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ION Discover Keyboard USB

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The ION Discover Keyboard USB is a 25-key piano-style keyboard. It connects plug-and-play to Mac and PC via USB and gives you everything you need for...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

25-key, plug-and-play, piano-style keyboard for learning music and piano.

The ION Discover Keyboard USB is a 25-key piano-style keyboard. It connects plug-and-play to Mac and PC via USB and gives you everything you need for learning music and playing piano. Discover Keyboard USB comes with two apps for your computer: Acoustica Pianissimo and D’Accord Keyboard Method Lite—and you can also use it with virtually any music software. Discover Keyboard USB controls include sustain, octave, pitch bend, and more. And it’s small enough to fit in your latpop bag, messenger bag, or backpack.

Have you ever wanted to make music on the go but figured it would require lugging around big keyboards and cases? Now you can make music anywhere with nothing but Discover Keyboard USB and your laptop computer. Everything you need to make music is right there in the package including the keyboard, USB cable and software. No cases, no heavy equipment, no tangles of wires, just you and your creativity wherever you go.

Included software is PC-compatible only, but Discover Keyboard USB works with Mac and PC, with all MIDI-compliant software.

FEATURES
  • Piano-style keyboard for computers with learning software
  • Plug-and-play USB connection to Mac and PC
  • Everything you need for learning, playing and performing piano
  • Comes with two apps: Acoustica Pianissimo and D’Accord Keyboard Method Lite
  • Works with virtually all music software
  • 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys
  • Sustain, octave up and down, pitch bend, and program select controls
  • Plug-and-play USB connection for Mac and PC – no drivers to install
  • USB bus powered – no external power supply needed
  • Small enough to fit in a backpack or laptop bag
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
 
4.5

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Consider this a toy that can do alot and you won't be disappointed.

You won't get any street cred for buying this thing and the pitch controls are puny at best. But for the price, this thing will expand your ability to use MIDI on computers...Read complete review

You won't get any street cred for buying this thing and the pitch controls are puny at best. But for the price, this thing will expand your ability to use MIDI on computers (up from a computer keyboard, of course). I mean, if you have the money, go ahead and buy something better. The pitch-bend limitations keep this thing from being comparable to other entry-level controllers, but remember, it is also a lot cheaper. And for the money, it doesn't feel cheap.
This thing is as bare as MIDI controllers come though keep in mind it's cheaper than your usual entry-level keyboard. And really, you'd be pretty greedy to ask for more features. Of course, this isn't anything you'd brag to your electronic music groupies about. It has 25 keys, an octave up and down buttons to bring the range to 50 keys, but unfortunately you can't use the octave control to do pitch-bending or to drop a note down an octave while it is being played. It only works for notes AFTER you turn it on. The pitch-bend control are also buttons (no modwheel like everyone else notes) and seem to only drop or raise a whole-step and as far as I can find, there's no way to say, change it to drop or raise a 5th, or any other interval. The controller also has a sustain and program button, which I rarely use. Really, the only real feature of the controller are its keys and the fact it has a USB port. No MIDI ports on it, which is funny since it is a MIDI controller, but I haven't found a reason to need them since it has USB. Judging by the packaging, it's marketed predominantly as a "learn-piano-on-your-computer" thing, rather than a full-fledged MIDI controller. Just remind yourself of its price and what it can do and you won't be disappointed. I still haven't tried the software that comes with it.
I was a little wary when it came, packaged like a toy (plastic blister pack front, cardboard-backing). Documentation was a little skippy, though I guess it is pretty straight-forward. The keyboard however, is made of pretty decent plastic. The keys are on the firmer side, a little more tension to push down, took some time to get used to. But that makes more greater release and attack control. I've been impressed by the make. Feels like it could survive a few drops down a staircase. Haven't tested that out though.

One major thing to note for anyone who is new to using computers for music and recording. The problem of LATENCY. It's that effect where the notes never sound in time with a beat or metronome, where they sound a little bit later than they sound when you push the keys. This has nothing to do with key "response time" but rather the computer's lag in processing the signal. This problem is common on most PC's with consumer-grade soundcards. One solution is to buy a USB audio interface that is ASIO-compatible (I think they all are) and to use audio software that is also ASIO-compatible. You can also go to ASIO4ALL.com and download drivers to make your current soundcard ASIO-compatible. This is the cheapest solution. After downloading the drivers, this thing works like a charm with FL Studio. Unfortunately, most free audio software is NOT ASIO-compatible.
A toy that can do about 80% of what most MIDI controllers can do, that is make music on the computer. It is a heck of a lot better than using your computer keyboard to punch in notes. Really, this is a godsend for any broke college students taking a computer music class or anybody who's just getting started with using DAW programs and don't exactly want to splurge on something more expensive. I suppose you could also use it to learn piano on the computer like the packaging says, though I will note that the keys feel different from a piano or even a full-sized keyboard, alot stiffer and smaller, plus you're limited to 25 keys.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Eh

