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Avis de songboy - M-Audio Key Rig 25

First off, I never used the software that came with this keyboard, but I use the keyboard often, so this is really a review of just that. I have been using this keyboard for 6 months. There are a few great things about this keyboard. First off, its very small and there fore very portable. I take my Macbook and this keyboard just about everywhere I go when I am able. This is a great performing tool but due to the limited amount of keys I really only use it for pads and some synths that I don't need a lot of keyspace for. Now, where this thing really shines is for the on the go composer. Its a great tool for writing on the road or even just sitting at home in the studio in front of my monitor. It has a lot of assignable buttons and knobs to sync up with your DAW and has a decent synth action, not great, but good enough for working through ideas and laying pads and synths and drum grooves. Its not so great for actual piano patches, mainly because of the 25 key limit and the action, but again, still good for plugging ideas in. What I don't like about the keyboard is its lack of an expression pedal input and the poor button replacement for the pitch wheel. Not having an expression pedal seriously limits any keyboard, especially one that, in my opinion, shines as a pad/synth controller. I noticed that M-audio didn't include expression inputs on there oxygen series, tsk tsk. Pretty lame, but it doesn't completely ruin this keyboard. As for the "pitch wheel" button, its pretty much useless for subtle actions. Well, I got mine used for $60, which for a portable keyboard to help me compose on the road, I am very happy about. But, I probably wouldn't spend any more than that on a keyboard without an expression insert. Overall, if I were to do it again and had to buy it brand new, I would fork over the extra money and buy the m audio Axiom 25 key version. Its a way superior keyboard.