MIDI Keyboard recommendations

Ignore the distance to the laptop - in a multi-monitor setup that screen barely gets any use.
The 27” screen is mounted to the back of the keyboard table, so it’s roughly arm’s reach away. I don’t think I could handle a 40” screen at that distance without neck fatigue; I have a significant enough astigmatism that I have to move my head in many situations where other people just move their eyes…

I concede that I wish I had a larger monitor from time to time, but due to modern aspect ratios, most modern monitors wouldn’t help all that much. I typically want more vertical real estate, while keeping the width I already have. Turning a monitor on end wouldn’t help me because then it would be too narrow. I can’t fathom why one would want a 4k monitor and then scale it; as tristis mentioned, you end up loosing the benefit of 4k to begin with. Personally, I hate being able to distinguish pixels, and since like Leo, my monitor is only an arm’s-length away, I can read everything anyway.

I scale on a 4K monitor and it works great. 1080 will pixelate small details on a large score.

4K gives me lots of clarity when I‘m zoomed out, and scaling to maybe 125 keeps me from having to squint to see the toolbars.

I see. So it’s mostly UI elements around the edges, with the benefit of greater pixel density in the score viewing area. Makes sense.

Interesting thread…

I have an NI KK S88. The feel and touch, which was the key issue for me, is good. My previous keyboard was a Roland Fantom, I loved the feel of that one so will probably look at Roland next time. The desk arrangement is simple - a pair of black IKEA tables at right angles. My second monitor is an old Apple Cinema 30 inch HD, unfortunately getting dimmer with time. My main monitor - and Dorico is entirely to blame for this - is an LG 43" (3780 x 2160). It cost me under £500 and was worth every penny.

I don’t actually work in the dark :smiley: - I just wanted a shot that showed a 43’ screen and Dorico…

You have younger eyes than I. Be glad of that.

I cannot work with less than a 27" 5K main screen. My two side monitors are 27" 4K — kinda’ sorta’ adequate but no way I could do my work on them without serious discomfort. All 3 monitors are at the largest default resolution (Larger Text).

Feeling really glad that I don’t need that $6,000 6K Apple monitor. This rig was expensive enough.

While the aspect ratio isn’t ideal, a 4K monitor rotated (or ‘pivoted’) through 90 degrees isn’t exactly ‘narrow’ as it’s still 2,160 pixels. The main problem is that a 32" in portrait orientation reaches quite a height above a desk. I find looking up and down much more uncomfortable than moving my head from side to side so only use a secondary monitor in this way (and not for Dorico). Rotation is easy and takes only a few seconds though so one can switch as required.

David Tee’s photograph shows how much is easily visible on screen (vertically and horizontally) if one can accommodate a wide monitor.

I feel similarly. Having lots of screen space makes me very much more productive and it’s s one of the last things I’d ever sacrifice. Your photograph shows just how much can be seen comfortably on a large monitor. I particularly like being able to have sources or the tools I use for transcription open alongside Dorico.

I consciously arranged my equipment (including the keyboards) around the monitors and am very happy with both my productivity and the comfort in which I can work.

The great thing about Ikea desks are that a) you buy the tops and legs separately and b) you can get heavy duty adjustable legs. When I redid my office last year, I set my desktops to the configuration and height that I needed for my monitors.

Back to the original topic (sorta’), my keyboards sit on one of these. I can roll it under my desk when not needed. Again, adjustable but with wheels. I normally keep my computer keyboard in front of my Mobile Keys.

Under $36 at Amazon, Office Depot etc.

I just got a KOMPLETE S88 MK2, is it overkill? Also I got Dorico 3.5 but not activated yet, and should switch to 4.0?

Nothing overkill about KOMPLETE - I’d say quite minimal (but expensive for that). Should be absolutely fine for Dorico. If you’re due the free update, then why not?

There are lots of little creature comforts that make dorico 4 lovely to use. I would update if I were you, but at this point you might as well wait an extra week or two until the maintenance release is issued with bug fixes. Daniel has said it should be out within the next two weeks or so.

I know this is an old thread, but it’s lovely seeing everyone’s setups - here’s mine:

There’s a Z frame stand under the desk so I can pop the keylab underneath if I’m going to be doing a lot of note input, but otherwise I use it as both a typesetting and practising setup - I use the two keyboards down t’ pit. I don’t know how people cope with the keyboard on the desk thing - I need my desk :slight_smile:

Edit - to keep it more on topic - for midi note entry I use an Arturia Keylab Mk II 61 key controller - decently balanced controller with a lot of controls and pedal options for its size. Decent, although I had to send one back with a dodgy pitch wheel.

I also use a Roland RD 2000 - handily works as a sound card too, and an excellent gigging machine.

When out I sometimes take my Akai 25 key wireless controller - usefully Bluetooth, but a bit annoying moving octaves frequently on large files (although easy buttons for doing so)

Before I used to use a Roland FP 90 (also usefully Bluetooth enabled) and an old Korg SP-100 under the desk for note input (annoyingly heavy and very basic midi out - terrible onboard sounds).

Plenty of great lightweight and cheap options if all you want is a Midi controller - even full size. Depends on what features you want. Handy things like Bluetooth and usb connections are worth looking at and worth looking at the weight if you want to move it around.


If you’re just looking for simple note entry, anything will do. So many options:

  • how large or rather wide? anything from 25 all the way to 88 keys
  • weighted (piano action) versus semi weighted
  • just the keys or any additional buttons to program midi (knobs, sliders)
  • to program midi controller data you can also use pedals, or se;parate controllers with sliders

It really depends. If besides entering notes in Dorico you also want to tinker around with a DAW you may more options. picture of my setup with a 66 key Juno G (with built in sounds I never use, but nice action) and a 25 key akai keyboard which I can take on the road. And I also have separate midi controllers / mixers with motorized faders which are great for a DAW but not (yet) for Dorico.


Here’s a pic of my setup. I recently bought this M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini which fits perfectly in front of my Logitech keyboard. I also have a Roland A-88MK2 on my right for serious playing.

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Bigger desk :upside_down_face:

(I upgraded to an standing L desk and it’s glorious.)

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Now I have desk and monitor envy. But, it’s working for me so…


Honestly, that’s been me for years (minus the stream deck) - it’s all you need!

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Love how many monitors you have in your setup - do you compose for film?

Is that an adjustable desk? Is it a Flexspot? Because that’s what I have and I love it!