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In Search Of: A small Midi keyboard

I’ve missed playing around with music sequencing software, so I’m looking to get a Midi keyboard with a small desktop-sized footprint. The M-Audio Oxygen8 would appear to be the perfect product, but it’s only a Midi controller and lacks an on-board synthesizer. I know I can play sounds through my Mac with software like SimpleSynth, but I’d also like to be able to sit with a keyboard on my couch (i.e. away from the computer, where I spend most of my day) and play through and practice my Chorus parts. A cheap little 25-key synthesizer would be great, but it would have to have Midi ports on the back. So far, I’m striking out on my web and eBay searches.

2 responses so far (Respond)

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I’m hesitant to suggest this without having tried it– and I wouldn’t recommend buying anything without verifying that it would work– but one solution might be to combine a small soundless MIDI controller like the Oxygen8 with a small keyboardless MIDI tone module, like the Tascam PocketStudio 5. Could be awkward, could be awesome. If you try it, let me know which. 🙂 May not work, either, I don’t know if any of these little USB units can control a MIDI device without being connected to a computer.

I’ve never known a MIDI-capable keyboard with a tone bank and built-in speakers that was small enough for couch keyboarding. And without MIDI, the only keyboards I’ve known that small were too toyish to be satisfying for practicing chorus parts, and even then, I don’t think anyone makes them any more. The footlong-ish Casio toy ‘board was legendary; I want one just for the retro bupCHIK, budabupCHIK rhythm sound that you speed up by holding down a button. But the smallest thing on Casio’s website may still be too big for the couch. (No headphone jack? What a rip!)

BrainDan | 21 Feb 2005
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i just found exactly what you need! its called Casio Gz-5 and i never seen one before until i stumbeled across one in a shop in tokyo today. its really cheap, about $35 or so. Its a tonebank with basic tonebank sounds running on battery but it got midi out!
its 12cm high, 40 cm long, and 3 cm thick or so, i didnt bring a ruler on the trip so its an estimation.

ola | 22 Aug 2005