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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

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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How To Master EDM, Pop Dance, Synth
 In this article I will discuss how to master EDM, pop dance and synth songs.  Every genre (style) of music has its own set of sonic qualities that are unique to the genre.  These sonic qualities are a "must to know" if you want to audio mastering your own EDM, pop dance and synth music. Read more ...
How To Master Hard Rock And Heavy Metal
 In this article I will discuss how to master hard rock and heavy metal songs.  Every genre (style) of music has its own set of sonic qualities that are unique to the genre.  These sonic qualities are a "must to know" if you want to audio mastering your own hard rock or heavy metal music. Read more ...
What Is Headroom In Mastering?

15 what is headroom in mastering

In order to produce a good master, a mix needs proper headroom and dynamic range.

Read more ...
Top 20 Audio Mastering Tips, Techniques, And FAQ
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here are the top 20 audio mastering tips, questions, and answers that I've been asked over the years.

 

 

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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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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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The Sound Engineer SCAM! Does More Expensive Mean Better?


The sound engineer scam, the online recording studio ripoff, whatever you want to call it.  I hear about it 3-4 times a month from my clients, since 1999.  It never changes!

 

Read more ...
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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How Long Does It Take To Master A Song?

How long does is take to master a song?  There are several extra song mastering procedures I offer that other mastering engineers will not do. 

 

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Mastering Compression Techniques

This video shows one of the more imptotant compression techniques I use in audio mastering.  In my audio Mastering Secrets Video Series, I explain everything you need to know about audio mastering.

 

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What Does Channel Mean In Music And Mixing?

It's the most basic of all questions, but someone asks it at least once a week.  In this article, I will explain what channel means in music and mixing

 

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How To Prepare Your Songs For Mastering
preparing mixes for mastering

In this article, we'll show you how to prepare your mixes for mastering.

 

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A/B Comparison In Mastering
In this video I do a quick A/B comparison of a few songs.  In my audio mastering secrets video series, I get a lot more in-depth into exactly what you are trying to achieve sonically for your genre/style of music.
 
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Monitor Speaker Placement For Your Home Recording Studio And DAW Setup

4 speaker placemnt daw home recording studio

Here's the monitor speaker setup I use for my DAW, and the setup I recommend for your home recording studio.

 

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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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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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What Is Audio Mastering?

9 what is audio mastering

What is audio mastering?  I've seen a lot of different answers on the Internet to this simple question.  Some were pretty technical and confusing.

 

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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?  Read more....

 

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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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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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Best Mixing Levels Before Mastering

set mixing level meters

Correctly setting your mixing levels before mastering is essential for great mastering results.  Having the best DB levels for mixing is critical.  Here's how to properly do it! 

 

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Mid Side EQ In Mastering

This is a quick video on how a mid-side processor works, and how to check the stereo field of your mix using a mid-side processor equalizer.

 

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Set Mixing Levels For Each Instrument

How to set mixing levels for each instrument is a question I see all over the Internet.  I'm going to explain exactly how to set mixing levels in this article.

 

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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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