Review: IK Multimedi – iRig Keys 2 Mini
Whether you’re a professional musician who makes a career off of music or you just enjoy creating melodies as a hobby, it can be difficult for anyone when you think of a possible beat or even a full chord progression when you don’t have an instrument around. You could be literally anywhere and have inspiration hit you with the gift of the perfect notes, but then you face the task of keeping them in your head until you can reach somewhere to record. This problem has plagued enough composers that IK Multimedia, an Italian music equipment company, has released keyboards specifically designed to address this common issue. Enter the iRig Keys 2 Mini, an amazing tiny keyboard that can fit in a backpack to follow your music-making adventures wherever you may go. The size is certainly a factor of interest for musicians everywhere, but what other features does this little instrument boast that can set it in stone as a marvel of modern composing?
The iRig Keys 2 Mini is efficient enough to be powered by and be controlled through your iPhone, Android device, iPad, Mac, and PC. It can also receive power through a USB power supply or USB mobile charger, if you’re really on the go. You also aren’t forced to use the keyboard’s built-in speakers, because its headphone output allows you to plug in your own headphones or speakers for a better listening experience and quality of sound with a device that you prefer. Its compatibility does not end with simple power though, as it also is able to work with most music creation apps out there as well. To put a cherry on top of this compatibility sundae, it also comes equipped with MIDI IN/OUT, including a MIDI adapter and many other wires that you may need to power it in any given situation. This simple, streamlined set-up system is what gives the keyboard such a universal appeal: it’s fast and easy to whip out wherever you are and start jamming away to get those tunes out of your brain and saved in your files.
When it comes to the actual keyboard’s playing ability and customization, it soars to the highest, tiniest heights yet. This version of the product boasts 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keys, but don’t think that you have limited musical freedom just because of the size. The control board may not seem as expansive as other keyboards at first, but you may find inspiration in the personalization of choosing which elements are important to you. You can shift the octave of your 25 keys at any time with the press of a button, not to mention program up/down buttons, an assignable data push encoder, and 4 knobs that can be assigned to change various features. A lot of customization can be done in edit mode, which lets you tweak things down to key touch sensitivity and moderating MIDI channels. You can then save all of these settings and always make your music just how you like it.
Now that we’ve gone over all of the many features and possibilities of the iRig Keys 2 Mini, you should be able to tell if this is a device that you would put to good use. It may not be viable for those well on their way into a music career, but for smaller start-ups and hobbyists, this could very well be a game changer. No more desperately trying to scribble music notes down on a napkin or haphazardly plinking out the melody in your head on a non-optimized phone screen piano app. You can get out the music that you feel in the moment in a way that is simple and feels natural so as not to cause a break in your creative flow. And at $99.99, it’s not bad at all for the amount of customization and freedom you’re given. IK Multimedia has created a capable, portable keyboard with plenty of edit-and-save options to make this keyboard a lifesaver when you’re on the go. If you think this could be a product that would benefit you, go check it out on their website, along with the various other musical equipment offered and see what else you may not have known you needed!