There are more than a few nifty keyboard apps for iOS devices to keep you amused, but if you are a real musician looking to make music on the go, you need a much better solution. That is where a cool device like the iRig KEYS comes in quite handy. This small, lightweight keyboard was crafted with musicians in mind – and is designed specifically to be taken with you on the road. And although the iRig KEYS is incredibly light in its form factor, it does not compromise on quality or features.
With pitch and modulation wheels on the keyboard and the ability to connect the iRig to a foot pedal, you can practically bring your compositions with you where ever you may roam and have the tools at hand to make studio-quality music. Not only does the keyboard strike me as being made with musicians in mind, the software seems incredibly well-designed for creating music while also taking advantage of the touchscreen capabilities of the iPad or iPhone. My favorite feature is the ability to select from a wide range of piano sounds from Baby Grands to Synthesizers – available in the iGrand app.
The keyboard itself has 37 keys which are sensitive to velocity of play and illuminated controls for program and octave changes. The device connects to your iOS device via a 7-pin DIN dock connection port – and those cables are included in the box with the device, so there is no need to run out and drop another $30 bucks on cables as is so often the case. iRig KEYS aslo lets you connect a foot pedal for more advanced playing. Being much more than a basic keyboard, the KEYS also lets you use MIDI program and change of control commands as well as the storing of presets.
Coming in with a price of about $100, the iRig keys feels like a very affordable purchase for any musician who wants to take their music on the go. It appears to have been designed by musicians with musicians in mind – the attention to detail and fantastic software design clearly demonstrates that this item was not meant as a toy – but as a useful option for real musicians seeking a multi-featured, MIDI keyboard they can take anywhere.
As much as I enjoyed using the keyboard, it might be more helpful to watch a real musician use the iRig.
The iRig KEYS is available is stores nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigkeys/.