Just over a year ago I reviewed iRig Keys, the 37-note multi-platform mini-key controller. It remains in constant use by either myself or my son! Now IK Multimedia is has released iRig Keys Pro, featuring 37 full-size velocity sensitive keys, Lightning, 30-pin and USB cables, for universal compatibility with all models of iPhone, iPad, and Mac/PC.
• 37 velocity-sensitive full-size keys (3 full octaves range plus one note)
• Includes Lightning-connector, 30-pin and USB cables, for universal compatibility with all models of iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac/PC
• Modulation and pitch bend wheels
• Volume/Data knob (assignable)
• Octave/Program Up/Down back-lit, soft-touch buttons
• SET button to store and recall 4 different customized setups
• Input for an optional sustain or expression pedal
• Core MIDI (iOS) and USB class compliant (Mac/PC) – plug and play
• Powered from the iOS device or Mac/PC USB
• Comes with SampleTank FREE iOS and iGrand Piano FREE apps (download from the App store)
• Comes with free Mac/PC virtual instrument: SampleTank 2 L (download from IK User Area)
The first thing my kids said when the saw iRig Keys Pro out of the box was ‘it is just like iRig Keys, but with full-sized keys’!
EXACTLY. And that is a GOOD thing.
As I noted in the announcement post, the iRig Keys Pro pretty much IS a upsized version of the iRig Keys. But what does that actually mean?
It means that you have 37 keys that are velocity sensitive but not weighted – but now they are full size. Aside from that you get pitch and modulation wheels, knobs for data, and buttons to shift octaves and control other data items.
It comes with cables that allow you to work with any iOS device using a Lightning or 30-pin connector, and also USB interface to work with Mac programs.
What is important is what you DON’T get – because the keys aren’t weighted the keyboard remains light; because there are still 37 keys it will still fit in your backpack; because there aren’t loads of new buttons or control features it still draws power from the iOS device without significant drain.
And for me the ultimate thing was utility – iRig Keys Pro is so easy to pick up and hook up and play that it is something I can keep leaning against my amp to use whenever I get the urge. And coupled with IK apps like SampleTank, or any of the array of quality synths in the app store, you have a powerful music system for creating.
Price: $149.99 from IK Multimedia
What I Like: Solid keyboard; light & portable; works with all iOS and Mac devices; wheels and buttons have great feel and are long-lasting.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
Here is my hands-on review: