What keyboard to buy....?

Talk about your MIDI interfaces, microphones, keyboards...

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What keyboard to buy....?

Post by groovee »

I'm new to this entire thing - what I'd like to do is to learn the keyboards as a hobby. Am I right in that a MIDI controller is what I need? Which one? I think a "88-key" one is what I'm looking for - I don't want to run out of keyboard space when I'm tearing up those tunes, right? :) If I understand things correctly, the controller is just...dumb, and it needs "sounds" built into whatever software I'll be using on the computer - well, does Linux software exist for this purpose? Is it free or do I have to pay? (say for Piano sounds). Also, if I wanna make beats, do I also use this "MIDI controller" thing, or is some separate equipment needed for that? I'd just like the cheapest thing that'll do the job, please - of course, it mustn't break down or anything, obviously!

Thanks for answering all my queries :)

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Michael Willis
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Re: What keyboard to buy....?

Post by Michael Willis »

88-key is the size of a full piano. To be honest, if you're just getting started learning keyboards, a five octave controller like this one will probably be plenty enough. As for sounds, yes there are plenty of free ways to make sound on Linux using a midi controller as input, it just depends on what you want.

For a free piano sound, you can try something like the Piano in 162 or Slender Salamander. If you want to make synth sounds, take a look at Bristol, Helm, Yoshimi, and/or Zynaddsubfx, among many other options.

Yes, you can also make beats with your controller. You'll have to learn how to use a midi sequencer of some sort. Popular options around here include Ardour, LMMA, Muse, Rosegarden, and Qtractor.

Of course, you will have to learn how to set up the signal routing to get your midi controller to integrate with the software that makes the noise, but that's hopefully part of the fun. Ask more questions here and we'll help you along your way.

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