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Choosing the first piano instrument for learning to play (Keyboard/Midi, 61/88 keys)

Go to solution Solved by 4ce_Games,

88 keys is definitely a benefit and if you can get it now, I would recommend it. Though for just starting out, ya you probably won't use them for a bit, which is fair, but its still nice to have. But here's the thing the Yamaha comes with built in speakers, and is pretty much plug and play. You can use it anywhere you want as long as you have a power source. A midi controller needs to be connected to a computer, and have a program on said computer that it can control, hence the controller part. Though having it plugged into a computer though gives you an unlimited supply of different sounds you can use. 

 

For keyboards, that is the best you could probably get, but for controllers you could also look at some alesis ones as well, but the m-audio will do just fine. For both you could also try looking at used ones as well.

 

If you are looking to use a keyboard, you could use stand alone programs, or you could use a daw which gives you the benefit of recording yourself so you can listen back.

If you were to use a daw, the only ones I'd recommend that are free are reaper or garage band.

I am not sure about garage band, but on reaper you can use any virtual instrument that comes in vst form.

Some virtual instruments you can use are Kontakt(can also be standalone), spitfire labs, piano one to name a few, with a bit of searching, you can find some many great ones, and find the ones that you think sound the best. You can also get many great free synthesizers

Hello audio folks,

I thought I would ask you guys for a bit of advice. I tried to find some music forum to ask at, but I couldn't find any looking half-decent and not with utter trash-looking UI but, anyhow I'm sure some of you guys here are musicians or particularly pianists and could help me out a bit. And this is already established forum where I asked a couple of times sooo, you know. 

 

To the point, I've been fascinated by the piano as an instrument for quite a while now. And idk but I always felt kinda drawn to it, but never got the actual guts to actually try it out and learn it. But finally, I decided to buy a piano instrument and try to learn it. But, of course, I can't really buy an acoustic piano as I neither have space nor money to buy for ex. baby grand or upright, even many pianists don't have that at home. So, I am thinking about buying a keyboard or a MIDI controller. I know what a MIDI controller entails, and I think I would be quite comfortable with using DAW or virtual instrument and little setting up. A more pressing issue is the 61/88 keys dilemma. I know I probably won't touch the additional keys for quite a while in the process of learning, but I love watching piano arrangements of songs and like classical music as well. From what I noticed quite a lot of these songs use the additional keys, and I would like to play these songs eventually in the future, so I don't really want to be limited by that. 

 

I am kinda freak in price/performance, maximizer per se - spreadsheets on spreadsheets. My budget is around 250€ - I don't really wanna spend too much, as I might lose interest in a year or smh so even if that happened it wouldn't hurt that much. 

 

From what I looked at this keyboard: Yamaha PSR E373, looks quite promising, it was mentioned in a lot of beginner videos about keyboards and it's said to be beginner-friendly, so yay. But it only has those 61 keys, so idk.

 

As for that MIDI controller I find this one: M-Audio Keystation 88 MK3, it has a really good price for a controller with 88 keys (same as a 61-key Yamaha keyboard) seemingly dynamic keys and it even has MIDI out + USB MIDI which is a plus. But I don't know much about audio tech in general, so there might be some hidden con that I can't see. 

 

If you know which is better - is it a keyboard? is it a MIDI controller? Then let me know! 
Also, if you know a better bank for a buck and it is in my budget and it is seemingly better than my choice, feel free to advise me. 
Furthermore, should I really worry about that 61/88 keys aspect or my inner overthinker, maximizer is coming out and should I just buy the first one I see?

 

Thank you for your patience in reading all of that, and I'll be sincerely happy for every reply. 
 

Gaming PC:

Spoiler

Motherboard: Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi)

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

GPU: MSI GF RTX 2070 Super Gaming

RAM: Corsair 4x8GB DDR4 3200MHz CL16

SSD: Kingston SSD A2000 500GB

HDD: Seagate Baracuda 2TB 7200RPM

PSU: Corsair RM650x (650W, 80+ Gold)

CPU cooler: NZXT Kraken X53

Case: NZXT H510i Matte Black Red

Peripherals:

Keyboard: Razer Cynosa Chroma

Mouse: Logitech G403 Prodigy Gaming Mouse

Headphones: HyperX Flight, HyperX Cloud II

Speakers: Logitech Multimedia Speakers Z213

Plex server:

Spoiler

Note: This was an Asus prebuild and my old gaming pc, but now it serves as Plex library server. I added some scrap parts and put it together.

Motherboard: honestly? I have no idea, some asus one

CPU: Intel Core i7 6700

GPU: non, the gpu that was there - GTX 970 broke, and now even generic 1650 would cost me a fortune so Intel integrated graphic it is. 

