Today IK Multimedia announced that they were shipping the iRig Keys, their first entry into the hardware controller world. Building on their growing base of experience with iOS-based music accessories, IK is positioning as a mobile controller for your tablet or laptop that provides a solid range of functionality while also easily fitting in your backpack – and with the durability to stand up to life in a backpack!
Even better, today my iRig Keys arrived for review, and will be working to get my review of the new hardware and iGrand Piano for iPad out as soon as possible. Because if iRig Keys lives up to its promise, it will make a great holiday gift for anyone lookig to make music on the go – especially at the price of $99.99!
Here is some of the press release:
IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music-creation apps and accessories, is proud to announce that iRig® KEYS, the first ultra-portable universal MIDI controller keyboard for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with 30-pin connector, and Mac/PC, is now shipping.
Small enough to fit in a backpack, iRig KEYS offers a unique combination of portability, playability, and functionality. Because it’s class-compliant on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac/PC, it’s plug and play — no driver downloads or software or app installations are necessary. iRig KEYS is also entirely bus powered, via the dock connector on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and the USB port on a Mac or PC, so it can be used virtually anywhere.
iRig KEYS works great as a mobile controller for all iOS MIDI compatible instruments and studio apps, including GarageBand; IK’s iGrand Piano, the new concert-quality piano app; the iOS and Mac/PC versions of SampleTank; as well as any MIDI-compatible software or DAW plug-ins for Mac/PC.
Many of iRig KEYS’ features are designed to allow keyboardists to play with the expressive techniques that they’re accustomed to. To that end, the keyboard is equipped with mod and pitch wheels, 37 velocity-sensitive keys (enough for two-handed parts) a MIDI programmable knob, and an input for a sustain pedal or an expression pedal.
Five backlit soft-touch buttons are provided for editing, including Program and Octave up/down buttons, and a SET button for saving and recalling up to four user presets. In Edit Mode it’s possible to transpose, select one of six preset velocity curves, set the MIDI transmit channel and program change number, and assign the knob to a particular MIDI controller.
iRig KEYS comes with free apps for iOS and software for Mac/PC. For the former, users can download SampleTank FREE from the App Store, which provides a collection of 68 sampled acoustic and electronic instruments, or iGrand Piano FREE, a great sounding piano app.
For the Mac/PC, iRig KEYS purchasers are entitled to download SampleTank 2 L, a sampling workstation (plug-in or standalone), that normally retails for $79.99/€59.99, and comes with a 2GB instrument collection.
• 37 velocity-sensitive mini-keys (3 full octaves range plus one note)
• 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