Monday, 15 November 2010

Tickling the plastics

Still waiting for iOS4.2 and rumoured deadlines come and go with all the build-up and let down that comes with it. However a recent ebay session of loft clearing gave me the funds to get a 25 key keyboard as mentioned in my previous post. After intense deliberation and a few failed bids I narrowed my choice right down. I was intent on getting a battery controlled solution, not just for iPad fun but also with an eye on Rock Band 3 with its Pro mode supporting MIDI keyboards. I also decided expression pedal input was a requirement for what I do.

With the Novation X-station running just outside my budget I was looking at the Novation Remote 25, Remote 25SL and the Behringer UMA25S. I had some concerns over the rather fancy nature of the 25SL as it looks heavily dependent on computer-side software for configuration. I already know about the Remote 25 because I have (and love) a Remote 49 as my main keyboard - loads of controls, great keyboard and full MIDI in/out/thru.

The Behringer is an interesting little option - light, easy on batteries and has a built-in USB audio interface. Reviews say its keyboard is quirky, due to half-height action, but are generally
favourable. It only has 8 knobs too, versus a whole host of controls on the Remote 25 & 25SL. An additional fun element, especially with Rock Band 3 in mind, is the guitar lugs and included strap, bringing it rather close to the official RB3 "keytar" controller.

Anyway, I ended up buying BOTH the UMA25S and the Remote 25 and am expecting them to arrive this week. I don't intend to keep both, as that's a bit over my budget, so I shall try them both for a short while before deciding which one to keep. I don't know how useful the Behringer's audio interface will be with the iPad but it would (I think) allow me to mix the iPad's audio with the audio from my iPhone using its line in and direct monitoring. It may offer me a more satisfactory way to get my guitar into the iPad too, as I have to say I haven't been hugely impressed with the iRig hardware thus far - too much noise and feedback despite taking the suggested precautions.

Once I've had a good play I will post my thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. I got one of these for a portable composition studio with my iPad.I have an iRig MIDI and sampleTank for iPhone (free version It's working great for me so far. It doesn't make any noise or feedback at all.