M Audio Keystation Mini 32

25 March 2012 | 1:28 pm | Baz Bardoe


M-Audio has long enjoyed a reputation for creating hardware and software that is user friendly and in many cases extremely portable. If you make music on a laptop, chances are the reason is that you value being able to make music on the move and the Keystation Mini 32 controller will definitely spark your interest. For those who are interested in pursuing a compact setup that only a few years ago, would have seemed like something out of science fiction, it should be noted that it can very easily be used with music applications on an iPad as well.

As the name suggests the Mini 32 has 32 playable keys which allows proper two handed playing. This is a real advantage compared to other highly compact units of its type. The actual keys are surprisingly playable for something so small and adjustable velocity curves allow for a high level of individualization. This is particularly useful when laying down drum parts for example. It also packs in a decent amount of functionality. Assignable controls include pitch bend buttons; a modulation button; volume/control knob; octave +/- buttons; a sustain button; an edit button, and it is USB powered so it is literally plug and play. The controls can be quickly configured to interact with most
DAW software.

 The build quality is robust to say the least and the ultra compact size means it can be carried in a laptop bag with no dramas. It is quick to set up and easy to use and incredibly also comes with Sibelius software. I say 'incredibly' because the price is extremely competitive. It is a good looking unit and what will impress the most is the generosity of the keys both in terms of the number of them and the size, giving the user a very playable experience, which completely belies its very modest size. It is well worth looking at product demonstrator Brian Carter's online link where he uses it with an iPad.

For those wanting an affordable, robust and extremely playable keyboard controller the Keystation Mini 32 is something you will want to take a serious look at.