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CME, based in China and distributed in the US by Yamaha Corporation of America, announces a new controller keyboard designed to fill the gap for those needing a MIDI controller for their software and a built-in tone generator.

"Like all CME products, the U-key has very unique features," stated Athan Billias, Director of Marketing for Technology Products at Yamaha. "There are three modes - one for interactive MIDI file playback, one for practicing your musical skills and one for controlling professional music production software. Its feature set is great not just for music production on the go, but it's also particularly well suited for the education market."

U-Key uses 49 ultra-thin full action semi-weighted keys, making the unit compact while maintaining the feel of standard keyboards. Its built-in sound module features 64-note polyphony and is great for sketching out songs on the road with your laptop or for the education market where there is often a need for a hardware tone generator for simple music tutorial applications. In addition to a headphone output, the U-Key has an internal amplifier and speaker, eliminating the need for external speakers.

U-Key comes with professionally programmed PadStyle® MIDI songs and patterns in many styles and can import any MIDI file into Flash ROM for interactive playback. The U-key's interactive MIDI file playback allows triggering of MIDI files via pads and controlling the volumes of different channels via the knobs. It brings a completely new level of interactivity to MIDI file playback.

U-Key also includes a unique Game Mode, which provides a fun way to learn and test musical skills. This mode allows users to practice scales and keyboard skills with instant feedback from the unit's internal processor.

Controlling professional DAW music software is easy with a unique feature called U-CTRL. By activating the U-CTRL button, the U-Key automatically maps more than 20 controller types, including a joystick, trigger pads, encoders, and pedals to your recording software. A user can edit and save their controller settings as templates and store them in the unit's internal memory. U-Key ships with a plug and play USB MIDI driver for Windows XP / MAC OSX, and it can be powered via USB or external power adapter.

Features:

  • 49 notes ultra thin full action semi-weighted keyboard
  • 1 x Programmable Joystick
  • 8 x programmable trigger pad, velocity sensitive
  • 8 x programmable knob controller (endless encoder)
  • 1 x endless encoder for data entry
  • 'PadStyle' MIDI song and style help you to play live music easily
  • Interactive Game Mode to improve skill of your performance
  • Multi-scale for ethnic music
  • U-CTRL function for computer recording
  • Music software control templates with user bank memories
  • LED display
  • Firmware upgraded via USB
  • USB MIDI, class-compliant with Windows XP and Mac OS X
  • Universal pedal connector, full compatible with switch and expression pedal
  • 1 x stereo line output, 1/8" phone jack
  • 1 x stereo headphone output, 1/8" phone jack
  • 1 x MIDI I/O
  • USB bus-powered


The U-Key is now available for $229.99 MSRP.

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