In this pandemic, many people try a lot of gigs and explore new things to make them feel alive even inside their home. Some discovered their talent and unlocked their hidden skills. For enthusiastic music lovers out there, trying to learn a musical instrument can save you from wasting your time. This is a great way to show your friends and family the new incredible skill you learned. If you like to play musical instruments with just your fingers and create a melodic theater vibe in your home or make your party even cooler with some amazing DJ skills, then you’ve come to the right place. And if you’re unsure about the differences between a keyboard, a synthesizer, and a controller, then let us break it down for you: 

Musical Keyboard

For beginners, it is not the Keyboard you use on computers! The word Keyboard is also used to describe a musical instrument used to create sounds by pressing buttons. Most of them are portable and have the bass sound at the left-side and treble at the right-side keys. If you are thinking about a piano, you are right! Electronic keyboard instruments like pianos are related to keyboards. The main difference between pianos and keyboards is their keys. The former has lighter buttons and easier to manage. 

It is best to use it by beginners such as young children who need to be familiar with this instrument. Also, it will enhance their finger strength to be able to play other instruments with ease. 

Controller

This type of Keyboard requires an external source with recorded data of designated sounds to create music. It can only “control” the sounds if plugged into a device that contains the documented data. It looks like a piano and sends MIDI data to your external software.

Synthesizer

It is a type of Keyboard that is considered an electrophone. It is the modern Keyboard since it makes sounds by digital chips via algorithms. Digital synthesizers are great if you want to be techy and if you want to discover something exclusively new. It is used by putting data, using your fingers to tap the keys, and it will automatically produce its designated sound.  With this instrument, you can create endless tunes and sound configurations. It will enhance your creativity and make you want more time to spend playing it. 


If you still doubt their differences, check this table out!

KEYBOARDCONTROLLERSYNTHESIZER
Device that generates soundDevice that generates sound via a digital source Has no sounds of its ownNO built-in soundsDevice that generates and contains all kinds of built-in sounds
Tells the controller and synthesizer what sound to playHas KeyboardHas Keyboard
Do not requires any form of voltsRequires external source such as a computerRequire triggers in the form of MIDI and volts
Standalone instrumentDesigned to control software configurationsCan be plugged into the amplifier
Can be analog or digitalDigitalCan be analog or digital
Perfect for beginnersRecommended for intermediate musicians and upRecommended for intermediate musicians and up More expensive than the other

Basically, the term Keyboard is a broad and general word for instruments with keys that you can use with your fingers. The Keyboard Controller has no built-in sounds, so you can’t play music with it alone. It needs an external device that contains the stored data. Lastly, the Keyboard Synthesizer has built-in sounds that can be connected to an amplifier. 

After knowing the basics, what is the one for you?

Before considering buying one, it is important to note that the type and price should not be the priority to start your music career. Thus, your passion is to produce music and utilize it to give you and other people happiness. You must first assess yourself based on your future goal and what skill levels you want to earn. You can choose the best device with ease after these steps. 

Specifications to Consider Before Buying the Right Instrument for You

KEYBOARD

If you are a casual learner or a beginner and need to enhance your finger strength, this instrument is the one for you. Keyboards are portable and incredibly lightweight, with up to 76 keys. Do not worry since it has hundreds of tones and dozens of options to select with. Keyboards are not expensive and portable. It is recommended to find a slim key keyboard equipped with a 64-step arpeggiator. You can store up to eight memories and play eight pattern styles with this one. Look out for a capacitive-touch pitch bend and modulations trip with USB ports and power adaptors to use the instrument as a piece of standalone equipment. A good Keyboard has 12V modern gear support that allows you to record chords and play with them. If you want portable Keyboards, an item that weighs 3 pounds is the one to find. 

CONTROLLER

Choosing Keyboard Controllers will let you enjoy the upbeat vibe even more. Most Controllers allow you to play different notes louder than usual. Since this instrument needs to use external computers, you can play a program like authentic drumbeats and minimal music. Suppose you want to step up and add more diverse music configurations. In that case, it is recommended to choose Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live for its capability to create programs using Novation Components that you can utilize by using a browser. The product’s arpeggiator allows you to experience creating tunes with amazing patterns you can mix with. 

To fully enjoy the Keyboard Controller, find an instrument that has eight scale modes. They usually come with modern sensitive pads for splendid navigation over the software’s dynamics. Enhanced 8 x 8 grid of RGB velocity plays smooth melodies with lively beats via external MIDI hardware. For musicians who perform in front of the crowd, Launchpad Pro with five modes and excellent scale function with 32 keys will never let you feel the pressure of pressing the wrong keys.

SYNTHESIZER

If you are a techy person who likes to use modern style electronic instruments, synthesizers will be the best match for you. Endless music configuration for an entry-level is not that hard to figure out when Synthesizers with a tone of unique synth engines with a solid arpeggiator and diverse sequencer will give you better sound qualities.

Analog Synthesizers also come in handy if they have an incredible KeyStep-style sequencer with the MiniBrute 2 model allowing you to witness the modern style of music that everyone loves to hear. Paraphonic Keys with their voltage-controlled amplifier will automatically sync your notes even if you pressed other keys that blend naturally to your music.

Finding a synthesizer that is all about the music quality and smoothness of symphonies rather than the volume it can make is important to remember.

Posted by Miley Dowling

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