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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

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.


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.


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.

Machine to do everything (Line 6 - Toneport KB37)

By Exxi3, 13/01/2014
Having a Pod, a small keyboard and a usb sound card all in one :-)

Midi keyboard 37 keys
. 2 XLR mic inputs (with phantom power)
. Guitar / bass input
. Stereo line inputs and outputs
. Digital output S / P DIF
. Stereo headphone jack
. Analog VU meters
. 2 sockets for foot switches
. 1 jack for expression pedal
. Buttons to select memories and transport
. Wheels pitch bend / modulation
. 4 assignable controls and buttons
. Comes with the recording software "Ableton Live Lite 5 - Line 6 Edition" and therefore operational seconds after unpacking
. Hardware and software compatible with most popular recording software for Mac and Windows and allows to work 44.1/48kHz (16/24 bits), while offering compatibility 96kHz


The touch keyboard is not Fatar, obviously, but enough for basslines and solos with one hand.

The manual is quite clear and comprehensive.

The config is done exclusively by the software, and the beast must be plugged into usb to work.

The general use is easy.


I since its release, I do not use anymore since I have a lot better (and really expensive) now

To my knowledge this is the only keyboard / guitar emu / soundcard natively
but another mini keyboard / sound card with a good guitar emu would equally software, see better (Guitar Rig 5?)
From secondhand at a good price I would buy it again. Good quality / price ratio.

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.


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.


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.


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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Akai MPK Mini MIDI Controller

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