Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

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Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by Snaps78 »

Dear All,

I am a complete beginner (even lower than that) and I would like to get your help.

I purchased an M-Audio KeyStudio about 10 years ago which I used (quite an exaggeration) with my old Macbook. Soon garage band was discontinued by apple so I moved to my PC and I tried to use the keyboard with some soft synth programs but it was cumbersome and also had to have the PC on to play so it went into a box and never used it since.

Now, my daughter is that age, she would like to learn the piano. This is where I would like to ask for your advice. This keyboard has an USB interface for midi and I am wondering if there is a midi device out there where I can plug it into and it would sound a piano either via buit in speakers or I do have amplifier and speakers separately where I can hook it up to.

Technically, I have a keyboard which does not produce a sound like a synth without attaching it to a computer and software. I would like to purchase a 'box' which would produce the sound triggered by the keyboard.

thank you!

Snaps
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Re: Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by The Elf »

Welcome!

It sounds like you just want a MIDI module. There are plenty out there, all depending on budget and aspiration.

That said, you are going to need to plug this module into an amp/speakers of some kind, so I'd question whether this is any less convenient that using a computer, iPad, or even iPhone?

And then you have to ask... given that you can pick up a beginner's 88-key digital piano with built in speakers for a couple of hundred quid... is it worth it?
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Re: Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by Snaps78 »

Yes, this is a good question. Not sure if she (my daughter) will stick with it and as such, I do not want to go into a lot of spending upfront. I did think about selling it and buying a beginner piano but as no-one interested in the keyboard I would be left with 2 of them worst case no one playing them which would be a shame.

I was hopeing to buy something I can add to this keyboard to make it usable and then if she likes it would definitely go for a proper piano.

Would you mind pointing into a direction as to what to look for as 'midi module' as mostly I got hits of interface modules rather than pianos?

thanks Ferenc
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Re: Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by Arpangel »

Something from the Casio Privia range, for this, job done.
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Re: Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by resistorman »

Something like this, I suppose.

https://www.amazon.com/Miditech-Pianobo ... 07B9KF7FT/

Your best bet is to search for a General MIDI module.

However, I would sell your old KeyStudio and get something self contained that feels at least piano-like. You can often find cheap used ones.
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Re: Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by MarkOne »

Snaps78 wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 11:06 am Soon garage band was discontinued by apple

This bit mystifies me a lot, because GarageBand is still very much with us.
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Re: Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by adrian_k »

resistorman wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 6:14 pm Something like this, I suppose.

https://www.amazon.com/Miditech-Pianobo ... 07B9KF7FT/

Your best bet is to search for a General MIDI module.

However, I would sell your old KeyStudio and get something self contained that feels at least piano-like. You can often find cheap used ones.

I couldn’t tell from the product description - does this act as a USB host? I.e can you just plug a USB midi keyboard into it without going through a PC?
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Re: Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by James Perrett »

Get yourself a used Yamaha PSR-E4x3 (where you replace the x with any number from 0 to 7). I picked up a 403 for my son for £50 and it works well for him. It is completely self contained, includes a velocity sensitive keyboard, comes with hundreds of sounds and includes a sequencer as well as all kinds of automatic functions. At a later date you can hook it up to a computer in the same way as the M-Audio keyboard.

However, if your daughter wants to learn piano more seriously, she will need a weighted keyboard so it isn't really worth spending much on a setup that doesn't include a weighted keyboard at this point in time.

I really can't see a sensible way to include your current keyboard in your daughter's setup unless she already has a computer and decent speakers connected to the computer. If you don't have a computer you will need one of these

https://kentonuk.com/product/midi-usb-host-mk3/

before you can connect your keyboard to a sound module.
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Re: Synthesizer for M-Audio KeyStudio keyboard

Post by Snaps78 »

Thank you everyone for the suggestions,

I most likely will go on to try to sell the KeyStudio and buy something James Perrett suggested (thanks). That is the price range I am currently looking for as not sure if my daugther would be engaged in it. If it kicks in, than I will look into buying something more serious.

MarkOne:
Yes, you are right, just checked. Back then there was a time when we fired up my wife's macbook, it came up with a note saying, GarageBand is not part of the Mac OS anymore and this it was gone from it. Checking it now, I can see it can be downloaded but we do not have a Mac anymore. :)

Thank you again for the help and suggestions!

Ferenc
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