exciting product, called Prodikeys, features two keyboards in one--a computer
keyboard and piano keyboard--along with software that allows users
to create, learn, and play music quickly and easily.
When the MIDI keyboard is not in
use, users can place the keyboard cover, which turns into a palm
rest, over the piano keys. The computer keyboard is a full 104-key
standard IBM compatible keyboard. On the top
left corner, a FUN button quickly and easily launches the music
software program, and users can adjust the volume and pitch bend
with dials found here as well.
the Prodikeys software is launched, keys on the computer keyboard
turn into quick access keys for music settings and selections.
fantastic bonus that comes in the Prodikeys box is a
SoundBlaster audio card. If needed, users can install the sound
card as part of the hardware/software installation process.
program is easy to set up and the software is easy to use. There
are four modes featured: Impress, Easy Play, Learn, and Perform.
Impress mode (pictured at right) is fantastic for quickly
producing great-sounding songs. Kids are likely to spend the most
time in this mode, where they can create mixes that sound
fantastic! In Impress Mode's "Fun Tunes", for example,
the music keys are pre-programmed with music loops.
Learn mode features five steps to
learning a selection of songs: Listen to the tune, learn and
practice the notes, learn the notes with rhythm, learn the chords,
and play the tune. Users can choose a comfortable tempo at which
to learn and select EAX effects, such as "concert hall"
which sounds as if they are playing in a concert hall. They have a
choice of stave or numeric display, and can record, play back, and
save their tunes in wave, MIDI, or MP3 format. The program even
scores users' performances in percentages.
Play allows users to play with one hand as the software backs them
up with rhythm accompaniment. More advanced options are found in
Perform Mode that allow users to customize music settings. Plenty
of musical instruments and rhythms are available to choose from
(over 100 each).
up the program is straightforward enough. If you need to install
the sound card, then it will take a little longer. The
software installs from a CD, but you won't need to put the disk in
the drive to use the software after installation. The keyboard is
larger than most, so it takes up extra space on your desk, but if
you enjoy creating music, this all-in-one is really quite
functional. In fact, because launching the program is hassle-free
and the MIDI keyboard is right there in front of you, you'll
likely want to play and learn music more often.
One of the most pleasing features
of this product is that there is a lot to do with the software at
all levels of challenge and interest. In other words, children who
are content experimenting with simple music mixes and learning to
play basic songs will get a lot out of the Prodikeys, and those
who want to take it further will find plenty of options and
opportunities to do so. In other words, it would be difficult to
be disappointed with the product.
This is a fantastic buy: you get
a computer keyboard, 37-key integrated MIDI keyboard, SoundBlaster
audio card, and
easy-to-use music software for a low suggested retail price of $99
Minimum System Requirements: Win
98 SE/2000/Me/XP, Pentium 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM (128 MB recommended),
325 MB hard drive space, CD-ROM drive.
For more information, user
reviews, or to buy:
Creative Labs Prodikeys Keyboard
|For Win 98SE/2000/Me/XP
||By: Creative Labs