Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

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ijor
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Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by ijor »

I'm looking for the smallest and cheapest Midi keyboard. This is just for performing some testing with MIDI programs. Anything that can produce some notes should be good enough.

Or alternatively, it is possible to perform this with a laptop or an RPI, and an USB to Midi cable?

Thanks
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by AnthonyJ »

I think this might do the job: https://github.com/dwhinham/mt32-pi
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by saulot »

@ijor: https://www.alesis.com/products/view2/qmini.html ? idk how cheap it is.. I've got alesis q25 (https://www.alesis.com/products/view/q25.html).. But it is discontinued..
If you need some notes you might also redirect midi from some sort of sequencer or midi files.. ?
@AnthonyJ: This is about keyboards not synths...
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by ijor »

saulot wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:29 pm @ijor: https://www.alesis.com/products/view2/qmini.html ? idk how cheap it is.. I've got alesis q25 (https://www.alesis.com/products/view/q25.html).. But it is discontinued..
Searching for the alesis q25, Amazon brings similar, non-brand, keyboards, that might be good enough. But I understand that all those modern keyboards don't have a direct MIDI interface. I would need, additionally, a USB-MIDI adapter, right?
If you need some notes you might also redirect midi from some sort of sequencer or midi files.. ?
How I do that form a laptop or an RPI. I run any sequencer software, plays a midi file, and connects to the Atari with a USB-MIDI adapter?

Sorry for my total ignorance on midi hardware. Shame on me, never used any midi hardware at all! :(
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by saulot »

ijor: with those keyboards it depends. You have to look on specs. I think that Q25 had both, because I needed it. This qmini probably has only usb.

if you have sequencer on laptop / rpi and want to output stuff to atari, then you can use usb-midi adapter and plug midi cable from midi out of usb adapter to atari midi in.. But you will have to redirect output in sequencer to this port somewhere in settings (by default it might be configured to some sort internal soft synth). Alternatively you can plug usb adapter midi out via midi cable to external sound module and if it has midi thru connect another midi cable to mifdi thru and connect it to Atari midi in..

With usb-midi i can recommend Roland ones, with cheaper usb adapters there might be issues..
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by charles »

roland pcr50 i believe....or some weird casio ones..but lacking dynamics for full midi control
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by chronicthehedgehog »

The Wii Rock band 3 keytar has a midi DIN socket :-)
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by Greenious »

Most keyboards today have USB-MIDI, which is useless with Atari ofcourse.

I got a cheap MIDI keyboard at a garagesale, less than $20 for a full size midi keyboard.

Finding the ones today with real midi requires checking with a real music store that actually understands the difference between USB and MIDI, other sites typically don't differentiate.

After a quick search I found these with real MIDI out
Swissonic EasyKey 25
Miditech Midistart Music 25
Arturia MiniLab 3

all of them should be about $100 or less
Check out the hardware preservation project: https://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=43023
And my old guide thread with various information: http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=5040
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Eero Tamminen
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by Eero Tamminen »

While real device would be nicer, with DIN to USB MIDI converter, I guess one could also use MIDI synthetizer (e.g. qsynth/FluidSynth) and virtual MIDI keyboard (e.g. vmpk) running on a PC.

PC keyboard is not touch sensitive so playing with virtual PC MIDI keyboard is rather crappy, but at least one can do multi-key chords and use mouse e.g. for pitch-bend control, which is enough to test things...
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by Atari030 »

Could it be done with a Pi? USB to 5 pin with MT32 emulation etc?

I have just landed a D-20 and also got gifted a USB Keyboard. I'm a guitarist so its a bit of a learning curve hooking this stuff up. I'm paying close attention to this thread.
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by dbsys »

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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by ragnar76 »

I don't know a specific model but what about Kleinanzeigen, marktplaats, Craig's list or whatever 2nd hand online place you have in your country?
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by ijor »

I really appreciate all the suggestions. Again, this is only for some testing, so even "just" $100 is too much, and I would actually prefer something very small, because it will probably not used very frequently.

I think i would just go with an usb-midi cable adapter, which I was thinking to get one anyway. I will probably ask for more help if I'm stuck with the software.

