My Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad T530: i7-3820QM – 16GB – Full HD

thinkpad-t530-300x225This is my new laptop!! Lenovo Thinkpad T530 !!

What caracteristics are necesary for making music? These are:

Processor capacity: in general, Intel i5 or i7 should be enough, but you can check in this link the real capacity of the processor. My new laptop has a “CPU Mark” of 8,819, which is one of the tops in the market right now.

Another important feature is the RAM. At least, 8GB, better 16GB.

Screen resolution!! Really important, so you can have more screen to see your musical productions. Full HD is really important.

So, I really happy with my new Lenovo. I am using Lenovo Thinkpad since 1999, and never let me down.

What do you think?

¿Cannot find M-audio ProKeys 88sx? Look at M-Audio Keystation 88ES Midi Controller

Who could tell!!! Prokeys 88sx is not longer in the market, as long as I know…

But the m-audio KeyStation 88es is truly a great replacement. I really like that controller. Is a little heavier than ProKeys 88sx, but it is a great buy.

You can read the review here or you can go directly to amazon and buy it.

 

Must Read: m-audio ProKeys 88 and ProKeys 88sx review

ProKeys 88 - 88-Key Hammer-Action Premium Stage Piano

ProKeys 88 – 88-Key Hammer-Action Premium Stage Piano

ProKeys 88sx - 88-Key Lightweight Stage Piano with Semi-Weighted Action

ProKeys 88sx – 88-Key Lightweight Stage Piano with Semi-Weighted Action

M-Audio ProKeys 88 and ProKeys 88sx review
First of all, these pianos are NOT the same. Both are excellent piano, but for different people.

You can buy both, m-audio ProKeys 88 and ProKeys 88sx in Amazon, and if you look at the prices, you can tell the difference: ProKeys 88 costs $300 more than ProKey 88sx.

Both are great Piano, with excellent sounds, both have the quality and durability that m-audio always offer. Also, both pianos are really great USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, so you can use the built-in sounds or you can connect them via its USB port to your laptop, PC or Mac and play the instruments of your favorite DAW (Propellerhead Reason, Cubase, Sonar, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, GarageBand, etc).

Also, as a piano, they have terrific built-in sounds and excellent effects, great polyphony and 3 different velocity curves, so you can find the one that fix with your play-style.

And, of course, the fact of 88-keys it is really awesome, you can play everything without changing octaves.

¿But, how to choose one or another? If you want something lightweight (17 lbs. or 8 Kg.) and semi-weighted action keys is ok for you (for most musicians it is ok), then M-audio ProKeys 88sx should be your choice.
But, if you want hammer action keys, so you can get the feeling of playing a real piano, and you are trained to play it (because for those who are not, like me, those hammer action keys would be really a pain), then, you must have M-audio ProKeys 88.

These are the main features:

