Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hardware Reviews Part 1

Here is the first in a series of reviews of hardware that I have used for music making. Remember, 5 is actually average.

Korg nanoKEY - $50  (5.5/10) 
You have to keep in mind that this score takes price into account. This little guy is total shit compared to a normal full midi keyboard. It goes great with a laptop though, having a similar feel to a computer keyboard, but it only has two octaves limiting its use as an actual playing keyboard. I've found that it's surprisingly good for triggering drum samples. I bought two of these, a white and a black. The white one broke after about a month of playing, but the black one still works well today.

-Cool design

-That fucking CC Mode button is too close to the keys
-Doesn't play much like a normal keyboard
-One seemed to break easily

M-Audio KeyRig 49 - $100 (6.5/10) 
The KeyRig (any of them in the series) is worth well more than two nanoKEYs at twice the price. The keys don't feel much like a piano, but that's fine if you're mainly using it for synth. My main problem with this keyboard is the shitty USB plug in the back that got fucked up after a few months causing me to have to hold it at a certain angle with duct tape. Then it stopped working altogether. It was pretty good while it lasted. 

-Decent keyboard feel
-Plenty of keys

-That fucking god awful USB plug

Behringer U-Control UMX610 - $170 (8/10)
The UMX610 really does a beautiful job at being a USB/MIDI keyboard. It has a great feel, with realistically weighted keys, and plenty of knobs to assign to whatever you want. It also has a professional looking design, which is hard to find in a fairly cheap USB keyboard. If you have the money, I'd definitely recommend this. Behringer knows what they're doing with this one.
-Great feel
-Plenty of octaves
-Lots of knobs
-Sexy body

-Similar plug problems to the KeyRig 49, but to a lesser extent
-There are fucking dog hairs all over my keys


  1. That Behringer looks pretty cool. I've never used a midi-keyboard for anything live, so I probably wouldn't need half the controllers...hopefully mine would be void of your dog hairs.
    It would just look right though.
    Pretty handy review.

  2. I'm looking forward to your next post!

  3. The Akai LPK25 is the perfect replacement for a nanoKey. Better quality, feels better, keys are actually, ya know, keys, etc. Still crappy, but gets the job done better.

  4. I'll have to look into that. Sounds promising.

  5. Look sexy as...

    Sharin' some lovin'

  6. Great post!

    looking forward to reading the next one

  7. good follow up post to yesterday's