IK Multimedia’s iRig Keys has been hitting the protein shakes and P90X workouts and has come back as the new beefier iRig Keys Pro. The Pro version eschews the weaknesses of its former self – such as easily fitting in a backpack or being super light and asserts its place on as a serious keyboard controller.
There’s lots to love about the iRig keys pro. It’s 100% plug and play with iOS devices and even comes with lightning cable so you can pop it straight into your iPhone 5S or newer generation iPad without fuss. Having grown up with the hassle of installing drivers this is a sweet relief. The plug and play extends to power – you can use the keyboard just by drawing power from the connected device, although there is an option to charge via a separate USB port.
You do have to use IK multimedia’s proprietary cables, which is only a problem if you lose them – so don’t lose them. It’s also worth noting that you can’t charge your iOS device while the keyboard is attached so if you’re gigging make sure that you are fully juiced.
The keyboard feels great and responsive, with no noticeable latency. The 37 velocity sensitive range of keys give you a whole three octaves to play with, and you can easily shift octaves up or down using the buttons provided.
Speaking of buttons, IK have kept it fairly simple with a volume dial (that can be reassigned), four buttons that can store programs, a pitch bend and a mod wheel. Ideally I’d want a few more knobs for twiddling and maybe some drum pads – but that’s just me being greedy. For the money it’s an excellent choice for iOS musicians.