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HAppelman
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   Posted 5/17/2011 4:24 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Can anyone recommend a good midi keyboard controller that works with Windows 7? I'm looking for something inexpensive that does basic note entry, nothing fancy.
Thanks in advance!
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Zuill
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   Posted 5/17/2011 4:59 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
When I upgraded to my Windows 7 64 bit, I was told I would have problems with using a cheap MIDI to USB converter (as I was using a joystick connection with my old computer). I did have to use a 9v adapter as MIDI doesn't power a MIDI controller.

Anyway, until I bought the cheap $5 connector (which works perfectly, despite the doom-and-gloom predicted by those wanting to sell me a $50 connector), I went out and bought the Alesis Q49. I have been told it is a good one, and you can get it for around $80 if you look. I never used it, as my $5 connector worked. But for the money, I think it is probably one of the best.

Zuill


"When all is said and done, more is said than done."
 
Finale 2002b, 2003a, 2004b, 2005b, Win XP SP3, 2011b Win 7 64bit
 
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gogreen
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   Posted 5/17/2011 5:45 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I like my M-Audio Keystation 88es, even though I don't use it that often. I also like that M-Audio has a helpful website and forums, which helped me solve a few problems right after I bought it.


Arthur J. Michaels

www.arthurjmichaels.com

Finale 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011b.r2 (using 2011b.r2), Garritan CoMB
Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP 1
Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496, M-Audio Keystation 88es

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Zuill
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   Posted 5/17/2011 5:59 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The problem most inexpensive MIDI controllers have is that they don't have the proper items on the face of the instrument, but in a menu somewhere. That slows down workflow. I need octave shift and transpose. The Alesis only had octave shift in easy reach. Transpose was internal, requiring more work than I often want to do. That's why, when my $5 connector worked, I took the Q49 back. My Midistudio is great, and it has both on the face. However, you can't buy it in this country any more. I thought about M-Audio, but I don't think I saw what I wanted in that (compactness and price).

Zuill


"When all is said and done, more is said than done."
 
Finale 2002b, 2003a, 2004b, 2005b, Win XP SP3, 2011b Win 7 64bit
 
Favorite Forum quote: "Please, everybody, IGNORE THE TROLL!"

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Jeremy Levy
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   Posted 5/17/2011 6:04 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
It depends on how many keys you want. If you just want a small one, look at the Oxygen-8 series from M-Audio. They come in different sizes and have some knobs to program if you ever want room to grow.


Jeremy Levy
Trombonist, Orchestrator, Composer/Arranger, Copyist
Santa Monica, CA
www.jlevymusic.com
Finale 2007-2011

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diz
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   Posted 5/17/2011 6:27 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I use a two and a half octave keyboard that plugs directly into one of my laptop's USB ports - works like a dream and has "up" and "down" buttons to allevitate the fact that it's only got 2 and a half octave's of range (that feature took me a little time to get used to, but now I am, it's a dream). The good thing about my one is it's only a little bit wider than my keyboard itself so sits behind it very neatly. Great for note entry!


Finale 2011b
Winows 7
 

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HAppelman
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   Posted 5/17/2011 10:40 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks to you all.

Anyone have experience with the Ion Audio Discover keyboard?
http://keyboards-midi.musiciansfriend.com/product/ION-Discover-Keyboard-USB?sku=H71894

It's super cheap ($29) but may not work with Windows 7. I guess it would be better to go with a name brand like M-Audio or Alesis. I was also looking at the Alesis Q25.. as I said, I don't need features, as long as I can shift octaves (I can transpose in Finale). I like the fact that the Q25 is USB powered.
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Wiggy
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   Posted 5/18/2011 3:11 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I would be surprised if any MIDI keyboard did not work with Windows 7. If it conforms to the USB-MIDI standard, then it should work. From the write-up on the page, it says that it works on PC and Mac. What makes you think that it doesn't work with W7?

I have an M-Audio Oxygen 61-key keyboard, and that's USB-powered, too.


