Piano keyboard for travelling

hello

I got a new toy and get such a cool moment !! So i i would like to share my experience with you and talk about little keyboards for travelling .

Long time looking for a little keyboard which i could travel with . So its time to open this topic for travelling piano keyboard.

On the market pretty lot of master keybaord which got no inside sound

heres a nice review of those

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWwk8qO-DHU

Some are made for

If we are taking train or plane impossible to have more than very little one
which we can plug in our phones . For the moment android phones got problem of latency ( when you hit a note too much time for hearing it in your headphone. )
I try little keyboard like the irig pro which you can plug or use with bluetooth with your iphone , but not much touch sensible and already pretty big in the bag, and we need to have an iphone . I admit i am not a big Apple lover ;), but i love the fruit .

We are all looking for diferent things depending our diffferent needs

I discover this litlle one Akai Professional Mpk Mini Play

https://www.akaipro.com/mpk-mini-play-mpkminiplay

I play yesterday with it on my knee , in my last plane travel for 1 .30 hour and it was really too much fun … able to work about harmony play songs with the limitation of a short keyboard ,looking other traveller faces and attitude to compose live for myself :smile::crazy_face::sunglasses::partying_face: without annoying others , with the noise of the plane no keyboard noise audible . Never got this possibility with any other instrument anyway !! First time i found the time was passing away too quick in a plane ! Lovely experience !!

At first I was pretty not sure of the interest of such a little toy … but now i love this piece of gear . Even not at all perfect this keyboard is really lovely .

127 sounds and 10 drums set some are cool and the sentitivity of keys and pad are present , the sound sound can be embeded (some filters , reverv chorus ) . The best of all is his size of the piece 32x18x4 cm and can be put in any bag .The keys although their small size are playable

positive review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHNAlOnzPOI

But some sound are really not good … no recorder , the keys are pretty plastic basic … the price pretty hight 130 euros

negative review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD9G8LSRfM4

Theres really a gap in those traveling keyboard . With the nowadays technology we could really have much better one … but curiously not much on the market Theres a great keyboard like this , the reface of yamaha 530 x 60 x 175 mm which is a real instrument 330 euros though.

Maybe you are using different keyboard for travelling and i love to hear your experience about it .

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I have a Yamaha Reface DX. It’s more expensive, and it’s also minikeys, but the build quality is what you would expect from Yamaha. I barely have touched my big keyboard since I got it, and I take it everywhere with me.

Oh funny :rofl: was just adding the reface in my review when you reply

Yeah great one , good choice !!! Much better sound and keys for sure !

:crazy_face: but less manageable in the plane , without a 4 hands playing with your neighbour :joy:

I was not a big fan of minikeys before playing on my Akai mini . Now i know it is playable i will try one day this reface when the price will decrease.

really :hushed: ? what is your “big keyboard” ?

I have a komplete s88 (weighted keys midi controller). One thing to be careful about with minikeys, it’s easy to strain yourself when doing voicings, because it forced your wrists to be bent in awkward positions. Often it’s easier to finger without the thumb entirely. I indeed haven’t tried it on a plane :slight_smile: It’s great in a coffee shop and on the train however.

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This is cool. I’m looking for a traveling keyboard, one that works with my Logic Pro so I can compose on the road. This one looks pretty darn cool but might be too small.
Also right now I’m in the market for a 2nd tier keyboard for analogue synth sounds. I’m looking strongly at the MicroKorg XL but not sure yet since i need it very soon for an upcoming audition, and it’s not in stock.

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Hey Lyndol !
Pretty all those nowadays keyboards are class compliant , so they can be used in quite any DAWs (like logicpro) , so i dont think it will be a problem in the choice of your keyboard.
Class compliant has to be verified before buying a keyboard for a DAW. this means that USB peripheral device is plug and play, meaning you can plug it in and it will work a Mac or Windows computer without installing proprietary drivers.
In this size of keyboard you will have more choice . And if your goal is just to have a keyboard for composing maybe just a good master keyboard (no sound inside the box ) will do the job, plugged in your pc or mac and you could use a vst synth like omnisphere, serum …

some master keyboard with 49 keys in this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EstpPV8ShA
or less in this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWwk8qO-DHU

heres is a link with the differents vst synth https://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/the-50-best-vst-au-plugin-synths-in-the-world-today-621799
.
cheers
Pierre

Does it have a battery or it has to plugged to the computer ?? @Pierrot

Hey Guillaume
The “akai mini play” works both on battery (4 AA) or with a USB cable plugged in a computer.

Okay thanks ! :+1: :thinking::face_with_monocle:

I was considering this foldable piano keyboard for travelling, but then I weighed the pros and cons. Pros: it’s foldable. Cons: It’s junk. :rofl:

I actually own a toy piano keyboard Casio SA-76 that sounds much better than the foldable keyboard. It’s small and runs on batteries. (and I can reach a 10th on it… :yum:) Pros: small, you can actually press the keys unlike the foldable piano, where you only touch them, good for getting down ideas while travelling. Cons: only 3,5 octaves, keys way too small, after “playing” with it for 2 months, I experienced a “shock” of returning to my real sized Yamaha P-125.

