I just moved and don't have my Casio Privia at my disposal. Right now I'm on a pretty tight budget and am looking at either the M-Audio Axiom 25 or Oxygen 25. Does anyone have any experience with these keyboards or have any other suggestions? Thank you all!
I'm afraid that I don't have experience with those specific keyboards, although they're pretty commonly used ones. I use the first-generation Novation Remote25; it's festooned with knobs and sliders, but the MIDI controller assignments and setup is a real pain. A real control surface separate from the keyboard is more ideal, but if you lack a specific control surface, it can offer at least some faders and pots. But be sure to check out how easy the keyboard's controls are to customize, and how many settings you can save!
I have an older Oxygen keyboard, and I like it okay -- the one thing I feel I'm always missing when I compose is decent drum pads. I'd say go Axiom.
We have over a dozen oxygen 8s all of which are still going strong, some of which are the original midiman model. Whichever model you buy the m-audio keyboards are a safe bet. If you play the piano the semi-weighted keys on the axiom are a lot better. If you don't play the piano then the lighter oxygen keys will help when you need to trigger samples quickly.
As a guitarist I put my eye on AKAI MPK Mini - looks like very flexible controller to put short phrases, bass lines, parameters changes
I use an Akai LPK25. It's good for jotting down ideas but I wouldn't really use it to record entire (timed) parts that often. Has a great arpeggiator though. It's a very basic keyboard designed for portable use, but it has much better feel and velocity response than all others in its class, and has a cool arpeggiator. The rest of the time, I just use my Korg MS2000 as a MIDI controller if I need to. Amazing synth!
Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I'm going to go with the Axiom 25.