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88 key midi controller specific for logic ?


NoPro
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I have a smaller midi key controller but I have several keyboard instruments that require more keys. Can someone recommend a more logic specific 88 midi key controller..

Thank you and the new site looks good!

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Nektar Impact LX88+

 

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Behringer UMC404HD, NEKTAR PACER, SubZero MiniControl, 88 Key MIDI Piano, Roland JD-Xi, Gibson LP Guitars, Line6 Spider Jam 75W Amp, The Box MS12, MA100 & Presonus E5 active monitors, Sony MDR V6 cans, Entecc DMXIS, Eurolite LED KLS Laser bar Pro FX & Cameo Hydrabeam 400RGBW

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23 minutes ago, Dox said:

Nektar Impact LX88+

Thank you ...how’s the key action? ...I’ve never used a weighted keyboard...I know they are more pricey etc...

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I had an M-Audio 88-key controller for a while – actually two of them.  (One of them had lots of "knobs and switches and dials" which I thought I wanted, but found that I never actually used.)  I never had any difficulties with either of them, and Logic recognized them both ... until, in succession, each one of them "simply, quit."  (In each case, I'm happy to say that I was able to sell them to someone else who knew how to fix them and then continue to use them. But I am not that person. I am not an electrician.)

I now use a "Korg Kross II" 88-key synth, which Logic also recognizes out-of-the-box.

Each of these three units implemented "keyboard action" completely differently, but in each case I found that I had no difficulty at all adapting my personal playing to any of them, with just a couple days of practice. Each felt different beneath my fingers, but I had no problem getting the sounds and nuances that I wanted, and I quickly became used to it.

But let me say that, if at all possible, you should go to a music store where you can actually put your hands on and play a piece of equipment that you are thinking of buying.  This is going to be perhaps the single most important piece of equipment that you use every day.  It has to be "right for you," no matter what "right for you" may mean to you.  "You're going to be married to it."  So, a catalog description only goes so far.

Also, the "fee-chur trap."  My feature-loaded workstation implemented all of those features very well indeed, and I bought the instrument for those reasons ... but I never actually used them.  Carefully consider what features are actually most important to your music-making workflow, and try to buy an instrument which does those things very well for you. It is certainly possible to find gear that is "a jack of all trades but a master of none." (Although I would not say this of my M-Audio gear selections.)

These days, you have a rich selection of well-designed alternatives. You can expect Logic to recognize them.  Think carefully about you, and choose wisely.

Edited by MikeRobinson

Mike Robinson - "I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-nevermind."
Logic Pro X, MacBook Pro, 88-key MIDI controller.

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Mime ,

Thank you for the advice  .... I really appreciate it! I hope I can try out at least two different 88 key controllers in a music store. These days it’s questionable if they have it in stock and ready to demo. 

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15 hours ago, NoPro said:

Can someone recommend a more logic specific 88 midi key controller.

By "Logic specific" do you mean that you want the keyboard to provide control surface options such as faders and knobs that auto-map to the Logic Mixer and instruments? Other than that, if it's just to play instruments in Logic Pro, then any MIDI keyboard that's reliable and built correctly will work just fine with Logic pro. 

The Nektar Impakt LX88 is an incredible bang for the buck. Nektar is a great company, makes reliable keyboards (I own the Panorama P6). I can't comment on the keybed as I haven't tried it myself, and in any case how you like a weighted keybed is a rather personal affair, so it's best to test drive one yourself in a music store (as you said, hopefully they'll have one in stock) so you can determine it works for you and what you're going to use it for. That one even has faders, knobs, and drum pads. 

I would also consider the Arturia KeyLab 88 Essential and the Studiologic SL88 Studio if you have a chance to test drive them. 

Or give it a chance, order the one that looks the best on paper online, test drive it at home and make sure you can return it if you don't like it. Chances are you will like it. 

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3 hours ago, David Nahmani said:

By "Logic specific" do you mean that you want the keyboard to provide control surface options such as faders and knobs that auto-map to the Logic Mixer and instruments? Other than that, if it's just to play instruments in Logic Pro, then any MIDI keyboard that's reliable and built correctly will work just fine with Logic pro. 

The Nektar Impakt LX88 is an incredible bang for the buck. Nektar is a great company, makes reliable keyboards (I own the Panorama P6). I can't comment on the keybed as I haven't tried it myself, and in any case how you like a weighted keybed is a rather personal affair, so it's best to test drive one yourself in a music store (as you said, hopefully they'll have one in stock) so you can determine it works for you and what you're going to use it for. That one even has faders, knobs, and drum pads. 

I would also consider the Arturia KeyLab 88 Essential and the Studiologic SL88 Studio if you have a chance to test drive them. 

Or give it a chance, order the one that looks the best on paper online, test drive it at home and make sure you can return it if you don't like it. Chances are you will like it. 

