New Keyboard

I’ve been using my trusty Roland EM-20 for a while now for playing VST’s. The touch sensitivity on some keys is dying on me, so I’m looking for something new.
What I want seems to be a bit difficult however, so I’d like some advice.

My criteria:

  • has to fit in 105cm max width
  • minimum of 61 keys
  • pitchbend/mod wheels or joystick
  • Key action between keyboard and piano (not too light, but not too heavy either.)
  • Midi IO
  • Aftertouch
    and this is the hard one:
  • A good sounding piano.

There are more than enough master keyboards out there which fullfill all needs easily apart from the last one. Problem is as soon as I want a decent piano sound on it, I’m drowned in entire sound libraries containing 500+ sounds which I’ll never use anyway. To me that seems like a waste of money as I’d rather put that money in something like better durability/key action etc. I don’t want to launch Cubase to host a piano VST everytime I just like to jam a bit on my keyboard either.

I don’t care for pots/faders and all that jazz, I won’t be using anything other than the keys and pitchbend/mod.

I’ve considered buying a masterkeyboard and using that to control my current Roland through midi. If only I had the space for a second keyboard :confused:

Suggestions are very welcome, keep in mind I’d like to keep this below €600,-

The M-Audio Sono 61 seems to offer all I want apart from the aftertouch. I guess I could live with that. Anyone has any experience with it? (or the 88 version)

I have used the M-Audio Axiom line with great results for the last 3 years. Great keybords.

Thanks for the reply. The axiom series are master keyboards, but I suspect much of the hardware is identical which is promising :smiley:

Or you could go with an old Korg Trnity. Great Piano

That looks like a decent piece of kit, but quite a bit more expensive than the M-audio.
I’m not too keen on second hand gear though, especially seeing as my own keyboard runs out of juice after about 10 years of regular use as well.
As for sounds I will probably get myself a nice hardware synth in the long run, but that’ll be a few years from now probably. (unless I can get a great deal somewhere which is quite likely :confused: )

If I were buying a controller, I would look closely at Novation’s offering.

Personally, nothing but a fully weighted 88 key beast with built in sounds would do, but that’s just me. Novation probably has the best controllers going. My second choice for controllers would be the Rolands.

I would take an 88 key controller if I had the space for it, but I can’t manage to fit that in my studio.
AFAIK Novation only do master keyboards though, no inbuilt sounds which I really want as well.

the M-Audio Sono 61 looks good. May I ask, does Cubase Essential have the awesome sounding yamaha digital piano in Halion? I use that piano all the time (works and feels great with my p85 digital piano). If you want more of the controls which the Axiom or other midi keyboards have without internal sound, maybe a software piano like this one would be the solution?

I would have to check because I never needed one before as my Roland does all I need :wink:
This is something I took in consideration and I guess is still possible, thing is I’d just like my keys to work when I turn them on, instead of waiting for my PC to boot, launch cubase, host Halion etc.

Thing with all the extra controllers other keyboards have is that I place my keyboard on a drawer directly below my working surface. What I do is extend the drawer just far enough that the keys stick out, so I’m still as close to my other gear as possible. I would probably not use any controllers that are above the keys anyway, which is why I decided for a simple digital piano which just plays and sounds well.

I already have a midi controller I could use if it actually worked :unamused:
(see that topic here)