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Which MIDI keyboard do you recommend for the Deluge?

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gnobalgnobal IsraelPosts: 6

Hi,

I'm a complete newbie in both music making and specifically the Deluge. This is my first post here.

My birthday is coming up and I'd like to get a non-crap gift :) So I thought about asking for a MIDI keyboard. In my searches I focused mostly on Arturia's offerings because most users seem to be happy with their products.

However, I can't figure out which is better for the Deluge: the MiniLab MKII or the KeyStep. I understand the main differences, but I just don't know which is better specifically with the Deluge. For example, is it a great limitation that the MiniLab MKII only has USB? I have no idea. Also, I'm running Linux on all my computers, so if I need to run an app to configure the keyboard, that is a big obstacle for me.

I would gladly consider any other keyboard, not just Arturia's. My main hopes for a keyboard are:
1. Relatively small
2. Relatively cheap (let's say at most 150$ US)
3. Doesn't require Windows or MAC
4. Interfaces well with the Deluge

Thanks for your time :)

Comments

  • 1
    p_watsp_wats TorontoPosts: 88
    edited October 2018

    I have a Keystep and it's great. That said, I've had it since before I got my Deluge, so I didn't exactly look for the perfect pairing.

    As for the Minilab, the Deluge doesn't send power over USB midi, so if the Minilab is bus-powered I believe you'd have to use a powered hub in between them (though I don't have much experience with USB midi devices).

    EDIT: Sorry, the deluge needs a USB host to work with a USB-only MIDI keyboard, so the Minilab won't work.

    Post edited by p_wats on
  • 0
    gnobalgnobal IsraelPosts: 6

    @p_wats said:
    I have a Keystep and it's great. That said, I've had it since before I got my Deluge, so I didn't exactly look for the perfect pairing.

    As for the Minilab, the Deluge doesn't send power over USB midi, so if the Minilab is bus-powered I believe you'd have to use a powered hub in between them (though I don't have much experience with USB midi devices).

    EDIT: Sorry, the deluge needs a USB host to work with a USB-only MIDI keyboard, so the Minilab won't work.

    Thanks a lot! I really appreciate the info

  • 1
    amiga909amiga909 Central EuropePosts: 832

    some options that include a physical midi out and battery operation:
    http://cdm.link/2010/10/hands-on-rock-band-3s-keytar-a-surprisingly-serious-80-midi-keyboard/
    keytar midi controllers had a revival this year: Alesis Vortex or the new Roland Edge

  • 1
    justindavidowjustindavidow Winnipeg, CanadaPosts: 16

    To be fair; you can use ANY keyboard you like. If you want something small; grab something small! if you want an 88-key monster; go to town!

    For keyboards that do not have a MIDI output port; you will need a converter

    I personally DO always have a laptop handy to do USB -> midi conversion (no adapters needed; just plug both devices in via USB and route the midi thru in software) and use an Akai MPK Mini (personally an MK1; I've had it for years) but I've actually grown to prefer the Deluge's isometric keyboard view over the last week. (never been a strong piano format player; always liked pads myself)

  • 0
    gnobalgnobal IsraelPosts: 6

    @justindavidow said:
    To be fair; you can use ANY keyboard you like. If you want something small; grab something small! if you want an 88-key monster; go to town!

    For keyboards that do not have a MIDI output port; you will need a converter

    I personally DO always have a laptop handy to do USB -> midi conversion (no adapters needed; just plug both devices in via USB and route the midi thru in software) and use an Akai MPK Mini (personally an MK1; I've had it for years) but I've actually grown to prefer the Deluge's isometric keyboard view over the last week. (never been a strong piano format player; always liked pads myself)

    That's important info about the converter. Thanks a lot!

    I looked into Akai's offerings. They just came out with the MPK Mini Play not long ago. But because it's USB only I decided to not consider it. Maybe I'll look into it again.

    I also started thinking that I can be happy with the pads too. It's not like I know anything about music theory to benefit from an actual keyboard. Might just go for something else as a birthday gift.

    Thanks again.

  • 0
    gnobalgnobal IsraelPosts: 6

    @amiga909 said:
    some options that include a physical midi out and battery operation:
    http://cdm.link/2010/10/hands-on-rock-band-3s-keytar-a-surprisingly-serious-80-midi-keyboard/
    keytar midi controllers had a revival this year: Alesis Vortex or the new Roland Edge

    Huh! Keytars... that form factor always looked strange to me, but maybe someday :D

  • 0
    amiga909amiga909 Central EuropePosts: 832

    Yeah, the new Roland keytar really embraces the go-big-80ies-ghettoblaster style :)
    keytars are designed to work battery powered. Good fit if you are looking for a portable setup based on Deluge. thats why i mentioned them.
    Battery powered controllers seem to show up more recently. Roli stuff, Korg Nanos, and also the new Akai controller. They all lack a physical midi out though.
    Yamaha Reface is another midi out + battery controller: https://usa.yamaha.com/products/music_production/synthesizers/reface/specs.html

    If you dont care about portability, then any midi controller with a DIN out will do. If you dont mind hooking up a USB to Midi Converter, any controller you like is a good fit for the Deluge i guess.

  • 0
    gnobalgnobal IsraelPosts: 6

    @amiga909 said:
    Yeah, the new Roland keytar really embraces the go-big-80ies-ghettoblaster style :)
    keytars are designed to work battery powered. Good fit if you are looking for a portable setup based on Deluge. thats why i mentioned them.
    Battery powered controllers seem to show up more recently. Roli stuff, Korg Nanos, and also the new Akai controller. They all lack a physical midi out though.
    Yamaha Reface is another midi out + battery controller: https://usa.yamaha.com/products/music_production/synthesizers/reface/specs.html

    If you dont care about portability, then any midi controller with a DIN out will do. If you dont mind hooking up a USB to Midi Converter, any controller you like is a good fit for the Deluge i guess.

    Good to know. Appreciate it a lot. Thank you :)

  • 0
    WillWill Middle of NowHere, CanadaPosts: 145

    If you want something really powerful and unconventional, I'd recommend the Linnstrument.
    It is an MPE controller allowing you to customize and create programs to operate the way that suits your style.
    Once you've spent some time on it, you'll find that it's kind of in a league all of it's own.

    (It also has cool light animations)

  • 0
    GrappaduraGrappadura GermanyPosts: 31

    M-Audio Code 25 black , I just bought the 61. Its about your price range and has it all; too many features for me to name them all. Check it out! The 61 is the nr. 1 selling keyboard at thomann, the biggest retailer in Germany, and there seem to be good reasons for it.

  • 0
    TenebrousTenebrous EnglandPosts: 49

    Just a note about connecting MIDI with USB MIDI equipment, I came across this article which shows how you can do it with a raspberry pi zero and a usb hat - might be of use, certainly cheaper than some of the pre-made solutions:

    http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/1271/usb-host-midi-interface-with-raspberry-zero
    https://stimresp.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/using-a-raspberry-pi-as-usb-midi-host/

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