Controller Keyboards (MIDI)
Controller keyboards are normally connected to the computer by USB or 5 Pin MIDI connections. Controllers don’t make sound of their own, but rather output midi and control signals to the computer that can then be used to trigger software instruments or other midi devices. These will all feature a piano layout keybed that may have keys that are weighted, Semi Weighted or unweighted (synth style). They may also feature DAW control features or pots and faders to control other MIDI devices.
These Keyboards are great where space is at a premium or if you want to work on the move. Although not as many notes as a full size keyboard, many units typically have an Octave Up/Down feature to allow you to access the extra notes, and many have an array of knobs, switches and sliders allowing you to control your Softsynths and Samplers with ease.
Any keyboard at 61 plus notes is referred to as a 'full size' keyboard, as 5 octaves is deemed to be 'playable' by a regular Piano player ( i.e. both hands playing at once ) Many of these keyboards feature Knobs, Sliders and Switches which enable you to control your Softsynths and Samplers. 88 note keyboards are the biggest of the full size keyboards and the keybed can be weighted in deifferent ways to emulate the feel of a real piano. Some 88 note controllers have Fully Weighted or Hammer Action keys, which are very similar to the feeling of a real piano keybed.