Zoë Blade's notebook


microKEY tech specs

  • Company: Korg
  • Type: Controller keyboard; MIDI controller

The microKEY range is a series of MIDI over USB controller keyboards. Most notably, they have miniature keys, making them conveniently compact.

Regardless of whether you get the microKEY-37 or microKEY-61, with 37 or 61 keys respectively, there are octave up and down buttons that shift them all along to cover the whole range a bit at a time. There are the usual pitch bend and modulation wheels, the former sprung to return to the middle, the latter staying wherever you leave it. I haven't used the microKEY-25, which replaces this pair of wheels with a joystick.

Alas, there's no regular MIDI out via a DIN socket, so if you want to use it with, say, an Atari ST, you'll need a MIDI over USB to regular MIDI converter, such as Kenton's aptly-named MIDI USB Host — not cheap, as the keyboard's the peripheral, not the host, so the converter itself has to act as the host.

As with most MIDI controller keyboards, the microKEYs are velocity-sensitive for Note On events, but not Note Off. You can apparently install software to change the velocity curve, which I never felt a need to do. It's fine as a self-contained controller keyboard, right out of the box.

Personally, I like controller keyboards that are simple and straightforward, and these are. They're perfect to use with a MIDI sequencer, DAW, sampler, rompler, and so on. If you don't need arrays of buttons, knobs, and sliders to control things with, and just want a simple, straightforward controller keyboard, it's perfect. I use two as my main keyboards.




Korg: MS-20 | microKEY

Controller keyboards: 900 Series (Moog) | System-100M | microKEY

MIDI controllers: microKEY