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midi controller/synthesizer


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i was just wondering what all the differences between a midi controller keyboard and a keyboard synth are? and pros and cons when performing live and when recording at home. thanks.
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Whew! That's a big question.


In general, practically all modern keyboards are also built in midi controllers.


There's two parts to making a keyboard sound. First there's the physical keyboard and then there's the sound module. In a keyboard synth these two are in one physical unit.


You can buy just the keyboard itself along with the electronics to indicate what actions are being made on the keyboard, that's the MIDI controller functions. Those are then fed into an external sound module, i.e. typically the innards of a synth sold without a keybed (called Racks).


The disadvantage of a MIDI Controller is all the setup. It does not contain any sounds whatsoever (which is why they are way cheaper). So typically the way most of us go is to get a standard synth/digital piano, and this can provide one set of sounds. If we need more sounds, we expand it later with more external sound modules such as racks, or nowadays, the computer can provide the sound via software (softsynths).


Normally, if you have the money, it is best to get a real synth/digital piano because they have better feelings keys than the typical controller. All these devices can be used to send MIDI to a computer. The advantage of a real hardware synth is that you can play it without a computer.


But if you are on a budget, and have a computer, a good MIDI controller can be less than $200 (such as the EMU Xboard). The sounds are loaded on a computer and the software is provided with the controller.


I'll stop here and see where you want to take this.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1


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