanted to play? The idea of 2 blacks/space/3 blacks is to see a pattern to help. As in the note(s) in between the 2 blacks are all D. Your idea may work if there is colour coding as in a harp. If all the Cs, say, were red then it would help navigate round. ...


4

Well, obviously the average usual piano is easier to play in the C major, but not in other keys On keyboards, digital pianos and even some rare acoustic pianos it is possible to use transpose feature if some other key seems much easier to play. I have learned some chord progressions with transposition first to make easier, but then re-learned to get them ...


4

You could program a MIDI device to play pitches this way when triggered from a regular MIDI keyboard. (For instance, to only have semitones on the white keys, and not to use the black keys - this would reduce the range of course.) It would make a nonsense of the repeating pattern of black and white keys though…! These would no longer have the same pattern ...


4

I am a pianist and have both a baby grand Koehler and Campbell and a Casio Privia for traveling/notating music on a computer. I don't mind practicing on the keyboard but I notice there are two major differences: Note Reaction: While the weighted keys do feel the same going down, they are nowhere near the same coming back up. The action in a piano is ...


4

I don't have time for a full-blown answer tonight, but as a user of Reaper myself, I can say that it is certainly capable of doing what you want, though I agree that it can be a tad overwhelming at first. Even after years of use, I certainly don't understand all of its features -- just the ones that I've come to use regularly. I encourage you to stick with ...


4

Reaper is an awesome tool and can do A LOT, so it's a bit overwhelming but in its basic use, it's quite simple, once you know what you're doing. You can find a lot of tutorials and resources on the Internet about this software (because it is inexpensive, a lot of non-professional use it). I like a lot the website Tutorials For Reaper, you can start with ...


4

I assume he partly means that it's not Isomorphic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isomorphic_keyboard). The guitar is not fully isomorphic either when tuned in a standard way due to the G-B interval being different to all the others, though you can use a different tuning with consistent string intervals. I also think he may be noticing that the Axis and ...


4

First make sure that Windows is receiving MIDI from your keyboard. If you are connecting through USB you might need to install drivers, or do some setup. Google your keyboard's model and check the manual. As for free stand-alone apps for Windows, two options are: SimplePiano Virtual Piano I do strongly recommend you to get familiar with a DAW (you can get ...


4

MainStage is the standard, especially in musical theater pits. Another option, if you don't have a MacBook, is Ableton Live, though it's expensive and I think it's hard to use. I personally prefer to use hardware synths. The software synths require a high end computer in order to not choke on the sheer amount of data. Even using the most powerful laptops ...


4

It does whatever the patch is designed to interpret it as. For '80s style synths, it's usually controlling the frequency or amplitude of the LFO, or perhaps the distortion amount. For an organ patch it might control the rotary speed. For a string patch it might control the frequency or amplitude of vibrato. Modulation is just one of many MIDI control ...


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