Korg microKEY, A Crazy Convenient MIDI Controller [Review]

Korg microKEY, A Crazy Convenient MIDI Controller [Review]

With the number of MIDI controllers on the market, the search for a great portable controller can be daunting.

Let me introduce you to the Korg microKEY, my favorite mobile MIDI controller.

OK, there are quite a few mobile MIDI controllers on the market. M-Audio makes great mobile keyboards – the Axiom 25 and Axiom Pro 25. The only problem with these keyboards is that they can be pretty pricey and bulky.

Mobile keyboards are meant to be thrown into a bag for quick use. Personally, I don’t feel too comfortable throwing an Axiom Pro 25 into a backpack, considering they run in the neighborhood of $400.00.

The Korg microKEY is a great mobile MIDI controller for two reasons: the size is right and the price is right. In my opinion, Korg implemented a really smart design choice that I believe a lot of manufacturers should follow – they added a USB hub into the side of the controller. This is great because it allows you to daisy chain a number of other MIDI devices together. I am a fan of my 15-inch MacBook Pro, but I’ll admit that it is somewhat lacking with its two USB ports.

The Korg microKEY adds another USB port to my machine (one port on the MacBook Pro needs to be reserved for the controller itself). While that doesn’t seem like much, that extra port could be used to add any number of fantastic USB devices like the Blue Yeti Mic for podcasting or any of the Korg nanoSERIES2 MIDI controllers.

The Korg gear is certainly worth taking a serious look at. There’s something to be said about capturing creativity when it happens, not only when it’s convenient. The Korg microKEY might just be the answer to your mobile MIDI controller needs.

There are quite a few online resellers. Here are a couple for your convenience: Soundtree and Sweetwater.

Buy from: Amazon ($77.01)

Rating: ★★★★½

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  • russhughes

    You missed the utterly brilliant M-Audio Keystation 32, which is a baby Axiom and a wonderful bit of kit. If the Mini 32 did not exist I would say this review was spot on, but it does and so it’s not.

    Check it out here http://www.m-audio.com/product

  • Aaron

    Nice — and on sale for $80… AND the keys are velocity sensitive! Winner!

  • al friede

    nice try, but they FAIL! by not putting a single button or knob across the top over the keys! 

About the author

Jason GainesJason Gaines is an author, musician and educator. He has experience performing in Broadway shows, studio sessions and various large and small jazz groups in New York City. He has written music for television and independent film. He uses Logic Pro professionally and consultants with audio and post houses throughout the United States and Canada. He is currently finishing his first book for Oxford University Press that involves writing music for film and television with technology.

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