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88-key weighted MIDI controllers...
Old 28th March 2006
  #1
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
88-key weighted MIDI controllers...

I'm currently in the market for an 88 key weighted MIDI controller. No bells and whistles, just a full set of weighted keys. USB or just straight MIDI is fine. I'd like 127 velocity layers and sustain pedal input as well.

Would anybody care to share their love story with their current one? Basically looking for the cheapest one that won't have the keys fall off after a year. Did a search, didn't prove very fruitful.

Oh, and what the heck is "semi-weighted?" I mean, I can imagine, but for a pianist, would this be just as detrimental as not having them weighted at all? Probably just looking for full weighted here...

Looking at this Studiologic SL-990XP...Seems all right...for $300...
Old 28th March 2006
  #2
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scruffydog's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Check it out first and if you buy one be critical of the action as some come from the factory heavier than others.....my ssl 880 is still a bit on the heavy side and really I should have swapped it or returned it....oh well...slowly getting better...!?!
so my advice is go to a shop and choose one very carefully for the correct action.

still it makes a lot of difference to all my modules though...and I prefer it to my others.
Old 28th March 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Some months ago I got a used Oberheim/Viscount MC1000 for 300 Euro.
Basic but good for me, nice touch. I bought it mainly for piano libraries, I did not need realtime controllers and stuff like that. It's good also for playing synths anyway, once you get used to it.
Old 28th March 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
88 keys

i have the m-audio keystation 88es [semi-weighted]
it does the job for $200, but probably not if you're coming from a piano background.

you may want to check out the CME UF8 with Weighter Hammer-Action keys
and Aftertouch for more of a piano feel. they're around $500.

i think you're going to have to spend a bit to get something that feels like a piano, but for synths & light piano work, or for people on a budget a semi-weighted controller would work fine.

it's all about what you play with it, right?

nothing feels like a piano. mmmm.
Old 28th March 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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sleepwalker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd look for a synth that has some issues. I've got a K2500XS that has corrupted rom blocks. $400. I can still load samples, but I mainly use it as a midi controller.

I've seen a lot of synths with electronic issues that were being sold for cheap as a midi controller. Anyway, long shot, but I see them from time to time.

Avoid M-Audio. Garbage as an 88 key controller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012
i have the m-audio keystation 88es [semi-weighted]
it does the job for $200, but probably not if you're coming from a piano background.

you may want to check out the CME UF8 with Weighter Hammer-Action keys
and Aftertouch for more of a piano feel. they're around $500.

i think you're going to have to spend a bit to get something that feels like a piano, but for synths & light piano work, or for people on a budget a semi-weighted controller would work fine.

it's all about what you play with it, right?

nothing feels like a piano. mmmm.
Old 28th March 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Registered User
 
DivineMusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i personally like the CME UF8 and the M-audio keystation pro88..
Old 28th March 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Tried the Pro-88 months ago, didn't like it at all. Really a "fake" and cheap touch, in my opinion. Never tried the CME-8.
Old 28th March 2006 | Show parent
  #8
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, this controller is going to be solely for piano. Maybe some strings, but I don't really care how the keys feel for that. The whole "busted synth" thing isn't a bad idea. I'd kinda like the keys to be fresh, tho.

I've heard the m-audio isn't very authentic as far as feel goes. Anybody have the Studiologic SL-990XP? I believe those are full weighted...
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Maybe out of your price range, but I really like the Alesis QS8. I'm a piano guy, and it satisfies me not only with the solid feel and action, but the sounds on board are excellent.

War
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
^i'm with u war... feel is most important to me. I got the s90es strictly for the feel... the sounds are an added bonus :D
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #11
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The s90es is a bit out of my price range, but that's pretty cool that it's got a Motif ROM. God, I love those things. Definately a high potential for magic. I've had several sessions in a place that had a Motif lying around where the artist would just idley sit down in front of it while we were chatting and...BOOM! The song now has keys!

