MIDI Controllers

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Wes_k, Jul 5, 2006.


  1. Wes_k

    Wes_k Member

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    I'm going to be buying a MIDI controller/keyboard very soon and was curious as to what you guys recommend or use. So far the M-Audio Oxygen 8, and their new Axiom 25 are what have caught my attention. I like the drum pad feature on the Axiom 25, but I am unsure if it is a little too complex? 25 keys is all I need, for drum bass and synths. Also, is every MIDI controller compatible with Garageband? as it is my recording program.

    Below are the links to the two M-Audio Controllers.

    http://www.m-audio.ca/products/en_ca/Axiom25-main.html

    http://www.m-audio.ca/products/en_ca...n8v2-main.html

    Any input and suggestions please, as I am fairly new to the MIDI and keyboard game.
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    IMO not even for that. They always felt flimsy to me, but I didn't know anyone who owned one till last year. A student of mine bought their 88-key weighted controller for practicing. It lasted him about 6 months before keys started malfunctioning, playing maybe an hour, hour and a half a night, if that. It was under warranty, but door-to-door for the repair (actually a full replacement) took about 3 weeks, as I recall.

    I've only used synths as my controllers; I never bought one that had no built-in sounds.
     
  3. Guyote

    Guyote Member

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    I'd go with a Novation X-Station:

    http://www.novationmusic.com/product.asp?id=1&Type=1&bArchive=False

    The Novation website sez:

    "The transport functions for GarageBand cannot be controlled with a generic MIDI controller such as the ReMOTE or X-Station as standard, but there is a Preference Pan for GarageBand called GarageRemote* a third party utility that can be downloaded from:

    www.muratnkonar.com/otherstuff/garageremote/

    GarageRemote maps MIDI commands to control the 6 transport functions within GarageBand, these are locate to beginning, rewind, play/pause, forward, loop on / off and record. There is a default set of MIDI commands preset for each function within GarageRemote. Although these can be changed, it is recommended that these be used. These are as follows:

    Locate to beginning F0 7D 01 F7
    Rewind F0 7D 02 F7
    Play / Pause toggle F0 7D 03 F7
    Forward F0 7D 04 F7
    Loop On / Off F0 7D 05 F7
    Record F0 7D 06 F7

    These MIDI commands are all sysex messages."

    I have a Novation Remote 25 and love it. Great, solid feel and build. Much better than M-Audio, but that's just my $0.02.

    HTH

    G
     
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Roland XP-80 and Yamaha P-150 here. Digital dinosaurs.
     
  5. Cody McLain

    Cody McLain Member

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    I've got a an Axiom on it's way to try out, but I've heard similar to what splatt and others are saying re M-Audio's dependability. Actual keyboard players I know (I'm just goofing with Reason for fun) recommended Novation, but they're a bit pricey.
     
  6. sinner

    sinner Supporting Member

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    I have the big Korg N-1 (88 weighted keys) I like the feel but too large and heavy to carry around. Here's a little keyboard that I always wanted to try:

    http://www.synthesizers.com/controllers.html

    of course, it would look nice sitting under their modular synth!
     
  7. Wes_k

    Wes_k Member

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    I'm glad I posted here before buying. M-Audio definitely doesnt seem worthwhile, as I would like something dependable.

    Thanks for all the links and suggestions. Keep 'em coming :D
     
  8. Wes_k

    Wes_k Member

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    Basically, is it compatible? I'm not quite jive to all the tech terms, but I have some decent computer knowledge. I just don't want to buy something that is going to be a huge task to configure or setup so it is compatible with garageband.
    The novations do look really cool, a little pricey so I'll have to check Ebay i suppose.
     
  9. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    i've been using my novation ReMote 25 for over a year now. very HARD use. i use it to control ableton live for when i do 'dj' gigs and the sliders and knobs get a real thrashing. rock solid. i'm intrigued w/ the new novation controller w/ even better implementation of integration w/ various softwares.
    i also have an m-audio pro 88 that i use as a 'piano action' controller. it functions well but doesn't get a lot of use.
    i also have a rather ancient evolution MK. something or other that has been astoundingly robust, ie., hammond type action on the keys, but they are now owned and manufactured by m-audio. so, i'm uncertain if the same quality is available form them as once was.
    i've also used the korg controller quite extensively and it seems quite robust.
    but the new novation ReMote SL with automapping and LCD scribble strips looks to be state of the art for power users. now if they'd only make a 'piano action' controller....
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I use M-Audio's 88 weighted-key controller, and have had it for nearly a year. No problems, daily studio use. However, I don't gig it, and I'm pretty gentle on gear. I play piano with a fairly light touch.

    The action is a step down from what I used before, a Kurzweil 2500 XS, but as for dependability, mine works fine.

    So far. ;)

    At some point I may replace it with a better feeling keyboard, some of the Roland and Yamaha ones are quite nice, but as long as it ain't broke, I ain't fixin' it.

    You: So, why'd you sell the K2500 les, you liked the feel of the keys?

    Me: I had switched to Mach 5 and other sampling software, and loved not starting a session and having to reload a bunch of samples (I almost never used the 2500's onboard sounds). So I figured, "sell the 2500, get a controller without sounds, and waste the money on more studio junk."

    This would have been a good plan, if only I'd gotten (a) a decent price for it on my ebay auction, and (b) if UPS hadn't broken the damn thing when I shipped it, causing me a big headache.

    Turned out to be a Bad Idea. Shoulda kept it as a controller.
     
  11. Guyote

    Guyote Member

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    Sorry for the technobabble, but yeah from what the Novation site says it'll work with Garageband. They are really solid keyboards.

    Edit: Here's a review if you'd like to read it: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep04/articles/xstation25.htm

    G
     
  12. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    that's why i jettisoned all my keyboard hardware. made loads more room for guitars and amps and mics and outboard(s).
    the pro88 ain't the easiest to configure, but U really only have to do it once. not being a pianist, i'm not near as fussy about the action as others.
    however, if novation were to come out w/ an SL keyboard action 88 key controller, i'd be all over it like a fat kid on a smartie.
     
  13. Wes_k

    Wes_k Member

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    as a follow up. I ended up buying a Edirol PCR-M30. I love the novations, but I just couldn't swing the $500 CDN price tag. So far the Edirol is great, it has really opened up garage band for me. But I definitely have to go through the manual and figure all these switches and knobs out. Thanks for the advice, (mainly to avoid M-Audio). I'll post a better review once I really get a grasp of this MIDI business.
     
  14. Guyote

    Guyote Member

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    Congrats, man! Glad you landed on a winner.:AOK

    G
     
  15. Orren

    Orren Member

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    I reviewed the Korg KONTROL49 for Electronic Musician magazine, and liked it so much I turned around and bought myself one.

    In my dreams, I can afford a Virus TI, which I would use as a controller as well... :)

    Orren
     
  16. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    they certainly have the aesthetics thing down w/ that piece of kit. rarely do i find a synthesizer (modulars excepted) sexy looking. but the virus is downright sexy looking IMO. pix do not do it justice, but...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    OK, that's sneaky.
    i went to the access website to find pix of the virus TI and did the "option" save URL to clipboard for a pic there. the pic above is what i pasted from my clipboard. some sense of humour, those guys...
    here's a real pic:

    [​IMG]
     

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