Recommendations for a portable midi keyboard/controller?
March 24, 2006 8:40 AM   Subscribe

So I finally got a midi cable and hooked up my keyboard to my computer for some home recording. It works swell, but I'm looking into a portable solution so I can take it along with my laptop.

Knowing nothing about the name brands or anything, anyone have any suggestions? It'd be nice to have a 4 octave range, but that kinda kills the portability requirement (Most I've looked at are 25 keys). Quality and feel is most important; I'll definitely need a pitch and mod wheel, but some extra knobs and sliders would be nice too (and USB-powered would be real awesome). I'd like to spend around $150 but I'll spend up to $200 if it suits me well.
posted by pooya to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
posted by ludwig_van at 8:51 AM on March 24, 2006

For true portability, you might try a Roll-Up Piano with MIDI support and a USB MIDI Cable.
posted by fvox13 at 8:56 AM on March 24, 2006

I've tried a roll-up piano in a store (I think it was the same one) and would like to note that it's more or less unplayable. At best, there's little tactile feedback and the notes don't trigger at predictable times, resulting in an arhythmic performance. At worst (and most likely) the notes won't even all trigger. But you probably already knew that a roll-up piano won't suit your quality and feel requirements.

I don't have enough experience with MIDI stuff to make any recommendations, unfortunately.
posted by musicinmybrain at 9:22 AM on March 24, 2006

I have an mk 449c I got off ebay and its not exactly portable but it does plug in to a win/mac computer and run off of the usb w/o any drivers or external power. I like the feel of it, but it was a bit overkill.
posted by psychobum at 10:09 AM on March 24, 2006

Do you need something that generates its own sounds, or are you just looking for a controller?
posted by weston at 10:09 AM on March 24, 2006

I haven't had a problem with any of my maudio stuff, although it's all plasticy. It is in your price range however.
posted by bigmusic at 10:09 AM on March 24, 2006

Yeah, I was going to suggest M-Audio's Oxygen8, or the O2. The MK-425C looks good too.
posted by Dean King at 10:26 AM on March 24, 2006

If you don't need sound, just a controller, the M-Audio suggestions are good, and you have lots of options. Lots.

If you do need sound, the Korg Micro isn't a bad suggestion. You could also look at a CZ101 -- it's an old, great little synth by Casio, which you could probably pick up off ebay for less than $150. Only trouble is that you'll get about 8 voice polyphony out, max, and half-sized keys.
posted by weston at 11:20 AM on March 24, 2006

Response by poster: Weston: no need for sound, just the controller.

I like the Korg Micro-Kontrol (which is difference from the microKorg) but it's a little out of my price range. Does anyone have any experience with this one?
posted by pooya at 12:25 PM on March 24, 2006

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