What are the advantages/disadvantages of the Rock Band 3 Keyboard?



  • Vs. a normal midi keyboard and the Midi Pro adapter? In particular,

    • The RB3 Keyboard is not a full-sized keyboard. If we do use a full-sized midi keyboard in Pro mode, can we/do we have to use the entire keyboard, as it's played in the actual song, or can we/do we have to stick to two octaves (like the RB3 Keyboard)?
    • The RB3 Keyboard can also function as a five-button peripheral in non-Pro mode. Can we do the same with a normal midi keyboard?
    • I've read that the RB3 keyboard has velocity-sensitive keys. Does RB3 take this into effect? Will I lose some functionality if my midi keyboard isn't velocity-sensitive? Does the expressions bar also add functionality?


  • My qualifications: I've used both the RB3 keyboard and a Roland D-50 MIDI Synth with a MIDI adapter.

    1. If you use a full-sized midi keyboard in Pro mode, you do NOT use the entire keyboard. RB3 ignores notes played outside the two octave range of the RB3 keyboard. The pro keys chart displayed is the same no matter what kind of keyboard you are using (unlike the pro guitar charts which I understand are different depending on whether you use a 17-fret Mustang or a 22-fret Squier).

    2. A normal midi keyboard can also function as a five-button peripheral in non-Pro mode. The only thing missing are the color-coded tags over the C-D-E-F-G keys that the RB3 keyboard has, but since you shouldn't be looking at your hands anyway, that shouldn't matter 😉

    3. I don't think RB3 does anything with the velocity-sensitive keys, so you should not lose any functionality if your midi keyboard isn't velocity-sensitive. This is the only answer I'm not 100% positive on (my D-50 has velocity-sensitive keys), but I'm pretty sure.

    4. The expression bar on the RB3 keyboard is like the whammy bar on the 5-button guitar controllers - it alters the sound of the notes and when used on a held note with overdrive, it will add to your overdrive bar. My D-50 has a pitch bend joystick that the MIDI adapter converts to the same function.


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