MIDI keyboards are great tools for recording artists to utilize during a recording session. They are specialized digital keyboards that can be programmed to recreate a plethora of digital sounds and instruments. They also come in varying levels of quality, as well as size. You can find very small USB MIDI keyboards perfect for home use. You can also purchase versions that have weighted keys so that they feel like playing a real piano, but still offer the same digital creativity. The best type for you depends upon how you play to use the instrument.
The term MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, and has several very different ways of producing digital sound. Some MIDI keyboards have speakers attached so that they play sounds in real time like a standard keyboard. But some MIDI controller keyboards are actually intended to connect to a PC, and play sounds by filtering through a USB cable so that music is played via the computer. Both MIDI controller types can be uniquely programmed to recreate practically any sound that you could think of. They can recreate the notes of an acoustic piano, or recreate any sound from a helicopter to a Glockenspiel.
MIDI keyboards also come in a wide variety of sizes and styles to suit your specific tastes. If you simply want a keyboard for fun, you will be best served buying a cheaper board with a smaller set of keys. These can come in two and three octaves, and feature less keys than an 88 key MIDI keyboard. They also don’t feature as good of sound quality, but they can still be fun to play around with. Typically you won’t find a mini MIDI keyboard that features weighted keys, so you also can’t recreate the piano feel when you’ll be playing. But mini MIDI keyboards can still be used for recording, although they offer fewer options than a full size board.
If you’ll be recording your best choice by far will be 88 key MIDI keyboards. These recreate the entire range that any piano can produce, and allow you maximum creativity if you’re a musician. Also the larger MIDI controller keyboards tend to include more options for programming the sounds you want to use into your computer, to make them more flexible for recording. When you’re looking to buy good MIDI keyboards, you’ll want to stick with a top brand like M-Auido, Akai, or Studiologic. That way you can guarantee their quality, and your happiness with the end product.
When you’re actually looking to buy MIDI keyboards, the best place to go depends upon the type that you would like to buy. You can find smaller toy boards almost anywhere, including department stores like Walmart or Target. These can be great beginner tools and only cost in the area of $60 to $70. For a big full size 88 key MIDI keyboard, you’ll likely need to go to a music shop to ensure quality. This type of MIDI controller is also substantially more expensive, with cheap models costing at least $200, and a top of the line board in excess of $400.