Written by Dylan

Advice on MIDI electric keyboards

A MIDI keyboard is an electronic keyboard instrument that looks like an ordinary keyboard. However, a MIDI keyboard produces no sound itself, but converts the tracks you play to MIDI data. Software on the computer or laptop then translates this note information into sound. Music producers use MIDI keyboards to play melodies and bass lines for their productions. Keysets use MIDI keyboards live on stage. On this page you can read which types there are and what to look out for when purchasing. So you simply find the best MIDI keyboard for you.

1 - Do you need a MIDI keyboard?

A MIDI keyboard gives you so much more possibilities and musical freedom than a computer mouse or an ordinary keyboard. As a producer, you no longer have to use the mouse and keyboard to program melodies in your music software. And as a keyboard player you suddenly have an infinite number of sounds to play with, much more than with an ordinary keyboard. Simply select another instrument as a software plug, and your MIDI keyboard suddenly sounds like a concert grand, synthesizer, violin or even as a complete concert.

2 - Do you need more than just keys?

Many MIDI keyboards have extras, such as programmable drum pads, faders and rotary controls. Use the drum pads, which are the square buttons of rubber, for example to arrange beats or start samples yourself. Assign the faders and knobs to other functions of your software, for example to modulate the sound of your synthesizer plug. You decide which button which parameter works. You can make a large part of your music live or in your home studio with a MIDI keyboard instead of the mouse. Many musicians find this hands-on way of working pleasant. We therefore recommend, for both the studio and for live performances, a MIDI keyboard with extra possibilities.

3 - What else do you need?

In addition to a computer, you need software such as Ableton, Cubase, Logic or FruityLoops. Virtual instruments, VSTis, are also indispensable. These software plug ins ensure the kind of sound that comes from your MIDI keyboard. With the software packages mentioned above you already get a number of plug ins. You can download other plugins for a fee. Many MIDI keyboards also work with the iPad but are supplied without an iPad cable or connection kit. Do not forget to purchase these separately if you want to connect the MIDI keyboard to your iPad.

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