5
I bought this becouse I was looking to learn to play piano. Yes it does help but could just as easily buy a book for less. As far as the keyboard the...Read complete review

5
I bought this becouse I was looking to learn to play piano. Yes it does help but could just as easily buy a book for less. As far as the keyboard the other reviewers are raving about. Yeah, If you use it for midi recording and have all the expencixve recoeding software, it probably is a good deal. The "Piannissimo" software in order to even play this keyboard that they say comes with it is great if you only need 14 days to play the board. Otherwise you have to pay extra for the codes. And the training program is good too if you are looking to play one christmas song. Also it's small and inpossible to .... know what.. nevermind. If you are using it for midi and need something inexpensive. Great! If you are looking to find an inexpensive way to learn piano. Go somewhere else.
It did help me to get more of a feel for the keys and that I am greatfull but I would not recommend this to anyone.

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Good for the Price

By Jean Menager

from Undisclosed

Overall, this thing isn't bad. I'm no longer guessing if i'm hitting the right notes. "C" is much easier to find on a piano keyboard than on a computer keyboard...unless you're typing. I bought the Discover Keyboard to move past all the clicking around and to achieve a more fluid music production process. It has done just that. Yes, I wish I had more cash to spend on a nicer set of keys, but I'm a poor student, so I'm glad I found this.
A lack of features is really what kills this little keyboard, but then it's just 30 bucks, so who's complaining. If it had a modwheel instead of those little pitch-bend buttons, I would be 100% satisfied. In fact, everything works great except for the pitch-bend buttons. Pitch bending requires a certain personal touch that you just can't get by pushing 1 of 2 butttons. Anyway, I could go on about the disappointment that those buttons are, but long story short, I really wish that they could have been replaced with a programmable mod wheel, oh well. Other than that, the keyboard is great. The software it comes with seem useful; I didn't buy it for that, but I messed around with them, and they seem to work just fine. I really like the velocity-sensitive keys. To me, that makes this keyboard worth buying. Weirdly enough though, this doesn't come with your regular midi connections, so I can't connect it directly to my audio interface; I have to connect it to my computer via usb. It's a blessing and a curse.
The plastic is solid and durable. I've banged it around a few times, and it's had a few spills as well, but it's built well, so no worries there. It does what it's supposed to to and doesn't look as if it will be falling apart any time soon, so that's good.
For the price, it's hard to complain (but I've still managed to do so haha). Really though, try going into your local music shop and asking for a bare-bones midi-controller for less and you will get laughed at. No joke. Trust me, if, like yours truly, you are cheap but want quality equipment, get this.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Useful little ION keyboard

By Bob Graves

from Tallahassee, Florida

Bought it to take during travels. Great to plug in, put my headphones on, play a song I'm trying to figure out, and figure out the melody. Fits in my laptop bag no problem. I had bought a larger portable keyboard that was light and cheap, but it was still to big to take everywhere. Good keyboard to figure out melodies and stuff, not a performance keyboard.
The pitch bend is fun and the octave change is fairly quick. Best of all, you just plug it in and it works. Have used it with the Pianissimo software with my Windows laptop and with Garage band on my son-in-laws mac. Definitely plug and play
Its plastic. Haven't broken it yet so it must be pretty good. Feels solid for a plastic instrument
Can't beat this price

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Consider this a toy that can do alot and you won't be disappointed.

By Keezy

from Chicago, IL

See all my reviews

You won't get any street cred for buying this thing and the pitch controls are puny at best. But for the price, this thing will expand your ability to use MIDI on computers (up from a computer keyboard, of course). I mean, if you have the money, go ahead and buy something better. The pitch-bend limitations keep this thing from being comparable to other entry-level controllers, but remember, it is also a lot cheaper. And for the money, it doesn't feel cheap.
This thing is as bare as MIDI controllers come though keep in mind it's cheaper than your usual entry-level keyboard. And really, you'd be pretty greedy to ask for more features. Of course, this isn't anything you'd brag to your electronic music groupies about. It has 25 keys, an octave up and down buttons to bring the range to 50 keys, but unfortunately you can't use the octave control to do pitch-bending or to drop a note down an octave while it is being played. It only works for notes AFTER you turn it on. The pitch-bend control are also buttons (no modwheel like everyone else notes) and seem to only drop or raise a whole-step and as far as I can find, there's no way to say, change it to drop or raise a 5th, or any other interval. The controller also has a sustain and program button, which I rarely use. Really, the only real feature of the controller are its keys and the fact it has a USB port. No MIDI ports on it, which is funny since it is a MIDI controller, but I haven't found a reason to need them since it has USB. Judging by the packaging, it's marketed predominantly as a "learn-piano-on-your-computer" thing, rather than a full-fledged MIDI controller. Just remind yourself of its price and what it can do and you won't be disappointed. I still haven't tried the software that comes with it.
I was a little wary when it came, packaged like a toy (plastic blister pack front, cardboard-backing). Documentation was a little skippy, though I guess it is pretty straight-forward. The keyboard however, is made of pretty decent plastic. The keys are on the firmer side, a little more tension to push down, took some time to get used to. But that makes more greater release and attack control. I've been impressed by the make. Feels like it could survive a few drops down a staircase. Haven't tested that out though.

One major thing to note for anyone who is new to using computers for music and recording. The problem of LATENCY. It's that effect where the notes never sound in time with a beat or metronome, where they sound a little bit later than they sound when you push the keys. This has nothing to do with key "response time" but rather the computer's lag in processing the signal. This problem is common on most PC's with consumer-grade soundcards. One solution is to buy a USB audio interface that is ASIO-compatible (I think they all are) and to use audio software that is also ASIO-compatible. You can also go to ASIO4ALL.com and download drivers to make your current soundcard ASIO-compatible. This is the cheapest solution. After downloading the drivers, this thing works like a charm with FL Studio. Unfortunately, most free audio software is NOT ASIO-compatible.
A toy that can do about 80% of what most MIDI controllers can do, that is make music on the computer. It is a heck of a lot better than using your computer keyboard to punch in notes. Really, this is a godsend for any broke college students taking a computer music class or anybody who's just getting started with using DAW programs and don't exactly want to splurge on something more expensive. I suppose you could also use it to learn piano on the computer like the packaging says, though I will note that the keys feel different from a piano or even a full-sized keyboard, alot stiffer and smaller, plus you're limited to 25 keys.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nice little keyboard!

By Natedawg

from Morrisdale, PA

i Bought the Ion keyboard to use the virtual instruments in my DAW(Mixcraft) easier. The keys are very bouncy, but it feels normal after a while. The included software is useful for learning basic piano. Great buy!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Dont worry just but it!!!

By Chris-ovshE

from Warren, Arkansas

See all my reviews

Yes I was curios too but I promise it does what it is suppose to do & does it well. Just what I needed. I use it for drums & short playing. I love it.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

It??s Small and fits in my laptop bag

It s Small and fits in my laptop bag. I use Cakewalk Sonar X1 and it works with out flaw Since I play guitar and bass the key size and action seems just fine it will sense the key stroke very well hit it hard its loud and quick hit it soft the response is soft. For the price this is the best edition I could of made for my recordings I now have access to may Instruments. Love It. and I can use it anywhere
It s Cheap Plastic but it works really well for recording soft synth

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Plug and Plays Immediately

By MANdrew

from California

See all my reviews

This thing is awesome! I needed something small to keep in my crowded home studio. Its lightweight and easy to store when not in use. I plugged it into my computer running Windows 7 and it instantly recognized it. All I had to do was enable input from it in Adobe Audition. I'm now using it as a midi synth and sampler using free VSTi's. Another perk is that it frees up my actual midi input connector for other things because it connects through USB. It senses velocity well. The pitch up and down buttons change the note by a whole step. The octave up and down buttons are convenient and allow you to go up or down by 4 octaves. The keys have a light, springy, resistance to them when pressed that I like. The black keys are quite thin, but fully functional for my skinny fingers.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Love this little dude

By John Richards

from San Francisco

See all my reviews

Got this to have a little convenient keyboard for various situations. Love the spongy feel and the smaller keys. More like an organic instrument. It brings out a different vibe for playing than my other bigger keyboards.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Keeper

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I wanted something small for travel. Keys are just big enough for me. For most they will be fine. (A little wider than most other mini's I looked at.) I get very good velocity expression with mine - working very well with Lounge Lizard. Springy, but it's welcome after a while. Feels solid enough. Pitch buttons are useful and it changes octaves quickly. For the sale price it's a great (really small) board. Software seems useful too.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fantastic!

By Evan Chandler

from Birmingham, AL

See all my reviews

This thing is great! I took it out of the box, plugged it in, and instantly it was recognized and functioning. I really like that it's USB, it frees up my MIDI port on my audiobox and I can have a dedicated controller for drums etc. BUY THIS THING TODAY!

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