Until recently, I’d been using an IK Multimedia keyboard. Vintage King co-founder Michael Nehra shares some of his love, knowledge, and practical advice for diving into the world of vintage audio gear, and then takes us behind the scenes for a walk through Xkey relies on a Micro-USB port for both connectivity and power, which is great if you’re using it with a laptop. There are Ks where all the Cs should be! Bill Cheney and Jim Romney are the men responsible for keeping the amazing legacy of Spectra Sonics, a legendary, if criminally unheralded, pro-audio company alive. I like the at-your-fingertips interface of the iPad, as well as the affordability and stability of the many great-sounding synths available for it.
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He’s the owner of Audio Upgrades, I’m a big fan of the iPad for virtual instruments, especially soft-synths, and I use my iPad in the studio much more than instrument plug-ins within my DAW. Minor issues with the pitch-bend and modulation switches aside, I don’t think you’ll find a better keyboard for the iPad. The only downside to Xkey is that it lacks wheels for pitch-bend and modulation, instead relying on switches for these functions. Moreover, the ease of accurately playing the low-profile keys makes Xkey a serious contender for your main MIDI keyboard controller too!
My imdi iOS-compatible keyboard is sadly destined for eBay.
CME – Product – U2MIDI USB Cable-Like MIDI Interface
Subscribe for free here. Until recently, I’d been using an IK Multimedia keyboard. You might want to refer to photos on the CME website after reading ce following explanation. Bill Cheney and Jim Romney are the men responsible for keeping the amazing legacy of Spectra Sonics, a legendary, if criminally unheralded, pro-audio company alive. Xkey’s velocity sensitivity and polyphonic aftertouch were very responsive and felt natural in the patches that responded to them.
I had a Line 6 Mobile Keys 49 keyboard for my first-generation iPad, but that product has been discontinued, and it won’t work with newer iPads that have Lightning ports.
CME CME Xkey USB MIDI Keyboard (silver) vinyl at Juno Records.
If all my talk about Xkey’s compactness has you thinking it might be mudi of flimsy, you’d be wrong. This keyboard feels very solid and well- built, much more so than a lot of competitors’ products. I also love the fact that you can pass it around the studio for people to play and audition sounds. My only slight concern is for the long-term reliability of the Micro-USB sockets, but those are an industry standard outside of Apple-land, and a necessary evil in small form-factors.
The spacing and depth of Xkey’s keys mirror those of a piano, but the height of each key is lower meaning less travel tooand there are gaps between the keys.
There are Ks ub all the Cs should be!
I opted for the larger three-octave Xkey37, but they also make the original, two-octave, key Xkey, which should fit in any gig bag, backpack, or courier bag. Their mic preamps, summing amps, and control room Wait — lemme explain. The drain on the iPad’s battery mdii very minimal, almost unnoticeable.
Xkey is a unique product in that it’s not an exact emulation of the standard piano keyboard, but rather it’s an evolution of that keyboard format aimed at modern, digital music-making.
I like the at-your-fingertips midl of the iPad, as well as the affordability and stability of the many great-sounding synths available for it.
At first, this scheme seemed like it would take some getting used to, but I felt like it would be better than the mkdi keys which I really dislike. But, with Xkey, I was surprised to find that I hit fewer bad notes! I had some piano training many years ago, but I’m a half-ass keyboardist at best, and I will occasionally hit a bunk note here and there, requiring another take or editing of the MIDI track. The look of Xkey is very Mac-like, as it uses the same brushed aluminum as a MacBook.
It can change a whole bunch of internal settings, cmee allowing the velocity curve to be redrawn, and it updates the firmware as needed.
CME Xkey USB MIDI Keyboard
Jim Williams has spent much of his 56 years working with some of the biggest names in cem music business, including Frank Zappa, John McLaughlin and Stevie Wonder. Xkey relies on a Micro-USB port for both connectivity and power, which is great if you’re using it with a laptop.
Vintage King co-founder Michael Nehra shares some of his love, knowledge, and practical advice for diving into the world of vintage audio gear, and then takes us behind the scenes for a walk through I disliked its miniature keys, but I couldn’t find any iOS-compatible keyboards with full- size keys to replace it. The upside is that no wall wart is needed!
When I initially connected my Xkey37 through my Camera Connection Kit adapter, there was not enough power from the iPad to power the Xkey But, this feels like a very minor quibble for a keyboard that fits into any backpack and is USB bus powered.