Getting the right MIDI keyboard for your studio setup can be a daunting task; there are so many options available on the market. However, if there is one thing that is fun about owning a studio, it is going into a store to buy new studio gear.
First, make sure that all of the technical needs of your studio are being met. These days, it pays to have a USB drive as well as a disk drive for storing patches and effects strains. USB drives are much more adaptable between studios and you will be able to collaborate and share sounds at the drop of a hat.
Get a keyboard with the appropriate number of MIDI connections for you. Do you just need one in one out? Or do you need a THRU connection as well? Or do you need two sets of in / out connectors? Most studios, even home or project studios, with more than one keyboard would benefit from having the main MIDI keyboard have at least a THRU connection.
Get the right keyboard for your audio editing program. Make sure that the patches and the settings are easily compatible. Everything is going virtual these days, and if you can use your MIDI keyboard for its own sounds as well as for any virtual synths you may attach to your audio editor, then you can expand your sound bank indefinitely for no extra expenditure.
Once all of the techical aspects have been met, and your selection narrowed down thusly, it is time to select from that smaller set the keyboard that is artistically right for you.
Are you performing mostly for church services? You would probably do best getting the absolute best piano / harpsichord / organ MIDI keyboard that you can. If you are doing more secular, popular music, you might be better off with a true synthesizer with more preset patches and oscillators to play with.
Usually, keyboards fall under two main categories – those made to emulate analog synths and those made to sound more “synthetic.” Usually, analog synth keyboards have all of the controls – oscillators, filters, and amps – on the outside as physical knobs for easy movement. These sounds are best for indie pop, rap, grunge, and dubstep.
The more synthetic keyboards are full of presets and the presets may have effects already preprogrammed as well. This type of keyboard works well for producers who are more arrangers, and less sound tweakers. These MIDI keyboards work the best for genres like rock, trance, and classical.