Categorized | iOS & Mobile

IK Multimedia iRig Keys and iLectric Piano review

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Hey what’s up yall, got another review for ya today from IK Multimedia.

For those that don’t know, I’m a HUGE iOS fan, I love what I can do with my iPad and also I love using it as an instrument.

IK has been leading in making accessories for the iOS devices as well as many great sounding applications.

Today I’m checking out their iRig Keys and the ilectric Piano.

So what is iRig Keys and this new iLectric Piano?

ilectric_ipad_wurly_settingsWell, they started off with iRig devices for hooking up guitars, then along came the iRig MIDI for those of us using controllers and synths, etc.

Among many other iRig accessories, they now have iRig Keys which is a nice feeling 37 note portable keyboard controller that plugs directly up to your iPad via a 30 pin connection.

However, it also works with Mac or PC via usb so anyone looking for a lighweight portable controller should check it out.

The iLectric Piano is a brand new app dedicated to providing you with high studio quality EP sounds on your iOS device.

I’m an EP fanatic as you know so I had to check this out!

Quick Specs

iRig Keys

  • keys: 37 keys
  • controls: mod and pitch wheel, octave up/down, sustain or expression pedal input, change MIDI channels and program changes
  • content: SampleTank free, iGrand Free, SampleTank 2L
  • price: $99.99
  • product page: ikgear.com, ikmobileapps.com

iLectric Piano

  • content: 19 instruments (22 instrument expansion available)
  • price: $19.99

So  how does it feel and how does the ep sound?

Reel to Reel Tape RecorderWell the firs thing I noticed about the keys were the feel. Many mobile keyboards suffer from a stiffness due to the size of the keys.

The keys on the iRig do not feel stiff at all, plenty of travel to press the keys down and get a good feel when playing.

The overall construction feels like it would be fine with tons of mobile use including the occasional dropping that’s bound to happen, as well as being stuffed into luggage and thrown around.

There are not many buttons to break off, the one thing I would like to see is possibly a connector with an angle to it instead of the one that sticks directly out of the back, but it’s manageable.

As for the sound of iLectric Piano it is great! I’ve felt for a long time that SampleTank for iOS has the best sounds on the iOS platform overall, so each time IK puts out a new instrument app I’m all over it.

I was happy to see an EP app being an EP fanatic, and this one does not disappoint. It sounds great and it’s very easy to tweak the sound to your liking

So what’s the bottom line?

Overall I think IK Multimedia continues to deliver with their mobile apps and accessories.  The iRig Keys definitely hits the right balance of scale and function. It’s light enough to carry just about anywhere, yet they chose not to skimp on putting actual pitch and mod wheels on the device where many other mobile controllers opt for buttons.

The functionality of the program changing, midi channel changes, and octave adjustment makes it really useful for those times when you are mobile and inspiration strikes…you can get some real work done.

4andhalfsubsI give iRig Keys 4.5 out of 5 subs, it’s a great feeling keyboard that just plain works!

If I have one suggestion, it would be either an iRig Keys “mini” with 25 keys for easier packing into an average sized bookbag or laptop bag. Or even a way for the iRig Keys to fold over so it’s smaller when tucked away. I would have to specifically look for a larger bag just to stick this in there with my laptop/iPad.  I felt that was something to consider given this is aimed at the mobile/iOS musician.

Now as for the iLectric Piano, the thing looks great, and sounds great.

I give it 5 out of 5 subs, it’s just a no brainer for iOS musicians looking for a great sounding EP app.

5subs

One thing I can’t wait for is the day when IK updates their apps with Audiobus, being able to use their great sounds in other applications and mobile DAWs for recording is really going to set things on fire in my opinion.

Even still, I use my iPad as an instrument in my setup, so having a fast loading EP that sounds great really hits the spot for me. I treat it like any other hardware instrument and just record my audio into whatever program I’m using at the time.

At 20 bucks…there’s no question this is worth having on your device.

Make sure you go over and check out everything else they have for the iOS /mobileplatform, including accessories and apps: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/cat-view.php?C=mobile

Personally I’m looking forward to that iKlip Stand myself :)

leave me a comment below, let me know what you think!

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49 Responses to “IK Multimedia iRig Keys and iLectric Piano review”

  1. Phew SD says:

    How well does the iLectric Piano app compare to the Kontakt 5 factory stuff?I’m thinking off getting an iPad as an on the move soundmodule.

  2. AAMediaMusic says:

    Returned iKeys same day as purchased due to broken key. Bought Axiom AIR Mini 32 instead. Much better quality and more features. Works very well with Cubasis on iPad.

  3. AAMediaMusic says:

    I forgot to mention the Axiom was the same price as iKeys at Guitar Center. Also, those additional features are useful ones, not just bells and whistles. I don’t want I knock iKeys since I didn’t have it more than a few hours. But, Axiom is another option to consider if you what drum/controller pads and tweak knobs.

  4. SoundsAndGear says:

    @AAMediaMusic I like that it doesn’t need an adapter, just plug and play. and I like the feel of the keys better than the axiom keys personally.

  5. SoundsAndGear says:

    @Phew SD compares very well. They did a great job with the sound quality.

  6. SoundsAndGear says:

    @AAMediaMusic Yeah its cool to I just like the feel of these keys a bit better and the direct connection

  7. DJKevWest says:

    how small are the keys? are they normal mini keys? i am considering grabbing one I love IK products I just don’t know if I want mini keys.

