Still Standing

So it appears that despite weeks of neglect, the old blog is still standing. Guess I should post something before the tumbleweeds start to clog up the server.

One of the reasons for the dearth of posts lately is the new toy I received for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. The M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 is a MIDI controller with a full-sized, hammer weighted keyboard. I cleaned some junk out of my office so I could set it up (on its stand) next to my computer desk. When seated in from of the iMac, the keyboard is on my left.

A little over a year ago, when Garageband was released, I immediately ordered a copy. I picked up an M-Audio KeyStation 61 from eBay. At first I played with it alot, and even posted a song. But eventually, I used it less and less.

There were a couple of contributing factors. The primary reason was that my only Mac at the time was a laptop without a permanent location, and my keyboard also had no place to live. Everytime I wanted to make some music, I had to clear everything off the family room coffee table and drag out the keyboard, laptop, cables, headphones, etc. The other factor was the keyboard itsself. I’m no virtuoso pianist (quite far from it), but I’ve played a real piano since I was a kid, and I just couldn’t get used to the plastic, spring loaded keys on that keyboard.

The new setup has fixed all of these problems. With the iMac on my desk and the keyboard to the left, everything is always setup when I want to sit down and play. And the size and feel of the keyboard have made a huge difference.

I haven’t composed/recorded much so far. I started out working on a few melodies I had in my head, but quickly found that both my piano muscles and my music theory muscles had long atrophied from lack of use. Mostly I’ve been practicing various piano music I had on hand and working through various “How to play” books that focus on fake-book style playing, refreshing my knowledge of chords, progressions, etc. The important thing is, I’m having alot of fun doing it. The composing/recording will come in its own time.

In the near future, I hope to post a review of the keyboard, Garageband 2, JamPack 4, etc. For those of you who don’t care about such things, I’ll try to get back to posting other things as well. The one down side of my new setup is that when I come sit down to catch up on my blog reading and maybe post something, it’s very easy to flip on the keyboard and make some music instead.

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4 Responses to “Still Standing”

  1. effika Says:

    I think as long as you post some of those tunes, we can go without so much blogging. Glad to see an update, though. :-)

  2. Moises Salmeron Says:

    HEY!!! ME TOO (KEYSTATION PRO 88)<br/>

    Hi man!!

    I don’t know why, was browsing thru the web about my Keystation Pro 88 contorller, bumped at your site and your comment.

    It’s nice that you love the Keystation. I do too :)

    I was a bit concerned about negative reviews online about this product, but then I decided to trust blindfolded and buy it (the main dealer is 300 kms away my place), so they sent it to my home studio, had it switched on, played great!! I grew to learn it and love it. It’s just soooo nice the 88-key hammer action, I can’t see why some users out there are nitpicking the thing to death :(

    Anyway, I am happy that you are happy with the KeyPro 88! I also read your comments about “returning to piano playing” after some time of not playing… That’s AWESOME, man!!! I feel much the same!

    Well, feel free to drop me an email when you feel like. I think we could share some experience with music gear. I live in Granada (beautiful city south Spain, with both highest mountains in Spain and the beaches an hour nearby hehe). I don’t know if you were here sometime, anyway thanks for your time and let’s hope we can exchange some music anecdotes and stuff.

    OK gotta go play my Keystation!! LOL ;) Yep, I am a bit addicted to it hehe… It’s great gear. And sits nicely in my home studio (just finished building it hehe,,, has nice acoustic isolation and stuff.. I’ll tell you more stories later on…)

    Regards from Spain dude!

    MOISES SALMERON moises@atc.ugr.es

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