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2nd Keyboard for Keyswitches

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarrini (btw, don't own it, just love it)
I'm glad there's this new forum for noobs, now I'm not afraid to ask this incredibly stupid question: I'm now really getting hooked on orchestral composition, and it's pretty clear that an 88 key controller will one day grace my world. But for now I have the KK S49 (original flavor, not II) as my main keyboard. I also have a Novation Launchkey 25 under my desk doing awesome dust collection work. Can I set that up to do several functions, such as Keyswitches and even set its one fader for expression, leaving the Mod strip on the S49 for volume? If so, then I'll start googling on how to do that in my DAW. It'd just be nice to know the answer is yes before I waste time searching for something non-existent, lol. I know there are other/better solutions, but existing equipment has a lower price tag which really works at this point in time. :grin:

Also, I don't know yet what I don't know, so if youse guyz have more tips on what else a second smaller keyboard controller could be used for in conjunction with a 49 key, fire away, I'm a dry sponge.

Thanks!
 
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PaulieDC

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarrini (btw, don't own it, just love it)
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Nope. Single string and horns runs don't need 3 hands last time I checked. What third hand do people use for a FaderMaster? Thank you for such a value added response. Evidently us new guys really aren't welcome in this new forum. Sorry for wasting your time.
 

stonzthro

Senior Member
a lot of composers have a small keyboard along with their 88 key, just for key switches. Many developers put the key Switches out of range of the piano. I would think you could use a launchpad, so long as you assign the correct MIDI notes to the pads - should be fairly easy to do.
 
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PaulieDC

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarrini (btw, don't own it, just love it)
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That's true Mike, we feel stupid enough even approaching with a question sometimes. BUT, I could have been nicer in my response to Thereus, I didn't even consider that he may have just been doing a friendly wink-wink nudge-nudge reply... I didn't need to chop his head off. Sorry for that. It'd be great if we could ask our stupid questions and kinda feel like it's OK. ;)
 

Kevin Fortin

Active Member
Great idea! I think it would depend on the DAW. You could try plugging them both in to see whether you can set them both to be active at the same time on the midi setup page/window of your DAW. Then it's a question of routing midi signals from both controllers into a track or midi clip for recording. Maybe Google "[name and version of DAW] record multiple midi inputs" -- that might be the quickest way to find out if and how it can be done for your DAW(s).
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
No snark? That means I can't insult people for being beginners?!

Damn!

Serious answer: every MIDI interface with more than one input, and both macOS and Windows, merges all MIDI input to the computer. It's a non-issue.

As someone wrote above, lots of composers use a separate mini-keyboard for keyswitches. M-Audio Oxygen8 and similar 2-8ve ones are popular for that. There's also no shortage of iPad apps that will send notes and/or program changes.

Most of the time an 88-key controller has enough out-of-range keys to use as keyswitches, though, so if one is in the cards, you might think hard about whether it makes sense to raid the treasury for a half-measure.
 
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PaulieDC

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarrini (btw, don't own it, just love it)
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Since I have no real experience I'll just jump in and see how it goes. Thanks stonzthro for the google search suggestion, did that and found out Studio One can do it, but also Kontakt has a way to assign keyboards to separate tracks, a different but equally cool feature. I've loved Studio One for audio tracking and mixing and especially mastering but I kept hearing what it can't do for MIDI. Then I started searching and found out v3.5 is pretty robust. Cubase users will miss the expression maps and it drives me nuts there's no ripple delete/edit, but they'll catch up, still the new kid in town. OK, commercial over.
 
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PaulieDC

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarrini (btw, don't own it, just love it)
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Most of the time an 88-key controller has enough out-of-range keys to use as keyswitches, though, so if one is in the cards, you might think hard about whether it makes sense to raid the treasury for a half-measure.

