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Chapter 26. Software Instruments (MIDI) > MIDI Synths and Controllers

26.4. MIDI Synths and Controllers

The best way to record keyboard performances, though, is to bite the bullet, break the bank, and buy an actual, external MIDI musical instrument. As noted earlier in this chapter, it might take any of these forms:

  • A MIDI controller. Apple, for instance, sells an M-Audio keyboard for $100. The only cable required is its USB cable, which connects to your Mac's USB port.

    That's not the only controller worth considering, of course. If the idea of 49 keys strikes you as a bit confining, the same company also makes a 61-key model that Apple sells for $200. Online music stores like www.samash.com sell both of these models and many others, including a full 88-key model (the same number of keys as a real piano) for $300. These more expensive keyboards have semi-weighted keys that feel more like a piano than the spring-loaded plastic keys of the 49-key model.

  • A MIDI keyboard. This category includes synthesizers, electric pianos, Clavinovas, and so on. Some connect directly to your Mac's USB port, but most require an adapter known as a MIDI interface, which costs about $40 at music stores.

  • Another MIDI instrument. Keyboards aren't the only MIDI instruments. There are also such things as MIDI guitars, MIDI drum sets, and even MIDI gloves. They, too, generate streams of note information that GarageBand can record and play back.


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