Hello guys. First post here. To keep it short i'm looking for a starter 61 key midi daw interface controller. This is due to the fact that initially i wanted and will try to learn playing the piano, so it has to be a keyboard with min 61 keys. I'm mainly interested in "edm" production if that will make more sense. Since i'm a university student (MEng Mechanical engineer) my budget is located around 300gbp (for the controller only - note i'm located in UK). DAW will be software based (Ableton Live - after lots of researching and trialling it's the only one it can get through my workflow - or better, mindset workflow). Please understand that i know the differences between analogue and digital synthesizers and i appreciate their respective qualities but digital is the only cost-effective and logical solution at the moment. PC is an ASUS G73jh + second 24" lcd i'll already have. For "monitors" i'll use my Vsonic GR07 BE earphones which have i would say a pretty good flat frequency response, a bit bass biased like Rokit's in a way (experimental measurements: https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/VSonicGR07BassEdition.pdf
). Ok i know they can't be compared with actual monitors, but hey, i won't be mastering tracks anytime soon!
I've already set up my DAW with vst's all installed neatly in a separate internal hdd, and played a bit with it as well. To continue, my biggest consideration at the moment is if any new keyboard midi controllers at my budget are going to be released anytime soon (i.e. NAMM 2014). This would not only downgrade any purchase i'll be making right now, plus i'll theoretically lose money assuming any price drops (should i wait until the holiday season at least?:p). So please keep that in mind. So here are the controllers i've found out:
Novation Impulse 61
- Quality keybed (Fatar made??)
- Live clip launch?
- Keybed can be split zoned up to 4 zones
- Pads are unbankable? No button to change banks on the fly, so you are limited to 8 pads at a time, where usually a drum rack will have 16?
- Faders cannot be used to control a vst with Automap? You can only use CC to manually map them?
- Questionable quality (most of the problems i know where fixed with firmware updates - like the unstable fader value, or the acceleration of the encoders)
Akai MPK 61
- Quality made
- Good customer support
- 16 pads
- Pads are unresponsive (they can be cheap fixed/modded although) - Will void warranty?
- More expensive
- General keyboard configuration a bit messed up? Mod/Pitch wheels in front instead of directly left to the keybed, Faders to the right, pads to the left?
- No "Automap" type software for direct vst control
Maudio: Bad quality? Sticky keys
Nektar P6: A lot more expensive, lots of pros, good integration with Reason only
Note that the Novation and AKAI keyboards are generally a bit old by this moment, so i think there is a great chance of an upgrade coming out soon. Pad count is not so important because it can be upgraded later with an Ableton Push/Novation launchkey. As for polyphonic aftertouch there is something a lot better i found out coming which can be installed in any keyboard: TouchKeys Multi-Touch Musical Keyboard by Andrew McPherson — Kickstarter
So what's your thoughts? I don't believe i've covered everything so please be free to ask.
Thanks in advance,