Given all the products announced with vague, far-off or immediate availability, it can confuse the curious keyboardist. So here’s a quick update on some of the exciting recent keyboard gear that is now, without question, shipping.
Korg Monologue Analog Monophonic Synthesizer, $299 street price
• Reworked voicing from the Minilogue to optimize it for monophonic sound and including a sharper filter, analog Drive circuit, a faster and deeper LFO and microtuning for alternate tonalities, non-standard tuning and user-created scales.
• 16-step sequencer includes motion sequencing of the onboard controls for every step.
• Battery powered or wall powered with an add-on power adaptor
• Available in black, blue, red, gold and grey.
Arturia MiniLab MkII Portable MIDI Controller, $99 street
• Two banks of RGB backlighted, velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads, 25 velocity-sensitive slim keys and 16 rotary encoders (two of them clickable)
• Includes UVI Grand Piano Model D (Steinway model), Ableton Live Lite with “perfect integration” and Analog Lab Lite with more than 500 presets from 17 instruments in Arturia’s V-Collection.
Nektar Impact LX25+ MIDI Controller with Pre-mapped DAW Templates, $99 street
• Pre-mapped to Bitwig Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Digital Performer, FL Studio, GarageBand, Logic Pro, Reaper, Reason, Calkwalk Sonar and Presonus Studio One and includes Bitwig 8-Track DAW software.
• 8 color-lit drum pads with 4 pad map banks.
• Fully programmable with 5 user presets, or use the DAW mappings with Mixer and Instrument modes.
• Compatible with iOS
Roger Linn Design LinnStrument 128 MIDI performance controller, $999 street
• Just like the original LinnStrument, except smaller and more affordable, with 128 pads, rather than the original 200.
• A new 2-track step sequencer uses the RGB note pads to sequence tracks.
• Supports MPE (Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression) MIDI control, and includes the Bitwig 8-track DAW software, which includes MPE-based virtual instruments.
Behringer DeepMind 12, 49-key 12-voice analog synth, $999 street, out now.
• Versatile analog sound with deep programmability that can recreate many classic sounds and also pull new tricks out of its sleeve.
• Great sounds and huge feature set for the price, including 12 voices of analogy polyphony with 2 DCOs per voice, arpeggiator, 32-step sequencer, 8-channel mod matrix, 33 digital effects, MIDI, USB and even built-in Wi-Fi for connecting to a remote-control iOS/Android app.
• 49 full-size keys with velocity sensitivity and aftertouch.
• 2 LFOs per voice with 7 wave shapes, 3 ADSR envelopes per voice, selectable dual-slope 12/24 dB analog low pass filter per voice.