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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
EnGee #2303585 07/18/14 01:12 AM
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FWIW --

The Oxygen 88 weighs 46 lbs (21 kg). If you're moving it around, that could be a factor.

. Charles


. Charles
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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
Charles Cohen #2303602 07/18/14 03:12 AM
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Yes the Oxygen 88 is not that portable especially it is a midi controller only, so you need a laptop (computer) to make it work and monitors (speakers) or headphone to be able to hear what you are playing, while the DP doesn't need to be plugged into the computer to function.

Anyway I think it is a good choice in the studio or at home especially if you have all Software/hardware configured right, but we should go to the shop and test/compare it with other DPs before ordering it.

For me, if I decide to choose Oxygen 88, then I would sell my Oxygen 49, Otherwise I would have a DP beside my Oxygen. Finito! I solved my problem and no need for a new thread :-)

Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2303617 07/18/14 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by PeterRT
In the stickied thread "Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$" the author makes this comment
Quote
the best "bang for the buck" option is to buy a cheap digital piano, or MIDI controller, with a good key action, and connect it to a computer (a cheap new laptop should be enough) to let a great software produce the piano sound
I posted in that thread but didn't get a response.

What are some good options for "a cheap digital piano, or MIDI controller, with a good key action"?

Casio PX-150.

Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2303662 07/18/14 09:21 AM
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For the best dollar value a PX-150 is hard to beat as a software controller for things like pianoteq & Ivory. Decent action, inexpensive, 3 sensors and highly portable. At $499 USD & 24lbs its really a great value.

There are other, better 88 key piano controllers. But you start to go up in price & weight. The Kawai VPC1 is probably the most realistic grand piano action & the Roland A-88 is a decent controller with a good feel. But the VPC1 is $1850 USD & 65lbs.
The A-88 is about $1000 USD and 35lbs.

It seems as you double the dollar amount you also nearly double the weight.

Last edited by Kbeaumont; 07/18/14 09:22 AM.

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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2303674 07/18/14 10:14 AM
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Except the PX-5S, it's the same weight as the PX-150.


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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2303736 07/18/14 01:26 PM
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A nice thing about A-88 is that it is bus powered, so the pc can power it, without the need to plug it anywhere else. Same thing for the cheaper Oxygen (but heavier and with a fatar action that I don't like, too sticky in my opinion). I know PX-5S can be battery powered. I don't know if Px-150 is battery powered too, but it has one more vote from me as the best option for playing software piano (and with the added possibility of being a full DP if needed every now and then).


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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
Kbeaumont #2303957 07/19/14 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
For the best dollar value a PX-150 is hard to beat as a software controller for things like pianoteq & Ivory. Decent action, inexpensive, 3 sensors and highly portable. At $499 USD & 24lbs its really a great value.

There are other, better 88 key piano controllers. But you start to go up in price & weight. The Kawai VPC1 is probably the most realistic grand piano action & the Roland A-88 is a decent controller with a good feel. But the VPC1 is $1850 USD & 65lbs.
The A-88 is about $1000 USD and 35lbs.

It seems as you double the dollar amount you also nearly double the weight.
I wouldn't recommend the VPC1 as a MIDI controller. It's a virtual piano controller (thus the name). So unless you are only going to do piano sounds and have no need for pitch bend, mod wheel, and the ability to control other sounds via sliders, the VPC1 won't be a good fit.

I recommend the Casio privias. If you don't need the on-board sounds and will do most of your work on a DAW, go with the PX-150, but the downside is you have less control (no assignable knobs or sliders) - but can't beat the price and you'll still get a decent action and portability. If you want some of the other sounds and sequencing capabilities as well as assignable sliders, then the PX-5S is a better choice.


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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2303979 07/19/14 09:00 AM
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Well, I didn't expect to buy a Privia but I found a used one (PX-5S) at less than the half price (and about $250 less than a new PX 150). So, I took the risk and bought it without even seeing it!

To tell you the truth, I would be very disappointed if I bought it for the full price (the one I bought is almost new). The reason is the very clumsy navigation/interface and the screen. so small? even my Casio watch has more lines and words inside lol! The sounds? Hmmm mostly are not nice, but about 10% are very nice indeed like the first Piano and some Electric Piano, Organ and Electric guitars and some few sounds scattered here and there.

It has a synth and 6 hex layers with some modulations for the lfos ..etc. It is a good synth but not great. It can't beat the virtual synths I have, no way! But if you like to work like crazy in three lines small screen and keep pressing buttons here and there, then it might be a nice option. For me, I even didn't bother to try making my own presets.

I thought to sell my Oxygen 49 because PX-5S has knobs, sliders and modulation wheel. Now I'm not so sure. I prefer the knobs/sliders and modulation wheel in my cheap Oxygen (I couldn't make the knobs in PX-5S "midi learn", so I'm not sure if they are assignable [update: yes they are assignable], the sliders are ok though). Another thing is I couldn't believe how noisy the keys are! I could hear the noise even with the headphone on (closed type)! I didn't play late at night because I think the neighbours would complain.

