Choosing The Right MIDI Keyboard

Seems like I have… can’t remember :joy:

The manual is a PDF - so, who needs a manual? Just a fast test (not very good and far away from the original, but all with Zynthian):


You press the long black and white buttons at the bottom.

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There are so many - I can’t decide which one to press first.


That looks so cool.
Now, does it generate a MIDI clock? If so, you could sync the KeyStep Pro with ZynSeq…

I think: yes. Will try this when I have morew time and an idea how it works.

I just love my Korg Nanokey2, it really is very small, simple and just fine for what I do with the Zynthian (playing some simple melodies to go with the rest of my band, nothing fancy but effective enough)


Roland A88 … :smiley:

and Behringer Motor 61

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This will probably cement my reputation as a extreme stress tester, but.

I have had this happen on two akai mini devices and I would suggest not buying their devices with microusb ports. The big squarer usb port is still my favourite :slight_smile:


I broke the USB Type B port (chunky square boi) on an Alesis Q49. That’s not saying much though as it was an Alesis.


There was a time when there was no Alesis at all… “and then there were three”… HR-16 was the first thing I ever know from this brand and it was love at first sight… MMT-8 was probably a great tool too, I never knew much about this one… Midiverb was a best seller…
Alesis did invade the market very rapidly… a Blitzkrieg whose weapons were price, quality, versatility, innovation…
Then came a rather long dinasty of good engines : SR-16, microverb, Andromeda… I didn’t follow the brand closely, but each time I would hear the name, I would have a positive feeling…

If I remember my HR-16, it was very often that the MIDI plug would feel lose inside its socket, and would not stay connected… my Microverb had AC power supply on a silly phone jack ! You would make a shortcut everytime, at the moment you would plug it in… small mistakes compared to the great quality and the great features of the rest of the machine…

My Alesis QX49 also has a broken USB Type B. The plastic centre gets disconnected from the body and ends up pushing back into the connector. I fixed it with some epoxy but didn’t do a great job so am careful when plugging it. I need to replace the connector really. It does have a concentric power connector and 5-pin DIN MIDI connectors too so I do have choice… although my son commandeered it so I haven’t see it (or its condition) for a while!

I managed to break the usb port of my M-AUDIO Eight track; simply cut a usb cable and soldered the four wires directly on the circuit, solid as can be.

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I have an HD-24… no complaints after 17 years! As for MIDI controllers… Evolution MK-249-c still going after 20+ years, Emu X-board-61 works fine (though needs Win-XP editor), Korg nano-Kontrol blends well with Gadget 2 on iPad, and recently, PadKontrol (rescued from a skip!) + Samson Graphite-49 is very useful. Yet to get deeply involved with Arturia BSP.

I’m a big Alesis fan. The Ion is still an excellent and very well regarded VA. The Quadraverb2/Q20 was one of the most flexible effects boxes anybody ever made. Completely programmable routing of up to 8 effects!

The Fusion is one of the true workstation monsters of synth history. Fantastic S&S synth with FM, VA and Physical Modeling engines tied to a mind-boggling modulation system. Built in 32 track MIDI sequencing, Sampling and 8 track, 24-bit mixing/recording. Excellent 88 note Fatar hammer action. With a couple mods (SSD, LED backlighting) it’s a desert island synth IMO. Providing of course that you have power outlets and the ability to lug a 60 lb keyboard around your desert island bungalow. I picked up a Fusion for $360. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, the brilliant designers from the original Alesis are all gone. It’s only a shell of what it once was.



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Nice visual aid!

The Fusion is one of the more unusual Industrial Designs in the synth world. The (heavy) aluminum case, housing its ELEVEN processors, is shaped like an airplane wing so even the bottom is curved and yes, the controls were inspired by automotive dashboards from the 50’s! Alesis thought outside the box in many ways. :slight_smile:

Now THAT’S what I call I/O! It even has an 8-channel optical ADAT output!


After some days with my Arturia-Keystep-Pro I must say, that it’s a really cool toy for live performing. But the manual is not the best. The explanations are partly double and triple and some things are somehow illogical. The workflow is not quite clear to me yet and so I’m experimenting a lot.

In the end I still have a lot to learn and it’s a lot of fun. The Zynthian is for me the ideal synth for that. Why? The Keystep-Pro has 4 sequencers/arpegiators. With a Zynthian (with RPi4) you can advise these 4 generators quite easily to a big collection of sounds. Little wiring, lots of sound - just cool!



Yeah, I’ve got the Pi4, now I have allocate time to make it fit the v3 enclosure cleanly.

Oh… that means that one of the sequencer/arpeggiator is not documented… you should have paid 3/4 of the price and waited 3 weeks instead of 4…

I usually don’t read manuals… just the basic facts (can you tell me where it hurts ?)…
Of course, you have downloaded and tried King Arthuria’s MIDI Control Center ? Very useful, cause many options might be unavailable on the machine by itself, and can be set only through this soft…