Fun fact, I wrote the firmware for some of these foldable pianos a long time ago. They are pretty much a gimmick and not really playable.

those roll up piano are really junky for sure !

never touch this one size 64x23x7.5 cm 44 keys 6 AA batteries ( for me its already another category). But tell us more about the sound the sensitivity of keys, it could help other.

my first impression is that the limitation of keys can force us to find others voicing and could be interesting too . But its not helpful for playing the Rachmaninov concerto though for sure :rofl:

On those travelling keyboard we need to have
1. no delay ( i experience this on android phones its unplayable)
2. touch sensitive (without it no expression and no pleasure)
3. a sound to which we are sensitive (if we can support it , we cant play with it)
4. keys on which we could play not too small, but those mini keys are playable for me with “normal fingers” :slight_smile:

after those main consideration : size, numbers of keys, battery power are more for different situation case

Theres those models inescapable when talking about travelling keyboard

https://pianodevoyage.com/

https://www.adelehmusic.com/

the piano de voyage 850 euros, Phoenix piano is around 5 900 euros,
Two french production :wink:

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Lyndol and all, if you’re in the market for a travel keyboard, you might consider the CME Xkey Air. It comes in a 25 and 37 key version. It’s wireless (Bluetooth), though you can connect it directly to your Mac for LogicPro or an iPhone or iPad. It’s a MIDI controller, so it doesn’t generate any of its own sounds. But hook it up to say the Ravenscroft275 app and you’re running one heck of a nice piano. Before deciding anything you can check out a number of YouTube videos. I’ve included two here, one that explains all the features and one where Jordan Rudess shows how he uses it. I like it for the nearly full size keys, among other things.

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Nice!

I have seen the Phoenix before but not the Piano de Voyage… I’d be interested to play on one.

Many years ago, I accidentally registered the Twitter account “GroovePiano” and I received an email from this start-up company who asked me to transfer the twitter account to them:

http://groovepiano.com/

They were trying to develop something in between the Phoenix and the Piano de Voyage, at a price of $1500 USD if I remember correctly.

I’m pretty sure they have stopped work on the project as they have not updated their FaceBook page in over 4 years: https://www.facebook.com/groovepiano/

I think there is definitely a big demand for a portable/lightweight 88-key piano that fits in carry-on luggage.

I am pretty sure theres a gap in this part of the market between the demand and what is offer today.

the Groove piano seems to have been very similar project with the 3 parts, but last news 2015… project seems dead.

Cool, thank you Scott for the for the CME xkey reference. Seems pretty solid, tho I did have a roll up keyboard similar with the rubber touch, and didn’t like it. This seems much more advanced.
That’s interesting about the Groovepiano as it seems the engineer died. But it’d definitely be interested in a fold up keyboard.
I’m headed out today to a music shop in Williamsburg to possibly purchase this synth dude…
http://www.maindragmusic.com/korg-microkorg-xl-synthesizer-vocoder.html
A guy from craigslist is offering this model for for less, but it’s 6-7 years old and there’s no guarantee, so it’s going to be a bit of a decision to make.
http://www.maindragmusic.com/korg-microkorg-synthesizer-vocoder.html
I have to get this squared away ASAP for an audition next week that I’m excited about. Then I’ll reconvene on the travel piano as my next expense,
On a different note, does anyone here have a Nord Electro? It tends to be the NYC standard for the Jazz musicians’ portable gig rig - due to the great rhodes and organ samples + waterfall action that is lighter for transport but nice touch.

I’m having trouble figuring out how to do a split - organ on top range, piano on bottom range, ect. It’s normally a common feature on keyboards but I spent a lot time (awhile back) trying to figure it out and never got it.
Just wondering if anyone here has worked with a Nord?

The Nord electro is the greatest portable and lovely keyboard avaible when travelling with the car . so light weighted so great sounding ( so expensive :slight_smile: )

I got the electro5d so
i should be able to help you @Lyndol :cowboy_hat_face:

go on in the middle part of the keyboard around your program display

you assign part lower for one instrument (for you the piano) and part upper the other (your organ )
and you simply split it with the button KB split, located in the top row above the program display, it will get green when activated .
you will see a little green led upon the keys which indicated the split point

tell me if you need further explanation

manual is here https://www.nordkeyboards.com/sites/default/files/files/downloads/manuals/nord-electro-6/Nord%20Electro%206%20English%20User%20Manual%20v1.1x%20Edition%20C.pdf
page 9 ’ create a split ’

Oh AWESOME! Thank you @pierre. I have a busy day but am going to set up my nord with my new microkorg set up and see if this works for me. I’ll get back to you shortly, but I really appreciate it.

Ok, so after much frustration, I still can’t split my Nord! I have a Nord Electro 3 which is very different from the electro5. Even in the manual for the Electro3 - it only lists the ability to split the organ sounds - not necessary the same thing as piano on top, strings on bottom, ect. And I’m embarrassed to say I’m still having trouble even splitting the organ sounds. I think I need a Nord Tech Tutor. Anyone know of one? Someone who knows the Electro 3, otherwise I might have to upgrade soon so I can use the miriade of youtube videos that explain the split for other models of Nords.
I did go ahead and buy a new Micro Korg Synth - it’s so super cool but going to need quite a bit of time to understand all it’s moving parts. I don’t think it will work well as a travel board, but there are times when I do need to get more synth - mainly for projects I’m being hired as sideman keys, so I’m excited to be expanding this skill.
Tho I will mention that given my difficulty in learning new tech, sometimes I wish I could just stick to pianos only!