I was looking for a 49-key midi controller and almost bought a used Alesis QX49 used at Guitar Center. I have this rule about not buying midi controllers since I have plenty after going controller crazy when I just dove into music production. I started researching older gear or current keyboards with midi ports and built-in sound. A few came to mind but the M-Audio Venom showed up in my Craigslist results. After doing research on it, I discovered it had built-in sounds, editable sound values and has a built-in sound card! I was concerned about M-Audio’s support of discontinued gear but fortunately they updated their drivers about a year ago. There’s not a lot of love for this keyboard back when it was released since it was quite expensive with its limitations. For example, not all of the sound parameters could be edited from the keyboard hardware although you can edit the parameters from the software available online. The patches do not inspire me but with some tweaking there is hope.
If you can find one for under $200 and you are a beginner to music production, I highly recommend this piece of gear. It has all the elements you need to get started without having to buy thing separately.
I drove up and down Main St. in Las Vegas hoping to find some old music gear but instead discovered a few hundred vinyl records to dig through. This location is Laura’s Treasures.
Meetup.com has been a great resource for networking with others with the same interest. It was difficult though to find a meet up in the San Fernando Valley for Ableton producers. One meet up eventually came up only to be cancelled after the 2nd meeting. I had the pleasure of meeting David at that Ableton group. It turns out that he has started his own music producers meet up in Reseda. The meet up info for this group can be found here: