CME Xkey Mobile Musical Keyboard
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- 25 full-size keys (2 octaves).
- 100% MIDI compliant.
- Velocity sensitive.
- USB Powered (no external power supply needed).
- Weight: only 600 g (1.32 lb): less than an iPad!
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25 full-size keys (2 octaves). 100% MIDI compliant. Velocity sensitive. Polyphonic aftertouch. Pressure sensitive Pitch bend and Modulation buttons, with continuous MIDI control data. Octave +/- push buttons. Sustain button. USB Powered (no external power supply needed). Firmware upgradable via USB. Configurable via Xkey Plus free app for iOS, Mac OSX, and Windows. Connectors Micro USB connector (cable provided). Activity indicator LED. Dimensions Width: 388 mm (15.27 in) Height: 135 mm (5.31 in) Depth: 16 mm (0.62 in) Weight: only 600 g (1.32 lb): less than an iPad! Power consumption ~ 125mW / 25mA Included in Package Xkey (25 keys) :-) Micro USB cable. Quick Start Guide. Sold separately: Supernova Protection Carrying Case Warranty 2 Years Warranty.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This thing is amazing. Was looking for a small MIDI keyboard to place in front of the monitor, as well as to throw in a laptop bag for travel. This is the only compact keyboard that I could find with FULL SIZE KEYS that fits in both places.
I noted a few comments about click noise from the keys. It's not any louder than the clack or clunk from any plastic synth keyboard, and I have several synth action keyboards to compare this with. No bother at all.
If you download the Xkey Plus app, you can configure the key velocity response to your liking. It is very easy to play and responds well. I don't have any issue with the minimum key travel depth.
Maybe not for your main keyboard, but for actually playing a virtual instrument on your computer, you need one of these. I think it's a bit more fun to play than a real keyboard. The fast action makes it easy to glide across the keys in a way that would be difficult with real keys. For more on keyboard instrument evolution, visit the Roli website and take a look at the Roli Seaboard. Continuous touch and fingertip expression. Very cool, but they don't come cheap.
The Xkey 25 is less than $100, the frame is made from aluminum, not cheap plastic. It's well designed and feels solid.
If you just want to trigger drum beats or loops, maybe one of the mini-key controllers with trigger pads and mixer knobs would suit you better. I tried one of those, but returned it and got this instead. Couldn't stand the small size of the mini-keys. Overall very satisfied with the CME Xkey 25 and highly recommend it!!!
There are compact MIDI trigger and mixer controllers without keys that would pair up nicely with this if you need the additional functions for Ableton Live or something like that.
Oh yeah, about that orange USB cable. It's loud. But on the positive side, it helps you find it fast in the back of your computer or gear rack. And it's also long ... very, very, long.
I was looking for a portable keyboard that could be used in both the studio and on the road. At $100, I initially felt there was no way this 25-key keyboard could be worth it, but after seeing some stellar reviews and recommendations I took the plunge. I gotta say that I absolutely see what the hype is about now. The build quality is really nothing short of phenomenal, and not only did I have zero buyer's remorse, but I am even considering replacing the big full-sized 49-key midi keyboard I use in my bedroom studio with the 37-key version they sell for the extra space I'd get on my desk. It's that good.
So, why two stars? Well, one of my F keys started malfunctioning after no more than a couple days of use. No drops, no close-calls; it just decided to stop working normally. Basically the problem is that the slightest touch or graze will trigger it, and I can't play on the keyboard now without putting serious effort into avoiding it until necessary. Check out the video and take note of how the E key only triggers when pressed while the F key triggers with any slight touch.
It's a serious shame that I have to return this keyboard. I am considering getting a replacement to see if I have better luck with another unit, but I also might just go all out and grab the 37-key. Either way, I only feel this merits two stars at the moment. The actual product is incredible, but malfunctioning after six hours of serious use is really unacceptable. Believe the hype, but test your unit thoroughly once you receive it.
It is MIDI over USB only, but no separate powered hub is required for use with iOS devices.
One caveat for those purchasing the blue model: the product image is misleading. The housing is not the solid blue shown, but rather a much lighter blue with a shimmery sheen to it. For me, that was a little disappointing, but not a deal breaker. This is a great controller for sketching out ideas or just perusing the sound banks of your synth apps.