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Published on September 20th, 2012 | by Greg


Alesis Q25: Cute, Easy USB and MIDI Keyboard

Full-sized keys. Ve­loc­i­ty sen­si­tive. Eas­i­ly con­nect to any com­put­er via MI­DI or USB- and it even works with the iPad with no ex­tra pow­er ca­ble need­ed. Portable and su­per-light at four and a half pounds, we’ve got the per­fect mu­si­cal in­stru­ment for the elec­tron­ic pi­ano lover who wants a con­troller that can fit in a small space but still of­fers plen­ty of fea­tures at a rea­son­able price.

The Ale­sis Q25 is, as you might sus­pect, a 25-note key­board con­troller that re­quires on­ly a sin­gle USB con­nec­tion for da­ta and pow­er, or can be used with an op­tion­al ex­ter­nal pow­er sup­ply. No bat­ter­ies need­ed, which means a lighter weight, but no built-in-speak­ers. Us­ing the in­clud­ed ca­ble and the iPad Cam­era Con­nec­tion Kit, we were able to get it up and run­ning in Garage­Band and oth­er apps with­in a minute.

Fig­ur­ing out how to use the ex­tra func­tions took a bit more time: there are handy pitch and mod­u­la­tion wheels, as well as oc­tave change but­tons that let you move up and down the scale as need­ed. Plus, the keys feel sol­id and re­spon­sive- even if the unit it­self is a bit pla­s­ticky, the im­por­tant parts felt durable over some se­ri­ous playtests.

The Ale­sis Q25 does in­clude some soft­ware- Able­ton Live Lite- so you can get your PC up and record­ing, se­quenc­ing, and per­form­ing right out of the box. And the keys can ac­tu­al­ly be as­signed to oth­er func­tions as well, though they aren’t pro­grammable re­al­ly- there is no “record” but­ton or oth­er con­trols that we might have liked. Com­pat­i­ble with most pro­grams and soft­ware pack­ages out there, we tried it on both Win­dows 7 and Mac OSX as well, with no re­al is­sues. There isn’t a car­ry­ing case in­clud­ed, but at this price, it’s hard to ask for more: $70 is a great deal on this, one of the few small key­boards with a MI­DI port and that can be eas­i­ly pow­ered via the iPad it­self over USB.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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