M-audio ProKeys 88sx – 88-Key
Lightweight Stage Piano with Semi-Weighted Action
M-audio ProKeys 88 – 88-Key Graded
Hammer-Action Premium Stage Piano
88-note velocity-sensitive,
semi-weighted action
88-key graded hammer-action keyboard
7 premium sounds accessed via
dedicated buttons*:
- Piano1: grand piano with 2 velocity layers
- Piano2: bright grand piano
- E Piano1: electric piano based on Fender Rhodes (2 velocity layers)
- E Piano2: electric piano based on Wurlitzer (2 velocity layers)
- FM Piano: classic electric piano based on Yamaha DX7
- Perc Organ: organ based on Hammond B3
- Clav: instrument sound based on Hohner Clavinet D6
*This product is not connected with, or approved or endorsed by, the owners
of the Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Clavinet, B3, and DX7 names. These names are used
solely to identify the instruments emulated by ProKeys 88sx.
large 64MB sound bank with masterfully tweaked samples of 14
world-class instruments*:
- Piano1: stereo grand piano based on Yamaha C7
- Piano2: bright grand piano
- E Piano1: electric piano
- E Piano2: electric piano based on Wurlitzer
- FM Piano1: bright, classic electric piano based on Yamaha DX7
- FM Piano2: warm, classic electric piano based on Yamaha DX7
- Clav: instrument sound based on Hohner Clavinet D6
- Vibes: vibes with hybrid mallets
- Organ1: percussion organ based on Hammond B3
- Organ2: rock organ based on Hammond B3
- A Bass: acoustic upright bass**
- E Bass: fingered electric bass (including harmonics) – optional ride
cymbal layer
- Strings: orchestral strings
- Warm Pad: warm, lush synth pad
*This product is not connected with, or approved or endorsed by, the owners
of the Wurlitzer, Clavinet, B3, and DX7 names. These names are used solely to
identify the instruments emulated by ProKeys 88.
126-note maximum polyphony 126-note polyphony
reverb and chorus effects 3 reverb spaces plus chorus and tremolo
pitch bend and modulation wheels pitch and modulation wheels
volume/assignable control slider dedicated volume faders for master, layer and split
advanced function button for
programming
dedicated
button to instantly recall single-layer stereo grand piano
dedicated remote MIDI controller buttons including:
• MIDI Clock Stop/Start
• Tempo control for MIDI Clock including tap tempo feature
• Program Change
• Channel
• Bank LSB
• Bank MSB
• Local On/Off
12-key data entry pad with 3-digit LED screen
sustain, sostenuto and expression
pedal inputs (includes SP-1 sustain pedal)
sustain, sostenuto and expression pedal inputs (SP-2 sustain
pedal included).
3 velocity curves plus fixed
velocity to optimize feel
3 velocity curves plus fixed velocity to optimize feel
stereo 1/4″ audio outputs stereo out (1/4” unbalanced)
2 stereo 1/4″ headphone
outputs on front
stereo headphone out (1/4” TRS)
+/- octave transpose keys +/- octave transpose keys
built-in USB MIDI interface built-in USB MIDI interface
MIDI Out jack to control external
MIDI gear
MIDI In/Out jacks to interface with external MIDI gear
Mac OS X and Windows XP
class-compliant for plug-and-play operation
class-compliant drivers for Windows XP and Mac OS X
General MIDI compliant General MIDI-compliant
self-demo mode self-demo mode
includes power supply includes power supply
2-stage equalizer to easily optimize tone
lightweight—just 17 pounds
Size: 54 x 10 x 3.5 inches; 137 x
25.4 x 8.9 cm
Size: 57 x 13 x 5.9 inches; 144.8 x 33 x 14.9
cm
Weight: 17.32 lbs; 7.86 kgr. Weight: 48 lbs; 21 kgr.

You can buy the M-Audio PROKEYS 88SX 88-Key Lightweight Stage Piano with Semi-Weighted Action and the M-Audio ProKeys Premium Stage Piano (ProKeys 88) in Amazon, on-sale.

See what others are saying about the M-Audio PROKEYS 88SX 88-Key Lightweight Stage Piano.

Good quality for the price
By Adam Perry (Seattle)
I’ve been using this keyboard for about a month now. I was pleased that it comes with a USB cable to let you port your masterpieces to your computer as well as a sustain pedal. The sound quality is surprisingly good: when you hit a high note, you’ll swear you can hear the hammer hitting the cord. If I have a complaint with this piano, it’s that the included pedal isn’t very responsive and will often fail to recognize that you are standing on it. Perhaps this is because I’m using it on carpet? In any case, the pedal was free, so I can’t complain.
Review Paraphrased for size – view original review here

See what others are saying about the M-Audio ProKeys Premium Stage Piano (ProKeys 88).

Awesome
By William (atlanta)
I had a casio with about 66 keys… i wanted something with awesome sound quality that i could take to a nice hotel and just set up and play…i also wanted something that could hook up to my macbook as a midi controller.

this thing is awesome. yes the keys seem heavy, but to me it just feels like im really playing a piano…
Review Paraphrased for size – view original review here

Top-class M-Audio Axiom Pro 61 MIDI Controller. All you need to know

M-Audio AXIOM Pro 61 USB MIDI Controller Review

This is an excellent Keyboard Controller!! But be careful, don’t get confuse, there are 3 MIDI Controllers with the name Axiom 61:

    M-Audio Axiom Pro 61

  • Axiom 61 (2006).
  • Axiom 61, 2nd gen (2010).
  • Axiom Pro 61 (2009).

You can check the review of the Axiom 61 here. And now let’s talk about the top-class MIDI Controller from M-Audio: Axiom Pro 61.What I have to say about this Keyboard Controller, is quality. Not only has semi-weighted keys, but also has its technology TruTouch. The Axiom Pro 61 is really great for those who care a lot about expressive playing.

More over, with the HyperLink functionality, you can control almost EVERYTHING in your DAW (ProTools, Reason, Cubase). Just imagine, you can access the shorcuts of these software packages, like copy-paste, save, etc. It also includes the ability of two-way sync, so, when you adjust the pan of your instrument in your DAW, it also gets updated in the Axiom Pro.

