The iRig Keys I/O 25 by IK Multimedia

I always like when I get the chance to review some IK Multimedia products, and when it came time to review a keyboard from them, I jumped at the chance. The iRig Keys I/O 25 is named due to its 25 piano keys (which is about two octives), and it is a 25-key ultra-compact MIDI controller with input/output audio interface for the PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad.

You can see the touch-sensitive sliders, buttons, as well as the knobs on it. The slider strip is for pitch and modulation, and there are 5 programmable encoders, as well as 8 velocity-sensitive pads.

Just to let you know, you will be needing some software if you want to be making music on this thing. I will readily admit that I am not the type who is adept on that, but my daughter is. She would appreciate the sampling rate up to 96 kHz, with bit depth up to 24 bit. We had a bit of a difficult time getting the software, as the iRig Keys I/O 25 need software to work. I’m talking programs like the SimpleTank 3, Syntonik Pro-V, and T-RackS Deluxe, all available from IK Multimedia. I really wish that these programs, available for the iPad and iPhone, would be available for Android devices.

By the way, this guy is full of ports. It’s got a Neutrik combo input jack for line, instrument, or mics. It will also run on 4 AA batteries, not to mention USB power.

So if you are a music nut (not to be confused with a music note), and you want to do your keyboarding on something that saves space, I would recommend the iRig Keys I/O 25. It is available on the IK Multimedia site for $199.99, and the I/O 49 is available for $299.99.

QuNexus Smart Sensor Keyboard Controller from Keith McMillen Instruments

qunexusToday must be MIDI day, as this is the second MIDI product that I am reviewing today. I will have to admit, I am not musical enough to really use these products in my career, but this doesn’t mean that I can recommend this to those who want to be.

Now, I have reviewed products from Keith McMillen Instruments before. I absolutely loved the QuNeo, and recommend it for anyone who even just wants to try DJing. The QuNexus is a different kind of animal as it is a MIDI keyboard controller with about 25 pressure sensitive smart sensor keys. They have that LED illumination thing going on like the QuNeo, and they can detect weird things like finger pressure, tilt, and velocity which translate to pitch bend and modulation in each key.

The QuNexus is designed to plug into all mobile devices with no additional drivers needed. Speaking of mobile, the QuNexus is made for it. Seriously, you can probably drop it and it is still good. I didn’t try it with the one that I tried out, because I’ve got problems with damaging goods that I review.

All in all, the QuNexus is good for portability and playability. Now, that is a quote of the website by Matthew Dear saying essentially the same thing, so all I can do is simply agree with it. You should be able to get it for about $149.00.

The iRig PRO from IK Multimedia

iRigPRO_iPhone5_FRONT_4I am going to say that the iRig PRO from IK Multimedia is not really for me, but this is not because it is an inferior product. In all honesty, the all-in-one audio/MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad, and Mac is a very superior product.

If you are not a musician, you might not need the iRig PRO. As it is, if you ever want a compact portable interface for your iDevice to a guitar, bass, keyboard, and MIDI controller for playing, practicing, or recording on the go, then the iRig PRO is for you. The iRig PRO can be used with XLR microphones and has a XLR/1/4″ combo jack for connecting microphones and instruments. Just to let you know, the unit is ultra-portable as it comes with 3 connector cables including Lightning, 30-pin, and USB.

You might notice the simplicity of the control, and you are right. It is essentially an input gain control knob, and there is a serious elimination of noise with a new high-definition preamp design.

Of course, what is a device like this without some sort of free app. The AmpliTube app includes 4 exclusive gear models in order to create a personal recording studio. Other apps are VocaLive, SampleTank, and iGrand Piano, and they are free.

If you are interested in this, head on over to the IK Multimedia web site and lay down $149.99 for it.

PonoPlayer bringing back the MP3 player?

Pono_610x458In writing about the PonoPlayer, I had to wonder when was the last time I reviewed an MP3 player? It seems like before 2005, I was writing about them all of the time. I guess the iPhone killed the traditional iPod, or was it the iPod Touch?

Whatever the case, the PonoPlayer isn’t really an MP3 player per se, as it can support all kinds of audio formats such as FLAC, ALAC, MP3, WAV, AIFF, and AAC. You can see its triangular shape, and it is 5 inches high, 2 inches wide, and 1 inch deep. Unlike old music players, this one has 128GB of storage with (64 GB onboard storage and microSD slot for expandable 64 GB storage).

Just to let you know, the PonoPlayer is a Kickstarter project. You can get it for about $300-400.


Roli Seaboard takes synthesized music to the next level

Roli keyboardI think most of us have one of those synthesizer keyboards in our home, and maybe we use it often, even if it is just for fun. The Roli Seaboard, that’s right, Seaboard, is ready to take it to the next level.

You know how most synthesizers need to have knobs turned and such just to produce interesting sound? The Seaboard has a rubberized surface so you essentially bend and twist the keys to manipulate the sound.

What you are seeing here is a prototype, with a top that looks mostly bare. My source says that the final version won’t require a computer, and the company is looking for some serious musicians to try this out. You can see it in action here, and at the Source link.