Good Keyboard with lights

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Posts: 13

Post by rbroders » 09-28-16 10:19 pm

I have been playing Synthesia with my Yamaha EZ-200 for several years and I really love it.

Only three problems:
Not full size: The key spread is 161mm instead of the standard 164-165mm
Not full range: only 61 keys
Non weighted keys: not very "piano like"

The only problem is I don't want to give up my lighted keys, and I can't find any "high" or even "medium" quality keyboard/pianos which have lighted keys.

However, I just discovered the "PianoMaestro" which is an LED strip you can attach to any (164mm) keyboard. It looks like Synthesia allows the MIDI output to be split so lights go to the PianoMaestro and everything else goes to the keyboard.

Is anyone else using this setup? How do you like it? Are there other alternatives so that I can get a medium-high quality keyboard and also keep my beloved lights?

Thanks -- Bob

Posts: 12328

Post by Nicholas » 09-28-16 11:36 pm

As far as I've heard, the PianoMaestro works just fine. I talked to the creator a few years back when he wanted to open the device up to work with any MIDI capable apps instead of just their proprietary app. Those conversations led to the PianoMaestro connector driver, which even features a Synthesia screenshots in the documentation on that page.

The only limitation is that the device itself only has 48 lights. So, if your stated goal is "full size but without compromising on lights", well... 48 is fewer than the 61 you have now.

This gets really expensive and it's only a MIDI controller (it doesn't produce sound on its own), but the Komplete Kontrol comes in 88 keys with 88 lights. It's more of a sound engineer's or composer's keyboard than someone using it educationally. And, frustratingly, Native Instruments hasn't opened their API to third-party apps yet -- we were told it's high on their to-do list -- which means Synthesia can only generically use one color of light instead of utilizing all the colors. Still, it will get you to 88 lighted keys (for a pretty extreme price).

Posts: 9

Post by anykey » 01-09-17 4:00 am

I have a Komplete Kontrol S61 and using a simple virtual midi app (LoopBe1, free) to send the midi from synthesia to machine 2 or Komplete Controll app for light control.

Works out of the box (using the free tool) no plugin or API needed :-)

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