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#3187285 01/21/22 10:52 AM
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Hi everyone, I’ve been reading these forums for some time and decided to join as I’ve learnt a lot of good information from everyone and it’s fun to see everyone’s opinions and Experiences.

I have a strange question that I haven’t seen anyone talk about on here.

Is it possible to connect a small midi keyboard directly to an android device and have an app that kind of works like a vst without the need for external power to the keyboard so that I can practise some scales and stuff on my breaks at work and come up with little melodies.

I know it is probably wishful thinking but I already have a small midi keyboard that I don’t need at home as I have a console dp and with a busy life I don’t have much time to practise so having the ability to just whip it out at work and practise would be perfect.

Thanks for any help guys

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I had similar requirements (a portable keyboard to practice on-the-go) and ended up buying a 200$ foldable 88-key piano on Amazon. Happy with my purchase. Light, and quite compact when folded. The keys are standard size and semi-weighted, so it's decent enough for maintaining my playing technique. I have a grand piano at home, and I can say that most of my practice gains translate to the real instrument. The sound quality is bad, and it is also harder to play accurately on the foldable piano, but the advantage is that I'm pleasantly surprised when coming back to the grand.


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I have a 61 key midi controller that I can use when I'm travelling and connect to an android phone. I use an app called Perfect Piano which was either free or very cheap. There are plenty of others.

My controller is an Alesis Q61, but there is plenty of choice. I connect it to my phone with a USB cable, but think I needed an adaptor to convert it to a c type. No external power is needed.

It all works well and very easy to connect. I bought it to practice Ii V I progressions when I was at the in laws.


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How about these?

irigks keys

Last edited by Learux; 01/21/22 12:04 PM.

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Friends, I didn't mean to derail the thread, sorry if I did. It seems OP is looking for an application to use with his current hardware. Personally I'd rather switch to a portable piano instead of using a midi controller if one of the goals is to practice technique, but to each their own.


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You need an "on-the-go" (OTG) adapter, between the Android device and the USB keyboard. They are inexpensive.


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Rubens #3187331 01/21/22 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Rubens
Friends, I didn't mean to derail the thread, sorry if I did. It seems OP is looking for an application to use with his current hardware. Personally I'd rather switch to a portable piano instead of using a midi controller if one of the goals is to practice technique, but to each their own.

It seems the OP's objectives were to be able to practice "scales and stuff". A midi keyboard is perfectly adequate for that especially if the choice is between an unweighted midi keyboard or nothing.


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Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
Originally Posted by Rubens
Friends, I didn't mean to derail the thread, sorry if I did. It seems OP is looking for an application to use with his current hardware. Personally I'd rather switch to a portable piano instead of using a midi controller if one of the goals is to practice technique, but to each their own.

It seems the OP's objectives were to be able to practice "scales and stuff". A midi keyboard is perfectly adequate for that especially if the choice is between an unweighted midi keyboard or nothing.
Only if it's full size keys. Weighted too, all IMHO of course and YMMV. You can however learn or practice some stuff, chord based progressions, and fills or riffs, compose too perhaps, on an unweighted small key keyboard.

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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
Originally Posted by Rubens
Friends, I didn't mean to derail the thread, sorry if I did. It seems OP is looking for an application to use with his current hardware. Personally I'd rather switch to a portable piano instead of using a midi controller if one of the goals is to practice technique, but to each their own.

It seems the OP's objectives were to be able to practice "scales and stuff". A midi keyboard is perfectly adequate for that especially if the choice is between an unweighted midi keyboard or nothing.
Only if it's full size keys. Weighted too, all IMHO of course and YMMV. You can however learn or practice some stuff, chord based progressions, and fills or riffs, compose too perhaps, on an unweighted small key keyboard.

Yes, I'd agree. Best to avoid the mini key things. The OP did say that they already had the keyboard though so that side is sorted.


I'd be a far better pianist if I spent the time I'm on this forum playing my piano instead.
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Thanks for all the responses, so perfect piano works a treat which is great, I luckily already had all the wires and adapters needed to connect, now my only need is a decent portable keyboard, I’ve never seen the foldable ones in person so can’t judge them, I’m not even sure how they would work I will watch a videos and make a judgement, my current midi keyboard has tiny little flimsy keys which isn’t ideal, yes I could practice one handed scales….kind of it’s only 25 keys, not sure if 49 would make it possible to practice 2 octave scales with both hands together ? I would assume not, I also want full size keys, I can probably deal with non weighted I suppose although semi weighted would be ideal but the actual size of the keys is a deal breaker for me any suggestions ?

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i thought the OP was about Android apps. if so, check out this thread

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3171763/1.html

re hardware, i use a korg microkey (wired not BT model - and small keys so not for you) but most MIDI controllers should work if they don't draw too much power from your device

i recently got a nektar se61 (full size keys but typical synth spring action) for my recording desk. I'll give it a try with my phone in the next few days and report back

if you want hammer action, the sl88 might be your best bet though read reviews and reports on the action (i haven't tried it personally)

Last edited by jackopiano; 01/21/22 04:17 PM.
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You need an "on-the-go" (OTG) adapter, between the Android device and the USB keyboard. They are inexpensive.

Last edited by Jackson Michael; 01/21/22 04:27 PM.
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iGrand may be a sufficient app. Unfortunately, there aren’t many on Android. I’ve tried to iOS version of it, and if they are similar, it’s acceptable merely for practice of scales and things of that nature.

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I have found an app and I have all the wires required I tried it with my midi keyboard and it works, now I just need a half decent midi keyboard preferably 49 or 61 keys, preferable semi weighted and lightweight purely for use at work and when working away when I can’t use my console dp daily, I will only be using to practice some pieces and scales arpeggios and playing around on

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Check Go:keys, CTS1, NP12, all relatively compact 61-key around 4 kg. In person - don't expect great key action but you may be able to identify lesser evil.

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Originally Posted by Pianoman1995
Hi everyone, I’ve been reading these forums for some time and decided to join as I’ve learnt a lot of good information from everyone and it’s fun to see everyone’s opinions and Experiences.

I have a strange question that I haven’t seen anyone talk about on here.

Is it possible to connect a small midi keyboard directly to an android device and have an app that kind of works like a vst without the need for external power to the keyboard so that I can practise some scales and stuff on my breaks at work and come up with little melodies.

I know it is probably wishful thinking but I already have a small midi keyboard that I don’t need at home as I have a console dp and with a busy life I don’t have much time to practise so having the ability to just whip it out at work and practise would be perfect.

Thanks for any help guys


Yes, you absolutely can.

Korg has many keyboard midi controllers that are battery powered:

https://www.korg.com/caen/products/computergear/microkey2_air/

and here is the VST:

https://www.steinberg.net/cubasis/

Make sure you buy your keyboard from a reputable manufacturer. Many fancy MIDI keyboards don't support full midi compatibility, or they may have lags etc.

As far as I can tell, Korg has years and years of experience in manufacturing MIDI controller gears and it manufactures so many crazy hardware widgets.

Your other option is to power up your USB MIDI keyboard using a power bank if you already have one.

Last edited by Abdol; 01/21/22 10:46 PM.

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