When shopping for a new keyboard to use as a MIDI controller for MainStage, two important things to consider are action and price. The recommendations below are the best options in their respective price points. All three modles offer superior keyboard action, as well as built-in keyboard sounds for emergency situations.
Casio Privia PX5S
At $999, the Casio Privia PX5S offers a ton of value. It features Casio’s Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer II keyboard action, which is on-par with Yamaha and Roland’s offerings. The PX5S also has a great built-in sound bank if you prefer to use hardware piano sounds.
Unlike the CP40 and CP4, the PX5S only has two pedal ports, and they’re both of the on/off variety. This means you’ll need a MIDI Solutions Pedal Controller to add an expression pedal.
The Yamaha CP40 is a great all around keyboard. The action is very similar to the more expensive CP4, and the keyboard has three pedal ports built in. The CP40 also has a few decent sounding piano sounds built in, and it also comes with USB MIDI. At 30 lbs, the keyboard is very portable and can easily be handled by one person.
The Yamaha CP4 is a high end stage piano that also makes for a great MIDI controller for MainStage. It features Yamaha’s renowned NW wooden key action, and comes with four pedal ports. The built in piano sounds are great, and the unit has an IEC termination for power.