And, of course, you have all the features of the Axiom 61, 2nd gen. I recommend to buy it in Amazon… As always, they have the better prices. Just click here.

Let’s check the main features:

  • 61 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch and multiple selectable velocity response curves.
  • Eight programmable “endless” knobs featuring non-détented encoders with customizable acceleration curves. These knobs can be configured to use any of seven popular increment/decrement methods to ensure compatibility with virtually any application that supports “endless” encoders. The knobs can also function as standard MIDI controllers with a range of 0 to 127.
  • Eight Velocity or pressure sensitive trigger pads that can be programmed to send MIDI note, Continuous Controller (CC), and other useful messages. Additionally, these pads feature multiple selectable velocity response curves.
  • Six Transport control buttons.
  • Nine 40mm sliders.
  • 128×64 Graphic LCD.
  • 50 Memory Locations to store customized patches.
  • Quick recall of 4 “profiles” of knobs and pads, effectively providing fast access to 32 knobs and 32 pads.
  • HyperControl Mode for bi-directional communication allowing synchronized control over major DAW applications, virtual instruments, and plug-ins.
  • ASCII keystroke messages can be sent from the controller for extended control of your applications.
  • Sustain and Expression Pedal inputs.
  • Four user definable keyboard zones.
  • MIDI input and output ports on rear panel for connecting hardware MIDI devices.
  • USB 2.0 compatible (also supports USB 1.1 and 1.0).
  • USB powered operation, or DC Adapter (sold separately).
  • 38.4 x 11.2 x 2.6 (inches); 97.6 x 28.5 x 6.6 (cm)
  • 20 lbs; 10 Kg.

Supported DAWs for HyperControl

  • Ableton Live 7.0.15 and later
  • Apple Logic Pro 8.02 and later (Apple Logic Pro 9.1 only 32-bits. Logic Express not supported)
  • Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 and higher
  • Pro Tools LE 7.4 and higher
  • Propellerhead Reason 4.x
  • Propellerhead Record 1.0.1
  • Steinberg Cubase 4.x
  • Steinberg Cubase 5.x (only full version)

You can buy, on-sale, M-Audio Axiom Pro 61 USB MIDI Controller 2nd gen, in Amazon, just click here.

Look what people say about this great Keyboard Controller:

WIll Chance

I chose the Axiom Pro 61 mainly for its portability since I will soon have a surgery with a long recovery period and I wanted to still be able to play music even when I’m stuck in bed. I particularly like the sliders, they provide smooth action with enough resistance for good feel. The knobs, pads, and buttons are completely satisfactory ad the semi weighted keys are great. The fact that it can be powered through USB means that I can grab my laptop and Axiom Pro and make music anywhere I please.

Review Paraphrased for size – view original review here.

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You must read this before buying M-Audio Axiom 61

M-Audio AXIOM 61 USB MIDI Controller Review

This is an excellent Keyboard Controller!! But be careful, there are three different models with the name Axiom 61:

  1. Axiom 61 (2006).
  2. Axiom 61 (2006)

  3. Axiom 61, 2nd gen (2010).
  4. Axiom Pro 61 (2009).

We are going to leave the Axiom Pro 61 review for another post. But let’s just say that is the top-class m-audio Keyboard Controller, and the more expensive (but, yet, you can find it at great price in Amazon)

Axiom 61, both, first and second generation, is one of the best in class Keyboard Controller. It has all that you will need to get the most from your music software and from your MIDI gear: beginning with semi-weighted keys, lots of knobs and sliders, and also drum/trigger pads.

This Axiom USB MIDI Controller is full of cool stuff: 9 velocity curves, 10 trigger pad sensibility options, 4 knob acceleration options, assignable after touch, and a lot, a lot more.

If you want this Controller, you can buy it online: Axiom 61 2nd gen (2010) here, and Axiom 61 (2006) here.

