The CME Xkey controllers are among my favorite for their sheer sleakness. They just seem to fit into any situation (literally). I may have mentioned on my previous review of the 25 key version that the design of the CME Xkey is rather masterful. I don’t know if I would’ve imagined before that there could be such a slimline controller that looks like an Apple computer keyboard, maintains such great play-ability and includes after-touch. Somehow… Someway CME keeps coming up with funky ass tricks like every single day (if I may interpolate a Snoop Dogg line into this Xkey review).
Which leads me to the CME Xkey 37. This iteration of the XKey controller brings a few new tricks to the table. The previous XKey 25 had one very cool orange USB cable (i liked that orange touch BTW). But the new CME XKey 37 comes with a white USB cable that connects on the right side while there is the new addition of the XCable (break out cable) which provides a way to add “MIDI OUT Sustain and expression pedals inputs.” Brilliant indeed. The Xcable connects on the right side of the XKey 37.
The Midi out is God send of a an addition. Sometimes you just need another midi out for the other desktop module that you may want to throw into the mix of your production. Nice touch to be able to rock my softsynths and my desktop synths without interfering with my dedicated synth keys. Just a little thing of convenience. The added features that come along with the XCable just proves that a good company with a good product can listen to its fans and users, implement their requests and WIN! I even wished for a bluetooth version and what do you know?! It’s come to be. Look out for the CME XKey Bluetooth Wireless review here soon as well.
A few key features
37 full-size keys (3 octaves)100% MIDI compliant. Velocity sensitive. Polyphonic aftertouch. Pressure sensitive Pitch bend and Modulation buttons, with continuous MIDI control data. Octave +/- push buttons. Sustain button. USB Powered (no external power supply needed). Firmware upgradable via USB. Configurable via Xkey Plus free app for iOS, Mac OSX, and Windows.
Width: 553 mm (21.77 in)
Height: 135 mm (5.31 in)
Depth: 16 mm (0.62 in)
Weight: only 880 g (1.94 lb) – 20% lighter than a 11-inch MacBook Air!
Another good combo #mpcstudio #xkey37 #midifightertwister A photo posted by BboyTechReport (@bboytechreport) on
At $199, my view really hasn’t changed. This is a solid product and I use it daily in the lab and when I travel. The XCable is a brilliant add but I have to say that it can begin to feel a bit like XKey Octopus with wires coming from both sides. Still, the 37 keys upgrade from 25 of the previous version is dope and makes the controller even more playable. Additionally, it has polyphonic aftertouch, octave -/+, pitch bend and modulation buttons and remains one of the most sleek controllers ever. This one is a winner.