1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Do I need a MIDI controller/keyboard??

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by epoxo57, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. epoxo57


    Feb 17, 2005
    Perrysburg, Ohio
    I just got the Lexicon Omega system w/ Cubase LE. Besides my bass, I want to record VST instruments like guitars, drums, and perhaps strings for my own use. I hear alot about MIDI keyboards to manipulate the sounds to record, can't I just use my computer keyboard and assign notes/chords to certain keys or do I need the external keyboard? I have seen some cheaper keyboards like Edirol that are in my price range, but if I don't need it, the better.

    Thanks for any advice/info!!
  2. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I would suggest it. I am in a similiar situation as you, let me guess, you don't play keys either? At any rate a MIDI controller does make a lot of things a lot easier. For me I use to to controll synths and stuff for sound design but sometimes I'll pretend I know how to play and still wind up with something usefull.

    To sum up, its a creative tool as well as simplifying some tasks and if you can afford one it will certainly not hurt anything.
  3. I just got the M-Audio Ozone. Besides being it's own USB soundcard with 24-bit 96 khz and ASIO 2 support, it has 2 octaves of MIDI keys, 8 assignable knobs, an assignable slider, mod wheel, and pitch bend wheel. It also has mic and 1/4" input. Very cool!

    And when I need more keys, I lug out my 88 key fully-weighted Roland FP3.
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I don't play keyboards either, but the Edirol PCR-30 I've got has assignable knobs and faders that make it really easy to manipulate soft synth parts I've programmed, or create new patches, and auditioning a drum kit happens much faster with a keyboard than a mouse. If cost doesn't worry, you, I'd say invest. I don't use it much, but when I do use it, it saves me a lot of time and energy I can then use to actually write and record. Plus, it sits easily on my home recording tabletop.
  5. epoxo57


    Feb 17, 2005
    Perrysburg, Ohio
    Thanks for all of your input. Looks like I'm off to ordering an Edirol or M-Audio......Upon further thinking, it makes more sense!
  6. epoxo57


    Feb 17, 2005
    Perrysburg, Ohio
    One more question....do I need a special MIDI interface box to connect the keyboard? My soundcard is an Audigy 2 Z (or whatever the newest version is) and like I mentioned before, I have the Omega I/O box for connections.

    Yes...I'm quite "green" on this :D
  7. There's a lot of USB midi controllers out there. If it isn't USB, M-Audio makes a nice little MIDI>USB device that's pretty inexpensive. The Audigy 2 Z should have MIDI capability (unless it's a "lite" version which came with your computer), but you need a special cord (I dunno, maybe it came with the Audigy) to convert it into a MIDI in and MIDI out plug.

    By the way, the nice thing about the M-Audio Ozone is that it works great with my Audigy. As soon as I turn off the Ozone it reverts to using the Audigy as my soundcard. I can actually use the features from both similtaneously, in fact. It's really cool since the Ozone actually really is an external soundcard (24-bit 96 khz with ASIO 2 support) as well as a MIDI controller.