But in the end I'm really very happy to have it. The noise of the keys is not important really. The feel is fantastic. it is just one day and I feel I got used to the feel that I'm typing the same way playing! :-) It fits exactly my need which is a DP with good weighted keys, and an acceptable Piano sound that I can practice with. The Midi is good, I can send and receive Midi with the interactive tutorial and the notation software :-)

In conclusion, I'm with most of the above advices. PX 150 is really a good option and it is a better option than PX-5S IMO(considering it has the same keys). If you need a midi controller, then it is better to buy a separate cheap one like Oxygen 49 or similar controller.

Last edited by EnGee; 07/20/14 02:40 AM.
Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2303991 07/19/14 09:44 AM
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You can download presets from the Casio forums, need to register as a user first, though. Some of them are good, in my opinion. You might want to get the Data Editor, downloadable at the Casio website, for a better overview of the controls and parameters. That is, if you want to have your computer hooked up to the piano, not everybody wants that.


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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
Morodiene #2304128 07/19/14 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
. . .

I recommend the Casio privias. If you don't need the on-board sounds and will do most of your work on a DAW, go with the PX-150, but the downside is you have less control (no assignable knobs or sliders) - but can't beat the price and you'll still get a decent action and portability. If you want some of the other sounds and sequencing capabilities as well as assignable sliders, then the PX-5S is a better choice.


Also the PX-150 (and PX-350, unfortunately) have a "pitch bend" wheel, but no "mod" wheel.

The price difference between PX-150 and PX5s will pay for a _very_ expensive mod wheel and multi-knob, multi-slider MIDI controller box. THen you have to multiplex the MIDI signals, but I suspect that's easy with Pianoteq (or other software).

. Charles

PS -- see following post by Kawai James -- there's no "pitch bend" wheel on the PX-150. Oops! THere is one on the PX-350.

Last edited by Charles Cohen; 07/20/14 02:03 PM.

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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
Charles Cohen #2304217 07/19/14 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Also the PX-150 (and PX-350, unfortunately) have a "pitch bend" wheel, but no "mod" wheel.


There is no pitchbend wheel on the PX-150. This feature is introduced with the PX-350.

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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2304417 07/20/14 12:44 PM
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If you plan on using Pianoteq wouldn't it be best to have a controller that had half-pedal capability? If so, which lower cost piano type controllers correctly transmit half-pedal data?


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Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
brooster #2304696 07/21/14 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by brooster
If you plan on using Pianoteq wouldn't it be best to have a controller that had half-pedal capability? If so, which lower cost piano type controllers correctly transmit half-pedal data?

The PX-150 does, with the SP33 pedal board.

Or surely you could connect up another midi pedal device that could be configured to provide fully variable sustain pedal input?

Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2304951 07/21/14 03:55 PM
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I found this video that compares the action between a VPC and PX-5S.

Youtube Video

The point of the video is to compare triple sensor keyboards and demonstrate that not all are created equally.

I think it will give you an idea of what to expect at least from an action perspective.

The clear winner is the VPC; however, perhaps the 5S can be configured???

FYI



Last edited by theoak; 07/21/14 03:55 PM.
Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2305006 07/21/14 05:19 PM
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The Arturia KeyLab 88 MIDI controller is scheduled to ship in a couple of weeks. It has a Fatar hammer-action keybed with a fairly comprehensive-looking inventory of knobs, sliders, buttons, and whatnot, and appears to come bundled with Arturia synth software.

It weighs 29 lbs and will retail for $800 in the U.S.

Could be a good choice if onboard sounds and speakers aren't required.

http://www.arturia.com/evolution/en/products/KeyLab88/intro.html

Last edited by slowtraveler; 07/21/14 05:20 PM. Reason: added a link
Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
PeterRT #2305028 07/21/14 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by slowtraveler
The Arturia KeyLab 88 MIDI controller is scheduled to ship in a couple of weeks. It has a Fatar hammer-action keybed

I believe it is the TP100, so it probably won't be one of the better feeling 88s.

If the question is, low cost controller with good action for driving software pianos (and it seems that's what the OP wants), I'd say the answer is PX-150. PX-5S is nicer for having programmable buttons, knobs, sliders, wheels... but strictly for driving software piano, while not useless, they are not essential. (And the triple pedal attachment for the PX-150 could be advantageous.)

The Casios also have the third sensor. While again it may not be essential (nor as well implemented as in the VPC1), it's still a nice extra perk for the cheap PX-150.

Re: Looking for inexpensive controller
anotherscott #2305122 07/21/14 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
If the question is, low cost controller with good action for driving software pianos (and it seems that's what the OP wants), I'd say the answer is PX-150.


Yeah, for that particular application, it's hard to argue with the PX-150. That's an amazingly good action for its price point and weight, and even with stand and pedalboard it would still cost less than the KeyLab 88.

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