These are the main features of the Axiom 61 (1st and 2nd generation):

  • 61-note keyboard versions.
  • Axiom 61, 2da gen (2010)

  • 8 fully programmable endless rotary encoders, MIDI re-assignable. Rotary encoders can be programmed to use any of six popular increment/decrement methods for compatibility with virtually all software with encoder support. The encoders can also function as standard MIDI controllers with a range of 0 to 127.
  • 8 fully programmable sample trigger pads, MIDI re-assignable. Trigger pads respond to velocity or pressure and can be programmed to either send MIDI note data or controller messages, allowing for full control over all your software samplers, for triggering loops and much more.
  • 9 fully assignable 40mm sliders, MIDI re-assignable.
  • 9 Fader buttons, MIDI re-assignable.
  • Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels; MIDI re-assignable.
  • Octave/Transpose buttons.
  • 6 Transport buttons; MIDI re-assignable.
  • 4 programmable Keyboard Zones.
  • Expression pedal socket (expression pedal not included).
  • Sustain pedal socket (sustain pedal not included).
  • Fully programmable monophonic aftertouch.
  • A range of different acceleration curves for the encoders for realistic dial control.
  • Null mode – for full parameter recall with each preset.
  • Controller Mute – reposition controllers without affecting your software.
  • Easy to program controls can be assigned to a vast range of MIDI messages including MIDI controller messages, GM/GS/XG SysEx messages, NRPN/RPN messages, channel aftertouch, program/bank changes, note messages and more.
  • Class-compliant with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X
  • LCD Screen.
  • USB 1.1 port to connect the Axiom to a computer. The keyboard can also be powered from the USB port, so no additional power supply is required.
  • MIDI IN and MIDI OUT ports for connecting external MIDI gear.
  • Size: 38.4 x 11.2 x 2.6 inches; 97.6 x 28.5 x 6.6 (cm)
  • Weight: 11.7 pounds; 5.3kg

And these are the main features added in Axiom 61 2nd gen.

  • DirectLink – Automatic mapping of top panel controls to qualified DAWs:
    • Ableton Live 8.1.4
    • Apple GarageBand ‘09
    • Logic Pro 9.1 (only 32 bits)
    • Pro Tools M-Powered 8.0.4 and higher
    • Pro Tools LE 8.0.4 and higher
    • Propellerhead Reason 4
    • Propellerhead Record 1.x (not 1.5)
    • Steinberg Cubase 5.5 (full version only)
  • USB 2.0 port to connect the Axiom to a computer. The keyboard can also be powered from the USB port, so no additional power supply is required.
  • Better feeling in keys, sliders and knobs.

You can buy, on-sale, M-Audio Axiom 61 USB MIDI Controller 2nd gen, in Amazon, just click here. I don’t know how, but Amazon has always great prices.

Also, you can find, Axiom 61 (2006) at an incredible price, in this link.

Look what people say about this great Keyboard Controller:

Dave (USA)

I bought this so I could use it for controlling midi in a sequencer, which I have never done before getting this, and also for learning to play the keyboard. It works as advertised with ableton live lite 7, it is pretty easy to figure out how to setup the controls. The velocity sensitive keys work good, the sliders that people say feel cheap do in fact feel cheap but it doesnt really affect their performance, they work just fine. The knobs work well for controlling the pan of the channel, and the drum pads work for controlling drums, although I dont find them to be necessary as this can also be done using the velocity sensitive keys. Overall the keyboard feels pretty solid, I am glad I went with this one instead of a cheaper one.

View original review here.

Akai Pro LPK25: Is it really for you?

Akai Pro LPK25 Review:

If you don’t want to lose a moment of inspiration, and yearn to make music anytime, anywhere, this USB MIDI Keyboard Controller is for you!

The great thing is that Akai LPK25 really fits in your laptop bag!! It’s more or less of the size of a netbook (maybe with a little more length and with less width), and weight less than a pound (0.4 kg). So, if you can carry your laptop, you can also carry your LPK25.

Another cool fact is that it has a customizable arpeggiator and a sustain and latch button. These will bring your creativity to another level.

In Amazon is the top seller MIDI Controller, and for a good reason, you can save 54% of the price! You can buy it right now, clicking here.

Let’s check the main features of the Akai Professional LPK25:

  • Works with virtually all audio software.
  • 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys.
  • Arpeggiator, sustain button, octave up and down, and tap tempo controls.
  • Plug-and-play USB connection for Mac and PC. Requires no driver installation.
  • Four programmable memory banks.
  • Comes with editor software for Mac and PC.
  • USB bus powered. USB cable included.
  • Small enough to fit in a backpack or laptop bag.
  • 13-3/8″ x 3-13/16″ x 1-5/16″ 0.88 lbs. – 33.9cm x 9.7cm x 3.3cm 0.4kg

Amazon is a great place to buy this product. It’s on sale right now. Just click here.

People who buy the Akai LPK25 really love it. Look what they are saying:

Yucano (Tampa, FL, USA)

OVERALL IMPRESSION: NOT A TOY! This is an excellent songwriting tool, that makes music making on the go a reality. Not intended to replace your main MIDI controller. I LOVE THIS DEVICE!!

