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Author Topic: Perfect computer keyboards for tracking  (Read 4345 times)

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Saga Musix

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Perfect computer keyboards for tracking
« on: August 13, 2010, 13:09:54 »

Most people here who're into tracking might be confronted with a common problem called ghosting. That means if you press several keys at the same time, only two or three of them are actually detected, so you can't play complicated chords on your computer keyboard. Sadly, most keyboards these days have this problem due to the cheap circuitry used - this issue was less common back then when trackers were still cool. :P
However, there are still a few keyboards with anti-ghosting technology being sold, and I recently decided to go for one as I wasn't really able to play complicated chords in OpenMPT.

I decided to go for a M$ Sidewinder X4, which currently seems to be the only keyboard which costs less than 50€ (the next more expensive ones cost more than 100€, I think) and has full anti-ghosting (there seem to be a few with 5-key rollover for about 30€, though). Naturally, most anti-ghosting keyboards these days are designed with gamers in mind, not trackers, so most of them also have 365887326 extra keys which noone needs. The X4 has surprisingly few of them, only the typical media buttons, a calculator button and six macro keys (thought about using them for tracking and coding, but I don't know what to use them for yet ;D). The key labels are backlit, which is a very nice thing (the lights can also be turned off, of course), and the keyboard has a wrist rest which cannot be removed. It has a standard layout, which is very important for me (no keys reordered) and the keys have a good "grip". It was a very good decision to make the macro keys more flat than the other keys, so it's really not possible to confuse them with the Ctrl/Shift/Caps/Tab buttons. All in all, I can say that this was a real bargain for being a really good tracking keyboard.

So, are any of you using keyboards with anti-ghosting, and which? Do you use any other fancy features useful for tracking?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 13:43:26 by Saga Musix »
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m0d

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Re: Perfect computer keyboards for tracking
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2010, 02:40:04 »

I bought one on your recommendation. I will get my hands on it in about 3 weeks :-)
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Oliwerko

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Re: Perfect computer keyboards for tracking
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 10:40:58 »

Isn't it better to buy a cheaper MIDI keyboard that spares you all of these problems for a similar price?
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Saga Musix

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Re: Perfect computer keyboards for tracking
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 12:38:55 »

Dude, I have a 61-key synth. Yet it's impractical to use this for smashing rhythms and small melodies in the pattern editor. I mostly use it for experimenting, but for daily tracking work, a PC keyboard is easier to handle.
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Re: Perfect computer keyboards for tracking
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 09:14:24 »

Same, plus I have an R25, but this means I don't have to constantly switch input devices, plus slipping in a slim keyboard into the backpack to take to a party is pretty nice, plus IRCing in the dark ftw :-) I cant touch type :D
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Re: Perfect computer keyboards for tracking
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 14:13:28 »

Also, on a PC keyboard, you can easily play 3-octave chords with one hand, I want to see you doing that on a real manual. :>
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