Keyboard players and tinkerers know that playing with music apps on iPhone or iPad is great fun, but using sone real keys can be more gratifying and productive.
Unfortunately, the market doesn’t offer much in terms of keyboards equipped with a Lightning connector (an exception is the IK Multimedia iRig Pro Keys). For users with modern MIDI USB controllers, things are generally easy (the good old iPad Camera Connection Kit and the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter are your friends). For those using standard MIDI DIN keyboards (the ones with the classic 5-pin DIN plug) it can be a bit more complicated.
A couple of years ago we covered the IK Multimedia iRig Pro, a tiny Audio interface for iOS, OS X and Windows with MIDI DIN input. While we enjoyed and recommended this no frills compact device, the fact it cannot charge the iOS device while in use can be limiting at times.
Today KORG announced the plugKEY, a portable MIDI and audio interface that can also charge your iPhone or iPad. Let’s find out more.
How does it work? The plugKEY is straightforward to use: just connect a MIDI keyboard to your iPhone/iPad, and start playing. The cool thing is that you can use your iPhone/iPad while charging it, using the plugKEY’s DC5V microUSB port (cable not included – not to be used with a computer).
Audio interface functionality with stereo output (and a mini volume knob) is also provided, so the plugKEY is an ideal choice for those who want to use musical instruments apps in the studio or on stage.
No power adapter or batteries required. The power is supplied via the Lightning connector, and because it’s a wired connection there are no latency issues.
plugKEY features at a glance
Studio-quality 1/4″ jack audio outputs
Use while charging your iOS device
Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad” certification obtained from Apple
Free apps – The device comes with the LE version of two popular KORG iOS apps, Gadget and Module.