Supercharge Your MIDI Keyboard for Live Performance

Connecting your MIDI keyboard (or synthesizer) to the KeyMusician Keyboard, gives you capabilities you never had before, and these capabilities can make your music more impressive, and interesting. You may even be able to use a short MIDI keyboard, because of these capabilities.

A picture showing white-key MIDI keyboard notes playing in a key-signature with 6 sharps, and chords being played on the numeric keypad.
Click (activate) the link below, to watch a video demonstration of performing with a combination of a 37-key MIDI keyboard, and a typing keyboard, using the KeyMusician Keyboard application. Use your browser’s “back” button to return to this article.

Performing With Both A MIDI Keyboard, And A Typing-Keyboard

Did you notice all the key-signature changes? In all except the last one, the key-signature is raised by a half-step, which gives the piece a ‘lift’. Yet in all those key-signatures (one of them 6 sharps), the fingering on the MIDI keyboard was the same.

How useful that could be if you don’t have advanced keyboard technique!

Did you notice how it ended with an 11-note chord – a chord you could never reach all the keys simultaneously with your hands on a MIDI keyboard? Playing on the typing keyboard also gives you new capabilities.

Having seen the demo, check out this long list of things the application can do for you and your MIDI keyboard.

The items with an asterisk (*) were demonstrated in some way in the video.

20 Cool Things You Can Do With Your MIDI Keyboard, Connected to the KeyMusician Keyboard Application

  1. * Play over a thousand chords on the numeric keypad, while playing melody or counterpoint on the MIDI keyboard.  No memorization is required for playing those chords, and the chords natural for a key-signature change as you change key-signatures.  No need for a big, thick, reference book on the fingering for all the chords.

  2. * Play chords as sustained chords, strummed-chords, or grand arpeggios.  Arpeggios are played with notes sustained together, without having to use the sustain-pedal, which would blur-together melody notes. And those arpeggios aren’t mindless repetitions of notes held down – they’re arpeggios a skilled pianist would play with their left hand, on an 88-key keyboard, built from the specified chord’s notes. And you can specify arpeggios built from 6, 8, 9, or 12 notes.

  3. * Play chords on the numeric-keypad, using the modal-chords system, making improvisation of melody on the MIDI keyboard super-easy

  4. * Play a piece you learned in one key-signature, in any key-signature, using the same fingering you originally learned.  See the notes you play, in the target key-signature. 

  5. * Instantly change key-signature and/or instruments as you play melody on the MIDI keyboard, by touching a function-key on the typing-keyboard (in front of the MIDI keyboard), with a thumb. 

  6. * Configure octave-shifting for particular instrument sounds, so you don't have to reach the octave shift on the MIDI keyboard, and don't have to keep moving your hands around on the keyboard to play the instrument's proper range. 

  7. * Learn pieces of music in any key-signature, with the fingering in the key of C (or A-minor), so the only flats or sharps you play, are for accidentals (notes not in the key-signature's scale).  This means you learn to play music independent of key-signature. 

  8. * When using shorter MIDI keyboards (up to 49 keys), you can play standing up, with the keyboards tilted toward the audience, so they can see your fingers on on the keys - both MIDI keyboard, and typing-keyboard.  You do this using a sturdy-model music stand, rather than a synthesizer stand. 

  9. * Switch instrument sounds without having to change MIDI channels

  10. * Switch your hands to the typing keyboard, and get an 84-key range instantly. 

  11. * Connects to your favorite VST host, synthesizer, DAW, or sequence editor. 

  12. Play fast-repeated notes (like a Balalaika) on held-out notes, or drum-rolls in the Drums pane.  You can adjust the speed of those repeated-notes as you play them. 

  13. When using a MIDI keyboard to play the Drums pane, connected to a General MIDI synthesizer, you can see the names of the percussion instruments you play

  14. Play music written for different types of instruments (e.g. Bb, F, Eb) in concert pitch. No need to transpose band instrument music so you can play it on your keyboard.

  15. Use of all the learning features in the KeyMusician Keyboard application, which make learning music easy

  16. Play up (or down) wah-wah expression (or trills), on notes you hold out on the MIDI keyboard, using your chord-hand on the numeric keypad. 

  17. Play glissando's in any key-signature (not just C-major or A-minor), using just the white keys. 

  18. Play glissando's with accidentals inserted, corresponding to accidentals in the chord currently played. 

  19. Play chromatic glissando's, using the typing-keyboard. 

  20. Use a sustain-pedal or a volume pedal, even if you're playing both melody and chords on the typing-keyboard. 

You might want to watch the demo-video again, to notice how all of the starred items in the list were demonstrated. Do that by clicking (activating) the link below, and using you browser’s back-button to return to this article.

Performing With Both A MIDI Keyboard, And A Typing-Keyboard

If you would like more detailed information on using this hybrid musical instrument (using the two keyboards), click (activate) the link below to read an earlier article we wrote on this subject:

A Hybrid Musical Instrument

You can view the index of all KeyMusician Newsletter articles, by clicking the link below:

Index Of All Newsletter Articles