Review Shorten for size — view original review here.

M-audio 61es Review: Thinking on Buying the Keystation 61 es? Read this first.

The M-Audio Keystation 61es USB MIDI Keyboard Controller Review

The M-Audio Keystation 61es USB MIDI Keyboard Controller is a really great Keyboard.

If the 88es is too big for your studio or home, this one is a great choice.

The keys of the M-Audio 61es are velocity-sensitive and semi-weighted. This is the perfect intersection between the feeling of playing electronic music and classical music. The spring and velocity-sensitive is good enough for easy playing, and gives you enough room for expressing your feelings in performance.

And what I like the most, it is really portable. It only weights 11 lbs (5 kg) and you can power the Keystation 61es with just your USB cable and your laptop, PC or MAC (but you can still buy the 9VDC power adapter, if you want).

Buy it right now in Amazon, if you are ready, you can save US$55!

Take a look of the features:

  • 61-note velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted action
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheels
  • Volume/assignable control slider: you can use this slider to control de volume (default) or assign it to something else.
  • Advanced function button for programming.
  • Sustain pedal input (pedal sold separately).
  • Assignable data up/down buttons: It defaults to octave changing.
  • Built-in USB MIDI interface
  • MIDI out jack routes MIDI signals from keyboard or computer to external devices.
  • Powered via USB or 9VDC power adapter (sold separately)
  • Mac OS X, Windows XP and Windows Vista class compliant for plug-and-play operation.
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite music production software, so you can make music right away
  • 39″ x 9-3/8″ x 3-5/8″ 11 lbs. – 99.06cm x 23.81cm x 9.21cm 5kg

If you want to buy this keyword, in Amazon is really cheap, just click here.

Read what other people is saying about the m-audio 61 es

Sarah H.’s Son (Mesa, Colorado)

This keyboard had a great feel to it, once you get used to the slight springyness of the keys (as compared to a piano). Setup was incredibly easy, just plug it in and turn it on, USB powered. Works with Garage Band and Logic Pro.

Review Shorten for size — view original review here.

M-audio 88es Review: All you need to know Before Buying the Keystation 88 es

M-Audio Keystation 88es USB MIDI Keyboard Controller Review

The M-Audio Keystation 88es USB MIDI Keyboard Controller is truly amazing.

I really enjoy playing without the worry of changing octaves, and the 88-note allows that in all the cases (but just in case, you still have the octave +/- buttons). Also, 88-note keyboard give you the ability to assign, let’s say, 24 keys for the bass and the rest for the lead instrument.

But, if this keyboard is too big for your studio or home, you can buy the 61es.

The keys of the M-Audio 88es are velocity-sensitive and semi-weighted. This is the perfect intersection between the feeling of playing electronic music and classical music. The spring and velocity-sensitive is good enough for easy playing, and gives you enough room for expressing your feelings in performance.

And what I like the most, it is portable. It only weights 22 lbs (10 kg) and you can power the Keystation 88es with just your USB cable and your laptop, PC or MAC (but you can still buy the 9VDC power adapter, if you want).

This is the 88 key MIDI Controller best seller in Amazon. You can check it and buy it here.

Take a look of the features:

  • 88-note velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted action
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheels
  • Volume/assignable control slider: you can use this slider to control de volume (default) or assign it to something else.
  • Advanced function button for programming.
  • Sustain pedal input (pedal sold separately).
  • Assignable data up/down buttons: It defaults to octave changing.
  • Built-in USB MIDI interface
  • MIDI out jack routes MIDI signals from keyboard or computer to external devices.
  • Powered via USB or 9VDC power adapter (sold separately)
  • Mac OS X, Windows XP and Windows Vista class compliant for plug-and-play operation.
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite music production software, so you can make music right away
  • 53″ x 9.5″ x 4″ 22 lbs – 134.62cm x 24.13cm x 10.16cm

And the price in Amazon is ridiculous low. You will find no better 88 note keyboard, at this price.

Let me show you what current owners have to say about it

P. Wolke (NJ)

To put it simply, this is a very nice keyboard controller. When I was looking to replace my old Roland (very heavily) weighted keyboard piano, I was looking for some very specific things; 1)A unit in which the keys weren’t so heavily weighted 2)Did not need to have its own sound module built in. 3)A full range (88 keys).

I own a few other M-Audio products and have been very happy with them so it was an easy choice to consider them based on their high quality products.

Review Shorten for size — view original review here.