looking for a small MIDI keyboard

Discussion in 'Soundgear' started by tun, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. tun

    tun Rock Star

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    my desk space is getting a little cluttered so i am looking for a small MIDI keyboard (around 25 key size).
    i have been comparing some and i have narrowed it down to 4 possibilities and i was wondering if you guys could share your experiences with them to help me choose.

    the options at the moment are:

    M-Audio Axiom Air Mini 32
    novation Launchkey Mini MK2
    Akai MPK mini MK2
    M-Audio Oxygen 25 Mk4

    i am open to other suggestions but my budget is low. the oxygen is the max i can spend (£69/$90) and im not even sure if i can afford that yet so that is absolute max.

    i do not play live, i only use the keys for auditioning sounds, so things like weighted keys and small keys are not a big deal for me. i do rely on knobs and buttons (preferably pads) a lot for live recording, so they are important. i am not really sure if the launchkey knobs are too close together (i have big hands) so i am concerned about that, but then it has 16 pads to the 8 of the other 3 :/


    thanks for the help <3
     
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  3. Gmartin

    Gmartin Noisemaker

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    the keys on the Axiom Air Mini 32 are too small for large hands. As for the others, I don't know them.
     
  4. jynx

    jynx Platinum Record

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    Novation sl 25 mk2......"An absolutley excellent keyboard, with auto map, its just epic , and small ,neat n tidy , and annihalates axiom and the smaller akai series, plus you can get a used one on your budget easy"...

    And if you rely on knobs n pads, youl love it, the automap feature automatically maps any plugin to the knobs n sliders, look it up, you wont be dissapointed, ive got one and dont know how i lived without it, just trust me

    16 knobs all with gorgeous pin point led's, 8 sliders, 8 drum pads, which u can use for anything....and an X/Y pad its a truly gorgeous l keyboard,
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  5. poly

    poly Ultrasonic

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    Forget the M-Audio Axiom Air Mini 32!
    Pro: cheap, quality is ok (i'm using it since 4 years and it works and works).
    Con: the pads are on the same MIDI channel as the keys. No way to change that!

    Also M-Audio is for me not really a pur music manufacturer. I bought the Code-49 and sell it after 3 month. All functions and hardware is half baked. Only the Keys are great! just my 2 cent.

    I bought the Novation Nocturn (no keys, controller only) with Automap and this rocks!
    Used for Stylus RMX, Traktor etc. But after 5 Years excessive using the dials are little bit sluggish ^^

    Now i'm an owner of the Nectar Impact 25+. Little bit big (doesn't fit in my Eastpack) but absolutely great using with Bitwig for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
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  6. Stryves

    Stryves Platinum Record

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    Novation 25-Key MIDI Keyboard mini MK3 is amazing. Keys feel cheap, but getting past that they worked perfectly through velocity sensitivity and the pads are perfect. dials, software, novation cloud etc... All are great. Strongly recommend. My first post here. Don't take it for granted.

    EDIT: I bought it for the pads... They don't disappoint!
     
  7. tun

    tun Rock Star

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    thanks for the replies everyone <3

    the axiom is out then. i was worried about the size of the keys. i measured my finger and i think its about the same width as the keys :lmao: the novation and the akai are both small keys too, but i dont really mind hitting the wrong key every now and then when im auditioning sounds.
    the Novation sl 25 mk2 really does look like my kind of controller, i will keep my eyes out for one. and the launchkey was actually grabbing my attention slightly more too because of the extra pads.
    the nectars size wouldnt be a problem, i only need to make a small amount of space, im downsizing from a 49 key behringer umx. it is slightly over budget though and i dont think i can justify the extra for the features. it seems novation have a pretty good rep with people though so that helps me choose. ive never owned anything of theirs so dont know what their gear is like.

    thanks for the input everyone, i will sleep on this.
     
  8. fiction

    fiction Rock Star

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    I can highly recommend the Arturia Keystep. Keys are not full size but the second best to them that you can get.
    It also has 32 keys, to me that makes a difference. Pitch bend and modwheel strips work quite well too.
    And it does have aftertouch!
     
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  9. Stryves

    Stryves Platinum Record

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    I bought several before settling on the Novation 25-Key MIDI Keyboard mini MK3. I have a M-Audio Kestation 61, it's never failed me but wasn't portable. I bought the Novation MK3 for the pads and travel, fuck it slays me. I bought so many others, the Akai Mk2, MPC218 etc... This did it for me.

    Money always an issue though, best of luck.

    EDIT: I have big hands too... So it was something I was really worried about.

    EDIT 2: Major drawback, I have to unplug the mk3 cause lights are annoying lol. But I only use it when needed. I've used it more for synths lately cause my VST Guitars need 61+ keys a lot more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  10. jynx

    jynx Platinum Record

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  11. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    One important detail to take in account about Novation Automap (unless they changed it lately)
    It creates a second vst of your plugins, witch can result in
    Too much VST scanned by your DAW
    Problems with some VST, specially if cracked

    That's why I stopped using Novation.
     
  12. iluvhiphop

    iluvhiphop Kapellmeister

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    Cme xkey is super dope. It might be a tiiiiiiny bit out of your budget.
     
  13. fiction

    fiction Rock Star

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    Wait a minute, you don't have to use Automap, do you?
    Can't you configure the MIDI CCs on Novation keyboards?
    At least Arturia allow you to emulate potentiometer behavior with rotary encoders in case the software doesn't support incremental encoders.
     
  14. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Ultrasonic

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    I am also looking for a 25 key MIDI keyboard and have looked at the same ones as you! How convient that you started a thread before me haha :thumbsup:

    I have also been looking at the Alesis v25, does anyone have any experience with them?
     
  15. jynx

    jynx Platinum Record

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  16. jynx

    jynx Platinum Record

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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  17. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    Yes Arturia's allows this which is much more functional imho.
    I have an Aturia keyboard and I prefer to spend a little time using midi learn on synth and effects than having to deal with copies of my vsts.
     
  18. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    That's great if you don't have to use automap. I suppose they have updated their drivers and so.
    I'll take it out of its box and try it again. :wink:
     
  19. Stryves

    Stryves Platinum Record

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    Interesting, this MK3 is my first Novation, never used auto map, just use Midi Learn on all my software that has it.
     
  20. tun

    tun Rock Star

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    thanks for the suggestion. unfortunately that has very limited knob and button/pad controls, which is fairly important to me because i record a lot of automation etc.
     
  21. tun

    tun Rock Star

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    thanks for the info. another mark for novation.
    its funny that you say your hands are big, then i looked at your avatar...:rofl:
     
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