CME Xkey 37-key Mobile Keyboard Controller

37-key Ultra-slim USB Controller Keyboard with Full Velocity Sensitivity, Polyphonic Aftertouch, Full-size Keys, and Class-compliant USB Connectivity - Mac, PC, iOS
CME Xkey 37-key Mobile Keyboard Controller image 1
CME Xkey 37-key Mobile Keyboard Controller image 1
$199.99
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CME Xkey 37-key Mobile Keyboard Controller
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Ultra-slim and Playable Keyboard Controller

If you write music, then CME's Xkey controller belongs in your mobile rig. Surrounded by a sleekly designed molded aluminum chassis, this controller is constructed similarly to a chiclet computer keyboard. The Xkey owes its extremely low profile to a key mechanism that happens to depress evenly no matter where you press on them. The end result is a freakishly slim keyboard that's amazingly lightweight and remarkably playable. Did we mention the keys are full sized and velocity sensitive, or that they feature polyphonic aftertouch? That's right, the CME Xkey is one serious little controller keyboard.

CME Xkey Ultra-slim USB Controller Keyboard at a Glance:
  • Redefining "low-profile" keyboard controller
  • More than playable - fun to play!
  • Cross compatible and made to travel
Redefining "low-profile" keyboard controller

We simply cannot say it clearly enough, this is one extremely slim USB keyboard controller! You could almost lose this thing in your backpack or laptop case, and if you have an iPad in a midsize carry case, the Xkey could comfortably snuggle up next to it. The only physical thing that's substantial about the the Xkey is its weight, 1.94 pounds, which is just enough to stay well rooted as you play.

More than playable - fun to play!

Despite its unusual appearance, the CME Xkey is certainly no toy loaded with mini keys whose never-quite-right key spacing will cause your fingers to fumble. We're talking about full-sized keys set into a precision-cut aluminum chassis to provide you with comfortable key separation. That includes slightly elevated black keys you can play naturally.

The Xkey's brilliant chiclet key mechanism, which causes each key to depress evenly no matter where your finger pushes down, adds to the playability, and if you've ever enjoyed the fast response of traditional synth action, you'll positively delight in the speed of these keys. And with 128-levels of velocity sensitivity, polyphonic aftertouch, and unique touch-sensitive pitch and modulation controls, musicians at Sweetwater have been impressed with the Xkey's playability and responsiveness.

Cross compatible and made to travel

What do you use to write music? A Macbook? A PC laptop? Perhaps an iPad or other tablet? It doesn't matter to the CME Xkey, whose class-compliant USB connection provides standard MIDI over USB to any music-making application you want to run. The Xkey is also 100% USB bus powered, allowing you to travel light and never worry about carting around a power supply or spare batteries.

CME Xkey Ultra-slim USB Controller Keyboard Features:
  • An ultra-slim and full-featured MIDI controller keyboard you can take anywhere
  • Precision cut aluminum frame provides natural key separation for 37 full-sized keys
  • Key design depresses evenly for added playability
  • Advanced sensing technology provides 128 levels of velocity sensitivity and full polyphonic aftertouch
  • High-resolution pitch bend modulation buttons utilize continuous MIDI control data
  • Octave up and down buttons give you access to an extended note range
  • Fully USB bus powered and firmware updatable via USB
  • Small enough to fit in virtually any backpack, laptop case, or midsize iPad case
  • Class-compliant USB provides full plug-and-play compatibility with most operating systems, including iOS (via the Apple Camera Connection Kit)
Streamline your mobile music-creation rig with a CME Xkey controller keyboard!

Additional Media

Interview with Jordan Rudess by Sweetwater

Tech Specs

Number of Keys 37
Type of Keys Full-size
Aftertouch Yes
Other Controllers Pitchbend, Modulation Buttons
Pedal Inputs 1 x Sustain, 1 x Expression
MIDI I/O Out
USB 1 x Micro
Height 0.62"
Width 21.77"
Depth 5.31"
Weight 1.94 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number XKey37

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 15 reviews
Write your review
5/5

Love It

I bought it mostly because I thought it looked cool was super affordable and would look good next to my Mac keyboard. (Which it does) After playing it for several days hooked up to my Logic plugin keyboards I love it. I'm excited to be able to take it with me. My only hope is that CME comes out with a 64 key version.
5/5

Typing or playing on a Keyboard?

What is this exactly? It looks so flat. How does it feel? What can it do? How does it work? It's irresistible. There's so many questions here, you just HAVE to buy it and give it a try. I sure did, and golly am I glad I did. It's utterly delightful. So plastic. So clicky. But aren't those bad things? For any normal keyboard, definitely so! The Xkey not only feels right, but you'll find you can't take your fingers off it. This is one of those alternative Midi controllers, in my opinion, like the KMI K-Board or the Roli Seaboard. The travel of the keys is so minute, you can drag your finger across the xkeys with ease, like a ribbon controller. Connect this thing to a keyboard or a computer, load up a synth sound and go to town. You're going to love it. After all these years of playing the same way, the same style on the same old keys, this Xkey might be the perfect device for you. It comes with a Midi breakout jack so you can use a traditional Midi cable. However, you still need to power it via USB. It sends Midi data over that same USB cable anyway, so I don't see much point in using a Midi cable with this Xkey, as nice as the option is. Did I mention how perfectly small this controller is? Yet the keys are full sized? Such a low profile! Such a great keyboard!
5/5

Killer

I was scheptical at first but having a computer keyboard style piano keyboard is perfect for midi instruments. Plug and play. Love it.
Music background: Black Stone Cherry
5/5

Brilliant

This is one of those outside-the-box paradigm shifters that comes along once in a while that raises eyebrows until folks actually see what it can do. The short-travel keys move straight down, not hinged at the back like a traditional keyboard. They have a definite resistance, like a good computer keyboard. But have others have noted it doesn't take long to adjust. To me it feels much better than a typical non-weighted keyboard. The downloadable utility offers four user-definable velocity curves in addition to linear. Don't expect it to perform as good as a true weighted keyboard of course. Nice feature set for the price with expression and sustain pedals, MIDI out and poly aftertouch. Feels solid and durable (we'll see, but mine will be mostly stationary). And last and maybe least but not insignificant, the minimalistic aluminum design looks cool. Sure, buttons instead of pitch/mod wheels is a compromise, and if you depend on those I would not recommend this unit. If you only use them occasionally as I do, they're just fine. You'll want to be careful of cable/connector strain if using on stage, including the micro USB connector (I would prefer full size).
Music background: Played piano and keys for 50 years
5/5

Does it all!!!

I bought this controller to control the Kontakt organ for a gig. I wanted the aftertouch to control the rotary speed. Press down on the keys and the rotary kicks in; let off a little and the rotary slows down. Only problem: it didn't work! Oh, it worked, but the sensitivity was so light that ANY amount of pressure engaged the rotary. After a few days of email correspondence with tech support, I was emailed a beta firmware update that included a separate velocity curve for the aftertouch. Voila! Now all works perfectly. This is a new product and is just requiring a little tweaking. Thanks to Jerome at CME to stay on top of things and provide a fast, responsive solution. BTW, love the portability. A daisy chain option would be great to add range.
Music background: worship leader, studio owner
See also: Controller Keyboards, CME, CME iPad/iPhone Keyboard Controllers, CME MIDI Controllers