3. Basic Types

Musicians use master keyboards for many different reasons and the market offers a matching number of different models.

If all you’re looking for a is a clean and simple MIDI keyboard to control a soundcard, virtual synthesizing program or sound module, then you probably just need a MIDI keyboard with 49 or 61 keys, available for less than 100 Euro. These models are compact, easy to use and offer only the most vital function, the ability to interface creatively with your computer.

If you’ve already put a couple thousand Euro into your equipment and you’re looking for the perfect MIDI hub then it’s worth it to check out a higher end model with 88 keys and a more piano-like feel. A good master keyboard is something you can use for life and a high-quality one is essential for the development of good playing technique.

If you’ve already started to consider one and you’re stuck between buying a synthesizer or a sound module with a master keyboard then it might help to know that master keyboards with keys similar to a synthesizer are available from about 180 Euro. A sound module is usually comparable to a keyed version costing between 200 and 500 Euro which means you can save a lot of money by going with a combination. Master keyboards with 88 weighted keys (piano keyboards) are available from around 499 Euro so they’re affordable and should be for the foreseeable future.

Some manufacturers offer differnent numbers of keys in the same series - all other features are kept the same.

No matter which master keyboard you choose, switching to a different or higher-quality keyboard is almost always quick and easy. The loss of value on used MIDI keyboards is significantly lower than that on synthesizers and even professional models are affordable for the average mortal.

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