If you’re a musician, you’ve likely heard of MIDI keyboards. If not, they are electronic instruments that allow the user to play music by tapping or pressing buttons on a keyboard instead of playing an instrument like a piano or guitar. They can be expensive, but there are some great reasons why investing in one is worth it!
Why MIDI keyboards are a must-have
Pros of MIDI keyboards
- MIDI keyboards are easy to use. They allow musicians of all levels the opportunity to play the music they may otherwise not be able to pursue without learning an instrument first. And, at their core, they’re about making music accessible for everyone!
- MIDI keyboards can take on any sound you want. In addition, MIDI keyboards come with sounds pre-loaded so that musicians can play anything they’re looking for, from electric guitars to thunderstorms and more!
- MIDI keyboards allow the musician to be creative with their music. With a MIDI keyboard, there are no set limitations on what notes or chords may be played—it’s all about what the musician can come up with!
- MIDI keyboards are a great way to learn how to play an instrument. A MIDI keyboard is like playing any other instrument but with the added advantage of not worrying about being in tune or making mistakes, as it’s all just on a computer screen and doesn’t affect anyone else around.
Cons of MIDI keyboards
- Limited number of keys. A MIDI keyboard cannot offer the same responsiveness or feel like a piano.
- Keys are small and can be difficult to play, especially for beginner musicians who might not have strong fingers.
- A MIDI controller is useless without a connection to your computer because you cannot work with it.
- A MIDI controller does not provide the same sensation as a regular piano keyboard.
Tips for buying a MIDI keyboard
The first thing to consider before buying a new MIDI keyboard is what type of music do you want to play? If you like playing classical or jazz, maybe a digital piano would work well for you – if not, then opting for another type might suit your needs better.
The best MIDI keyboards come with various features, including the ability to connect external devices such as drum machines. This makes it easy for you to play music in different genres and styles. If you’re looking for an affordable keyboard that is perfect for beginners, consider buying from one of these brands: Yamaha, Casio, Korg, or Roland.
There are a few things though that all good MIDI controllers should have, regardless of their other qualities: touch-sensitive knobs, pitch bend and modulation wheels, assignable sliders, buttons or pads, built-in speakers, velocity sensitivity if possible (especially important for drums), after-touch sensitivity (again especially important for drums) and more.
How to Use MIDI Keyboards for Live Performance
MIDI keyboards are a great way to add an extra layer of depth and complexity to your live performance. They can be used as part of your DJ set or in conjunction with DJ software like Ableton Live. With the right MIDI keyboard, you’ll have access to hundreds of sounds, drum beats, and presets that will make your live show more memorable for your audience.
To get the most out of your performance, you will want to prep all of your sounds before you start playing so that when it comes time for them in the set, there’s little chance they’ll have any unexpected glitches due to latency. This can be done by purchasing the sounds you want to use and loading them onto your MIDI keyboard.
You’ll also want to prep all of your drum beats, whether they’re going to come from a sound bank or if it’s something you programmed yourself for a loop.
The next step is programming the preset so that when it comes time to play it, you’ll be able to jump right in.
If there are any songs that your live performance entails using samples from them (such as a cover song), you’ll also want to load the appropriate MIDI files onto your keyboard, so they’re ready when it comes time for those specific parts of the set. Once all this is done, you’re ready to go!
MIDI keyboards are a must-have for any DJ or live performer. They can be used to add an extra layer of depth and complexity to your show that will make it more memorable for audiences.