Oh, I'll definitely end up with full 88 keys... I grew up on piano, 49 keys feels like the middle seat in coach in the back of the plane. :shocked:

I want to fight with my rig right now... I want it to be a jumbled mess and use what's on hand and be inconvenienced so I can figure out how all this stuff works and what doesn't. Then I'll know what I don't have when I go 88 shopping. I know, weird. I played guitar for a lot of years before investing $3K but now I pick that thing up and it's exactly what I want in how it feels and how it sounds.
 

thereus

Our feet shall stand in thy gates.
Nope. Single string and horns runs don't need 3 hands last time I checked. What third hand do people use for a FaderMaster? Thank you for such a value added response. Evidently us new guys really aren't welcome in this new forum. Sorry for wasting your time.

Of course new members are welcome.

My remark was intended to be funny by virtue of its own intrinsic silliness not aimed at you or your newness. Hell, you might be hugely experienced for all I know. Still, if you have to explain a joke, then obviously it wasn’t funny so I will just say this;

Welcome. I hope you get a great deal out of being here. I do.
 
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PaulieDC

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarrini (btw, don't own it, just love it)
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My remark was intended to be funny by virtue of its own intrinsic silliness not aimed at you or your newness.

Unfortunately that concept hit me later in the morning, that maybe you were just having a little fun and not trying to put someone down. I shouldn’t have replied like that; look up a couple replies, even told Mike Greene that. Sorry for raising a useless dust cloud... if it’s cool with you I’d like to send a 121 Reset command and start over (is that the right Ch Mode Msg? Am I even asking the right question??). :thumbsup:
 

sinkd

AARP Curious Member
I have an M-Audio 25 key for just this purpose (esp. Spitfire keyswitches) as well as lots of useful assignable knobs and patch select messaging for some stuff that I still organize in Kontakt banks.
 

rrichard63

Perpetual Novice
Off topic, but I want to say that -- even though I'm not quite as new as PaulieDC says he is -- I learned something from this. I have a second controller for drum pads and knobs, but it never occurred to me to have one for keyswitches (until I change my setup, I don't have room for an 88 key controller). Thanks, all!
 

higgs

boson
I've been using a Korg nanoPAD2 for articulation switching for the last year or so and it's been great.

That said, this thread has me thinking about using a CME X-Key 25 that's been severely neglected. The keys are really only useful if I'm traveling (and want everything to be smlr) or in life or death situations, or if I just want to beat my head against a brick wall for a bit.

The CME editor is awesome and super friendly and you can map just about anything you want with it.

cme.png

Several of the available options are seemingly ways to overcome the shortcomings of the key bed. I almost think that this flavor of CME was secondarily designed as a keyboard. It will shine for CC control, and because of it's super low profile it can fit in many places that other mini keyboards can't.
 

thereus

Our feet shall stand in thy gates.
Unfortunately that concept hit me later in the morning, that maybe you were just having a little fun and not trying to put someone down. I shouldn’t have replied like that; look up a couple replies, even told Mike Greene that. Sorry for raising a useless dust cloud... if it’s cool with you I’d like to send a 121 Reset command and start over (is that the right Ch Mode Msg? Am I even asking the right question??). :thumbsup:

More seriosly, if my joke was aimed at anything, it was aimed at just what a horrible solution keyswitching is. A string section has so many different ways of changing the sound moment by moment so that it can create long drawn-out shapes with huge variety, subtlety and expression. We take our hands off the instrument to jab at a bank of option buttons. How do we ever expect to emulate an orchestra?
 

whinecellar

Jim Daneker
Man, along these lines, I recently had a “duh” moment when trying to solve the age-old problem of fitting an 88-note controller in an overhead compartment ;)

...I’m now bringing 3 mini keyboards (a Yamaha Reface, Korg Minilogue and an Akai something-or-other) with me in a 24-inch bag - each covers 3 octaves, so it’s a fun way to cheat. And the Reface & Minilogue, despite the mini keys, actually feel pretty decent and have full-range velocity response - they don’t feel like 99% of the crappy mini “controllers” out there. Finally, the Korg is quite a nice little analogue synth!

Anyway, to the OP, yeah - go for it!
 

JohnG

Senior Member
I use a little Akai LPK25 for keyswitches. There is nothing particularly magic about it but it "runs good"
 
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