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4.1 out of 5 stars
M-Audio Keyrig 49
Price:£79.00+Free shipping
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179 of 182 people found the following review helpful
This is a 49 key USB midi keyboard with 'hard' modulation and pitch bend controls, a semi-soft volume control, and soft octave switchers. It's very compact, with just about 2 inches more depth than the keys themselves, which are full-sized, and about one inch of casing at the top end, and space for the controls at the bottom. It doesn't require any power because it's powered from the USB cable, and has an input for a sustain pedal.

Some clarifications, because the description on Amazon doesn't make it quite clear:
There are no 5-pin DIN midi outputs on this keyboard -- it communicates midi, but solely through the USB connector.
Likewise, there is no onboard sound generation -- it's all done on your computer using your sampler, soft instruments, etc.
The keys are 'synth-type', which means they are velocity sensitive but not hammer action (or even pseudo-hammer action) like a piano. As far as I can make out (both from testing and the specifications) there is no 'after-touch'.
There is a USB cable in the box, which is long enough for a fairly close computer, but definitely not to cross a room.
As this is USB powered, you can plug it directly into a USB 2 computer, or into a powered hub, but not into an unpowered hub or the USB port on your computer keyboard.
There is no paper manual -- it's all fairly self explanatory, but you can download the manual from M-Audio's website, or pull it off the CD.

So, what's this like, and what's it for? This is a composer, song-writer or sequencer's tool for inputting midi into Logic, Cubase, and other midi-compliant software on a Mac or a recent Windows PC. Allegedly both systems will instantly detect the midi instrument without having to install the supplied software. For Mac Snow Leopard with Logic, this is more or less true: Logic correctly identified the keyboard and recognised the octave and level settings, but did not recognise the modulation or pitch bend (or maybe it was just switched off on that sound -- but, either way, it didn't pick it up out of the box). For a Midi device, this is pretty good, as you generally have to supply information about the keyboard for it to pick up all the functions. More importantly, the system understood the velocity sensitive keys.

You can install the supplied software if you want -- I don't, as it's largely 'lite' versions of things.

I noticed a small amount of latency (delay between playing and the sound) -- more than on a pro keyboard. I wouldn't suggest using this for a live performance, except as an additional controller for effect sounds. That's not what it's for, though. What it is for is sequencing a track or inputting a score. It's very handy for that, light enough to put away and small enough to store easily. 49 keys is also fine for this purpose.

Finally, M-Audio is a high-end prosumer supplier, owned by Avid, the parent company of Sibelius and Pro-Tools. M-Audio gear tends to be pro-useable quality, but without the refinements of Pro-Tools. It's at the upper end of the space occupied by Alesis, Tascam and other prosumer suppliers, and substantially above Behringer, Zoom and the other entry level 'serious' brands.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2010
The Keyrig 49 is good little keyboard. It looks great and plays well for the money. Its a soultion for a basic MIDI keyboard setup and gives you an ideal tool to input notes using MIDI. Its probably not however ideal for a serious keyboard player/pianist that requires more weighted keys and a more professional feel to it. But a good keyboard none the less. The reason for the 3 stars and not the potential 5 was to do with the hassle I had when installing the software that came with it. The sound module software it plays through would not register and activate online. Once id scoured the internet for the reasons why I managed to download a patch from M-Audio's website that fixes the problem. Works and activates fine now. An all round good buy for the beginner/intermediate MIDI user.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2009
This is a great midi keyboard to input notes on your pc. I've used this with Sibelius 6 and Reason 4. For Sibelius it recognised the keyboard at once, without me even doing anything and worked as soon as I loaded up Sibelius. Reason 4 only needed me to go into options and confirm it was an m-audio keyrig 49 to use. Easy!
I have not installed the software that comes with it (the drivers install when you plug the keyboard in). I did put the cd in though but it never recognised it (I use vista...). I have no use for this software though so it doesn't bother me.
This is very easy to use and I recommend it 100%. This keyboard is not great for "playing" piano on your computer but perfect for composers wanting to input notes on audio programs eg Sibelius.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2011
This keyboard is priced at very much less than I have previously seen for this type of product.

It fits in front of my iMac screen quite neatly matching the finish even, and works at least as well as you would expect in this price range

One reviewer said that this keyboard did not work with Sibelius which I found very unlikely as both seem to be marketed by Avid.

