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Roland A-37


Umbra

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I've been playing a cruddy 49 key midi controller (4902 kay sound I believe, hey it was cheap and it works more or less) and I am looking for something better. I don't do anything live just midi to my pc so I don't really need a synth but just a controller.

 

What is everyone's opinion of Rolands A-37? I have not really picked a budget yet but would like to stay under $1000. At this point I don't need all 88 keys as my playing is not to that level yet anyway.

 

What does everyone suggest as a good midi controller for home studio use?

 

 

Thanks,

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The after touch you'll get is nice to have, but you will miss the pitch and mod wheels. At least, I don't prefer that joystick type pitch bender. (I have one on my JX-8P).

 

If the after touch isn't the selling point for you, you might want to consider one of the Yamaha controllers.

 

If you want more access power in your controller (knobs for real time tweaking), you might want to consider the Miditech or Evolution controllers.

 

Actually, Evolution makes some really (really REALLY) nice controllers!

 

You might want one of those.

 

Carl

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I prefer the joysticks on Roland and Korg products over wheels. For me I get better control when combining pitch bend with a second modification to the sound which can be assigned to the Y-axis of a joy stick. Maybe becasue it feels more like bending the strings on an electric guitar. Maybe because my MiniMoog used to drive me crazy because the pitch wheel never centered back on pitch correctly. If you plan to use pitch and mod very much decide which is best for you, wheels or joystick. After that, choose your controller. The Roland is a quality controller. The touch of their keyboards is what first drew me to their line.

 

Robert

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Thanks for the responses,

 

It's hard for me to decide as the local stores around here don't carry very many midi controllers if any at all so the advise is welcome.

 

After touch is one of the things I'm really looking for. The A-37 was the only keyboard with a decent amount of keys with aftertouch anywhere near it's price range.

 

How good is the joystick on the Roland? Is it more like my ancient apple IIc joystick that you controlled with two fingers and could do precision movements with or more like today's big dumb fat PC joysticks that are nearly useless. Another thing I was considering getting at some point was a MS2000R so the dual midi out would be nice.

 

Also it says it supports general midi 2, is that worth much or just marketting?

 

Thanks,

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Nothing like game joysticks and very easy to use. The Roland joystick moves right and left for pitch bend, forward for modulation, no backward movement. Korg moves right and left for pitch bend, forward for modulation, and also backward for one more control source. I like the Korg a bit more than Roland.

 

GM2 is available on many keyboards, modules and software synths. Some people hate it, but it is a good foundation for writing songs and colabrating with others while writing. The GM2 sound set on my Roland XV-5080 is quite good. If your sound card is set up for GM2 you might get a lot of use from this feature. If not, then don't consider it as a option that will sway a decision.

 

My advice is this. Go into a music store. Try any Roland synth such as XP-60 or Fantom. Play with the joystick control. Then move to a Yamaha and try the wheels for a while. See if it makes a difference. Also check out controllers from MidiMan and others that come with a lot of control knobs. If you use a program like Reason these may be handy.

 

Robert

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Originally posted by Umbra:

How good is the joystick on the Roland?

 

They vary. The pitch control always has full travel (side to side), but the A37 is probably one of the short throw mod controllers unlike the mod controller on the XP-80, which has alot more play. The short controllers are fine if you only need a mod on/off response, but the short throw if awful for controlling filters and other modulations that may require more delicate control.

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