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jutei
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Joined: 09/07/2013 - 02:09
Which MIDI keyboards work with Caustic?

Hi,

I'm planning to buy a midi keyboard for Caustic on PC. Which one would recommend? 25 keys is enough for me, but I wouldn't mind having more. I would also like to have pads for drums and few knobs to play around with. The cheaper the better, coz I'll be using it for project with my friends.

I've been eying on Samson Graphite M25 and Alesis V mini. They both have all the features I need, but will all the knobs and pads work with Caustic? I found some old posts in forum, where someone said that only the keys work with Samson Graphite M25. Can anyone confirm is that true or not?

Can you recommend any other midi keyboard under 100$?

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
I use the m-Audio Oxygen 25
jutei
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Joined: 09/07/2013 - 02:09
Thanks, Oxygen seems nice! Do

Thanks, Oxygen seems nice! Do you think m-Audio Axiom Air mini 32 would work too? I could get little bit cheaper than Oxygen and it has few keys more:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/m_audio_axiom_air_mini_32.htm

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
Go into a music shop and try

Go into a music shop and try it out!

dag
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Joined: 07/07/2016 - 10:37
Anything that sends, or can

Anything that sends, or can be programmed to send, MIDI CC messages, should work with Caustic. I would suggest going for more than 25 keys (which is not enough to play two-handed), at least eight drum pads (for mapping to a Caustic Beatbox machine), a bunch of programmable knobs/faders (most of what you see on the screen in a Caustic machine is MIDI mappable) and something that allows switching MIDI channel easily, and program separate channels for keys and drum pads (so you can play a synth and drums simultanenously). Look up the returns policy before you buy so you can replace a keyboard that doesn't work with Caustic, or try it first in a shop.

I myself have the CME XKey which is nice because it's very slim and portable and has full-size keys with aftertouch, but it doesn't tick many of the boxes I suggested above because it's only 25 keys and has almost no knobs and buttons. With upgraded firmware it does allow some programming, though. I complete my setup with an Arturia BeatStep controller to get them pads and knobs, but there are cheaper options to get much of my setup in a single unit.

Here are some 25-key options that otherwise seems to have much of what I suggested:

  • Akai - MPK Mini MKII
  • Akai - MPK225
  • M-Audio - Oxygen 25 4th Generation
  • M-Audio - Code 25
  • Alesis - V25
  • Arturia - Minilab
  • Reloop - Keypad
  • Korg - nanoKEY Studio

That last one is interesting because it has an unusual keybed and can be used wirelessly. There's also a complementary controller "nanoKONTROL" with similar features. Some options with more than 25 keys:

  • M-Audio - Oxygen 49 4th Generation
  • Alesis - V49
  • Alesis - VI49

I would look closer at the Alesis V49 or V25 because they're relatively cheap and you get full-sized, square-front semi-weighted keys in a compact package with eight drum pads and four knobs. But I have used neither and can't tell you how programmable they are.

Note that you'll typically need software to program MIDI gear so make sure you have a system that can run whatever software the manufacturer supplies. As a Linux and Android user, I had to set up a Windows virtual machine to run Arturia's MIDI Control Center software and CME's XKey Plus. Usually, the required software will run on every major system except the very two I personally use.

jutei
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Joined: 09/07/2013 - 02:09
Thank you for your lenghty

Thank you for your lenghty answer. Lots of useful information.

I narrowed my choices down to four:
-aikai mpk mini mk2
-arturia minilab
-m-audio oxygen 25
-m-audio axiom air mini 32

I can get all from music shops nearby so replacing is easy. I would instantly get Axiom Air, coz theres 32 keys, but unusual pitch bend operation slows me down. Others are too expensive for me.

Any opinions which would be the best choice? Or is there any real differences between those?

Sytrix
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Joined: 04/22/2015 - 21:17
i got an m audio oxygen 25

i got an m audio oxygen 25 works fine

dag
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Joined: 07/07/2016 - 10:37
Any opinions which would be

Any opinions which would be the best choice? Or is there any real differences between those?

I have no experience with any of those options though I have experience with another Arturia product and it's quite programmable with their Windows/OS X software and works well with Caustic. The build quality is also very good for its price, I think (still talking about a separate product). I'll note though that the pitch and mod wheels on the Minilab are touch operated which you may or may not consider "unusual" as you did the Axiom.

