Author: Gen WrightFrom amateurs to professionals, avid musicians have become increasingly aware of the usefulness of MIDI keyboard controllers. These devices, unlike other types of electronic keyboards, are used in all forms of digital music creation to synthesize instruments and beats. Electronic keyboards, on the other hand, replicate (or digitize) the sound of a piano.MIDI controllers often resemble electronic keyboards to offer the full range of notes and also have a series of knobs and buttons that can be used to manipulate and alter the resulting sounds. With these controllers and specialized computer software digital musicians can add a wide variety of sound alterations on the fly.While nearly any MIDI controller will be an improvement over other methods of music creation, there are certain features that are more beneficial than others.
Like electronic keyboards, MIDI controllers have varying sensitivity to their keys. The more sensitive the key, the lighter the touch that is required to activate it. The less sensitive the key, the heavier touch required. This lends itself to triggering unintentional sounds or missing beats completely. Excellent keyboard style MIDI controllers should have keys with roughly the same sensitivity of a well tuned piano. This will allow for the most intuitive, accurate use.
Number of Octaves
The best MIDI controllers offer more versatility with the number of notes. Five octaves, or 61 keys, is the most common and flexible keyboard layout. While smaller controllers are more portable and convenient for on the spot performances, the wider range of notes in larger controllers allows for more extensive sound creation.
A MIDI controller won't do you much good if you can't figure out how to map it to your virtual instrument. High quality models will include easy to use software that will help you set up your controller quickly and easily. Another important feature is built in settings that will allow easy integration with other software. Both these features will help amateurs and experts learn their new controller and put it to the best use possible.
While the number and sensitivity of keys and the ease of use are key features, the ability to manipulate sound is equally important. The main benefit of MIDI keyboard controllers is the option to alter the sound as its synthesized. The availability of modulation and pitch control knobs and sliders, as well as their usability, should be a major deciding factor before purchase. The best control knobs (or sliders) will, like the keys, be just the right sensitivity - not too easy to spin but not too hard - and offer a wide range of levels for the specific feature.When the time comes to make a purchase, your application will make the most difference in your choice. Other options, including USB power and built in sound reproduction, are available to fit the needs of any digital musician.
Learn more about the Midi Keyboard