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Jul 28, 2013

Korg microKEY-37 keyboard [Review]

by Stephen Ashby

The mini digital keyboard with plug-and-play simplicity

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Key features • Pressure sensitive keys • Pitch, mod and octave controls • Acts as a USB hub

Learn more… • www.korg.co.uk

Available from… • www.amazon.co.uk

Price: £67.99/$99.99

When it comes to switching from a proper piano to a digital keyboard, a concession in size is normally an unfortunate necessity. In this regard the microKEY-37 is no exception but, get past its almost toy-like feel, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what’s on offer here.

The microKEY-37 is light, compact and, most importantly, incredibly simple to use. With a port on the side you can connect the keyboard to your Mac, fire up GarageBand (or an equivalent) and instantly start playing away. There’s no driver installation or complex setup required; it really is plug and play. If you’re planning to use this with an iPad, though, it’s a bit more difficult (see our answer to this issue on the side).

That aside, the microKEY-37 is a joy to use, for the most part. The 37 keys are pressure sensitive, so you’ll be able to adjust your playing accordingly, and the size of the keyboard width wise is good enough for most keyboard players.

The depth of the keys, however, is a little on the short side, which is to be expected from a micro-sized keyboard. This can take a little getting used to, but it’s comfortable enough after a while.

On the side of the keyboard you can alter the pitch and modulation of your play, which is a nice feature for those who are recording in GarageBand or similar software. There’s also octave up and down buttons, which let you move up to four octaves in either direction on the keyboard, essentially giving you a full-scale piano. This is a great inclusion, and it really allowed us to replicate the feeling of a larger keyboard.

There are some codes for music software included with the keyboard, and you can also access the Korg Kontrol Editor on your computer to tweak the settings on your keyboard to your heart’s content. Some of the settings are quite convoluted, though, so casual users need not apply.

Overall the microKEY-37 has a fairly broad appeal. Professionals will get a kick out of the additional features and functionality, but the size of the keyboard might put them off. For beginner or intermediate keyboard players the quick setup and instant play is a bonus, but they’ll probably barely touch some of the in-depth features. However, for a comfortable, portable and affordable digital keyboard, the microKEY-37 is certainly not a bad choice.

Buy now?

Pros Simple to use and varied features give this wide appeal

Cons Can feel a bit small, and iPad connectivity is a chore

Verdict Orange 4 Stars

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    • Diana Hopper

      I have personally used microKEY-37 and trust me it is mindblowing. I bought this korg keyboard of dreams from absolutemusic.co.uk