MIDI controllers with 37+ slim/mini keys and DIN out?

I’m struggling to find a MIDI keyboard that fits my perhaps awkward requirements. I was wondering if anyone who knows their controllers could help.

I’d like:

narrow keys, I learned what keyboard ‘playing’ I can do on one of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IRrYhphoeU I prefer the feel, have small hands and not much space.
37 or 49 keys, most I find with small keys tend to only have 25 of them.
DIN MIDI out, USB MIDI is nice as an option but I’d want to be able to play my modules without going through a computer sometimes.

The Korg Microkey 37 would be ideal if it wasn’t USB only…

CME Xkeys 37?

Ah, sorry, by slim I meant the width. Those are low profile but full size. Thanks for the suggestion though.

It’s not difficult to add a DIN midi out to a USB keyboard (edit- via a small breakout box); there’s some discussion around it here
and here
It’s quite convenient as the USB host will power the keyboard for you as well.

Ahh damn, I was hoping it was going to be something simple like bypassing the USB circuitry by soldering in a DIN socket to a couple of points on the board.

If you want something easy that works well, get the little Kenton box. It’s not cheap, but works really well.

I’m not opposed to making something more complicated, there was just a beautiful moment after reading elthorno’s post but before clicking the links where I thought maybe it was super simple.

I only wish there would be a QuNexus XL with 37 larger keys…

It is super simple; just think of the box as your power brick where you happen to be able to plug MIDI in.

@SirPrimalForm; yes, I can see how you could read it that way- I’ve clarified above.
Thing is, no manufacturers I can think of make mini-key controllers with proper DIN midi, and believe me I’ve looked. Incidentally- is anyone using Keith McMillen stuff with a DIY USB host midi box? I’ve been tempted by a Qunexus but the price isn’t quite low enough for me yet.

A Korg Mikrokontrol? It has USB and MIDI. It can also function as a USB to MIDI interface. YOu will have to find one used.

Hmm, just had a nice idea… I could possibly also give the USB MIDI host box a power output to power my Shruthi/Anushri and run the whole thing off one bigger bigger power brick (make sure it’s up to the current requirements of course). That way I could have a self contained keyboard-host-synth setup that only uses one wall socket.

Woah, it just occurred to me that a MIDIPal variant with USB host would be amazing.

EDIT: @Audiohoarder: Good suggestion, thanks! Hmm, I’ve just spotted an ex-demo one.


@elthorno: there is a new, cheaper model to the QuNexus that seems ok if all you want is a basic keyboard (I think it skimps on the poly aftertouch).

I do recommend it as it is a real all-in-one solution. Just make sure the sliders and encoders all work well. Also, the drum pads are more for show and menu navigation than actual finger drumming. I believe that I got mine for 60 USD a few years ago.

I second @soup’s suggestion. The MicroKorg has everything you are looking for, but more, so the price is probably higher than a controller. I’m using one for my modular now, can’t stand the keyboard really but my son doesn’t want to get rid of it. Until I find something with full-size keys that I like I’m stuck with the MicroKorg.

The Mininova is also nice.

Wait…listen to audiohoarder. MicroKontrol…still holds its own against any modern controller and has a lot of metal in it’s construction…that and Caribou uses one :wink:

An alternative to the MicroKorg is the Korg MicroSampler. Instead of a synth, it offers a (rather limited) sampler/sequencer. Runs on battery, has mic in, bult-in effects and software library editor.
I have one :slight_smile:

Hmm, the MicroKorg and MicroSampler are a bit pricey considering I’m not looking for another synth…

A Microkey with a host or a Microkontrol (if I can find one in decent knick) seems like the best bet at the moment.