Korg microKEY 37-Key USB MIDI Controller

Editor rating

4.7/5 on Sep 21, 2015

User's rating

126 reviews

PROS

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Range of basic controllers
  • Plug and play
  • Velocity sensitive keys
  • USB bus power
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Flimsy frame
  • Overly-flexible keys
  • No frills

VERDICT

For a beginner in the audio industry or a player who wants the ability to take the MIDI keyboard controller on the go at a moment's notice, the Korg 37-key is a great choice. It won't blow your budget either. On the other hand, if you are itching to create more complex beats or want a stable feel to the frame and keys, you may desire more than the microKEY provides you.

Features:

  • 37 natural touch, velocity-sensitive mini keys
  • Pitch bend and mod wheels
  • Octave Up and Octave Down buttons
  • Key transpose button
  • Dual USB ports
  • USB bus power

Compact and Lightweight

The microKEY 37 is a highly portable USB Midi controller. It is compact at just over 5" long, with a height of about 22". It's super slim too and lightweight. Simply put in your backpack as you head out to jam with friends or for a live performance.

Range of Basic Controllers

It has all of the basic controllers. The 37-key model comes with a pitch bend wheel and modulation wheel. Enjoy Octave Up and Octave Down buttons so that you can put it at exactly the level you want. Add in the key transpose function and you have a full range of notes. These features combine to give expressive quality to your performances.

Plug and Play

Enjoy plug-and-play compatibility too, with your PC or Mac. You can even connect it directly to an iPad. There is no need to take the time to install a driver; just connect the microKEY to your computer with a USB cable.

Velocity Sensitive Keys

Get touch sensitivity! The sound changes the harder or longer you hit the 37 velocity-sensitive keys so you get a range of expression. If you like the sound of a grand piano, then you will appreciate how this musical MIDI feature aims to replicate it in a digital style.

USB Bus Power

There is no external battery to worry about topping up when you use the Korg keyboard controller as it is USB bus powered.

Also, the controller does double-duty as a USB hub; it comes with two Type A USB ports to expand your custom control dashboard. You can add the Korg nanoPAD2 or another USB device easily.

Affordable

The microKEY MIDI is half the price of some of the other keyboard controllers that make our top five list. Currently at $84.99, it provides a lot of bang for your buck. It comes with basic controllers, has velocity sensitivity, and you can take it on the go with you. If you are new to the MIDI game, then this could be a way to test the musical waters with only a small financial investment.

Of course, no MIDI controller is perfect. Here are the downsides of the gear:

Flimsy Frame

While it is compact, some users online say that the frame is a little wobbly. If you plan to use your MIDI controller for long stretches, then you might feel more confident with a more stable frame on another model instead.

Overly-flexible Keys

Just as the keyboard frame is flimsy, the keys feel a bit frail too. The keys are overly flexible, according to some user reviews on the web. Alternately, some players explain that the keys are this way as part of the rounded waterfall-type design, and these reviewers are fans of the style.

Also, the keys are mini, rather than standard size. If you have larger fingers or prefer the feel of regular piano keys, you may be less than content with the microKEY 37-key version.

No Frills

This MIDI USB keyboard controller from Korg is meant for basic playing or as an on-the-go addition to your main keyboard. Thus, it lacks a sustain/tap button and does not include a bunch of software, unlike some other MIDI keyboard competitors. It does come with the Korg KONTROL Editor though so you can customize the microKEY during setup.