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?
Well, 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!
- 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
- content: 19 instruments (22 instrument expansion available)
- price: $19.99
So how does it feel and how does the ep sound?
Well 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.
I 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.
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!