The Best Things Come In Small Packages
Big is not always beautiful, big feet do not always mean big shoes and big hands definitely don’t mean a need for a big midi controller keyboard.
Over at Korg things seem to be getting smaller and smaller and the Microkey 25 is certainly no exception. With the MicroKorg synths, the miniKP effects units and nano series of controllers korg certainly have the worlds biggest range of small controllers.
The latest kid on the block comes in the form of a 25 key usb powered keyboard, younger brother to the 37 key version. It measures in at 395millimeters tall, 53 millimeters thick and weighs around 1.43 pounds, although not much longer or deeper than the nanoKey feels heavier and more robust. Powered and sending MIDI over its USB port and like the larger37 key based on Korg’s “Natural Touch” products such as the microkorg XL. For such a small player it has a pretty decent action and in its price range at around £49.00 you would struggle to find better. Perfect for sticking in a rucksack for those tedious commutes and easily hidden from your girlfriend/boyfriend when packing for that romantic break away.
A great new addition to the Microkey 25 that differs from the 37 version is the introduction of an arpeggiator and sustain/TAP key for additional manipulation of sounds. It also has pitch and modulation combining both functions in a single handy joystick instead of two bulky seperate jog wheels. Octave settings can be adjusted using the up and down keys which are necessary functions since it only has 25 keys.
Compatibility did not seem to find any problems, on powering up the unit was recognized on both windows and Mac OS and is verified to work with windows xp, Vista and 7 if that’s your thing. The unit also works and is powered by ipad, and sits nicely with Garage Band which makes for an extremely portable solution for field work, nice!
Now the size does have it’s drawbacks, if your like me and have trouble sending text messages you will struggle to play chopsticks, but as a quick sketcher on the go it’s a great solution and for banging out those 1 finger bass lines or tapping out same beats over breakfast it’s perfect. The product comes bundled with a modest line up of software including Toontracks EZDrummer Lite and Applied Acoustics Lizard Session electric piano plug-in. With the increasing number of semi pro ipad apps and ease of use setting up it’s a pretty good option for the money and we feel a bit of a steal in the price range.
Pros- Arpeggiator/TAP. ‘Natural Touch’ keys with great feel. Portability, compatabillity and Price. Pitch/Mod joystick. Plug and Play no brainer.
Cons- Size (but that’s the whole point)
Check out the full specs at http://www.korg.com/microkey