Thanks David yes both controlling the transport , a few faders etc in logic would be ideal ...mapping to logic automatically ...along with the keys being pleasing in feel (I realize this may take getting used to .I was looking online alot at arturia key lab essential 88 and didn’t know if it would work like the above with logic ? They all look pretty good. I was hoping to find a few people here with different 88 key controllers such as arturia keylab 88 essential  . So far just nektar (which looks great )....and now the Panorama P6. I may have to buy one and return if it’s not compatible but I’d rather not hassle if possible.

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The Panorama P6 and T6 have a completely different feel, the keybed has a synth action which is much lighter and springy than the LX88 which has a semi-weighted keybed which is closer to the feel of a real acoustic piano. It's really a completely different way to play. This is really something you want to check out on real keyboards even if they're not exactly those models: a synth action keyboard vs a semi-weighted keyboard. 

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7 minutes ago, David Nahmani said:

The Panorama P6 and T6 have a completely different feel, the keybed has a synth action which is much lighter and springy than the LX88 which has a semi-weighted keybed which is closer to the feel of a real acoustic piano. It's really a completely different way to play. This is really something you want to check out on real keyboards even if they're not exactly those models: a synth action keyboard vs a semi-weighted keyboard. 

So far I’ve only used smaller springy synth keyboards like my old Yamaha so3...so yes I better check out the semi weighted first ...

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Couple of additional thoughts here ...

FirstThese days, most instruments support USB, and when you actually "plug them in" you are actually constructing a USB network – there's not a "speaker cable" in sight.  Thanks to the particulars of the USB specification, this means that each device can fully identify themselves to each other, and to your computer. (As you can see for yourself in the "USB" section of Apple Menu ... System Report. It shows the entire topology, because it "magically, knows it.")

Because USB devices (and hubs) are "self-identifying," Logic can know a great deal about them as soon as you plug them in.  (Whereas, if you "older" hardware, using interfaces and speaker cables, it's much harder.)

The USB bus is also much more capable:  devices can simultaneously exchange MIDI streams and actual audio input/output, all at the same time. These days, even "low end" instruments commonly do so ... and, once again, "Logic + MacOS already knows."

Second: My first M-Audio controller, which actually had very little "hardware" in the keyboard section, used a very clever, very effective, and adjustable pure-software strategy of mapping the "velocity" that was provided by the key-hardware to the value that it then reported to MIDI.  It had about four preset selections and, as I recall, even the ability to provide a new one.  And ... "lo and behold, it worked!"  It actually felt under your fingers that the instrument had "piano touch."

So ... "there are several ways to build it," and you can then personally adapt yourself very quickly to anything.  Therefore: "play the thing."  Every bride deserves a first date.

I'm not personally aware of any 88-key device that does not possess at least "velocity sensitivity" in the actual hardware, but let the record show that "velocity mapping" can actually create "velocity-insensitive 'synth action.'"  Some of the built-in patches on my latest "axe" do exactly that ... they even emulate "one note at a time."

Edited by MikeRobinson

Mike Robinson - "I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-nevermind."
Logic Pro X, MacBook Pro, 88-key MIDI controller.

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13 hours ago, MikeRobinson said:

Couple of additional thoughts here ...

FirstThese days, most instruments support USB, and when you actually "plug them in" you are actually constructing a USB network – there's not a "speaker cable" in sight.  Thanks to the particulars of the USB specification, this means that each device can fully identify themselves to each other, and to your computer. (As you can see for yourself in the "USB" section of Apple Menu ... System Report. It shows the entire topology, because it "magically, knows it.")

Because USB devices (and hubs) are "self-identifying," Logic can know a great deal about them as soon as you plug them in.  (Whereas, if you "older" hardware, using interfaces and speaker cables, it's much harder.)

The USB bus is also much more capable:  devices can simultaneously exchange MIDI streams and actual audio input/output, all at the same time. These days, even "low end" instruments commonly do so ... and, once again, "Logic + MacOS already knows."

Second: My first M-Audio controller, which actually had very little "hardware" in the keyboard section, used a very clever, very effective, and adjustable pure-software strategy of mapping the "velocity" that was provided by the key-hardware to the value that it then reported to MIDI.  It had about four preset selections and, as I recall, even the ability to provide a new one.  And ... "lo and behold, it worked!"  It actually felt under your fingers that the instrument had "piano touch."

So ... "there are several ways to build it," and you can then personally adapt yourself very quickly to anything.  Therefore: "play the thing."  Every bride deserves a first date.

I'm not personally aware of any 88-key device that does not possess at least "velocity sensitivity" in the actual hardware, but let the record show that "velocity mapping" can actually create "velocity-insensitive 'synth action.'"  Some of the built-in patches on my latest "axe" do exactly that ... they even emulate "one note at a time."

Thank you Mike. I’m leaning to the nektar impact lx88 only reason being I emailed arturia about the essential 88 and they said if I read it correctly that it doesn’t map to logic at this time ? This is mainly why I posted here. I wanted to see if anyone was using one and could verify if this was indeed true. 

