Roland A-300. Pro 32-key controller - $100 (Ashland)
make / manufacturer:Roland
model name / number:A-300 PRO
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Excellent condition, never used! $100 firm. Bought from Sweetwater recently; paid $350. 10 foot midi cables included.
Way more than a keyboard! Roland's A-300 PRO is one serious MIDI controller. Beyond having 32 velocity-sensitive keys for playing virtual instruments, this beast boasts a total of 45 assignable controls - knobs, buttons, sliders, and more. You can assign out the controls however you want, so you can get your hands on your mix, finger drum on the 8 Dynamic Pads, control recording start/stop/playback... whatever your workflow demands. If you're choosing your first MIDI controller, you can't go wrong with the A-300 PRO. The keys glide under your fingers, you've got controls for whatever you want, and it works with your Mac or PC. Nice.
When you're getting a MIDI controller, you've got factors to consider. Mainly, you want to make sure you have the level of control you need. Why have only keys, then, when you can grab the A-300 PRO and load up with 32 keys plus 45 different controls for your DAW? If portability's a concern also, the A-300 PRO still fits the bill. It can be powered by your Mac or PC over USB - no need for an AC adapter, unless you want one. That means the A-300 PRO and your laptop are a perfect pair for your music-making needs.
Roland A-300 PRO 32-key MIDI Controller Features at a Glance:
32-key MIDI controller with velocity-sensitive keys
45 assignable controls: knobs, sliders, buttons, transport, and more
8 dynamic pads for finger drumming and MIDI triggering
Sure-grip Pitch Bend/Modulation stick
Sustain and Expression pedal jacks to expand playability
USB bus powered - no AC adapter required
Both Mac and PC compatible