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best music midi keyboards

Looking for the best midi keyboard or music keyboard for your daw home recording studio in 2020?

 

The way a midi DAW system works, soundware or sampler software is used in conjunction with your main DAW software. When keys are struck on your midi keyboard, it triggers sounds from your computer software. For example, if you load up a drum kit into your sampler software, drum beats play when you hit the midi keyboard keys.

Lower down on the page, we also have keyboards and workstations that have their own sounds on board.

Also, unless you're a concert pianist, a 49 key keyboard should be big enough to do just about everything you need.  More keys just add to the price.  A 25 or less key keyboard may be too small for music arranging.  But its portability is nice and it's good for working on drum parts, bass lines, synth melodies, etc. 

 

BEST KEYBOARD MIDI CONTROLLER PICKS

88 Key - Keyboard Midi Controller
$999 Roland A-88 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Roland's A-88 controller features an Ivory Feel G keyboard with realistic escapement.

61 Key - Keyboard Midi Controller
$359.98 Novation Impulse 61 USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller
Medium sized keyboard equipped with 61 ultra-responsive keys.

49 Key - Keyboard Midi Controller
$99 M-Audio KeyRig 49 II 49-Key USB MIDI Controller
If you don't need weighted/responsive keys, this is all you need.  Good quality keyboard at a great price!

25 Key - Keyboard Midi Controller
$99 Novation Launchkey 25-Key Mini Compact Instrument and USB MIDI Controller Keyboard for iPad, Mac and PC
Nice portable keyboard.  Comes with drum pads, above your keys, to tap out your beats or drum patterns.  I use one every week!

 

BEST PERFORMANCE SYNTHS KEYBOARD PICKS

$699.99 Korg X50 61-Key Synthesizer Keyboard7.90 Korg X50 61-Key Synthesizer Keyboard
Small in size but big on sound, the Korg X50 features the same synthesis system as the legendary Triton but in a compact, portable keyboard.

$699 Yamaha MX61 61-Key Synthesizer
Get the sounds of the world-famous MOTIF workstation without the weight and cost with this affordable and compact synthesizer from Yamaha.

$399 Korg microKorg Analog Modeled Synth/Vocoder
Huge analog-style synth sounds pour forth from the tiny, 5-pound microKORG, with an on-board vocoder and 8-step arpeggiator to get you rocking retro-style.

 

BEST KEYBOARD WORK STATION PICK

$2,599 Korg Pa3X Arranger Workstation Keyboard
Choose 61 or 76 keys on Korg's flagship arranger keyboard, with 400+ styles, TC-Helicon VoiceLive vocal processing, and flexible MP3/MIDI crossfade playback.
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The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

John Rogers - Danceur Magazine Interview (July 2018)

Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS.  Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes.  During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released.  It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!

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Audio Engineer Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

5 sound engineer prevent tinnitus

Millions of people suffer from tinnitus.  A new study shows around 10% of the U.S. population suffers from it in some form, but many have never even heard of it until they get it!  Unfortunately, I was one of those people.  It can happen quickly and it lasts a lifetime... 

 

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How Much Headroom Before Mastering Should I Leave?

mastering headroom

How much headroom before mastering should you leave in your mix?  Here's the correct amount of headroom you should leave, using detailed graphic examples.

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What Software Do You Need For Audio Mastering?

2 software for audio mastering

If you've mixed songs in the past, you more than likely can use that same software for audio mastering. As long as you can add effects to the stereo/main out bus, you're good to go.  Read more....

 

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Fixing A Bad Mix With Mastering

A lot of mastering engineers are afraid to make drastic changes to a mix they are working on.  That, or they're stuck in the familiarity of always making only small changes. 

In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.

 

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Audio Mastering Software Processors

Here are the series of audio mastering software processors I've used on the over 30,000 songs I've mastered since 1999.  In this video, I use mostly izotope ozone plugins because it's easier to explain using them.  In real-life, I do mix in a few hardware pieces, and a waves plugin.

 

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Top 17 Common Music Mixing Mistakes And How To Fix Them!
audio music mixing mistakes
 
These are the Top 17 most common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting them could will improve your audio mastering results and make your mixes sound more professional.
 
 
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What Is Reverb Effect In Music | How To Use Reverb

This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it?  The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.

 

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Mastering A Song For Radio

14 song ready for radio

Here's another popular question I see online, always with the wrong answer! "There's no such thing as radio ready mastering!"  REALLY?

 

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What Is Chorus Effect In Music | How To Use Chorus

This article discusses what is the chorus effect in music and how to use it?  The chorus effect makes a single audio track sound like a group. It achieves this by taking a single instrument or vocal track, multiplying it, and then slightly detunes each newly created track. The result is a fuller lush sounding audio track.

 

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My First Music Video!

Here's the first music video I directed, Mahalin Muli by JAI, released on July 10th, 2018.  I also wrote more than half of the script. 

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How Much Should I Charge For Mastering?

I've mastered over 40,000 songs since 1999.  I've charged $10 a song, $20, $30, $50 even $100!  Some prices worked better than others.  Here are a few facts to consider when deciding on what prices to charge.  Read more....

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Which Is Better For Audio Mastering Analog Gear Or Digital Software Plugins?

18 analog digital equipment

I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.  I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.  And also before they started making very high quality plugins. 

 

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How To Master A Song In Only 5 Minutes!

Would you like to know how to master a song or how to master your own music?  So many people think just making the volumes the same level for every song is "mastering" their CD.  Well, mastering is a lot more than just that! 

 

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What Does Mastering Do To A Song?

10 what is audio mastering

What does mastering do to a song?  Your main goal in audio mastering is to replicate the sonic qualities of a well professionally mastered commercial song, in the same genre and style as the song mix you are working on.

 

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Stereo Widening Techniques | How To Use Stereo Widening In Mastering Music

Here are a few great stereo widening techniques and how to use them in music.  When you listen to music on a car radio, you want that wide stereo sound that extends from the left door to the right. Not just two feet wide right above the stereo!

 

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#1 Best Website Hosting For Musicians, And Music Recording Studios

If you're looking for the best website hosting for musicians, bands, and music recording studios, here's my own personal experience with website hosting companies.

 

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Why Does A Mix Need Headroom And Dynamic Range?

16 why do songs need mastering

Why does a mix need headroom and dynamic range?  In one sentence, it gives the mastering engineer more room to work with.
 

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Should Your Mix Sound Close To A Mastered Song?

13 mix sound like master

Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.

 

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Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

3 calibrate speakers audio mastering daw

Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process.  When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style.  Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc.  I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.

 

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Best Free Redbook CD Burning Software
Yes, burning your own redbook master CDs is very easy!  Here's how to make your own redbook CD masters for free! 
 
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Cheaply Soundproofing Your Room For Audio Mastering

1 cheaply soundproofing room studio

I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing.  I must say, a very exciting 15 pages!  Ha!

 

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Mastering Hardware Equipment You Need For Your DAW Home Recording Studio

7 mastering hardware equipment daw recording studio

Here's the basic hardware you need to master music:

 

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How To Mix And Master Songs

If you're into "do it yourself projects" my mastering book will show you EXACTLY how I mastered every style of music on this website.  Get it here Audio Mastering Secrets!

What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

8 difference between mixing mastering

What's the difference between mixing and mastering?  A lot of people new to music don't know the answer to this.

 

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