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question about a MIDI keyboard

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by Edgold, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Edgold

    Edgold Senior member

    I have a credit with a music store (Sam Ash) and no longer have a MIDI keyboard. I just bought Logic Pro 9. My computer is an iMac 10.1 4 ram which has 4 USB ports one of which is unoccupied.

    I take it I don't need a MIDI interface if I am only using samples etc. (I will probably get rid of my venerable Roland external sound modules which I haven't used in some years.)

    My question concerns whether I need a MIDI interface and whether the keyboard will work directly with just samples?
  3. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    You can hook up a modern (cheap plastic) keyboard controller via USB. No MIDI interface required. You can play all software instruments installed in your computer whether samplers or synths.

    A MIDI interface is only needed if you plan on using external hardware modules.

    There are tons of keyboard controllers at all prices ranges with various features. Not being a keyboard player, you'll need input from others.
  4. Edgold

    Edgold Senior member

    Thanks CSEye. I think the cheaper the better as they don't seem to last that long.

    I seem to have made a little progress with Logic as I found the synth list but don't see one for other samples I have on the computer independent of Logic. I also located the gain button which should be a big help. I'll put questions about those in a separate thread after I go for the keyboard.
  5. Edgold

    Edgold Senior member

    I didn't buy the keyboard yesterday since I have to convert the credit to a gift certificate. But they were mostly rather expensive. I think a cheap 1 or 2 octave controller keyboard would be more in my price range and I don't need the keyboard samples since Logic has its own sounds.
  6. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    A USB keyboard controller is what you're looking for to work with Logic.

    Tons of cool and cheap options.
  7. Edgold

    Edgold Senior member

    Yes, it would have to be USB keyboard in any case. I would get a very small one as it would be a near-necessity in my cramped quarters.

  8. Edgold

    Edgold Senior member

    I have been having second thoughts about getting an external midi keyboard. Since notes can easily be put into Logic with the Mac keyboard using the virtual keyboard, I don't see the advantage of having more hardware clutter.

    I got the gift card from Sam Ash and I will see if I can find something that the money might be better spent on.
  9. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    While it's true that one can use the Caps Lock keyboard with a Mac computer keyboard, more musical outcomes will be achieved using a real (cheap, plastic, USB) keyboard controller, even if using the keyboard to input notes with Logic's Step Input Keyboard (Options Menu>Step Input Keyboard).

    If you can play a keyboard instrument, you really should at least a 25 key controller. 49 keys is better. At one point M-Audio offered a full 88 keys for $199.

    I play guitar rather than keyboards so I can't really make any recommendations on specific models. You'll have decide if you need weighted keys (like a real wood and wire piano), semi-weighted, or synth action which is very light. I'm sure that Sam Ash has all currently available keyboard controllers at all price points. Talk to them about the options in relation to your style of working with Logic.

    If the controller has a few knobs and faders, these can be set up to control Logic's transport functions and to automate plug-in parameters etc.

    If you're only using Apple Loops, and adding a MIDI note here and there, then maybe you don't need an external keyboard.
  10. Edgold

    Edgold Senior member

    Thanks CSeye,

    Yes, I was a classical pianist in the past but no longer perform. I will wait for a week or two to decide about dealing with the Sam Ash gift card. In general, though, I mainly want to get the notes in and then edit them as I have done in the past and am not sure I need those external keyboard refinements.

    I have been working my way through the printed manual and put a revised Logic version of my Spanish language song on my website. I was able to edit velocities and worked with Sound Design and panning. But I haven't decided completely how I will work with Logic.

    Though I'm quite certain I will rarely need Loops and will restrict myself to MIDI and audio tracks, I'll leave the external keyboard question up in the air for now.

  11. Staircase2

    Staircase2 Member

    editing musical data by mouse or otherwise is ultimately actually a bit of a pain in the arse.

    when space and portability was an option for me I bought a Behringer UMA25S keyboard.


    2 octaves (which is still a tad limiting when it comes to chords or bass lines which work over an octave). It also has controller knobs which are VERY good for changing synth settings (filters etc) which can also then be recordable. Plus it has a built in Audio interface (albeit only 16 bit 44.1 Khz it sounds great) - comes with headphones with built in microphone (great for vocalising ideas/songwriting) plus gig bag(!) AND strap! (you can use it onstage if you want to! lol) runs off USB or batteries or PSU (not supplied)

    whole thing was about £60 ish - VERY VERY VERY cool

    Think they do a range of other bigger ones too

    ooh yeah! forgot to mention - its ultraslim so no more than about an inch from bottom to top - hoorah!

    Keys are a tad 'on&off' but you can alter the velocity settings - also has pitch wheel and mod wheel and transport buttons

    I LOVE it! lol

  12. Edgold

    Edgold Senior member

    I've not decided yet on what I will do but thanks for the info.

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