Finale 2011c, 2Ghz iMac; 2Ghz MacBook, 10.6.6
Edirol FA-66; M-Audio Oxygen 61; Yamaha PSR-410
Ancient Groove Music
www.ancientgroove.co.uk

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Saffron
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   Posted 5/18/2011 5:27 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
This is simply a matter of desk (or studio) space versus utility.

I still use an ancient Roland PC-150 keyboard exclusively for Finale and other desktop apps - it's for 4 octaves of full-size, non-velocity-sensitive keys, and nothing else apart from an on-off switch and a "function" button on the left cheek. So its overall size is that of 4 octaves of keys, and nothing more. Which is fantastic - all modern keyboards have rows of knobs, faders, displays, pitch wheels etc, NONE of which are any use in Finale, and ALL of which just waste desktop space.

But I also have several full-size synths - S90ES, SY99, DX7II, etc - all of which I have used with Finale at some point. For me, I find the larger keyboards get in the way, because I have further to reach for the trackball, qwerty keyboard and screen.

So in short, figure out your preferred ergnomics (where you want your qwerty keyboard, pointing device, screen and music keyboard, and then buy something that fits in that space!

Brian


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johnmouse
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   Posted 5/18/2011 7:06 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I use an M-Audio Key Rig 49. Will be getting a 25 note for my laptop at some point.


John

Finale 2009c/2010a
M-Audio KeyRig 49
Desktop: Windows XP, SP2/P4 2.8 GHz/1 Gig RAM
Laptop: Windows 7/i3 Core/4 Gig RAM

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HAppelman
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   Posted 5/18/2011 10:00 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Wiggy,
I have been using a Reveal Midi-star keyboard for years, but it's gotten cranky and now won't work at all (I've been through all the Finale troubleshooting routine). I assume this is b/c of incompatibility with Windows 7.

Harry
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Flint
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   Posted 5/18/2011 11:13 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Saffron said...
...all modern keyboards have rows of knobs, faders, displays, pitch wheels etc, NONE of which are any use in Finale, and ALL of which just waste desktop space.
Yeah, I'm finding this to be the case as well. I'm in the market for an electric piano to put on my desk, and it's difficult finding models that don't have a ginormous footprint because of extra knobs, wheels, switches, buttons, and the like. There are a few full 88-key electric pianos that have a nice small footprint, though.


woodwind specialist and doubler - Finale 2011b using Speedy Entry - no capslock, GPO 2nd ed. Full version, Garritan Jazz & Big Band, Garritan Concert and Marching Band, newly mucking about with Windows 7 64-bit SP1, 4GB RAM, Soundblaster Audigy II zs

If the composer says in effect to the performer: "I do not care whether you perform my music or not," we cannot argue the matter. But if he indicates: "I want you to perform and respond to this music," then his fundamental duty is to write his music so that it is accessible to interpretation. When the performer cannot approach the composer's meaning because of capriciously obscure notation, he may in effect say to the composer: "Why should I bother to puzzle out your music?" - Gardner Read

RIP Douglas Adams

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Saffron
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   Posted 5/18/2011 11:21 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Flint said...
Saffron said...
...all modern keyboards have rows of knobs, faders, displays, pitch wheels etc, NONE of which are any use in Finale, and ALL of which just waste desktop space.
Yeah, I'm finding this to be the case as well. I'm in the market for an electric piano to put on my desk, and it's difficult finding models that don't have a ginormous footprint because of extra knobs, wheels, switches, buttons, and the like. There are a few full 88-key electric pianos that have a nice small footprint, though.

Yep - Roland FP4F is quite svelte as pianos with a reasonable keyboard action go - and has (small) built-in stereo speakers which could be handy. Ditto the Yamaha P95.

Both these have good, but not excellent, keyboards - they're slightly compromised by being too compact. Much better is the Roland FP7F (which includes an "escapement" action and ivory-feel keys!) and the Yamaha CP33. I'm currently toying with getting one or other of the latter as a chuck-in-the-back-of-the-car gigging keyboard - MY S90ES is too big for my car, and forces me to use my old van to go to gigs!

