Aftertouch - Do I need it?


I’m narrowing a search for a decent 88-key weighted keyboard with decent MIDI control (at least one fader, some knobs) and in the price range I’ve been looking at (about $US 1K) it’s hard to impossible to find one with aftertouch when the keys are pressed a little harder. So maybe something like Juno DS 88, or Arturia Keylab MkII, neither of which have it, but check most other boxes.

The thing is, I’m not sure whether I need keyboard aftertouch or not.

I am not a synth guy, so I don’t need to tweak cutoffs or oscillators and whatever else you smart guys do.

But I do program strings and horns (SampleTank 4, Cubase’s Halion Sonic instruments), and I’ve read it’s nice to have aftertouch for those instruments.

Any advice here please?

I’ve read that even if I don’t have keyboard aftertouch, I can still apply it live with an expression pedal or some other MIDI controller on the keyboard, or even afterwards drawing it in. Are those decent alternatives?

Thanks for any thoughts!

I used to have after touch for decades with my Korg M1, and I did enjoy it, esp. like you said with horns (ex. for an octave scream).
I sold my M1 about 8 years ago and my new main kb does not have it… (RD2000)

I had the same worries (borderline anxiety :upside_down_face:) that I would miss it, and yes I would prefer having it… but it’s not an issue at all, and you can achieve the same results using the bender/joystick and/or mod wheels and/or exp. pedal, etc. And you can also tweak in post-prod.

So yes it’s nice to have, but no it’s not worth breaking the bank for it.

Make a search on this forum and you will find several threads discussing choosing a midi controller to help you pick.

Please share your findings.

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