The QS8 might be a good option for me, tho. Thanks for the replies, everyone! Now I've got a few things to look for when I go out to test drive.
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #12
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012
i have the m-audio keystation 88es [semi-weighted]
it does the job for $200, but probably not if you're coming from a piano background.
I use this as my soft-synth trigger, but it's only weighted in the sense that the keys have chunks of plastic glued inside them to give them (wait for it) weight.

But I find that it's very synth-like in it's action; not piano-ey at all.

For piano, I bought a Fatar Studio 90 on Craig's List for cheap and haven't looked back. I don't remember exactly, but seems like it was around $200.

It has three buttons and no lights; no frills.

I was told that Fatar made or makes the keyboard mechanisms for some of the big keyboard companies, but I have absolutely no idea whether or not that's true.
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #13
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Good suggestion with the Fatar Studio 90. Pretty much just what I'm looking for (if the playability is there.) Finding one might be tough, tho.
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Registered User
 
statikcat's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Don't get the M Audio 88 key it SUCKS. There is no consistancy across the keys.. velocity is horrible. Get a Studio Logic / Fatar or a CME controller.
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I have a CME UF8 sitting here collecting dust. I don't like it for piano action.

HOWEVER, if someone does like them and wants to pick it up for $300 come and get it.
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Get yourself a used yamaha KX88. You could probably get one for close to nothing and it feels better than anything mentioned above.

In lieu of that, I'd look for a used Roland A80.

The least expensive current model keyboard that feels like anything to me is the Yamaha P250. Which isn't inexpensive.
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Registered User
 
theAnomalous's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I bought a STUDIOLOGIC SL990PRO for the same purpose.
I am very happy with it so far(had it for about 3 months).

-Dave
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
We're looking for a few new Midi Keyboards as well. Semi weighted, nothing fancy. The M-Audio stuff looks good and is quite a bargain, no doubt.

Now, someone take this Triton Studio Workstation off our hands!



~ Joel
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #19
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey, The Anomalous, do you know what the difference is between the STUDIOLOGIC SL990PRO and the SL990XP is? I've been trying to compare the two online, and I can't really find a difference besides the price.
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis
Good suggestion with the Fatar Studio 90. Pretty much just what I'm looking for (if the playability is there.) Finding one might be tough, tho.
fatar and studiologic are the same company
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #21
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, I discovered that in my research! Thanks for the heads up!
Old 29th March 2006 | Show parent
  #22
Registered User
 
texdc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you haven't guessed by now, weighted piano feel preferences are all over the map. This is true with 7' grands just as much as cheapo controllers. The best advice is to play them yourself before you commit.
Old 30th March 2006 | Show parent
  #23
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Thunder Dump's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis
Hey, The Anomalous, do you know what the difference is between the STUDIOLOGIC SL990PRO and the SL990XP is? I've been trying to compare the two online, and I can't really find a difference besides the price.
I believe the only difference is the XP has aftertouch and the PRO does not. I know that was the difference with the 880 models.
Old 30th March 2006 | Show parent
  #24
Registered User
 
Thunder Dump's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
And FWIW, those M-Audio's will be a disappointment if you want true piano feel. Out of all the controllers I tried, I think the Studiologics have the best feel. But again, it's very much a personal preference much the same as it is with real piano action.
Old 12th March 2008 | Show parent
  #25
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
New Yamaha Controllers

Be sure to check out the new Yamaha KX8. I like the Yamaha action best.
Old 12th March 2008
  #26
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Jake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
In my experience I've typically found that digital pianos (such as Yamaha CP300) have a much better feel than dedicated midi controllers and often have more than sufficient midi controller functions to serve as a keyboard controller. Two less expensive digital stage pianos that I really like are the Kawai MP4 (now the MP5 which I have not tried) and the Yamaha CP33. Both have great keyboard action and decent onboard sounds which are useful if you're a gigging musician.

As far as dedicated controllers go, I am extremely interested by the new Yamaha KX8, although I haven't played one yet. If the KX8 has the same action as Yamaha's CP series I think it would be my first choice as a dedicated piano controller.
Old 7th March 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Addict
 
a1236040's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
No, the KX8 has a cheaper keyboard not as good as the CP33,CP300, Motif, S90ES...
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