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7 minutes ago, NoPro said:

they said if I read it correctly

Can you paste what they said exactly? Their page states: 

Quote

Compatible with all major Digital Audio Workstation: Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, FL Studio, Bitwig, Cubase, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, Studio One (Source: https://www.arturia.com/products/hybrid-synths/keylab-essential-88/overview)

You can use the Mackie Control integration with the Arturia Essential 88 and select that in Logic Pro. 

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The Arturia manual states:

 NOTE: KeyLab Essential's compatibility with your chosen DAW will depend on how each manufacturer handles the MCU and HUI protocols. For more information, consult the KeyLab Essential page on the Arturia website, or the documentation of your preferred DAW.

And Logic Pro supports the MCU and HUI protocols. 

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Let me see if I can find that response from arturia 

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Posted (edited)

Nope I was wrong it is compatible and spelled out everything you just mentioned such as Mackie etc... I must have been researching another controller . Now I’m really on the fence about which one lol. Thanks David for your detailed follow up here!!!

Edited by NoPro
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Posted (edited)

For sure....I have a friend with higher priced fully weighted arturia 88 but that’s abit outta price range. He’s on abelton also so hard to tell ...but yes thank you both sound great either way!

Edited by NoPro
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Nektar controllers have much deeper control of Logic than Arturia or Native Instruments offers.

The primary reason to buy Arturia or Native Instruments controllers is that you use their plugins.

I suggest you check out videos on YouTube showing these controllers in use with Logic. 

Disclaimer: Like David, I use a Nektar P6.

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I bought the Nektar Impact LX88+ about 6 months ago after watching some of the Ryan Thomas tutorials on East West Sounds YouTube Channel.  He uses one..also checked out a ton of reviews.     Has been a great keyboard for programming, which is what I bought it for.   The thing I like most about it is I don't have to think about anything, it just works in Logic.   I did program 2 sliders for Modulation and Expression but that is about it.    It does have a Modulation wheel but I wanted to have sliders for Expression and Modulation right next to each other.      Most everything else I try on it already works and is very intuitive out of the gate.   Drum pads are nice too.

I already have a 88-Key weighted Studio Logic VMK 188 +, however, that is set-up for "general piano playing" and was never used much for the programming aspect.   Where the Studio Logic VMK feels like a real piano, the Nektar does not quite get there.    The Nektar does have a good feel but not the same as a real piano.   Doesn't bother me much not being a real piano player, however, the piano players in the house prefer the VMK 188 +.   I prefer the Nektar because of the programming input aspect and that nobody else uses it:)   Point being, if you need something that feels exactly like a real piano, the Nektar may not meet your expectations there.   If you are looking for a generally piano-like 88-key device with awesome Controllers, then the Nektar is a great choice at an amazing price.

 

Regards

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I wish the nektar P6 was 88 keys. I don’t need an exact piano feel. It would be nice . The semi weighted should be ok. I really just would like to try out a few at the local music stores but with the pandemic still an issue it may be more of a buy and hope for the best....returns are a hassle.
I’ve watched many videos but it’s tough without my hands on the keys. thanks to everyone posting here!!!

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61 keys may be enough

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For what it's worth, I cannot imagine that "returns are a hassle" with any physical or on-line retailer.  "COVID or otherwise."  All of the brick-and-mortar music stores in my area (of the USA) have forgotten this, but even an on-line retailer should readily accept and process your return. 

Any of them should without-question offer you a (30-day) return policy. There's a reason why they give you thirty days.

Edited by MikeRobinson

Mike Robinson - "I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-nevermind."
Logic Pro X, MacBook Pro, 88-key MIDI controller.

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3 hours ago, MikeRobinson said:

For what it's worth, I cannot imagine that "returns are a hassle" with any physical or on-line retailer.  "COVID or otherwise."  All of the brick-and-mortar music stores in my area (of the USA) have forgotten this, but even an on-line retailer should readily accept and process your return. 

Any of them should without-question offer you a (30-day) return policy. There's a reason why they give you thirty days.

Should be ok. I appreciate the advice.  I’m going to just call ahead and see what the music stores have for me to demo. 

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Just for confirmation, I asked Arturia about the Element and they sent me the link to configure it with Logic Pro (or any DAW):

Quote

 

I do confirm that you can use the KeyLab Essential 88 as a control surface for Logic Pro, using the Mackie Control protocol.

Please find related information in this FAQ article : https://support.arturia.com/hc/en-us/articles/4405741358738-KeyLab-Essential-Tips-Tricks

 

 

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Yeah 88 keys gonna be tough to fit on my old staples utility table lol. starting to look at ergonomic configurations.....
a serious upgrade with an larger midi controller/keys .....currently have a korg microkontrol (held up remarkably well but too small )

....I’m leaning to arturia 88 but wow the nektar midi controllers look and seem great as well. Good problem to have

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