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Author Topic: deciding between Keystep and Minilab MKII (for use with DAWs & Akai S3000XL)  (Read 102 times)

muskelkater82

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Hi everyone. This is a newbie post, please excuse any obvious or redundant questions...

I recently got given an old Akai S3000XL. At the same time I'm on the verge of buying a midi keyboard. And I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this:

My intention is to use the keyboard as an interface for Logic and possibly other DAWs. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to use the S3000XL, or even how much use I'll get out of it. But the option to control it via the midi interface would be good.

I'm currently torn between the Keystep and the Minilab MKII. I'm no keyboard maestro, so 25 / 31 keys are both ok I think.

I like the assignable knobs on the Minilab, but it looks like it's really designed for laptop musicians. I see a pedal out but I can't find any info on whether there's a way to convert that to a midi out. I don't really need the pads. I have a Korg PadKontrol and I think that covers the pads just fine for now.

On the other hand, the Keystep looks like it's intended for a workflow that sits comfortably with both DAWs and hardware. All my other gear has at least a midi in/out.

It's weird. The Minilab feels like an attempt at an all-in-one solution, but only if your needs go through USB. I could see myself possibly buying both products, or the Keystep and the Beatstep Pro at some point in the future. Bearing in mind I'd like to keep a small, mobile setup.

Can anyone give me some advice? Which of these products would be most versatile? Do you have any experience using any of these with both Logic / other DAWs and a hardware sampler? Or should I just suck it up and buy everything....

Thanks in advance, hope my question makes sense!

gphantom

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Well, I can only tell you what I wanted in the first place.  I already bought a keylab essential 49 key controller and it works fine.  I don't have a need for the pads but I do like the keyboard.  However, when going to the cottage, it is still rather large and bulky which is why I got the Keystep.  After doing a bit of research, I settled for the keystep because of the price and some of the features I was looking for.  Since I wanted something small, the 35 key controller with smaller keys was ideal since I wanted it mostly to compose music (since I don't play the keyboard as well as I'd like, composing is the best I can do for now, which is why It was suggested that I get the 49 key keylab essential instead of the 61 key controller.  Good advice.)
I saw that the keystep also had aftertouch which intrigued me and, it was also a 64 step sequencer and arpegiator.  The sequencer is nice since I can program a series of steps in order to play them back to the DAW without too much editing of the length of the notes.
The other interesting feature is the Mod and Pitch strips instead of actual wheels.  I was able to use the mod strip as a miniature glide stick used by Keith Emerson in order to stretch some sounds with my finger.

In any case, that's what I was looking for and am content with the keystep for the time being.  As I practice my keyboard playing, I eventually will get a 61 key controller to expand the number of octaves.

 

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