BTW you can actually install the MIDI Control Center software before buying and see how it works and what you can program: https://www.arturia.com/minilab/resources you can also find the manual here.

Since it's the same software I already have installed, I looked around a bit at the Minilab mode and I think it could be made to work well with Caustic. You actually get 16 pads using a switch button (so you could control two Beatbox machines) and you can assign knobs and pads freely, and there's a switchable global MIDI channel.

It might be possible to find similar downloads for your other options.

opus.quatre
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Joined: 02/16/2016 - 17:29
Hello there..

Hello there..

I have 3 USB keyboards..

An old M-AUdio Evolution 49C.. A Prodipe 49C.. and an Eagletone Engineering 25 mini keys..

All 3 work prefectly with Caustic, on my rather old computer with Windows 7..

Only the M-Audio works on my tablet.. Don't know why.. Might be a matter of power supply, my tablet being not strong enough to power them ? Nu stiu..

None of them has pads..

The Prodipe has a nice look.. Looks nice, and solid, reliable.. It comes with 8 rotary encoders and 1 fader..I don't like the velocity curves, and the fact that all the controls are only accessible via the keyboard keys.. It has bend and modulation wheels..

The M-Audio Evolution looks more fragile (but only looks so, hey ? sure ??? ) and less nice looking.. But I like the velocity curve better.. It comes with 17 pots (8 knobs and 9 faders).. It has bend and modulation wheels.. AND IT WORKS ON MY TABLET..

The Small keys Eagletone Engeenering is.. well.. Hidden somewhere in my house.. It has nop control, except a modulation press buttopn, and a called-bend pair of +/- buttons, supposed to replace a true bend wheel..

I bought them as second hand, used, items, and paid them no more than 35euros (20 for the eagletone)

If you are lucky enough to live in GB, browse eBay.. There are a lot of MIDI keyboards for sale, at low prices.. When you live in France, there are much less auctions on this type of item..

If you intend to use the keyboard with a tablet or a cellphone, then listen to Dag's advice.. He's been wise, telling you that you should go to the retailer with your device, and try it before buying..

(Now I must leave you cause Britt has uploaded new songs, on her Soundclown, after a loooong silent time.. SO of course, I wanna hear..)
 

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
I use a powered otg hub on my

I use a powered otg hub on my phone to drive the power for the keyboard

wardini
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Joined: 07/13/2012 - 17:13
RobFarley

RobFarley

Which Phone do you have?

jutei
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Joined: 09/07/2013 - 02:09
Thank you all for the

Thank you all for the imformation!

I'll give you little bit more background. I have three tablets, iPad Air, Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy Tab S. Two of them are from work, but I can use them as my own. I'm planning to use midi keyboard mainly with windows 10, but I also have powered otg cable for android.

I've decided to buy new one, as I live in Finland and I couldn't find any good second hand deals. I have now narrowed down to two opinions, Arturia Minilab or Akai MPK mini mk2 and I'm leaning towards Akai, because of the physical mod and pitch wheels. I think I can't go wrong with either of those two :)

I'll let you know which one I chose and howbit works with Caustic. I'm going shopping on monday, so if get any other ideas for me, there's still time to suggest.

Thank you again, great forum full of helpful people!

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
@wardini Wileyfox Storm

@wardini Wileyfox Storm

jutei
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Joined: 09/07/2013 - 02:09
Hi,

Hi,

I bought Akai MPK mini mk2 on sunday and after two days I'm almost pleased with it.

Firstly, I soon noticed that I would like to have more knobs. I'm buying today second hand Akai LPD8 controller really cheaply and try if I could get it work with midi keyboard. I have read that it should work with android devices, but I mainly want to use my PC with windows. Has anyone tried to connect two midi controllers to Caustic Windows?

Secondly, I can't get all 8 pads to work in Beatbox. Only the upper four (pads 5-8) work and other four gives me no sound. All pads work with synths, but not with Beatbox. I played around with Akai's midi editor and tried to map those pads, but with no luck. I'm all ears if you got any tips how to make it work!?

Otherwise I really enjoy using the midi keyboard, helps me a lot and the Akai's build-in arpeggiator is great!

opus.quatre
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Joined: 02/16/2016 - 17:29
Hello..

Hello..
Did you try opening the multi-tab menu, then select the "MIDI" tab, prrss the "CC mapping" button..
There, you can select a note or CC number for each channel.. (I don't mean midi channel, but beatbox instrument, right ??)

