Query - Best of Smallest Older MIDI Keyboards-

Started by SewerSide, February 16, 2023, 13:41:05

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    Figured I'd put this here as it's not a question about OpenMPT.
    Wanted perhaps some input on what is considered like tops of older type MIDI keyboards that are 2 octaves (no more than that). It has to have REAL pitch - mod wheels not buttons, nice feeling keys, quality build. I say older because I use XP so I don't want something new that might have to have some software or driver install that won't work on XP.
    All I have is a Korg NANOkey & an old M-Audio Oxygen-8 I want a better class of small KB with better velocity sensitivity - THANX.

Saga Musix

Just a note - practically all modern MIDI USB devices are class compliant, meaning that they all will work with Windows XP without any additional drivers. It's not necessary to go with older hardware.

That said, the only experience with smaller-scale keyboards I have is the Korg microKey, which is alright for its size. Can't say if it's better or worse than the Oxygen-8.
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Thanks there...OK 'class compliant' is a good thing but does that go for older music soft?...I have the NANOkey which is recognized by my system but won't work right with alotta apps until I install the MIDI driver (DrvTools_e(1.14_r6).exe) otherwise it would only be good to hit someone over the head with.

So maybe older soft more picky I don't know the deal there.

I also see weirdly that old slider-knob controllers (no keyboard) are rare or non-existant I was also gonna get an old keyfax phatboy as well but don't seem to be any for sale. I looked for other similar but the prices are sky-high you can get same WITH keyboard for way cheaper. The insane prices as well is everyone smoking crack these days?

Saga Musix

Whether a device is class compliant or not (or any other property of the device driver for that matter) changes nothing about how music applications interact with it. As there's are several nanoKey products by Korg it's hard to tell what the problem is, but I could imagine that the more programmable variations (with drum pads etc.) require a driver to be set up properly. If you really want to dig deeper I would suggest to monitor the MIDI input with a software like SendSX, which will show you each and every MIDI command sent by the hardware. It's hard to imagine for me that some commands would be missing just because the class-compliant driver is used instead of Korg's custom driver, but maybe different commands would be sent instead.

That being said - a lot of modern hardware still has DIN MIDI jacks. If you get a MIDI interface that is compatible with Windows XP (again, class-compliant USB interfaces shouldn't require a driver anyway), you can connect it to any MIDI keyboard with a 5-pin MIDI jack (some of the slimmer devices also use a 3.5mm jack to DIN converter cable to save space), no matter how new or old.

QuoteThe insane prices as well is everyone smoking crack these days
Pretty much all prices for any sort of vintage gear follow the same curve: First everything gets cheap because a newer, better product is released, but at some point those devices become more desirable again, and they also become rarer. At that point the curve goes up again. With the usual nostalgia cycle, a lot of people are buying back the stuff they sold 20 years ago, which drives up demand.
» No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.


Thanx Saga Musix very thorough explanation...HaHAH! Buying back the stuff they sold 20 years ago!...I bet THAT is what it really is as nothing else makes any sense of it...


I have an M-Audio KeyStudio 49 Key controller keyboard, I bought it quite a few years ago around 2008. I wish I had musical abilities, I had hoped I could learn to play a keyboard, perhaps it is silly to buy keyboards when you cannot play, but I stull hope to learn something. Do you think it is possible for me to learn, I am in my very late 40's.


I also have a Yamaha PSR-E353 https://www.digitalpianoreviewguide.com/yamaha-psr-e353-review/ this is a beginner's Keyboard


Thanks for Pics, Newbie...

I used to have an M-Audio 49 key like in the top 2 images. I Got 4 different KBs now My fav is Korg nanoKontrol instead of a 4 octave or a 2 octave it is a THREE octave, nice build too... I also like the all-in-one XY Pitch-Mod joystick...

Butt Hay, i can only use QWERTY in AXS...

Music can be learned...I am capable, not talented... I got a no-name bass guitar & crappy transistor guitar amp that would 'buzz' in 1975 for around 200 bucks. Used to listen to 33s & 45s on record player & mimic basslines till records or needle wear out. First bassline I could ever play was 'Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon' by the Young Rascals I think...

From there in 1977 I stayed with father in Culver City, CA was only one of two bassists in entire school of 2,500... I was in a dixieland band, funk band, rock band & jazz band at same time. Met bassist for John Denver's band who had scar on face from string of upright bass breaking & lacerating face!

So just keep with it & develop EAR...I see so many over at KVR can't even pick out a lullaby which is basically what alot of music is these days...A lullaby with alot of FX piled on...


My dads uncle was a drummer in a dixeland jazz band in the 30's. The first record I ever listen to as a kid was an Elvis Presley record and a Beach Boys record, the Elvis record was the one with a red background and gold records, it was called Elvis' Golden Records (Original 1962 Canadian Stereo Re-Issue) https://www.soundcentralstore.com/en/product/elvis-golden-records-original-1962-canadian-stereo-re-issue-39391 and the Beach Boys record was Little Deuce Coupe https://www.discogs.com/master/78301-The-Beach-Boys-Little-Deuce-Coupe

And you are right about music these days, but I have much harsher words for today's music, todays pop music sounds like whining and crying and way to much drums. I grew up listening to the music of the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, and it seems to me that the ones I remember the most are Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Bill Haley & His Comets, The Tokens, and Ritchie Valens, I never really liked the Beatles. I also like Tina Turner. My dad and I used to collect records 33's from thrift stores in the late 80's, 90's and early 2000's.


Wow Newbie, You sound older than me... Elvis & Beach Boys were a bit before my time... I was into 3 Dog Night, Doobie Bros, Average White Band, Stevie Wonder...

The thing about Elvis that caught my eye was... His Wife!...Umm, good choice ole' chap. At least Elvis pretty much 'clean' music and yes, I agree on Beatles, they had a few tunes I liked like Blackbyrd & Taxman but that's about it. They were a promoted & propped up 'programming' band from what others have told me. Plus the original Paul McCartney was next to shortest in the band (Ringo) with impish head but in 1967 he's back NOW the tallest in the band with an immense head... You do the math...

Yup, alotta loud drums these days... 'Bam-Bam' times but I am kinda guilty of that. My tune in the music DL sector I posted a few days ago I tried all kinda drums, they all didn't fit, sounded horrible so I got away with 2 HiHats, a crash & a rimshot & those are a bit loud in there too...

So sometimes virtually no drums are the best option...

Hey, This will probably upset you but the YT channel German in Venice recently covered the destruction of like 22 stars from the Walk of Fame, they are all music icons from the 60's, Beach Boys are one of them. They are eliminating them to make room for 'modern'...