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Small MIDI keyboard that can sit on top of a MacBook?

It’s all up there in the title!

When I’m using Ableton, I always feel like I would like a small keyboard that I could just perch on top of the laptop, or just in front of it. Something small, but with velocity sensitive keys.

Is there anything around?

Comments

  • K Board pretty small

  • I’ve been using a Korg microKEY 25 Key for years - sits in front nicely, and the keys have a really nice feel to them.

  • Two good suggestions thanks!

    How about this Nektar SE25? Tiny, and has some good reviews.

  • edited September 27

    The Korg nanoKeys Studio. No-cable-no-hassle battery operated, bluetooth connection, drum pads, xy-pad and 8 knobs. Chord mode, scale mode and an arp. But it is rather a composer tool than a keyboard. The keys are very plasticky and have an unusual format but are velocity sensitive.

  • I got the cme xkey air 37 recently and love it. The 25 key version would be about the right size for what you’re after.

  • @krassmann said:
    The Korg nanoKeys Studio. No-cable-no-hassle battery operated, bluetooth connection, drum pads, xy-pad and 8 knobs. Chord mode, scale mode and an arp. But it is rather a composer tool than a keyboard. The keys are very plasticky and have an unusual format but are velocity sensitive.

    on regular daily use, how often do you change the battery? can it be powered with a USB charger while using?

  • edited September 28

    @Suboidua said:

    @krassmann said:
    The Korg nanoKeys Studio. No-cable-no-hassle battery operated, bluetooth connection, drum pads, xy-pad and 8 knobs. Chord mode, scale mode and an arp. But it is rather a composer tool than a keyboard. The keys are very plasticky and have an unusual format but are velocity sensitive.

    on regular daily use, how often do you change the battery? can it be powered with a USB charger while using?

    I don‘t use it always from the batteries. At home I connect it with a micro USB cable. So, I don’t know. I would estimate that 20-30 hours of Bluetooth operation could be possible. It needs 3 AAA batteries and I use rechargeables. I have always 3 spare batteries in my bag when I’m on the go. This thing is ultra portable and I use it a lot. It has a good integration with Korg Gadget.

  • @krassmann That’s bigger than I was thinking about, but it does look very useful.

  • edited September 28

    Duh. OP-1 or OP-Z and just program your velocity later 😜 or have an LFO mapped to velocity in your effects chain. Or use ChordJam in the chain to add variety to your key presses 😉

    You don’t need another controller based on the kit you have. 👊🏼™️

  • @echoopera said:
    Duh. OP-1 or OP-Z and just program your velocity later 😜 or have an LFO mapped to velocity in your effects chain. Or use ChordJam in the chain to add variety to your key presses 😉

    You don’t need another controller based on the kit you have. 👊🏼™️

    You're 100% correct. The OP-1 is utterly perfect for this apart from the lack of velocity. I've looked at the options and decided to wait for TE to add velocity to the OP-1 F. Maybe that will be a long wait, but still.

  • edited September 28

    @mistercharlie said:

    @echoopera said:
    Duh. OP-1 or OP-Z and just program your velocity later 😜 or have an LFO mapped to velocity in your effects chain. Or use ChordJam in the chain to add variety to your key presses 😉

    You don’t need another controller based on the kit you have. 👊🏼™️

    You're 100% correct. The OP-1 is utterly perfect for this apart from the lack of velocity. I've looked at the options and decided to wait for TE to add velocity to the OP-1 F. Maybe that will be a long wait, but still.

    Yeah. Perfect size and if you get something nice going you can always resample it back into the OP-1. Also look at sticking an LFO or something like ChordJam on it before the Midi signal so the velocity feeds through to the VsT. I know it’s not the same as ‘feeling’ it but it might get you mostly there as you can edit it later during the mastering process.

    The important part is to capture the notes first with what you have.

  • @mistercharlie said:
    @krassmann That’s bigger than I was thinking about, but it does look very useful.

    Well, it could still sit on top of the MacBook :smile: It's very versatile and the Bluetooth connectivity makes it very easy to use when on the go.

  • @echoopera said:
    The important part is to capture the notes first with what you have.

    I could probably get away with using the Mac’s keyboard to play, but I always end up hitting a key that does something else.

    @krassmann said:

    Well, it could still sit on top of the MacBook :smile: It's very versatile and the Bluetooth connectivity makes it very easy to use when on the go.

    I see it sitting next to the Mac rather than in front, but it looks good.

  • @krassmann said:

    @Suboidua said:

    @krassmann said:
    The Korg nanoKeys Studio. No-cable-no-hassle battery operated, bluetooth connection, drum pads, xy-pad and 8 knobs. Chord mode, scale mode and an arp. But it is rather a composer tool than a keyboard. The keys are very plasticky and have an unusual format but are velocity sensitive.

    on regular daily use, how often do you change the battery? can it be powered with a USB charger while using?

    I don‘t use it always from the batteries. At home I connect it with a micro USB cable. So, I don’t know. I would estimate that 20-30 hours of Bluetooth operation could be possible. It needs 3 AAA batteries and I use rechargeables. I have always 3 spare batteries in my bag when I’m on the go. This thing is ultra portable and I use it a lot. It has a good integration with Korg Gadget.

    Oh I see... it can be used even without batteries just with the micro USB cable. Thank you.

  • @Jumpercollins said:
    K Board pretty small

    +1

  • @krassmann said:
    The Korg nanoKeys Studio. No-cable-no-hassle battery operated, bluetooth connection, drum pads, xy-pad and 8 knobs. Chord mode, scale mode and an arp. But it is rather a composer tool than a keyboard. The keys are very plasticky and have an unusual format but are velocity sensitive.

    Looks like a very handy init.

  • @krassmann said:
    The Korg nanoKeys Studio. No-cable-no-hassle battery operated, bluetooth connection, drum pads, xy-pad and 8 knobs. Chord mode, scale mode and an arp. But it is rather a composer tool than a keyboard. The keys are very plasticky and have an unusual format but are velocity sensitive.

    @krassmann : Don’t you need to adjust it via computer though? Velocity curves , etc.

  • edited October 1

    Re the Nanostudio just beware of its’ silly micro usb. Mine broke just after it came out of warranty so it’s batteries and Bluetooth only for me now. If you go for it, use those magnetic USB data leads, and leave the breakaway plug end plugged in to the USB socket permanently.

  • @Telstar5 said:

    @krassmann said:
    The Korg nanoKeys Studio. No-cable-no-hassle battery operated, bluetooth connection, drum pads, xy-pad and 8 knobs. Chord mode, scale mode and an arp. But it is rather a composer tool than a keyboard. The keys are very plasticky and have an unusual format but are velocity sensitive.

    @krassmann : Don’t you need to adjust it via computer though? Velocity curves , etc.

    There is an editor software for Win and Mac. I was happy with its factory velocity settings, but you can adjust them with the software. It allows also to define up to 10 scenes with different mappings and settings that you can then select on the device.

  • I have the Akai Lpk 25 wireless and it fits all my needs it’s super light touch sensitive and doesn’t take up much space andstilll the keys don’t feel too small

  • I just remembered that Jakob Haq is also a fan of the Korg nanoKeys Studio and he made a video about it.

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