Creative ProdiKeys Keyboard PC MIDI
I must admit that I was
stunned when I first saw shots of this keyboard, thinking it was
something that someone has just thrown together in Photoshop! Then the
offer came through from Creative to review it, and I leaped at the
chance. It amazed me that other companies hadn’t thought of it before
and then to find that this is the second version of the keyboard, now
called PC MIDI that made it something to check out for sure.
First thing to note that this is a good looking
product. The keyboard is styled ergonomically and has a real sense of
good aesthetic to it. As clunky as you would think that a product of
this nature could be, this is not the case and what we have on our hands
is a keyboard that is as pleasing to look at as it is to actually use.
With the combined standard keyboard, along with the
music component, there has been very little in the way of compromise. By
placing the 37 midi keys on the front of the machine and protecting them
with a cover, in essence you have an wrist support when the guard is on
and a music keyboard when it is not. I thought it would feel slightly
cumbersome when the cover is on but surprisingly it all works really
This is a product that will suit anyone from the home
enthusiast to someone who is really trying to put together some serious
music. The interface is sufficient enough that you can readily put
together work on the fly and then take it through to your editing suite.
There is enough software bundled however that you should be fine just
using what comes in the box unless you are really serious about what you
The keyboard has a plug n play sensibility to it that
allows anyone, even children to just get on and start tinkling those
ivory keys. Music experience is not essential though, you just know that
it would allow users to get even more out of the keyboard. It’s when you
get a true grasp of notes and how they all work together, obviously,
that the product really shines.
Getting back to the serious music side of this write
up though… The keyboard will suit musicians who are tinkering and don’t
have the tools on hand readily to create. Experiment with a tune before
getting the rest of the band to play it. The functionality allows just
that and will be a true boon for those creative spurts when you can just
slip off the cover and play away.
Using the software suite is very easy and intuitive,
and the ability to synthesize instruments is a great deal of fun putting
together your own rock show and then showing it off to your friends. The
actual keyboard has the added functionality of shortcut keys that give
you quick access to the internet and other standard features that you
would take for granted on most standard keyboards these days.
For those who are interested in fine tuning the
keyboard even further, you can adjust the sensitivity to the pressure
you are placing on the keys. Light play will result in fine sounds
coming from your speakers, whereas bashing will see the house come
crashing down around you. The end result is that you can basically
achieve a heck of a lot of stuff with this suite and it will please most
users. Here are some of the abilities of the software bundled in this
Configuration utility application included for customizing access to
web sites, applications and keystrokes on Hot Keys and MIDI Keys
DM Music software with six different modes for easy music playing
and learning: FunTunes, PentaTunes, Learn, IntelligentChord,
FixedChord, and Perform
Intuitive "How to
Play" Instruction Guide
PentaTunes modes with matching rhythm, instrumental and effect
Learn mode with five
guided lessons for learning to play each song
Library of songs
categorized into easy, average and difficult for learning
Scoring system to
monitor learning progress
Fixed Chord modes for auto-generated accompaniment when playing
settings in Perform mode
Up to 128 GM
instrument sounds and effects including Grand Piano, Strings, Brass
Up to 100 rhythms
classified under 10 style categories: Ballad, Slow Ballad, Pop,
Dance, Rock and Roll, Old Latin, Modern Latin, Jazz, Waltz and Folk
libraries for PentaTunes, Fun Tunes, Rhythms and Learnable Songs
Record music in MP3,
WAV or MIDI
the cool stuff aside here, I hope that most of you noted that this
software can record in the very popular MP3 format which means that you
can distribute your music quickly and efficiently over the internet.
Perfect for working on a collaboration, shooting ideas over to a band
mate, the options are endless.
really impressed with this product and I am sure that you will be too.
Creative seems to have made the effort to make sure that this is not
treated as a simple toy or gimmick, so it should have a fair bit of
longevity to it. The ability of the packed software is brilliant and
sure to make the most of the keyboard’s functions.
highly recommend this product and if you were every wondering if this
sort of combination was viable, I am delighted to tell you that it is.