Brian


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jms3music
Too Many Ideas in my Head



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   Posted 5/18/2011 11:23 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I agree with Saffron that space and utility are important, but also think about what you may be doing musically in the future. I bought my Casio WK-200 (full-size velocity-sensitive keys, 5+ octaves, no mod wheels) before I began composing on a computer, and in retrospect, that caused me to buy more than I am actually using but less then I could be using: While I do 95% of my composing in PrintMusic, a mod wheel would be quite nice for when I work in a DAW. If you are fairly confident that your equipment needs will not change moving forward, then perhaps things like mod wheels are not necessary for what you buy now. If you can envision yourself doing more musically in the future, such as live performances, then all those "bells and whistles" may be useful to have now.


Music hobbyist working with:
* PowerSpec B307 Pentium Dual-core 2.70GHz Windows 7 Professional
* Finale PrintMusic 2010a & 2011a
* Casio WK-200 Keyboard
* Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 & World Instruments
* AAS Angelicals
* Numerous VSTs and Soundfonts
* Vocaloid Miriam v1.1.1.0
* Reaper v3.7.x
* Music Maker 16 Premium Edition

My music is on the Web at www.jms3music.com and at soundcloud.com/jms3music
Follow me at www.twitter.com/jms3music and www.youtube.com/user/jms3music

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Saffron
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   Posted 5/18/2011 11:33 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
jms3music said...
I agree with Saffron that space and utility are important, but also think about what you may be doing musically in the future. I bought my Casio WK-200 (full-size velocity-sensitive keys, 5+ octaves, no mod wheels) before I began composing on a computer, and in retrospect, that caused me to buy more than I am actually using but less then I could be using: While I do 95% of my composing in PrintMusic, a mod wheel would be quite nice for when I work in a DAW. If you are fairly confident that your equipment needs will not change moving forward, then perhaps things like mod wheels are not necessary for what you buy now. If you can envision yourself doing more musically in the future, such as live performances, then all those "bells and whistles" may be useful to have now.

The funny - no, annoying thing - is that my S90ES, which I love to bits, won't fit in my car precisely because it is about 1 octave's worth of space longer than it should be, simply to house the pitch and mod wheels! Its predecessor, the S90, put them above the lower keys, saving about 9" in overall length (same layout as the Yamaha CP33 piano).

Now when I'm playing funky stuff on my 5-octave DX7II, I use the pitch and mod wheels quite a lot. But usually on the S90ES, I'm already playing with both hands (who needs 88 keys for one-handed playing?), and hardly ever touch the pitch bend or mod wheels from one end of a gig to the other.

So yes, bells and whistles are nice - but only if they are useful. And in this case, I'd happily saw the left hand 9 inches off my S90ES and lose the pitch and mod wheels, so I could actually fit the instrument into my SUV!

One reason I'm thinking of getting a Roland FP7F is precisely that it has no pitch/mod wheels, joysticks or other space-hogging controls that are of limited or no interest to a pianist who knows how to play with both hands at once! And so will sit across the back seat of my SUV!! :-)

Brian


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Edward Levy
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   Posted 5/18/2011 5:27 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I second Gogreen's suggestion of an M Audio Keystation 88es. It does everything I need for Finale, has the full 88 note compass, and is not expensive. I got mine on sale at Guitar Center for under $150.


Edward Levy
Los Angeles, CA
Finale 2009 on Windows Vista Home Premium, M-Audio Keystation 88es
Finale 2011 on the same system.

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gogreen
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   Posted 5/18/2011 5:56 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Edward Levy said...
I got mine on sale at Guitar Center for under $150.

Wow. That's a great price!


Arthur J. Michaels

www.arthurjmichaels.com

Finale 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011b.r2 (using 2011b.r2), Garritan CoMB
Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP 1
Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496, M-Audio Keystation 88es

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