Jalmus become really interesting with a MIDI keyboard connected to computer. Pianists could improve their sight-reading by playing on their electronic keyboard.
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MIDI Master keyboards
A master keyboard or controller keyboard is a keyboard which itself produces no sound, but sends MIDI note data electronically to an external sound module, other keyboards, or even a computer.
It’s the ideal keyboard for music education software like Jalmus, software synthesizer like Pianoteq, samplers like Linuxsampler, East West Quantum Leap Pianos or Synthogy Ivory II and other virtual instruments.
The main advantages of these keyboards are their low weight and price. Last keyboards use USB for MIDI communication and power : you have only one cable to plug.
M-AUDIO KEYSTATION 88ES
M-AUDIO 88ES is the cheapest and lightest 88 keys masterkeyboard. It is sufficient for Jalmus or studio software but the keyboard action ’semi-weighted’ is really bad for pianists. If you are interested to play classical piano with software synthesizers, it’s not a good choice.
For Jalmus the M-AUDIO 61ES keyboard is less expensive and sufficient.
Three version of FATAR STUDIOLOGIC NUMA are available. They have all of them a very good progressive hammer-action keys, a touch sensitive user interface, a graphic LCD display allows clear and efficient programming and a very useful advanced customizable velocity response system.
NUMA is the most complete version with graduated hammer action keybed (TP/400)
NUMA NERO is the same with wood keys (TP4OWOOD)
NUMA NANO is the lighter version with keys hammer action keybed (TP/100LR) and a weight of only 22 lbs (kg 10,0).
With the "you-play" function to adapt velocity curve , the NUMA NANO is the best choice to play virtual pianos.
All the other keyboard controllers on Music Keyboards Guide.
Unlike master keyboards synthesizer generates any kind off sound (real instruments, percussion, virtual instruments …) by creating waveforms electronically (such as subtractive or FM synthesis) or from stored samples of musical instruments (wave table synthesis). Most of them can be used like a controller keyboard.
All Synthesizer on Musical Keyboards Guide.
Stage Piano and Compact Digital Piano
These pianos are an alternative to traditional pianos. The digital piano is for home and also designed to look like an acoustic piano. The stage piano is designed for use in live onstage performances by professional musicians.
Unlike synthesizer stage pianos usually provide a small number of keyboard sounds (acoustic piano, electric piano, organ …).
Digital pianos have many advantages over acoustic pianos : not require tuning, silent play with headphone, MIDI implementation to use it like controller keyboard …
YAMAHA STAGE PIANO
Yamaha P95 seems to be an interesting choice. For a bit cheaper than master keyboard you have the Yamaha quality of hammer action and piano sound.
Yamaha P155 have a better action but much more heavy and expensive than P85.
The FATAR NUMA PIANO have the same Hammeraction (TP100LR) than masterkeyboard NANO with 12 sounds (Grand Piano, Bright Piano, E Piano 1-3, Clavi …).
ROLAND FP7 is a solid piano stage with many features and great sounds.
All the other compact piano on Music Keyboards Guide.