Thanks again everybody.
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by Miguel »

charles wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 6:07 pm roland pcr50 i believe....or some weird casio ones..but lacking dynamics for full midi control
One of the things I like about my basic little Reveal keyboard is that doesn't spit out velocity and such. There are no rotary encoders spitting out random MIDI and it doesn't even have pitch bend. I mainly use it for step input in Cubase though.
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by metalages »

I have bought a used one for the same purpose recently. Far cheaper than 100 euros. 2 octaves, modulation + pitchbend + aftertouch. It is far from perfect but ok for testing.
As said before most of the offers propose usb connection only so you need to check that the keyboard also propoose a regular midi din plug. It filters most of the offers...
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by ragnar76 »

ijor wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 5:35 am I think i would just go with an usb-midi cable adapter, which I was thinking to get one anyway. I will probably ask for more help if I'm stuck with the software.
You better have a good look before buying. Very often the do not work right or there are some glitches. For example:

* http://www.arvydas.co.uk/2013/07/cheap- ... -required/
* https://karusisemus.wordpress.com/2017/ ... modify-it/
* https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... i-problems
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by Wasimwaqar »

Hey hi, you can use a compact MIDI keyboard like the Akai LPK25 or the Korg nanoKEY2 for testing MIDI programs and, you can connect a laptop or Raspberry Pi to a MIDI device using a USB to MIDI cable for testing purposes.
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by dbsys »

Wasimwaqar wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 8:57 am Hey hi, you can use a compact MIDI keyboard like the Akai LPK25 or the Korg nanoKEY2 for testing MIDI programs.....
None of these have 5-pin MIDI I/O sockets.
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chronicthehedgehog
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by chronicthehedgehog »

£30 on ebay UK right now. Has a real 5 pin DIN

https://cdm.link/2010/10/hands-on-rock- ... -keyboard/

I've convinced myself to buy one as I wanted a cheap midi keyboard myself
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by alexh »

chronicthehedgehog wrote: Tue May 21, 2024 9:48 am £30 on ebay UK right now. Has a real 5 pin DIN
https://cdm.link/2010/10/hands-on-rock- ... -keyboard/
I've convinced myself to buy one as I wanted a cheap midi keyboard myself
Great find. I imagine this is exactly what ijor is after.

"Rockband 3 wireless keyboards" can be found locally on Facebook Marketplace for even less than £30.
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by metalages »

I think the novation keyboards have midi plug (this one for instance ? https://www.leboncoin.fr/ad/instruments ... 2702144336)
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by chronicthehedgehog »

alexh wrote: Tue May 21, 2024 11:55 am Great find. I imagine this is exactly what ijor is after.

"Rockband 3 wireless keyboards" can be found locally on Facebook Marketplace for even less than £30.
Yes I was quite surprised that it had 5 pin DIN. I think a lot of people were.

From what I've read the Wii version has DIN, not sure about the Xbox, PlayStation versions though

EDIT:

I think all versions have DIN. The article refs the xbox version and I've just seen a photo of the PS3 version on Ebay - also has it
Makes sense, why produce 3 different controllers :)
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by ijor »

I finally got a Roland USB to Midi adapter. Indeed very useful and it works well.
AnthonyJ wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:21 pm I think this might do the job: https://github.com/dwhinham/mt32-pi
And I also bought one of those. Not sure how much I would use it since I'm not too much into Midi. But I thought this is something too cool to not have. Tested on a laptop using the Roland Usb adapter and it sounds quite nice. But obviously, I wanted to hear it with the ST.

I remembered that newer Sierra games have native support for the MT-32, so I loaded Space Quest III. Might be difficult to believe, but after being a heavy ST user for decades, I think this is the very first time I connected a real Atari ST to MIDI hardware. Let's hear how it sounds ..

... Oh boy !!! Can't believe the ST is able to produce such sound quality. And I'm not even using hi-fi speakers. This is f*ing amazing !!! It's even emotional! Why nobody told me before to try MIDI sound on the ST !!?? :)
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by mikro »

ijor wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 1:59 am... Oh boy !!! Can't believe the ST is able to produce such sound quality. And I'm not even using hi-fi speakers. This is f*ing amazing !!! It's even emotional! Why nobody told me before to try MIDI sound on the ST !!?? :)
Right?! I had very similar AHA! moment in about 2017 (when my Aussie friends told me about the USB2MIDI adapters). These days I'm using MT32-PI as it's easier to setup and doesn't depend on my current software setup on PC.
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Re: Mini and cheap Midi keyboard

Post by Eero Tamminen »

ijor wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 1:59 am ... Oh boy !!! Can't believe the ST is able to produce such sound quality. And I'm not even using hi-fi speakers. This is f*ing amazing !!! It's even emotional! Why nobody told me before to try MIDI sound on the ST !!?? :)
Yeah, adventure games often do have really nice orchestral [1] MIDI music!

If you have Falcon, you could try also BadMood, and if you have TT, then ScummVM lite version with some of the demos from ScummVM site is I think a must.

[1] Whereas some of the other games (e.g. BombJack) have just single instrument without any effects, which is not really better than what ST can do, just different...
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