Learning About USB/MIDI Keyboard Controllers
Connecting a keyboard controller to your computer is a convenient way to record and play music. USB/MIDI keyboard controllers provide excellent connectivity for a home studio setup.
Choosing USB/MIDI Keyboard Controllers
There are many different types of USB/MIDI keyboard controllers. The right option for you depends on what kind of music you wish to create, your playing style, and the features you're looking for.
First, you'll need to decide how many keys you'd like. Keyboards range from 25 up to 88 keys. If you're looking for highly-portable USB/MIDI controllers, choose models with fewer keys that are smaller in size. If you want to replicate the experience of a full piano, choose those with 88 keys.
Hammer-action keyboards replicate the feel of acoustic pianos even further, as these models feature weighted keys. Semi-weighted versions of these music keyboards, on the other hand, have light weights connected to the keys along with spring-loaded functions. When you use the instrument, you experience less resistance than with hammer-action keyboards.
Smart-sensor keys and similar versions offer a complete departure from traditional synthesizers and keyboards. These models focus on providing a range of synthesizer effects for more versatility. Smart-sensor keys pick up on the velocity, tilt, and pressure of your finger for more comfortable use. Many keyboards come bundled with music software to provide even more functionality and usability.
Faders, Buttons, and Knobs
Choosing USB/MIDI controllers with a variety of faders, buttons, and knobs gives you much more control over your musical creations. A modulation wheel helps you create effects such as vibrato, tremolo, LFO sweeps, and much more. Various buttons and knobs allow you to customize the cutoff and resonance of synths, as well as the amp envelope and more. All of these features give you a 'hands-on' analog feel as you create music. With these faders, buttons, and knobs, you can make real-time adjustments to your music as you experiment and create new sounds.
Head to B&H Photo and Video to check out its selection of USB/MIDI keyboard controllers along with MIDI/USB controller accessories to complete your setup.