The first time I tried it I thought that he was right as nothing happened in Sibelius when I selected a location in Sibelius to use and played notes on it. Then I discovered the on switch and the blue lights against the switches came on, so I thought that was the problem.

Still nothing so I hunted through the Sibelius help files and discovered that the keyboard needed to be switched on already before loading up Sibelius.

Closed down Sibelius and then started the programme again and it works fine. IT is then a question of playing neatly and simply enough so that your variations in touch are not interpretated as rests. You can use plug ins in sibelius to clean the score up and also modify manually.

You can also use the keyboard in step-time assign ing the time value to each note or chord you play. This is slower, but more reliable and still faster than working only from the computer keyboard.

Excellent value and well worthwhile!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2010
I unpacked the keyboard, puzzled over the instructions for 'online certification' etc, then decided to ignore them! I just plugged the keyboard into my Mac OS X 10.6.4 with the supplied USB cable, opened GarageBand '09, Magic GarageBand, and found that I could play 'My Instrument' straightaway! (Note: there seems to be a GarageBand bug that prevents Organs from loading into My Instrument in the 'Rock' genre, but they load in other genres). Keyboard is well made, plug-&-play for GarageBand, great value! Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2011
Its a common situation with keyboards and pianos - there is nothing like first hand experience before making purchase. This is partly the problem when you're encouraged into the sale of, what at first seems like, a very good valued interface that on some editions (though Amazon doesn't say) even bundles a copy of Ableton Live 6 Lite - an incredibly competent release of the big daddy 'Ableton Live'.

What we have here however is M-Audio's bargain-bucket range - a selection of keyboards that whilst look good, aren't going to play as comfortably as that of something for twice the price. You shouldn't expect any kind of descent after-touch, for this is just a standard spring-loaded keyboard with no additional qualities (at least to that of a keyboard almost three times the price). Because of this awkward response, the 49E is best suited for MIDI editing where one merely aims to produce demo's or is willing to experiment, rather than compose melodies fluently. I have actually found that the stiff tactile response is better suited to percussion software instruments, as the keys feel hard wearing.

As with most interfaces these days, you can connect the keyboard via USB and your DAW software will recognise it no problem - be it Logic Studio or Ableton Live. Sadly, the keyboard only offers MIDI Out, meaning that you can't use it as an additional interface to other MIDI instruments, such as a synthesizer. This is disappointing as I have no doubt that it would make a great extension to other MIDI equipment, and as I have often found, it is only newer products that seem to lack both MIDI In and Out ports.

However, while the product may not be perfect, it definitely has a market and is ideally suited to the amateur musician who seeks only to input MIDI. As for practicing your keyboard playing, you could do a whole lot better and for a little more cash, get a much softer/accurate after-touch from Yamaha or Roland.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2011
It claims to plug and play- it does.
It claims to be a neat, tidy package-It is.
It claims to work with all DAWs- It does (well i use garageband and it does).
It Claims to deliver in 5 days-It took two.

Baically it does everything you could ask it to do and more, as does the seller. Obviously if you demand more complex functions from your midi keyboard controller you can get them, but for ANYONE who wants a reliable USB keyboard , this is it. Ive not written a review before but felt i had to as this exceeds expectations.

Thankyou Seller.

**if youre a beginner-medium player go for it**
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2012
This product met all of my expectations and exceeded most of them. The keyboard is extremely well built but there are some small problems with latency- this is due to a minor internal hardware issue, not the actual keyboard itself.

Great value for the relatively small amount of money I purchased it for. I bought it for College, to help with our MIDI composition module.

In a nutshell, this is a cracking wee piece of gear and I think it would perform brilliantly in a live/touring situation, due to it's small form factor and the fact it is incredibly light- I can lift this thing with one hand, AMAZING.

M-Audio have done themselves proud with this one, it is ideal for anyone starting out in a small studio with a MIDI rig. So any of you budding young producers should purchase your's TODAY!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2012
Tried this on Win7 (x64 & x86), Vista (x64), and XP. Worked a treat on all. I have tried various programs including my main tools - Cubase and Reason; all recognised this & behaved as expected.

Clearly the keyboard feel is not up to any of the weighted / semi models out there but for the price and size/weight its just about spot on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2011
ive played on and tried out many a midi, and this one is by far the best in its class. its a well built piece of kit and its a pleasure to play. i cant say much for the software that comes with it. im not doubting that its good, ive just no purpose for it.

ordered with amazon prime trial and it arrived - next day delivery. superb.
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