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Alesis VortexItem ID: VortexKB
37-key USB "Keytar-style" Keyboard Controller with Touch Strip, Volume Slider, Pitch Wheel, CoreMIDI Class Compliant USB Connectivity, and USB Bus Power
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From Our Research Team:
Rock Out with This Killer Keyboard Controller!It's time to ditch the keyboard rig - Alesis's Vortex keytar-style MIDI controller keyboard lets you get up and rock out with the rest of the band. You'll enjoy the Vortex's cleverly arranged ergonomic layout, which allows your hands to freely move across its 37 keys and 8 drum pads. From aftertouch to an integrated tilt-sensor, the Vortex gives you a ton of hands-on controls for your synths and virtual instruments. And since it features both 5-pin MIDI and class-compliant MIDI-over-USB output, you can use your Alesis Vortex controller with all your keyboard gear, including your iPad!
Alesis Vortex Keytar-style MIDI Controller Keyboard at a Glance:
Lightweight and low-profile design makes this shoulder-worn keyboard fun to play
Shoulder-worn or "keytar style" keyboards are super fun to play, but they tend to be unpleasantly heavy. That's why Alesis designed their Vortex keyboard controller to weigh in at under seven pounds - without sacrificing a thing when it comes to control or feel. What's more, you can run the Vortex on USB bus power, DC, or even AA batteries.
All of the controls you need, right where you need them to be
Check out the wide selection of controls the Alesis Vortex controller keyboard puts at your fingertips. First, there are the keys themselves, all 37 of which give you aftertouch control. Eight velocity-sensitive drum pads let you tap out rhythms and trigger loops, plus the Vortex features a full transport section for running your DAW. Up at your left hand, theres a volume slider, a pitch wheel, and an assignable touch strip. There's even an accelerometer built into the body, so you can control modulation and other parameters by merely tilting your Vortex as you play.
USB and MIDI outputs provide compatibility with all of your gear - even your iOS device
Whether you use a MIDI keyboard or a computer running virtual instruments for your sounds, the Vortex controller will integrate perfectly with your synth rig. That's because Alesis outfitted it with both a 5-pin MIDI output port and a fully class-compliant USB port, which gives you plug-and-play computer connectivity. The Vortex's MIDI-over-USB port is also CoreMIDI compatible, so you can hook it up to your iPad and tap into a world of amazing iOS music apps.
Alesis Vortex Keytar-style MIDI Controller Keyboard Features:
Step out from behind your synth rig and rock out with an Alesis Vortex keytar-style MIDI controller keyboard!
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Reviewsbased on 6 reviews
by James Cook from St.Louis Mo.A great device for the ego ramp on your local stage! The unit works great, the only thing I didn't like about it is the battery option doesn't power the unit properly and the control knobs are in a ba... read more [+]d place for tweaking on the fly during a solo. I'm really happy with it, the only people that don't like it are the guitar player's when ya blow em blazing smoke close [-]
January 31, 2013
Music Background: Pro Keyboardist
by Jim Pinel from Westerville (Columbus), OHOverall this is a great MIDI controller for the price. The keys are very responsive and the after touch is really great to have. Most common MIDI parameters are are able to be stored in 23 presets. L... read more [+]ots of real time control options with knobs, ribbon and buttons. My only real complaint is that is has no dedicated Midi Song Select or Position Pointer. This is weird to me since it does have MIDI Start Stop. If it just had those two functions this would be the perfect keytar to date in my opinion. Maybe Alesis will add these functions in a software update if enough people get one. close [-]
November 3, 2012
Music Background: part-time professional musician for over 15 years
I miss some more keys
by Paul from BrazilI think it's a great keyboard, but I really miss the extra 8 keys I had in my Ax-7.
January 27, 2013
Music Background: Hobbyist
by Shane King from NYCMy feelings about this a overall positive but mixed. I've had a Casio AZ-1 since the mid 80's. I absolutely love the AZ-1. The Vortex is more closely modeled on that and a better substitute than the R... read more [+]oland models. The keyboard action is a bit mushy but the aftertouch is effective. Having assignable controllers is great, and there is a decent amount of flexibility in what you can assign to them. The thing is unbelievably light, it almost feels too light compared to my AZ-1. I'm not crazy about the placement of the pitch wheel and wish that were an assignable control. You can use the ribbon for pitch but if you go to the very edge in either direction the pitch goes back to center, not so great.
December 16, 2012
Music Background: Performing electro-ambient musician
The pitch wheel is usable, I just wish it were more traditional.
My biggest problem with it is the shape and placement of the ports. Take a look at the picture and tell me how to set this down. The bottom should be flat!!! And with the ports on the bottom instead of the side you can't set it down that way anyway!
So, like I said, mixed feelings. There are some great features but some silly design choices. I haven't gigged it yet but am happy to have a backup for my AZ-1, relying on a 25 year old keyboard isn't ideal. Given the current crop of these keyboards I would recommend it over the Rolands. close [-]
by DJ from Northern CAThis is a very flexible controller. It has lots of ways to select patches, send CC messages, and the controls are well placed and ergonomic. I have had 4 Keytars (KX-5, AX-7, AX-Synth, and Vortex) a... read more [+]nd this one really has a lot going for it. It has aftertouch and you can program each patch to send any number of commands to a midi module or VI. The accelerometer is also unique and very cool to use.
November 13, 2012
Music Background: Write, record, arrange perform.
The reason I am giving 3.5 stars is because the user guide and docs leave much to be desired. It is not clear how some of the programming is done, and the quick start guide actually makes it more difficult some times I worked with someone on one of the forums who gave me a real time tutorial, and after that, it made sense. There should also be some software to copy or save patches and setups in my opinion. close [-]
Jordan, Marquette, MI
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