BlasterKey MP3

Basically, the BlasterKey MP3 an adjustable touch-sensitive 49-key MIDI keyboard able to access the sound card's 128 built-in general MIDI instruments and assign them to the keyboard. These span 10 pre-sets such as piano, ethnic, drums, bass and synth. You're then free to add effects such as various reverb changes using Creative's EAX (Environmental Audio Extensions) technology.

The keyboard interacts seamlessly with the Live! sound card (sold separately), even drawing its power directly from the MIDI port rather than from a power plug. The bundled software is interactive and features various modes, depending on the task at hand. You can enter "fun mode" and piece together your own existing audio loops using Sound Fonts, or try the "tutor mode" to learn how to play popular songs at various levels of difficulty. You can also go to the BlasterKey site and download an unlimited amount of new styles, songs, mixes and content, which adds a lot of life to a product such as this.

You can record your music in MP3, WAV or MIDI formats, allowing for high compatibility, as well as download to personal MP3 players such as the Nomad Jukebox.

The keyboard is fairly well constructed, featuring a sleek black design with LED lights. A MIDI cord is included in the box, as is a comprehensive manual. The keyboard also features a sustain pedal jack, 15-pin MIDI port connector and a 15-pin game port connector.

Weighing 5kg and priced at $219, the BlasterKey MP3 keyboard isn't for the musical purist, but it is perfect for those who like to experiment with sound.

BlasterKey MP3

Price: $219

Supplier: Creative Labs

Phone: (02) 9666 6100

URL: www.australia.creative.com

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