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back to article M-Audio Keystation Mini 32

It always pays to read the fine print, especially when it’s to be found on the bottom of a box, while on the top the label says, ‘Works with iPad’. Such is the case with M-Audio’s Keystation Mini 32, a really rather good portable keyboard controller for mobile musos and the classroom. This host powered 32-note USB keyboard isn’t …

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Nice vulture!

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Sibelius - proprietary nonsense

Apart form costing a bomb, Sibelius is not only limited to Windows and JobsOS', but, much worse, the company refuses even to write a Linux-compatible browser plugin to play its published Scorch files. Go for one of the brilliant open-source scoring programs instead, such as MuseScore, which is capable of MIDI input.

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I'd normally agree with you...

...but Sibelius is pretty a de facto standard in music notation software (along with Finale), and in certain quarters it is expected that if you're a composer and/or arranger, you'll be able to produce scores in Sibelius format.

I know someone who is planning to take a postgraduate music course, and is having to learn Sibelius because it is the only package the course supports. I think they'd rather use MuseScore (a very fine app indeed, BTW), not least because it's over £400 cheaper than a full Sibelius license (that is, it's free), but sadly they don't have that choice available to them.

Still, they might be interested in this package, if only for the half-price Sibelius First - now, if there was a cheap upgrade from First to Professional...

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Depressing, isn't it?

I would ask those running the course why it has to be so. They're quite likely to have never heard of MuseScore and may just be open-minded enough to consider it, especially if they can be made to realise that all it requires is for them to install a copy themselves, for free. Just like MS Office, people only use it because "everyone else does" and usually someone else pays the extortionate price for it.

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Alternatively...

...if you're after a copy of Sibelius First then this is a very cheap way of getting hold of it.

AVID (who now appear to own both Sibelius and M-Audio) flog Sibelius First for ~£120 directly, or you can buy the Mini 32 with full Sibelius First thrown in from around £55 (e.g. Amazon, Thomann). No-brainer really...

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Anonymous Coward

Can the Penguin play?

I wouldn't even think of asking you check every item of hardware reviewed against a huge number of Linux distributions, but *something* would be useful. Even one would be nice?

Nor would I ask you to spend weeks tweaking stuff until it works --- but it would be nice to know what happened when you plugged it in.

Remember the penguins. Please.

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Probably?

I really don't know for sure but I'd be surprised if it didn't work. Most USB-based MIDI keyboards work in the same way and use the same driver on Linux. My Casio Privia was pretty much plug and play.

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@Tim Walker

Tim,

Can your friend not get an educational license? My father who has just become a music teacher by doing a BMus and a PGCE, and is currently on an MA got one, and my wife who is a music teacher got one also - total cost to each of them was around £80?

Might be worth trying Pugh or someone of that ilk, as most people with an sch.uk or ac.uk address should qualify?

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Evil educational licences :-(

The only trouble with that is that is that it's a false economy because you end up with all your coursework in a proprietary format and are then locked into full price Sibelius forever, unless you find getarounds like this - which still leaves you locked into reduced price Sibelius forever. Usual story: you can export MuseScore files to Sibelius easily but not the other way round, but it does look like there is paid-for software to do this.

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TL;DR

So in short, USB MIDI keyboard behaves like USB MIDI keyboard?

Why a full page talking about iPad compatibility? By far the vast majority of USB MIDI keyboards work fine with the CCK. This is not a new thing. If it shipped with a Dock connector USB lead, removing the need for the CCK that'd be one thing. Otherwise, someone just got sucked in by marketing.

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Anonymous Coward

John Smith Clive

Do the pitch bend/mod buttons behave like normal pads - i.e. velocity sensitive switches? Would be nice if they were continuous controllable but maybe that's expecting too much... but since the knob is assignable, I'm sold!

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