2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
76 members (Catlady, accordeur, brennbaer, 8ude, Andrew E., 16 invisible), 918 guests, and 343 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 737
M
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 737
I am looking for a very mini sized keyboard that can be carried in a backpack/airplane, probably no more than 37 keys.

Requirements are:
- full sized keys
- built in sound (not MIDI only since I often don't travel with a computer and want a standalone device)
- prefer piano sounds but techno sounds are fine too
- prefer velocity sensitive
- prefer lighter but not a big issue

So far I've seen a lot of MIDI controllers with no sound at all with 25-37 keys but I can't bring around a computer to plug it into.

I also saw the Yamaha Reface CP37 which seemed perfect but it has mini keys and I switch regularly to playing acoustic pianos so I don't really like the change back and forth between keyboard key size. I would love something like the CP37, maybe with 25-32 full sized keys.

Last edited by Michiyo-Fir; 09/07/18 05:34 PM.
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,355
A
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,355
Maybe Korg Triton Taktile-25? But also...

Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir
So far I've seen a lot of MIDI controllers with no sound at all with 25-37 keys but I can't bring around a computer to plug it into.

You don't need a computer... how about an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch?

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,117
M
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,117
It might be easier to separate the two functions, and get a small midi sound module like the Midiplus Sengine, and connect it to a small keyboard that only outputs midi. Those are so small you could velcro it to the top of the keyboard. You didn't say if you want speakers or can use headphones. This is a 25 key controller with full sized keys.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 737
M
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 737
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Maybe Korg Triton Taktile-25? But also...

Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir
So far I've seen a lot of MIDI controllers with no sound at all with 25-37 keys but I can't bring around a computer to plug it into.

You don't need a computer... how about an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch?


I won't have easy access to these because my iPhone battery generally doesn't hold up very well, especially if it's under heavy use like running sounds/games/etc.

Originally Posted by MarkL
It might be easier to separate the two functions, and get a small midi sound module like the Midiplus Sengine, and connect it to a small keyboard that only outputs midi. Those are so small you could velcro it to the top of the keyboard. You didn't say if you want speakers or can use headphones. This is a 25 key controller with full sized keys.


Thanks, I'll look into this! I actually didn't know they made mini plug in sound modules. I will have a look, thanks!

I will probably go check out the Yamaha Reface CP this weekend though. The sounds are super nice from it, although I don't know what kind of impact I will experience from going from such a tiny (3/4??) key size instrument to the full sized grand piano keys... I've also considered a melodica but would probably need something with headphones to not annoy people in public places that I am hoping to use it.

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 7,081
C
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 7,081
I just Googled:

synth 37 keys

and got a list of things from Sweetwater. Many (but not all) had mini-keys. And most had knobs, which increases the footprint.

I don't know if you'd get 37 full-size keys into airplane carry-on baggage. My microKorg (37 mini-keys) is just under 22" wide (including pitch-bend and mod wheel next to the keys). 37 keys on my DP measures 20.5". So you're looking at 22.5", without a pitch-bend or mod wheel, for a keyboard (allowing 1" on either end for side-panels).

If you don't need editable sounds, I agree that a small stand-alone sound generator is probably the most space-efficient possibility.

Googling

37 key MIDI controller

gives things like the iRig Keys Pro -- 37 full-size touch-sensitive keys, mod + pitch-bend wheels, width 22.22".

It _doesn't_ have 5-pin MIDI ports, just USB. So finding a sound generator might be tricky.

Even a small Android tablet should be able to run a simple sound-generator, and some of those have powered USB (or micro-USB) ports. If you check the Android Play Store for "polyphonic synthesizer", there are quite a few hits. It's not clear if all of them will work from external MIDI controllers.

Interesting problem . . . .


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 3,332
C
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 3,332
As for silent controllers, there's also the CME Xkey37 LE:

https://www.cme-pro.com/xkey37/

And they also mention an "Xcable" with a legacy MIDI OUT and pedal inputs.

I've never tried a one.

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,355
A
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,355
Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir
Originally Posted by anotherscott
You don't need a computer... how about an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch?

I won't have easy access to these because my iPhone battery generally doesn't hold up very well, especially if it's under heavy use like running sounds/games/etc.

You didn't mention that the keyboard had to be battery powered in your initial list of requirements, does it? If not (i.e. you'll have access to AC), then the iPhone battery life doesn't have to be an issue, since with the right adapter, you can connect your iPhone to the keyboard and the wall charger at the same time.

Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Even a small Android tablet should be able to run a simple sound-generator

Latency is a much bigger issue with Android than iOS. For real-time MIDI applications, the only reason to bother even attempting it with Android is if you already own one. If you're starting from scratch, stick with iOS. And in this case, he's already got the iPhone anyway.

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 78
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 78
I had the same demand...

Solution:
Irigkeys37 pro
Don't expect great touch, but it is on of the less flimsy boards in that categorie.
Very compact but almost natural key size (they stole a black keys width per two octaves).

Now the trick:
Miditech pianobox mini
Built-in rechargeable batterie
USB and Minijack input
Headphone out
USB chargeable
and - most important - Power for the keyboard via USB.

So you need only a headphone and USB charger which you might already take with you.


- Rhodes74

Last edited by Rhodes74; 09/08/18 09:16 AM.
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 479
C
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 479
Here's my solution to traveling with a carry-on-sized keyboard... no batteries, and built-in sound! (You can also get much cheaper with a melodica.)

[Linked Image]


Rodney Sauer
Kawai KG-2E • Kawai ES8 • Kawai ES920
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 297
G
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 297
You may want to take a look at a Roland Gaia. Not very small, not very piano-like, but have a look. Runs on batteries, which is a plus, and I guess you can build a sound which may serve well enough as a piano substitute.


W.Hoffmann T122, Roland FP-50, Roland RD-64
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,181
A
arc Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,181
+1 for the CME Xkey Air 37.

I own both a CME Xkey Air 37 since early this year and a iRig Keys37 Pro for around two years. I would suggest you to look for a MIDI controller instead of a keyboard with built-in sounds. You can easily connect the CME to the iPhone via Bluetooth LTE . Battery will not an issue. If needed you can charge the phone while using the keyboard. You can use the free GarageBand for iOS for acoustic piano sounds.

I am not aware a MIDI controller smaller than the CME. The iRig is 59 cm wide (because of the two mod wheels) and 6 cm thick. The CME is 55 cm wide and less than 2 cm thick. This means the CME (barely) fits into my backpack or hand luggage when flying but not the iRig. Apart from the size, the main difference is the keyboard action. The iRig (and other MIDI controllers) uses a synth/spring action, which tends to be a bit flimsy and spongy. The CME uses a shallow keyboard, almost like a laptop keyboard.

These portable keyboards do not replicate at all the feel of an acoustic piano or DP action. So, you will need to adapt and, especially, you will need to understand what you can actually practice on these keyboards. But they are just a temporary practice aid that will work for a limited set of exercices. If you have the right expectations a portable keyboard can be a great travel companion.

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 737
M
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 737
I ended up deciding to order the Yamaha Reface CP to try.

I somehow missed putting it in the requirements but I DO need a unit that can run on batteries. Many flights/long buses, coffee shops, etc do not have available AC plugs, or if they do have them, often they being used by other people so for my purposes not being able to operate the unit on batteries only would cut down my usage by half.

I looked at the iRig but it seems a little too big for my purposes of carrying it around in a backpack. Although I may pick up a unit for my house for fun later. I really don't like the idea of needing to bring something else (phone, tablet, laptop, MIDI sound generator) for traveling either since any additional parts means more cables, more chargers/AC, etcetera.

The CME Xkey Air 37 looks really cool, but I didn't find one in my store to have a look. Although I am pretty sure I will have a problem with the way the keys depress since it looks like they go down flat instead of on a hinge.

I talked to a few people online that play acoustic pianos and the Yamaha Reface, and despite what I feel like is a super tiny keyboard, most people said they have no troubles adapting. Plus people are playing it amazingly on youtube! I am really excited to give it a try, especially since it has a hidden acoustic piano sound! I will be off on a trip to Asia at the end of the month, hopefully it arrives by that time and I can kill some time on the airplane!

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 37
H
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
H
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 37
Any follow up on this?

Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 202
J
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
J
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 202
i went with an arturia keystep 32 for this purpose (ie. portable and flight carry-on size). would've gone with the korg micro key 37 but already have it in 49 (for travelling in my van) so went with the arturia for the different functions / connections rather than doubling up on the korg. both are good for me - ymmv

i have zero issues with latency running sounds on an Android phone

Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 202
J
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
J
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 202
Originally Posted by jackopiano
i went with an arturia keystep 32 for this purpose (ie. portable and flight carry-on size). would've gone with the korg micro key 37 but already have it in 49 (for travelling in my van) so went with the arturia for the different functions / connections rather than doubling up on the korg. both are good for me - ymmv

i have zero issues with latency running sounds on an Android phone

just noting that neither of these have full sized keys

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 37
H
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
H
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 37
Thank you,
Which app do you use on your android phone?
What are your feelings about the smaller keys?

Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 202
J
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
J
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 202
I've tried a few apps but ended up using this one which is also praised by other contributors to these forums ...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.volcanomobile.fluidsynthmidi

sound fonts (including two of dore mark's pianos) available here and elsewhere ...

https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/

The small keys are ok for me but there are differing opinions - plenty of debates about the issues on these forums. fat fingers might struggle between the black keys. My hands are not large.

this guy seems to do ok swapping between acoustics and the microkey ...






The microkey action is preferable to the arturia imo (mostly closer to the fall board) but ymmv.





the keys are tiny and 'action' is a relative term so if you're coming straight from an acoustic or even regular weighted DP don't expect any resemblance on the feel of the keys

Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 1,643
A
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 1,643
Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir
I ended up deciding to order the Yamaha Reface CP to try.

I somehow missed putting it in the requirements but I DO need a unit that can run on batteries. Many flights/long buses, coffee shops, etc do not have available AC plugs, or if they do have them, often they being used by other people so for my purposes not being able to operate the unit on batteries only would cut down my usage by half.

I looked at the iRig but it seems a little too big for my purposes of carrying it around in a backpack. Although I may pick up a unit for my house for fun later. I really don't like the idea of needing to bring something else (phone, tablet, laptop, MIDI sound generator) for traveling either since any additional parts means more cables, more chargers/AC, etcetera.

The CME Xkey Air 37 looks really cool, but I didn't find one in my store to have a look. Although I am pretty sure I will have a problem with the way the keys depress since it looks like they go down flat instead of on a hinge.

I talked to a few people online that play acoustic pianos and the Yamaha Reface, and despite what I feel like is a super tiny keyboard, most people said they have no troubles adapting. Plus people are playing it amazingly on youtube! I am really excited to give it a try, especially since it has a hidden acoustic piano sound! I will be off on a trip to Asia at the end of the month, hopefully it arrives by that time and I can kill some time on the airplane!

Get a USB battery pack and an extension port with an extra USB port to power up your iPhone (just in case).

The requirements meet no keyboard in the market, and investing in one is just a waste of money.

Reface series is a pure failure by Yamaha. It only sounds good, other than that it's really bad. It was on huge sale before the pandemic for more than a year here in Canada.

You're better off if you get a keytar in this situation like Korg RK 100S2, and honestly, ditch the idea of Yamaha completely. Both Roland and Korg make better Keytars than Yamaha. In fact, what Yamaha make is garbage.

FYI, in the history of keyboard manufacturing, Yamaha has never made a decent MIDI controller or decent mid-size keyboard. Look at the PSR series (or even the MODX for example) the key action is garbage. You'll get much better action from Korg.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 3,037
S
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 3,037
Get a used Akai Miniak virtual analog synthesizer. The Alesis Micron is the same product with different badging, but I think that the build quality of the Akai product is better.

When you aren't traveling, it would function as a VA synth midi module. I used to own one. The built-in sounds are good quality and it produces 24-bit output. You will not want to program it without the auxiliary control surface app, other than maybe tweaking a built-in sound a bit.

Korg had a similar product, the microKorg XL, which also is good, but generally is more expensive on the used market.


Repertoire interests: early Baroque through early Romantic eras.
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 7,081
C
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 7,081
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
. . .
Korg had a similar product, the microKorg XL, which also is good, but generally is more expensive on the used market.

I own a microKorg XL+ (the same as the XL, with different factory sounds). I never bonded with the mini-keys, but they _are_ touch-sensitive, and you could use them. You might find a microKorg (not XL), which I think has the same keyboard, but a less-sophisticated VA synth structure. In spite of their small size, the products in this niche are full-on programmable synths (with 4-8 voice polyphony) -- they'll do a lot.

Whatever you buy, check the dimensions, and make sure it's OK for airline carry-on if you don't want to check it in.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Piano Buying Guide
The Definitive Piano Buying Guide
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Practicing is Fun!
by malkin - 08/19/22 05:52 PM
Trade-in question
by RealPlayer - 08/19/22 03:09 PM
Kawai CA-67 (used) vs CA-49?
by JasonD - 08/19/22 02:47 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,471
Posts3,217,629
Members106,122
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5