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MIDI + Audio Keyboard Controllers

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MIDI + Audio Keyboard Controllers
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User reviews on MIDI + Audio Keyboard Controller products

The recording interface that does it all! (Line 6 - Toneport KB37)

By JeffTadashi, 07/05/2012
The Line 6 Toneport KB37 is a usb recording interface that does it all! It features 37 midi keys with pitch and mod wheels, expression and footswitch controls, transport controls, mic inputs with phantom power, stereo line level inputs, guitar input with pad, headphone and main outs, and that's just the hardware. I use my KB37 for various recording, songwriting, and production projects, and with this piece of hardware, I can recording and work with pretty much any instrument except drums.

It also features great Line 6 software, with includes their signature guitar amp models, bass models, and vocal preamp models. Also included are guitar pedal effects and studio effects, and additional models can be purchased as well. Best of all, there is zero latency monitoring when using the models. which is perfect for recording guitar. Under normal recording circumstances with guitar amp emulation, there is a slight lag, which can definitely affect the recording performance on faster material, such as guitar solos.

UTILIZATION

Generally, Line 6 hardware is very easy to setup, and it especially works well on Windows systems, which isn't always the case when it comes to usb audio interfaces. Notably, I've always had driver problems with Tascam audio interfaces working with Windows, when it seems their main support is for Mac OS. But I've never had driver problems with Line 6 hardware.

Line 6 has their own update software (Monkey), which helps detect and properly register all Line 6 devices, authorize purchases, and download the newest drivers and software. It is very centralized, very well supported, and Line 6 puts out new software updates with new features on a regular basis. The KB37, specifically, is an older device that has been succeeded by the POD Studio KB37 (which, feature wise, is almost identical), but I would expect Line 6 to create new drivers if, for example, Windows 8 comes out.



OVERALL OPINION

Overall, the Line 6 KB37 is one of the few pieces of musical hardware that I use every single day, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a smaller, personal studio setup. It is one of the most versatile usb audio interfaces I have ever owned, and I would easily pay double than what I paid for this hardware. It even sits perfectly on the middle of my desk, between my monitor and my computer keyboard. And with all the various equipment and computer changes that I've been through, the KB37 has never moved from it's spot on my desk.
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MIDI controller and Interface!! (Line 6 - POD Studio KB37)

By stompboxjon, 23/10/2012
The Line 6 POD Studio KB37 is a 37 key MIDI controller/keyboard that has a built in audio interface. This was the first unit like this that I have ever seen. It is not common to have a MIDI controller with a built in interface. Having this makes it the ultimate portable unit because there is only one piece of gear to take with you for your MIDI controller and interface. The price of it is 350 dollars but that is nothing, compared to everything that you are getting with this interface/MIDI controller.

UTILIZATION

Setting the KB37 up is very simple and easy, it only takes a few minutes and you can use it on your Mac or PC. For your Windows system you need Windows XP service pack 2 or Windows 2000 service pack 4 or higher. If you are running it on a Vista machine it does not matter if you have 64 or 32 bit. If you want to use the KB37 on a Mac you will need OSX 10.4.6 or higher. You can use the KB37 with a USB 2.0 and even a 1.1 port.

GETTING STARTED

The KB37 is very well built and will last you a long time as both a MIDI controller and as an interface. The interface does have phantom power in case you want to plug in a condenser microphone, and there are two balanced ¼ line outs. The MIDI controller is pretty good as well, the keys are well made but they don’t have a weight to them as most similar MIDI keyboards don’t.

OVERALL OPINION

The KB37 comes with Ableton Live Lite , or you can use it with whatever DAW or application you choose to use it with. Having this unit will make your life easier; I would not get this if you are not very mobile. But if you are the type of musician that travels a lot and takes gear with you this is perfect and a must have.
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A fun bit of kit (Behringer - U-Control UMA25S)

By Sikosis, 14/10/2014
I was looking for something portable but functional. I'm mainly a guitar player so I didn't want to spend a fortune on a controller - so I was looking at the entry level market but still with enough features and functions that it was usable as a composition tool and controller.

The fully assignable knobs and 25 keys were the main technical features, and the knobs work really well. The keys are pretty average I guess, but it's definitely a step up from my laptop keyboard.

The other characteristic that motivated my choice was the size. It's very light and so is good for me as I am currently abroad. I was able to take it abroad with me and take it around so I can still work on music whilst away from home.

The unit connects to my laptop via USB and is also USB powered (so no extra power source required). The midi functionality works via the USB and the unit also functions as an audio interface, so that meant there was one less thing to bring (in theory).

The audio interface itself is not great. I find the sound distorts so I use a separate audio interface, which I already had (and was about three times the price of this unit). So that is something to bear in mind - if you're buying this and expecting to be able to monitor the sound via this unit you may want to think again. I still think for the price this is a good unit though.

UTILIZATION

This is a simple USB powered, plug in a play midi controller. All of the knobs are fully assignable so you can set each knob to a parameter on your DAW. This is great for controling effects in real time and it's amazing what you can come up with just by playing around with this.

You also have controls to control playback and record, which is very handy. Also included are some CDs with a free DAW and a heap of VST plug ins. I use Logic so I haven't used these but if you're using this device as an entry level controller and don't have a DAW it could be a good entry level choice (although Logic is so cheap now I would probably recommend you save another couple of hundred bucks).

If you have even a basic understanding of using controllers this should be a very simple unit to setup and operate.

OVERALL OPINION

What I like about this is the ease and simplicity of use. I just plug in and play. I can easily control effects in real time. Recording is very easy. The keys although average are adequete for what I am doing.

The unit is light and feels a bit cheap but I am not taking this out live and it gets looked after. No damage so far. I also like the bright red finish. It looks really cool and because it is light it feels like you can throw it around and have fun with it. It feels like a toy so whatever I do with it feels like fun, whereas if I'd bought a more expensive unit I maybe would feel like I'd have to make more serious music.

It also comes with a carry case so there is some protection if you do decide to use it live. I guess again you can go out and gig with this unit with a lot less stress than if you're carting an expensive Nord or something around with you.

I think for the price this is a great controller. It's simple to use, it looks cool, it's light and you can use it anywhere. If this is your main instrument maybe get something a bit more professional, but if it's an extra bit of kit for your arsenal then I think it's a lot of fun.
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Novation XioSynth 49

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