Posted in : Forum : Audio Hardware Chat
Discuss all things hardware such as studio gear, intruments, sound cards, grooveboxs. Recomended setups, problems, advice
Hey guys :)
So I'm looking at getting the Native instruments Komplete Audio 6 USB interface:
As well as this little microphone bundle:
But my problem is trying to find a MIDI keyboard that I can connect to the interface rather than connect straight to the computer via USB... after all, what's the point of the MIDI IN/OUT's at the back of the interface if every mo fo is making MIDI keyboards that connect ONLY by USB????
Am I being dumb? Do I need to connect a keyboard to the interface at all? This is gonna be my first venture into hardware sooo.. yeah.. a little help would be appreciated :)
Hey George, yeah using midi connectivity through dedicated midi ports is the way to go, I once made the mistake of buying a usb only connected keyboard, they work fine with software, Daws, etc however if you ever decide to buy some older rack gear you can't play it or remote control from your sequencer, their mainly designed for people that don't use interfaces and to save on cable clutter, there are heaps of controllers out there, especially the second hand market and the better the key action they have (less spongy and plastic) the better they tend to play and don't go under 49 keys, any less and it can hinder scale projection.
it's not dumb to connect a keyboard to the interface at all. in fact, midi cables are able to be longer in length than usb cables before latency issues start showing up. therefore, if you're planning on having extremely long cables for whatever reason, do keep this in mind... when i say long, i really mean long!
a usb cable can run like 10 meters before latency issues are noticeable, while a midi cable can run like 50 meters.
at short lengths (e.g. 1.5 meters), usb is apparently faster... but all the forums I've dug up have stated its not going to be perceivable by the ear...
oh, and if you choose to use a midi in/out cable, you'll be opening up a usb port for future use... so again, you're not being dumb to connect a keyboard to the interface using the midi ports ;P...
You dont want the controller to go in USB, instead going into an interface which then goes in using USB?
Ok, but why?
Do you need the interface for anything in particular here? Seems pointless. Are you using C/V Gate on the controller to control a piece of hardware, or is the controller for samples and virtual instruments in the DAW?
I got an Akai Professional MAX25, 110 or USB powered, goes straight in with USB. I have no idea why I would ever need to go through something else,(possibly due to ignorance), when I'm just controlling VIs, triggering drum samples with the pads and automating parameters with touch-faders.
"Am I being dumb?"
Hell no, buying a bunch of crap you don't need because you didn't ask around is dumb. Nothing wrong with getting some opinions.
The real bitch is getting your controller synced with your DAW and assigning parameters. Plenty of Youtube tutorials for that, though.
Just chiming in again, as Evisma stated it really boils down to what you want to use it for and if your going to expand to outboard gear in the future. Also many usb connecting keyboards are dedicated specific DAW controllers as well with sliders and a host of other rotary controls, in this aspect they can't be beat and make mixing and track arranging way more efficient...there are ones with both such as the AKAI MPK range.
Basically,... I want to record some vocals. Should I just save the headache regarding interfaces and just get a USB mic and a USB keyboard and be done with it? I guess the extra money saved from buying the interface could get me a better keyboard and/or USB mic..
Have I just answered my own question in the process too? xD lol
mm, you could go one of two routes i guess:
1) get a higher quality usb mic and usb keyboard and MAYBE save up for an interface if you decide that you want more mics and stuff without needing to use multiple usb ports...
2) get an interface and then a mic/keyboard that hooks up to that interface. afterwards, save up for mics as your heart desires.
id go with the second option if i were you. it'll give you an opportunity to expand in the mic department (or even other hardware stuff, like synths and processing gear. i really believe we should all be striving for hybrid studios, since they're the most ideal of studios... good to have the best of both worlds ;D)
There is only one thing that's certain when it comes to buying music kit, it never ever stops, man I've been doing it for ever and a day....it's a freaking addiction! lol
^this is life
some people's addictions come in the form of plugins and software though (me pretty much; tryina save up to change that), which is why i even created the first option LOLOL. gives an opportunity to focus finances there more than anything else... if that's their cup of tea =P...
I thought most midi keyboards have Midi out ports?!? I guess it's been way to long since I've bought a midi keyboard :))
The interface seems ok, I've never heard the converters of that interface in action but on paper at least the specs look ok.
Going with a USB mic means you'll have to use 2 drivers, 1 for recording and 1 for your outputs as you'll probably connect the monitors to an existing audio interface/soundcard and that means headaches generally.
I'd recommend getting an interface and connecting the mic to that interface.
As for the particular mic...well I've used a Rode NT1A a lot in the past in various smaller project studios and it worked great for my needs. They all kinda sound different and some are better than others.
Also check out other sites as well:
I've bought a lot of gear from the site I've linked to, and sometimes you get great deals.
As for other mics I've used the behringer stuff (believe it or not) as well and it worked great. I've also used the high end stuff a lot but generally a great converter can make a big difference so get a good interface :)
Ok, so firstly.. thanks to everyone that chimed in with some advice :)
I've taken the plunge and bought the NI audio interface as well as the mic bundle.. I've also taken PJB's advice on the MIDI keyboard and opted for a 49 key Nektar impact LX49+ which integrates with my DAW
On top of that I've also gone and gotten my first ever pair of studio monitors... some KRK Rokit RP5 G3's
If it turns out I've made a huge mistake, I figure I can always sell them on.
I've also just bought myself a new PC.. the best one I've ever owned...
HOPEFULLY I benefit from this little spending spree lol
Thanks again guys :)
Cool stuff man!! with all that gear you'll definitely be able to get further into that nebulous mass we call music, KRK Rokit 5's (great choice excellent bang for the buck) I'd listen to heaps of mixes from artists you particularly like then you'll get a good working reference to go by, I had a pair of 5 G1's and loved their sound, I found putting some $20 foam isolation pads under them improved their bass response and tone....rock on! do people still say that? ;)
They do in the land of Oz apparently ;)
As for isolation pads, I've ordered some free-standing monitor stands to put the KRK's on.. hopefully that should be enough for the job.. if not, I know where to come asking questions haha
Congrats on the purchases mate! Get a sub for those Krk's and they will rock. We have a pair of the 8" version in the studio and they are great with the sub for checking the low end. And avoid placing them in the corner of the room.
Now go and make some music!!
I did take a look at subs on gear4music.com ... the subs on offer start from £170 and the prices rise too steeply for me to consider.
If you know of a reasonably priced sub that performs reasonably well, I'm open to suggestions :)
dont forget Black Friday coming up in about a months time. lots of good deals out there. i save a lot of money buying gear last year.
Ill get a blog post going soon so people can list the best deals they have found
Just a quick update..
Everything is here and is set up.. had a few issues trying to get the mic stand set up but got there in the end... absolutely LOVE the KRK's... definitely don't need a sub.. my neighbours will hate me now :D
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