The midiPlus AKM320 is a cheap, small, and compact USB MIDI keyboard that fits on a table or in your lap.
• 32 velocity-sensitive keys
• Pitch and modjulation wheel
• Volume slider.
• Octave and transpose buttons up and down.
• Sustain pedal input.
• Works with iOS via camera adapter / MAC / Windows.
When I bought my midiPlus AKM320, I was quite surprised by the size. Bearing in mind that I had never owned a MIDI keyboard, I was not expecting it to be as small and as compact as reviejs claimed.
However, upon receiving the keyboard, given its price of $33USD, I was quite impressed.
As I said above, it is small, and very lightweight, about the weight of a small Bluetooth speaker. It is about the length of a 15-inch laptop when I compared it against the length of my HP notebook.
The nice thing about the keyboard, is it's just a keyboard. No extra bells and whistles, which of course, means that it's very easy to get used to.
All the controls of the keyboard are on the left side.
Starting from the top, you have two wheels. The wheel closest to the left edge is the pitch wheel, and the one next to it is the modjulation wheel. Keep in mind the modjulation wheel is not stationary, it can be moved to a specific spot, where as the pitch wheel simply returns to its default position when released.
To the right of the wheels is a horrizontal slider. This is the volume slider, which controls how loud the keyboard should output MIDI messages. Keep in mind this doesn't control velocity.
Below the wheeels and the slider, there is a recessed area with four rubber buttons. They are grouped in 2 rows, meaning there are two buttons on one row and two buttons just below it.
The first pair of buttons are your octave buttons. The leftmost button is minus 1 octave, and the other button is plus 1 octave.
Directly below the octave buttons are the transpose buttons. The leftmost button is minus 1 semitone, and the other button is plus 1 semitone.
Lastly, on the back panel of the keyboard is the MIDI port. Included with the keyboard is a MIDI to USB cable. The thicker end of the cable fits into the keyboard, while the USB end fits into a USB port.
Also on the back panel, is the sustain jack, where a sustain pedal can be plugged into the keyboard. Since I've never used this feature I won't go into detail, as I don't want to provide inaccurate information.
On the lower area of the keyboard are the actual velocity-sensitive keys, meaning the pressure applied to the keys affects the reaction of the instrument when played.
Here are my pros and cons to the keyboard.
1. Lightweight and small. This is a big pro in my opinion, especially for those who can't afford larger keyboards, or have smaller spaces.
2. Simple. It doesn't have any extra features, everything is organized for easy access.
3. Velocity sensitive. For $33, this is something I was not really expecting, as keyboards that offer this are usually more expensive.
1. Build. The build of this keyboard could be better. Of course, since it's a cheap keyboard, it's something to be expected. But sometimes applying some force to the frame of the keyboard feels like it's going to crack.
2. Stiff keys. These usually loosen up with more use, but the first time using the keyboard, the keys are very stiff, almost like you're pushing down tongue depressers.
3. Wheels. The wheels feel a bit odd, almost like cheap plastic. But as I stressed in rule 1, it's a cheap keyboard, and it's something to expect.
As you can see, the pros and cons are rather balanced out. You get nice features, but some things could be better.
However, if you are looking for a keyboard that is small, but has some pretty great featureseathe midiPlus may beright for you.