1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
12/8/21 12:51 p.m.

Not in my wheelhouse.  Anyone got any experience?  I think this is a product my son was showing an interest in:

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards-midi/novation-launchpad-x-pad-controller/l68043000000000?pfm=arecs

 

launchpad

barefootskater5000
barefootskater5000 PowerDork
12/8/21 1:06 p.m.

I'm not exactly in my comfort zone here, but a few years ago I bought an akai mini. Never got around to learning it and gifted it to my brother last year. 
Like this

Seemed to be a good mix of familiar and space-age. Some of the demo videos were really awesome. 

bgkast
bgkast PowerDork
12/8/21 3:29 p.m.
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/8/21 4:23 p.m.

That's basically just a MIDI controller. It's not much good if you don't have something for it to talk to that actually does something. What does your son want to do? Does he already have Garage Band or Ableton Live or some sort of DAW or a synth?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
12/8/21 4:30 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

He's got nothing but a fairly capable Windows PC and an interest in music and some skill at the piano.  I was looking for something for him to twiddle with, put together some tracks, whatever it's called. laugh

barefootskater5000
barefootskater5000 PowerDork
12/8/21 4:42 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

The akai is pretty much ready to go from the box. I was running it in garage band but it'll talk to just about any program. There are free ones that are good, but I've been using Reaper which is technically $60 but you can use the demo for free. And a cheap plug-in package should get you all the sounds. All the midi controllers are more or less the same thing with differences in appearance and how many buttons you can assign. And how many colors flash when you push something. Or so I understand. Basically what Keith said, it's just a controller. But the software is cheap and usually pretty user friendly. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/9/21 10:19 a.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

I think the term you're looking for is Digital Audio Workstation. 

Start with the software. The blinky light keyboard is fun but useless without it. You can use a normal keyboard (typing, not music) and a mouse to control the software before you get blinky lights. And if he's got piano chops, I'd be tempted to get a cheap keyboard (music, not typing) as the controller because he'll have an easier time entering melodies if that's what he wants to do.

I've got Reaper but I just use it as a sequencer because that's all we had when I first got into sequencing. Haven't tried using it for real sound generation yet. Ableton seems to be the standard for this stuff, and Ableton Live is pretty affordable once the initial free demo expires.

I'd recommend you call up someone at Sweetwater. They're incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Ridiculously so.

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP HalfDork
12/9/21 10:47 a.m.

I picked up an Akai Mini midi keyboard a year or two ago on a Black Friday sale and it came with some software. 

When I went to pick it up (ordered online for store delivery) I saw some of those other midi controllers there that came with a copy of Ableton Live Lite and was priced at less than Ableton Live Lite for the pair, so may be worth looking into if the controllers come with a program.

I know I'm looking at Ableton Live Lite when I upgrade my PC to be able to run it unless I come across a controller that has an older version with it. 

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