  8. Jak says:

    “…One thing I can’t wait for is the day when IK updates their apps with Audiobus!”

    I agree, totally!

  9. AAMediaMusic says:

    @St

  10. AAMediaMusic says:

    @St Joe – agreed on the feel of the keys and the adapter for the axiom was another $30 (I think). For my purpose, the additional features won out. I don’t think I’ll miss those 5 extra keys.

  11. SoundsAndGear says:

    @AAMediaMusic Yeah I actually wish the keyboard was shorter but the actual feel of the keys and how much they travel when pressed is something I like

  12. SoundsAndGear says:

    @DJKevWest they ate kind of in between mini and full. God for mobile but I wouldn’t use it as my main.

  13. Uprightest says:

    Great vid bro….Is the EP sample based or synth?

  14. SoundsAndGear says:

    @Uprightest I’m not sure I assumed it was sample based given their sampketank background. whatever it is I like it and it loads fast :)

  15. ikmultimedia says:

    Yes, it is sample-based. They sound so good because there will be a highly-detailed version of these in SampleTank 3 too :) We did things like moving the transformer away from the rest of the circuitry to reduce noise on one of the electric pianos, for example, since we’re quite capable of circuit-level and mechanical repair/changes/etc.

  16. SoundsAndGear says:

    Nice!! …now who do I talk to so I can get in on beta testing of ST3 ;)

  17. John Finter says:

    “if you could fold it” …and with that I start my plans to create a 61 key folding controller that fits in your backpack… Brilliant!!!

  18. Baddboy2000 says:

    SJ: “You’re playing the IRIG like the creator”. Did you invent this?. From your video review,this is a must buy for those with an IPAD. The keys appear very responsive,& the sound is good too. Thanks for giving us a “peep” into this one.

  19. SoundsAndGear says:

    @John Finter indeed! :)

  20. GospelMusicians says:

    Hey my friend….You got to review my new Neo-Soul Keys® for iOS coming March 14th….

  21. SoundsAndGear says:

    nice!!

  22. John L says:

    Hey St. Joe, which iPad are you using w/i this review video? iPad2? iPad3? new iPad w/ Retina Display & Lightning connector?

  23. SoundsAndGear says:

    I’m using the iPad 2 fam

  24. IK Multimedia says:

    +1 if you like making music on the go!http://www.ikmultimedia.com/iosCheck out this iRig Keys and iLectric Piano review!http://irigkeys.com/http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/ilectricipad

  25. SoundsAndGear says:

    yeah the app will work on the ipad3

  26. synchronizerman says:

    Hmm. My only concern is that if I were to use this with my laptop and sequencer, I’d have to press all those buttons to switch midi channels, whereas my old keyboard automatically plays whichever track is selected in my sequencer. Is this something that I don’t have to worry about unless I’m using an iPhone/iPad? Also, of the three products that you mentioned, do any of them feel plastic-y?

  27. synchronizerman says:

    I like the sound of the line 6, and the fact that it has full-sized keys gives it an advantage. Thanks again for the recommendations. :)

  28. SoundsAndGear says:

    cool man, no problem!

  29. propoetide says:

    I liked iLectric when it came out. But go check out Neo Soul Keys for iPad – there’s no competition, it’s just so much better sounding. It’s even cheaper.

  30. ikmultimedia says:

    And it (plus iLectric Piano too) are on sale now :)

  31. Jen Full says:

    iLectric App does not work through the iRig i have both these! The sounds are not good on any of the Instruments on the App its Expensive too

  32. Mario Reyes says:

    how much does the irig keys go for?

  33. SoundsAndGear says:

    it’s 99 bucks

  34. Rod Barone says:

    where do you get the little ipad stand?

  35. SoundsAndGear says:

    ik makes that as well

  36. TheMrBeckoo says:

    Hy please let me know about the use of keys on a live gig….i have a main keyboard And want a second one smaller than my first for live gigs at pubs around my neighbour…but i dont know how the connections are disposed for it And how i can plug it on amplifier for huge quality sound(midi, USB, etc)…so many thanks

  37. SoundsAndGear says:

    this keyboard connects via usb to whatever host/computer or iOS device you are using

  38. Scott Melanson says:

    Are there any sounds that emulate a Hammond Organ, i.e.-B3?

  39. Mariela Vargas says:

    Great midi controller but I have a couple of questions, how does work the transpose button? You explained the octave button but no the transpose. And do you think this midi controller will work with a Samsung Galaxy tab with the usb cable? I’ll wait for your answer! Thanks!

  40. SoundsAndGear says:

    Hey +Mariela Vargas I haven’t tried the transpose actually I usually just change octaves, as for working with a galaxy tab, I don’t have one to try it with so you would have to check with +IK Multimedia on that question to be sure.

  41. Rafael Teodoro says:

    Hy folks!

    what about use it in live gigs?…I waant one as a second keyboard for my live gigs, but i don’t know how it sounds on amplifier.

    Could someone solve me this question?

    tks!!!

    • saintjoe says:

      The iRig Keys is just a midi controller it doesn’t make any sounds on it’s own you have to plug it up to a sound module of some sort.

  42. Joe says:

    Can I purchase the iLectric for my iPod? Thanks.

  43. SticksNkicks says:

    IK?? customer support is the worst on the planet.. I have lost a ton of time and money trying to get my products authorized… No Help no matter what I do.. Emailed over and over only wanted a solution or my money back!! NOTHING!!

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