[AH] re: Question: Doepfer Keyboard or Axiom?

From ndkent
Sent Fri, Apr 11th 2008, 13:29

> I'm seeking some advice regarding which is the best keyboard
> controller to acquire for use with a big Doepfer modular in the
> 'under $600' category...
> a. The new Doepfer A-100 CV/Gate keyboard, with the 3 CV
> outs for pitch, velocity and aftertouch. (about $550+shipping)
> or,
> b.  The Axiom 49 or 60 midi controller with a midi interface like the
> A-190 MCVS
> ?? What I don't understand is how the midi keyboard controller can
> be assigned to anything more than one analog control parameter?
> So, as attractive all those Axiom knobs and pads are.. how can it
> be used with a big modular? ..with a bunch more A-190's?

I've not really looked into the new Doepfer. Guessing from your  
earthlink account, with the bad exchange rate and all I'm not seeing  
anything exceptional about it other than the CV is built in and the  
aftertouch and velocity is hardwired -- so that might be more  
controller CVs total than some solutions . No wheels, sliders, knobs  

I was looking at the Axiom last year. It looks really cool with the  
drum pads, matte color and all. The keys felt kind of weird and  
crappy though imho, and it's not that well priced. I was guessing  
that since it's fairly new and looks trendy there was no reason to  
discount it much. I actually wound up buying an e-mu xboard, which  
might look kind of un-sexy compared to other stuff but the keys feel  
wonderful (I am quite fussy about key action) and while there are  
only the expected controllers. It's not for my main studio keyboard  
btw, it's for on the go use.

Anyway - I think you are following that if you don't get one of the  
very small handful of built-in CV keyboards you need a MIDI to CV  
interface. You probably need a bigger more full featured interface if  
you want more than the controllers you get on a little interface.  
Some of the bigger ones with more CVs are no longer in production.  
The excellent Encore Expressionist might be still available? ($599)   
though if you hunt around on the used market you might find something  
else.  I don't think multiple A-190s will be cost effective with a  
single keyboard. You won't achieve much for the cost unless you want  
to hook one up to something else other than your keyboard. I guess if  
you can find the discontinued Doepfer  Shepard Generator module then  
you can turn some knobs/sliders on a keyboard into CVs if you split  
your MIDI into it -- albeit with not so great resolution so you might  
have to slew them a bit.