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midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

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midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

Postby damuehlbauer » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:07 am

I am in the very early stages of building a virtual theater organ. I have one M-Audio keystation 61 and was looking to purchase two more. I stumbled across the Midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller on Amazon for quite a bit less and it seems to have the required functionality. I was wondering if anyone else had purchased and used these and could give me some feedback on them.
Last edited by damuehlbauer on Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

Postby engrssc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:54 am

I have no experience regarding the midi controller you mentioned. Just a word of caution, there are some keyboards that claim to do the tech stuff, but from a player (organist) point of view, don't have a good "feel" to them. Esp true with many plastic keyed (toy) imports. Likewise, some of these keyboards have non standard individual key (physical) sizes. Problem comes when you can't try them out before you buy. Posting the question(s) here is a good idea in that regard.

BTW, Amazon's $99 (with free shipping) price seems to be the best currently available.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

Postby magnaton » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:17 am

If you are able to do a free return on this Amazon controller, it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. Then you can compare the touch between it and your current M-Audio board. With Hauptwerk you can mix and match a lot of MIDI and audio components which in itself can be fun but eventually you'd want to have some conformity with all keyboards having the same touch & feel.

On a personal note, I auditioned the M-Audio Keystation and Behringer UMX610 side by side. After playing both over a long weekend, the UMX610 won out as having a more convincing organ touch. It also had 8 buttons on top that can be mapped to pistons which I loved. This was a few years ago and the price difference was only $25. The caveat on the UMX610 is it has some round knobs that stick up making stacking them a challenge and the distance between the keyboards will be wider than expected. To compensate, a few forum members here have removed the keyboard assemblies from the cases and fashioned their own stack. Nevertheless the space doesn't seem to bother this organist who has posted several wonderful videos with 2 UMX610s placed in a Alborn console:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MGqZyM3dBU

Danny B.
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Re: midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

Postby 1961TC4ME » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:53 pm

I have 3 of the earlier Keystation 61es, it looks like Guitar Center still has them in stock @ $169.99. Looking at the i61, it appears to just be a newer version, but mostly the same functions as the 61es.

Looking closely at the pictures I do see that the i61 key fronts are definitely different (shorter like a regular organ key) than those of the 61es which are more piano like and have a larger waterfall front end to them. I took the key beds out of their cases and mounted them in a 3 row key stack I made. I left the fronts of the keys as is and they work / look just fine. The 61es keys are also supposedly weighted but I wouldn't say that's exactly the case, I don't see any mention of weighted keys in the info on the i61. Just pointing out the differences I (potentially) see if the newer version's keys and so on do not match up with the older.

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Re: midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

Postby damuehlbauer » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:05 pm

How long have you had the 61es keyboards and are you happy with their performance?
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Re: midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

Postby engrssc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:03 pm

To add to Marc's comments, I've found (sometimes regretfully) that it's best to get all of each component at the same time and if at all possible from the same source. Even if it means having to wait awhile until being able to afford some other item. In most cases, I don't buy just one of anything. Have found after some time, if, for any reason a replacement or addition is needed, going back to find "that" item have found that "it" may not be available (any more). :o

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Re: midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

Postby 1961TC4ME » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:43 pm

damuehlbauer wrote:How long have you had the 61es keyboards and are you happy with their performance?


Honestly, for 'on a budget' keyboards the 61es are hard to beat. I bought my first one about 8 years ago, then the other 2 about 4 years ago and especially the first one, has taken its fair share of abuse, its been played a lot! I've had zero issues with them. The keys are well fixed and mounted on a sturdy frame that lends itself to being a very nice candidate for robbing the entire key setup intact with frame from its case for a straightforward DIY key stack setup, and is very plug and play friendly as well. The keys at first do feel a bit chunky, you quickly get over that, and I actually now like their action and overall feel better than some of the organs I've had a chance to play that undoubtedly have much more expensive keyboards.

Looking at the i61 again I'd bet it's also a cheaper version of the 61es, probably largely in the key / frame construction areas and probably has that cheap, flimsy lightweight keyboard feel to it, but I could be wrong. I thought I was once, but turned out it was a mistake. :mrgreen:

I'd be happy to share measurements and what I did etc. with my trio of 61es if you're interested.

Marc
Last edited by 1961TC4ME on Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: midiplus i61 USB MIDI Keyboard controller

Postby organtechnology » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:59 pm

These are from the original Chinese manufacturer of the M-Audio keyboards. They started with Midiman which then became M-Audio and when the M-Audio company was sold they created the Midiplus brand which is basically an 61es re-packeged. I think they will feel like a 61es.

Thomas

edit: They look like non waterfall key fronts too.

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