Select "Play CH1 (Note/CC)", then press the "Learn" button.. Then press your AKAI pad, of your choice.. Same for Channel 2, then Channel 3, etc..

Not sure you can control Caustic with 2 USB devices.. Don't know, in fact..
Have a great day..
Thierry

muskrat
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Joined: 09/22/2014 - 01:08
@Jutei, you can map different

@Jutei, you can map different sounds to those eight pads by going to options->MIDI->CC mappings and then just choose Beatbox and go through all the 8 channels ("Play Ch1 .. Play Ch8"). For example: tap on Play Ch1, click Learn and then press the pad you want to assign to it. It's all explained in this video after 6:00 or thereabouts. You can also map different sliders and dials in Caustic to those eight knobs to the right of the pads on your MPK mk II. You could map the cutoff filter slider to knob 1 (K1), resonance slider to K2, and so on. Most of the pads and knobs on the MPK mk II work fine in Caustic. The pitch bend wheel isn't "writable" (can't be saved as an attribute of the song), but you can bend notes with it.

jutei
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Joined: 09/07/2013 - 02:09
Ok, so I have to donwload the

Ok, so I have to donwload the beta :)

In my version of Caustic Play Ch1, Play Ch2.. are not there. I checked the 3.2 beta and there they were! I'll try that when I get back to home.

Thanks! I'll also let you know if I got the LPD8 work with MPK Mini mk2.

goeki
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Joined: 06/17/2015 - 01:36
Hi community.

Hi community.
Can i use a keyboard for my phone only USB C connection?
And edit controllers?
Perfect would be keyboard which works for IOS and USB C connection
I have Bluetooth speakers.
Thanks in advance

goeki
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Joined: 06/17/2015 - 01:36
Hi community.

Hi community.
Can i use a keyboard for my phone only USB C connection?
And edit controllers?
Perfect would be keyboard which works for IOS and USB C connection
I have Bluetooth speakers.
Thanks in advance

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
You just need to get a USB C

You just need to get a USB C OTG cable (or hub) for your phone, personally I'd opt of the powered Hub, makes for more options later down the line.

I think you're thinking USB C is something more magical than it is, it's backwards compatible with other USB standards so if you just buy a USB C to A (or B) cable you'll be able to plug in any USB device into a USB C computer. USB C only yields more features when you're plugging USB C to USB C.

goeki
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Joined: 06/17/2015 - 01:36
Thanks for fast reply,

Thanks for fast reply,
I dont believe in USB C magic lol
Just have no headphone output thats why i accented it.
I just checked the Adapters there are a lot.
Any good suggestions for a keyboard?

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
Read this thread for keyboard

Read this thread for keyboard recomendations!

guaz
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Joined: 11/21/2017 - 14:51
Just a few days ago I was

Just a few days ago I was considering Arturia Minilab and Akai Mini mk2 and after comparing them closely I chose Arturia and this is why:

- Minilab: has 16 continuous knobs ## Mini: only 8 knobs with min/max values

Actually continuous knobs aren't supported and work just like min/max knobs but maybe someday they will be supported...

- Minilab: has 7 programmable banks (there are eight, but first one is dedicated to work with Analog Lab and you cannot change it) ## Mini: 4 programmable banks/programs

- Minilab: it's easy to switch midi channel (shift + note key) which works very nicely with "One channel per instrument (1..14)" midi option in Caustic (I can play instrument and work on filters/mixer at the same time) ## Mini: you need to reprogram it to change channel (?)

- Minilab: you can program pads to behave differently on each program - on one it can play note, in another you can use it as mute button, and on different as solo button ## Mini: for all pads you set all Note/CC/PC values and you switch between modes by pressing CC / Prog Change button.

Personally I prefer Minilab's solution. I just switch programs to use pads as mutes and that's it. In Mini I would probably need to switch program AND press CC button to do the same.

- only Mini has arpeggiator - I had it once on Novation Impulse but rarely used in DAW

- only Mini has Full Level button which turns of velocity of pads - for me personally it's not very useful feature

- only Mini has Note Repeat button - is it really useful in Caustic?

 

I just read manuals and played around with controller editors for Minilab and Mini, so in case of Mini I might be wrong in some details. I hope it will help someone choosing between those two.