The M-Audio KeyRig 49 Keyboard
The KeyRig 49 Keyboard has been created especially for the plug-and-play musician.
For most experienced producers, their choice of which controller keyboard and virtual instrument is not a problem, but for the novice it can be an absolute nightmare…and here’s where the KeyRig 49 comes in: you will find a 49-note MIDI Controller Keyboard that connects to a PC or a Mac via a USB port, and can be used to control any virtual instrument or DAW.
The KeyRig software includes a wide range of sounds via the GM-4 General MIDI module, and also includes the SP-1 Stage Piano, MS-2 Polyphonic Synthesizer, and MB-3 Tone Wheel Organ. The great thing about the Key Rig software is that all the instruments appear on one screen so it’s easy to find the instrument you want and get playing, with the option of editing the sounds. Certain sounds do stand out from the rest - the electric pianos and drum kits are very realistic - and there are excellent synth sounds generated from the MS-2 module.
A good package…
The best way to think of the KeyRig 49 is that it comes with a free controller keyboard. The software is certainly impressive, and the controller keyboard is perfect if you’re a live performer who’s looking for a portable lightweight controller. No,the keys aren’t weighted, but this bundle is more targeted at the bedroom producer or guitarist who is looking to add a few keyboard parts. M-Audio do make controller keyboards for the more professional keyboard player, like the KeyStation range, so if you’re at the pro level, I’d choose that one!
A piece of virtual cake
Having set up many virtual instruments onto many computers in the past, we found the KeyRig installation process to be totally straight forward. The controller keyboard was recognised instantly - very reassuring if you’re a beginner or not too sure about virtual instruments! Ableton Live Lite Software is included in the bundle, this allows recording of both MIDI and audio, multi-tracking, and further MIDI and audio editing. The keyboard is not just ‘locked’ to the KeyRig software, the keyboard can be used to control any virtual instrument by any other manufacturer.
In short, the KeyRig 49 bundle is possibly the best solution for laying down keyboard parts quickly and easily.
Thumbs Up: Excellent electric pianos, range of sounds, pitch bend and modulation wheels included on the keyboard.
Thumbs Down: The KeyRig software doesn’t work on a Mac
Verdict: Superb sounds from the KeyRig virtual instrument and easy to set up with your computer and controller keyboard!