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  • Some questions before purchase

    Hello Community

    I'm planning to buy the Special Edition Standard Plus as soon as i can afford it (hopefully soon[:)]). Just to make sure i got this one right: The Bundle price of 695€ only applies if i buy the Special Edition DVD's and the Plus DVD's together. If i buy the SE Standard Plus later i'd have to pay 445€ for it which would make 790€ in total. Is that correct? And secondly i have some questions about the keyboard: Which features are indispensable, which would be nice to have and which are unnecessary? As far as i'm concerned it should have a modwheel and preferably 88 keys (would shorter ones do if i was willing to do some more editing in the sequencer?). I don't have too much money (and also not much space) to spend for that, i'd rather spend it for samples [:)]. Any hints are greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards


  • last edited
    last edited

    Hi Dominique.

    @Dominique said:

    about the keyboard: Which features are indispensable, which would be nice to have and which are unnecessary?
    IMHO - Indispensable: Velocity sensing, mod wheel, MIDI channel select, key transpose, volume / expression pedal socket. Nice to have: Pitch wheel, MIDI program number select, some good onboard sounds. Unnecessary: Aftertouch, coffee-making facilities.

    You can get by with a 61-note keyboard if it has key transpose, but 88 is better for orchestral work.

  • Also nice to have: Breath controller input.

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Thank you for your answers. On a small budget, it looks like the M-Audio Keystation 61es and the Studiologic TMK-88 would be reasonable choices. Has anybody experience with those? Other recommendations? Anything i'm missing? Thanks again for the help

  • The only other thing to think about is drivers. If you are connecting via a MIDI interface, then this is no problem. but if you are wanting to use USB, then forget about 64bit if you use M-Audio.


  • The keystation controllers are very cheap and o.k.  I am using the 88 key version.

    However I SEVERELY DISAGREE with the inclusion in "unnecessary" equipment of coffee making facilities.  That is your first priority.  Everything else is secondary.

  • You are right it is not a good imitation of piano touch and very synthy, but for orchestral MIDI I never really cared about using a realistic touch. In fact, I usually end up obliterating everything done by hand - like velocity variations, aftertouch, etc. - in the sequence.  If doing a piano piece it might be different, but even there you can probably do just as well with tweaking.  Though that is just my weird approach, not the "best" way or anything like that. 

    Now The Limey is not going to agree and he will probably be pissed off, so I had better not say any more.  I do have a self-preservation instinct you know.

  • Well, in my price range i can't be too picky. A realistic piano feeling isn't my first priority. I do have a Schimmel piano, so i would use the keyboard really just as a midi controller, not for practicing or such. So i guess, i'd be ok with a synthy touch. I'm more concerned about having the right features to use it with the VSL SE without having to input everything with the mouse.

    Oh, and i'll use it via usb, so the drivers are a point for the Studiologic TMK

  • I always felt having an electronic piano keyboard that imitates a real wooden-hammer-string piano touch is pointless if you are playing a flute with it.  Or strings, or brass, or even percussion.  Why?  Why should you need to feel graded hammer action when a clarinet timbre is coming out of your speakers?  For people who insist on some fancy-schmantzy keyboard that feels just like a real piano I would say - it is still just an electronic fake. Go play a real piano and get it out of your system.  Also - if someone doing a piano concerto really needs to feel that kind of action in order to record a midi sequence well - I would say he is a pretty lame performer.

     Anyway, all you need in the way of controllers besides 88 keys is pitch wheel and mod wheel, maybe pedal. Unless you have more than two hands.  The rest can be added in the sequence so why pay for a bunch of goofy slide switches on your keyboard?  The Vienna Instruments/Ensemble interface is designed in a very economical, uncluttered way to make everything controllable with very simple input.

  • Like Billy says - you don't really need to worry about hammer actions and all that type of thing - unless like me, you have an extremely advanced hand action and also have the sensitivity of Vincent Price from The Fall of the House of Usher.

    Hammer actions are really only for piano type playing - they were manufactured mostly for live playing as opposed to midi performances and a really good midi hammer action 88 note keyboard is relatively expensive - and you usually get loads of inbuilt sounds too that maybe superfluous to requirements.

    The two outstanding midi hammer action boards are probably Kurzweil ( I currently use one and it's light) and the Yamaha S90 ES and that sort of range. The best fast sprung action keyboard I ever had was a Kurzweil K2000 and you can get them on eBay - but only 61 notes - so not recommended for VSL style orchestral midi work.