I don’t have an external musical keyboard and wanted to know how I could use my computer keyboard to play notes/chords on the Vital synth. Just by randomly hitting enough keys I was able to get A thru ; to cause the notes at the bottom of the synth to play, but I cannot change octaves. Thank you for your time.
Hi, and welcome to the Vital community!
You can use your computer keyboard to play notes while using Vital. Functionality depends on which DAW you use, though.
I’m gonna brief about how this works in the standalone version.
To focus on the keyboard so that it accepts key presses, click on any one note on the GUI using your mouse/touchpad. Then press keys A through ;. A plays C, S plays D and so on till E of the next octave. (I guess you can even play the F by clicking on the Right arrow –> key. It works on my PC, and is probably a bug, coz you should actually be able to play C to F from the keys A through ')
Use the QWERTY keys to trigger sharp/flat notes. Specifically, W and E play C# and D# respectively, and you can figure out the others pretty easily.
You can change octaves up or down using the Z and X keys, respectively.
Inside of a DAW, these rules might get twisted a bit.
For example in Cakewalk (the DAW of my choice), I have to manually fire up its Virtual Keyboard to play using my PC keyboard. It has more functionality though - like, you can play from A through '; change octaves using Z & X, or <– & –>; change velocity using C & V, or Up & Down arrows; as well as control modwheel. You can also use Tab to toggle your virtual sustain pedal (cool! )
(The velocity and modwheel controls work only if you have set them up to modulate something in the synth)
In Ableton Live, you press the M key on your keyboard (or click the keyboard icon on top) to toggle playing using PC keyboard. The functionalities are limited - you can play only from A through L (C to D2); you don’t get the modwheel or sustain pedal that Cakewalk provides; and neither can you use arrow keys to control octave and velocity (the Z, X, C, V keys work, though).
Here’s a screenshot of the virtual keyboard in Cakewalk, if you’re curious:
Have a great day ahead!