MIDI Controller

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Roland Edirol PC 80 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller


If you’re shopping for a MIDI keyboard controller, whether it is for personal or studio use, the Edirol PC-80 will have all the necessary features, and then some.

The keyboard controller hooks up seamlessly to your computer via USB, and can drive software through MIDI signals. With 61 velocity responsive keys, the PC-80 should be sufficient for most users. A unique feature of the keyboard is the dual audio input, a great addition for those who don’t already have digital recording capabilities.

Roland’s keyboard technology improves upon previous models in several ways. To start, the keys are more responsive to subtle changes in velocity; there are 12 different velocity settings to choose from. Also, the individual keys can be assigned to multiple MIDI channels, allowing the user to potentially control multiple virtual instruments at once.

Because the majority of MIDI keyboard controllers do not have weighted keys, many times the functionality of the keyboard suffers as result of the quality of the keys themselves. The keys on the PC-80, however, are felt-lined and spring-loaded, so the quality compliments the improved sensitivity. The keyboard has a pitch-bending lever, which is a nice feature that is missing on many comparable MIDI keyboards.

When connected to the computer, the PC-80 becomes an audio hub with multiple inputs and outputs and features:
- Two ¼” inputs (for recording)
- RCA outputs
- Two headphone outputs
- MIDI OUT connector
- Built-in speakers
- Bass enhancer
- 2.1 compatible sub-out
- Direct monitoring
- 12 velocity settings
- Audio resolution up to 24-bit/96kHz
- Sustain and expression pedal connections
- AC adapter (though it can run solely thru USB)

The keyboard itself is a MIDI controller, which means that the signals are triggered from the keyboard, but sounds must be generated externally. Fortunately, the keyboard ships with Edirol GM2, an advanced software synth and MIDI file player. Among other things, GM2 features 256 unique virtual instruments, nine drum sets, and a built in metronome. When paired with the software, The PC-80 can produce up to 256-voice polyphony, and a possible 18-part multi-instrument playback. The GM2 software is compatible with many operating systems, including Windows 2000, XP and Mac OSX.

For more details, visit Edirol's website


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