Today’s topic will guide you through on what is a MIDI keyboard and how can it benefit you and make your production process much easier. Producing can be cumbersome if you don’t have the tools to make it easier. When you first began producing music, it’s likely you used a mouse as your input device to choose what sounds you want where and what notes to be played in progressions.

There are a lot of options when purchasing a MIDI keyboard but if you’re reading this its likely you don’t know what one is so let’s start shall we?

A MIDI Keyboard Is An Input Device

An Input device is one of the main components in a DAW, for more info on all of these components you can check out my post on What is a DAW? They are very essential when it comes to producing music and without one it would be impossible to get anything from your imagination onto your audio editor software.

When using a keyboard or any MIDI controller these devices will allow you to take notes and/or samples and implement them into your project with ease. The end result of using a MIDI Keyboard will make everything a lot faster and will definitely save you some time in the long run.

The alternative of a MIDI Keyboard is a mouse and when you only have that it’s gonna take a lot of time and patience to individually add sounds and content to your track.

Though both are technically input devices one will take time and be less expensive but as a producer you will want to have a collection of tools that will make things easier during the production process so you can focus on the message and the whole concept of your song.

 

Why Is It Essential In Music Production?

A MIDI keyboard has an endless list of functionalities. Including using it as a piano roll for virtual instruments, synthesizers, to using it as a controller for drums, pads, and other samples that you wish to incorporate into your track.

If you do not have a lot of time in your day, whether it be because of school and homework or if you have a time extensive job. Having one of these in your tool belt will definitely improve your time management. With an easy to use system you can just plug it into your computer via USB and start playing notes right away!

A MIDI keyboard is an essential part of music production and without one you will likely be using the built in keyboard on your laptop or computer to control the piano roll within your DAW.

Using a MIDI keyboard over your original computer keyboard will be more effective when it comes to proper chord progressions and note placement. With a keyboard on your computer you are limited to about 2 octaves. If you want to have higher or lower notes then you will have to manually shift the keyboard to start on a different note and that just becomes extensive and redundant, when you need to have access to a variety of octaves and notes.

As with a MIDI Keyboard you will be able to access a full range of octaves without having to manually change anything. One of the biggest features is space. On a computer keyboard you have keys that are less than an inch in size, while on a MIDI keyboard you will have access to a life-size piano roll.

The Benefits

Time Management – Using a MIDI keyboard will provide you with better time management. Your beats will become easier and easier to make when you don’t have to worry about all the manipulation you have to do to get the right sounds and velocity of your notes.

Easy To Use – If you have any experience playing a piano or using one you will definitely know how easy it is to place your fingers on the set of keys and push down on a note. Instead of manually finding the note that corresponds with the specific letter on your computers keyboard and then adjusting its placement to your desire.

It becomes extremely repetitive and you’re just better off with a full piano at your expense.

Maximum Control – MIDI Keyboards offer a great list of features. Including being able to change your velocity ( how hard the note is played) simply by putting more or less pressure on the keys under your fingertips.

There are a lot of different MIDI keyboards out there and depending on the price you can get features that add effects to the notes you play. As well as having an option to choose between a set of 30 keys and all the way up to 80!

With a proper keyboard at your disposal, I can guarantee that you will have an easier time when playing notes and setting up your individual instruments.

The Disadvantages

Cost – These devices can range anywhere from as low as $25 to hundreds of dollars depending on what brand and features that come with the specific keyboard you are looking to purchase.

Learning How To Navigate – As with all things in life, it takes time to understand how things work and only proper experience will progress your skills with one. Even though its pretty simplistic in design, it will still take some effort to come to a full understanding of how all the features can be incorporated in your work.

 

Maintenance – A MIDI Keyboard is a tool specifically for audio and music production. As with all tools you have to take care of them, without proper maintenance you could end up breaking it, or the keys can become get sticky or may not work anymore.

 

That all depends on the placement of your keyboard and if you decide whether eating and drinking food around your studio is a good idea.

I think that one is pretty self explanatory.

Give It A Go

MIDI Keyboards have got to be one the most essentials tools you can get for music production. Allowing you an incredible amount of features and access. You can’t go wrong with one of these amazing devices.

With everything you have learned today, I can say I have peaked your interest with how cool these things are and how easy they are to use over a stale and plain computer keyboard.

I want to thank you all for taking your time to read this post on MIDI Keyboards, and how they are beneficial to music producers all around the world. If any of you need any more information or advice, I will be happy to help you to the best extent of my knowledge.

You can always leave a reply or send me a personal email (located at the top of your screen) if you have any questions at all. I wish you all the best in your journey in music production.

Best Wishes,

Sky

4 Replies to “What is a MIDI Keyboard?”

  1. Thank you so much for the post. My oldest daughter requested a midi keyboard for her birthday. She tried to explain what it was, but I was not getting it. I could not understand why she needed one since she could use her mouse. I did not realize all the time she could save, and how much more control the midi keyboard offers.

    I have a much clearer idea now. I am going to look into getting her one. The one she picked out cost a little bit over a $100. After reading your article, I now feel like I will be better able to comparison shop.

  2. I know that cost is a factor when starting out, but I’ve always had the philosophy that if doing it right from the start is the best way to go. Now, I’m also not a fan of having the newest and shiniest equipment. You can do some great work with a middle of the line MIDI keyboard. For me, it’s about functionality and being comfortable with my keyboard. I spend a lot of time on it, so I want one that feels right under my fingers. It’s something I have to experience to know I’ve found the right one. Plus, I also take pitch and mod functions into consideration.

  3. Hello!
    Interesting, I knew that a MIDI keyboard hooked into a computer system. I did not know that there were controls on how hard a note is played. I personally have little to no experience in music, but I do understand the basics. I can understand how using a normal QRTY Keyboard instead of a MIDI Keyboard could be quite frustrating. You would have to map out all the keys and retrain your self from typing to playing the piano on a keyboard. Thank you for the article, now I know a little more about the equipment that musicians play and utilize through their computer systems.

  4. A MIDI Keyboard is definitely a timesaver, and despite the cost it might be a good idea to keep them nearby, allowing one to save not only time, but exert full control over their music production. In a fast-paced world like today, this would definitely come in handy for any musician. Time is a precious thing these days, and those valuing time will definitely put in the order.

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