Advice wanted on keyb controller

Hello all, I am just upgrading to Cubase 6 from 4 studio now on my Mac

Up to now I haven’t reallydone anything with keyboards and/or synths , loops, samples etc… but now that cubase 6 has so many tools to take advantage of, I want to learn.

I will “likely” be purchasing a bcf2000 for some fader and effects control but I want to get a keybaord controller that also has pads etc… to attempt learning some ableton live skills also.

General consensus seems to be that Novation has higher quality stuf than M-Audio.

I don’t know how to play piano (at least I hanven’t played isnce I was 8 ) and will be learning on this new piece of equipment. I’m used to playing drums, guitar etc…

I have 2 specific questions. Because I’m learning should I try to get a 61 Key over a 49 key keyboard?

and second, should I buy the Novation sl MKII now or wait until the Novation Impulse is available if I want to get more into ableton live etc… and use “better” pads ?

Any other comments advice welcome, the more knowledge the better. CHEERS :ugeek:

oh yah. and of course, i’d like to keep costs around 400$

More keys is always better, get as many as you have the space for. I find 49 lacks that one octave you need for playing some chords and a bass with it. When you say pads you mean MPC-style drumpads? I have no experience with those I’m afraid, I have a drumkit :sunglasses:

I have drums as well and don’t plan to stop recording htem. but form some of the videos i’ve seen it looks simple to create the sounds you want and then “re-use” them with pad’s etc… to have fun etc…

i’m new to theses idea’s as I have primarily up to now just recroded rock bands, ie ty[ical drums, guitar, vox etc… all “live” audio tracks, no midi etc…

after loking at what was in Cubase 6 and how much is possible I decided I needed to expand my skills and delve into the world of loops and smaples , ableton live etc…

My opinion on the pads…
If you are going to do some live performance or something where you want the pads as some extra “keys” or “controls” to trigger different loops, samples, or patterns, etc., then I could see how that would be helpful. But, if you are just planning to use them as “drums” to program percussion, I would say that they are unnecessary. Trying to program a drum beat with pads is only slightly better than using the keys, and you will still end up doing MUCH editing of the patterns in the editor anyway. I rarely use the pads on my controller (Axiom Pro). They work well but by the time you find the sounds you want on them (and reassign any that aren’t assigned), it is much faster just to use the keys.
Concerning the Axiom Pro…
I am happy with mine. I have had it for about two years. It seems very sturdy to me and none of the knobs or buttons feel cheap or have had any problems yet (knock on wood). I am a guitarist and have been learning to play piano “proper”, but for that I have an 88 weighted key Yamaha digital piano. I like having the small, 25 key controller on the table next to the computer while I am sitting in front of Cubase since the 88 key is large and off to the side making it difficult to move between the keyboard and the computer. Also, I am often away from home so I can fairly easily take the laptop and 25 key controller with me. I have no experience with the Novation controllers.
Hope this helps.
EDIT: With the Hyper Control feature of the Axiom Pro, you can control almost any parameter in Cubase, including transport, inserts, VSTi, sends, etc. from the Controller.

You could ask that over at their forum! If you are serious about learning to play a piano, then at least 76 keys would be a minimum.

Thanks for the advice Jaslan, i’ll reconsider the maudio gear.

In the mean time, i’ve determined I shouldn’t really choose the keyboard based on the pads. I can easily always purchase something like the korg nanoPad or better ye tthe padKontrol to try stuff out.

I don’t have any grandiose plans to play live , but I wouldn’t mind the ability to create /“performances” intended to use pads.

As I will be “learning” piano, i understand mor ekeys would be better of course, but I odn’t know if I can justify the expense on a 76 keyboard. We’ll see.

Maudio Axiom 61 (Pro or regular version)
Great units. Semi-weighted keys, lots of encoders and faders, pads, on deck transport controls, nice mod and pitch bend wheels. I love the USB bus power…no wall wart required.
Oxygens are also good, if on a tighter budget (but no pads).
Never had a problem with any of them.

The Axiom does look nice also. I haven’t had the chance to play the sl mkII , so i’m not sure how it’s keyboard compares to the axiom.

I like the idea of more controls on the sl mkII though, as well as a more useful LED display.

The touch sensitive nobs doesn’t hurt either , making the system a little more intuitive if my friends, wife etc… want to use also

at the moment i’m leaning towards the sl mkII . The only thing i’m leery about is the actual keyboard feel . thanks for all your advice

I learnt keyboards recently using an Axiom 61 (M Audio). One thing painist go on and on about is the action of a keyboard. There are tow kinds of keyboards (roughly) wieghted and non weighted. Pianists prefer weighted.
Having learned on non weighted, when I got a weighted keyboard it was at first a struggle as my finger muscles were not used to the puch required - now its fine. Also organists use waterfall keys (better for slides)

Hope this is not too basic advice.