RAM: 2x8GB

SSD: Adata something something 250GB (Sata)

HDD: Seagate Baracuda 2TB 7200RPM, WD Blue 1TB 7200RPM

PSU: 550W, no idea what brand but it is 80+ Bronze so yaay I guess. 

CPU cooler: generic intel stock cooler

Case: Asus G11 prebuild crap

Other:

Notebook: Macbook Air (2018) - Intel Core i5 (2c) 

Phone: iPhone 12 (128 GB)

Consoles: Playstation 4 (original), Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2 slim, Raspberry Pi turned into Retropie

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88 keys is definitely a benefit and if you can get it now, I would recommend it. Though for just starting out, ya you probably won't use them for a bit, which is fair, but its still nice to have. But here's the thing the Yamaha comes with built in speakers, and is pretty much plug and play. You can use it anywhere you want as long as you have a power source. A midi controller needs to be connected to a computer, and have a program on said computer that it can control, hence the controller part. Though having it plugged into a computer though gives you an unlimited supply of different sounds you can use. 

 

For keyboards, that is the best you could probably get, but for controllers you could also look at some alesis ones as well, but the m-audio will do just fine. For both you could also try looking at used ones as well.

 

If you are looking to use a keyboard, you could use stand alone programs, or you could use a daw which gives you the benefit of recording yourself so you can listen back.

If you were to use a daw, the only ones I'd recommend that are free are reaper or garage band.

I am not sure about garage band, but on reaper you can use any virtual instrument that comes in vst form.

Some virtual instruments you can use are Kontakt(can also be standalone), spitfire labs, piano one to name a few, with a bit of searching, you can find some many great ones, and find the ones that you think sound the best. You can also get many great free synthesizers

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There are plenty of keyboards that can double as midi controllers. You want something with on board samples or synthesis for learning. It doesn't need speakers but it should at the very least have a headphone jack. Wouldn't worry too much about the amount of keys personally. I find bigger keyboards cumbersome to use and store, it's why I barely ever use my big synths.

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22 hours ago, 4ce_Games said:

88 keys is definitely a benefit and if you can get it now, I would recommend it. Though for just starting out, ya you probably won't use them for a bit, which is fair, but its still nice to have. But here's the thing the Yamaha comes with built in speakers, and is pretty much plug and play. You can use it anywhere you want as long as you have a power source. A midi controller needs to be connected to a computer, and have a program on said computer that it can control, hence the controller part. Though having it plugged into a computer though gives you an unlimited supply of different sounds you can use. 

Thanks a lot @4ce_Games, I just order that M-Audio MIDI controller. 

 

Thank you @Brian McKeefor reply as well, but you know everybody says smh different - 100 people, 100 tastes. I read a lot of threads and articles and people are conflicted on the matter. It might have been more practical to buy just that keyboard which is plug and play, but I am tech-savvy of course, so I won't mind a little digging and setting up and basically, everything that you can do on the keyboard MIDI controller can handle as well. And I planned the keyboard to be connected to the computer almost all the time anyway, so there would be no difference really. Like this I get additional keys and can choose from a vast variety of sounds which could not be possible on a preloaded keyboard or I would be doing the same with MIDI, so no difference. 

Gaming PC:

Spoiler

Motherboard: Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi)

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

GPU: MSI GF RTX 2070 Super Gaming

RAM: Corsair 4x8GB DDR4 3200MHz CL16

SSD: Kingston SSD A2000 500GB

HDD: Seagate Baracuda 2TB 7200RPM

PSU: Corsair RM650x (650W, 80+ Gold)

CPU cooler: NZXT Kraken X53

Case: NZXT H510i Matte Black Red

Peripherals:

Keyboard: Razer Cynosa Chroma

Mouse: Logitech G403 Prodigy Gaming Mouse

Headphones: HyperX Flight, HyperX Cloud II

Speakers: Logitech Multimedia Speakers Z213

Plex server:

Spoiler

Note: This was an Asus prebuild and my old gaming pc, but now it serves as Plex library server. I added some scrap parts and put it together.

Motherboard: honestly? I have no idea, some asus one

CPU: Intel Core i7 6700

GPU: non, the gpu that was there - GTX 970 broke, and now even generic 1650 would cost me a fortune so Intel integrated graphic it is. 

RAM: 2x8GB

SSD: Adata something something 250GB (Sata)

HDD: Seagate Baracuda 2TB 7200RPM, WD Blue 1TB 7200RPM

PSU: 550W, no idea what brand but it is 80+ Bronze so yaay I guess. 

CPU cooler: generic intel stock cooler

Case: Asus G11 prebuild crap

Other:

Notebook: Macbook Air (2018) - Intel Core i5 (2c) 

Phone: iPhone 12 (128 GB)

Consoles: Playstation 4 (original), Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2 slim, Raspberry Pi turned into Retropie

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