Customer Reviews: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Platform: Xbox 360|Change
Price:$27.88+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on November 12, 2010
I will kinda cut the actual Rock Band 3 part of this thing out, because the focus here is on the instrument, the 360 version specifically. I'll just say that it does its job perfectly fine with the game and move along.

So, on to the actual keyboard. Anyone who's ever spent ten seconds messing around with one will either know or secretly understand there are usually two things about keyboards when it comes to their construction: the keys have a certain weight to them, and the instrument is usually solidly built (not plastic-y). The MadCatz keyboard fits both of those roles perfectly. It does NOT feel like the vast majority of the other Rock Band 3 instruments, namely the guitar: thin, hollow plastic things which feel like you could snap them over your knee. No, this cat is pretty solid and feels like it could take a battering if need be. The keys have a natural weighted feel and respond just as they should, but with a single addition of ridges over the left ends of some, likely to help newbies with the game align their fingers with the colored sections without having to look much.

If I've given the impression that this thing has a built-in speaker, think otherwise. And Rock Band 3 doesn't, as far as I can remember, have a freestyle mode to let you play whatever on the keys. But, this does come with a 5-pin MIDI outlet, and all of its buttons and keys - and I'm pretty sure literally ALL of them, even the touch strip - are programmed for use with MIDI software. This puts it further into something more of an actual instrument than just a game controller.

It makes for a compact, fairly versatile item, albeit for the niche market of music gamers and creative keyboardists. As for its interplay with Rock Band 3, there's no real need to mention it here other than it works, because anything deeper is on the game side, which I'll save for a review of it rather than this peripheral.
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on November 8, 2010
There is little to say about the keyboard... it's two octaves, the keys feel pretty nice, and it responds quite well. Overall it's well built and functions nicely with Rock Band 3.

The real problem with it is not in the hardware, but in the game itself. You'll find that the disc only has 63 songs with keys out of the 83, and at least 6 of those 63 tracks aren't really worth playing, unless you enjoy hitting 5 notes and then playing nothing for half the song. The songs that do have a reasonable amount of keys, however, are incredibly fun on both standard and pro, and certainly makes the purchase worthwhile. Additionally, downloadable songs will come with keyboard parts when there is one in the song, so you'll quickly be able to add to the small library of key songs.

The pro keyboard mode works very nicely, offering a nice extra challenge on top of the standard instruments for those who want it, and you may even learn a few things from doing it. My only complaint here being that, in practice mode, you can only slow down to 60%, which is still to fast to properly learn some of the more complex songs like Roundabout.

Overall, the keyboard is a really nice instrument and a nice addition to Rock Band.
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on October 4, 2011
I play rockband 3 with many imports from track packs and 1 and 2. I mainly drum on expert but my sister is involved with keyboard. We bought their keyboard to test on rockband 3. It works awesome, the keys are nice to play and color labelled well. the whammy is on the handle , its a touch pad so running your fingers across will whammy the note. The overdrive button is next to the touch pad as well.

On regular mode on rb3 you play 5 keys, which are labeled by colored dots, using your right hand only. On pro, you use all keys and are labeled by the color panels. On the game the notes on pro are fairly clear to read, the track is lit by the colors according to where you should be playing. It shows 10 keys at a time, and at times will show blue arrows pointing in what direction the track will jump. It can be hard to readjust your hands to match the color change up, but after a while its a little easier. I believe (not certain)they only make you play the right hand notes, but you can use both hands anyway, I do.

Overall its a lot of fun and you won't get bored quickly, with Phish's Llama, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Yes's Roundabout it'll take a while to master those.

P.S. The rockband network hosts a lot of Queen with keyboard support. They also have quite a bit from Yes and some more Phish as well.
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on November 29, 2010
The keyboard was pretty exciting to play with and get the hang of. Having had some piano experience in the past, it wasn't too difficult to pick up on but there are some pro's and cons to be aware of.

1) The keys are spaced out pretty much like a regular keyboard, and there's a strap if you want to use it as a keytar.
2) Its pretty easy on battery life and there are normal AXYB buttons on the pad, unlike the old RB guitars, to allow easier navigation.
3) Sits pretty comfortable in the lap on a couch too if you prefer not to use the strap, or if you have a stand.

1) The keys are REALLY sensitive. You've got to get in the habit of not resting any weight on the keys because it'll set off a press which can screw up a combo sometimes.
2) You only play with 1 hand. 2 hand play can be done but because of the size of the piano, its kinda awkward, and when the key segments shift in game, it takes some practice to learn where to replace the hands.
3) For non pro-mode keyboarding, the 5 keys to play are hard to find at first because there are 2 sets of color coordination on the board itself. Smaller color codes are right above the keys, under the large color boards, showing where to play.

All in all, its fun to play, as Rock Band has been since it came out and the keyboard adds a little more flavor to a pretty immersive game already.
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on January 13, 2011
Being a piano player for the last 30 years and finding that most rock bands don't have a place for piano players, I was really excited for Rock Band 3 to come out! But then my excitement turned to frustration when I tried to play the pro keyboard setting, and here's why. You have to learn how to read music all over again using Rock Band 3's vertical scrolling-style, and the lines and spaces are so close together that even though the notes are color-coded white and black it's still hard to read on a regular TV screen. Plus the game puts symbols over the special bonus-point notes, and then it's impossible to tell if they're white or black. If they had just put the keyboard part scrolling horizontally across the top of the screen as they do for vocals, and using real ledger lines and notes, this would have been a pianist's dream! As it is, you feel like a 5-year old learning piano for the first time with music as a foreign language. I switched over to the regular keyboard setting within 48 hours and haven't looked back.
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on December 2, 2010
I bought this separately from Rock Band 3 because I wasn't sure if I wanted yet another plastic instrument. The pro mode intrigued me enough to pick it up later.

About the controller: It's built pretty solid. I think MadCatz have redeemed themselves with the Rock Band controllers from the days of their crappy gamepads. The keyboard has a two octave range, standard Xbox 360 buttons on top, a big button on the 'neck' for Overdrive, and a little pad that you touch to do effects for long chords which is pretty cool. It also has MIDI out if you are so inclined to use it as a real instrument. There's also a strap if you want to use it as a keytar, but I prefer it on a table or on my lap. The keys respond well and have an OK weight. I would prefer them a little heavier as I am used to that more from piano and sometimes sliding my fingers to feel for the next key I would accidentally hit another key. There are also a couple raised notches on the side of a couple of keys to help guide you on your finger positioning, but I haven't gotten used to using them at all. Overall it works as it should and doesn't feel cheap.

About the gameplay: Having played Rock Band since 1 and Guitar Hero before that, regular keys mode is a breeze. None of it pose a real challenge on expert except a few fast paced songs with a lot of chords (hand gets tired :(). Pro keys is where it's at and it's really hard. I play a little piano and still find it difficult reading the falling keys on screen and judging where I am on the keyboard. I find a lot of the times I just get lost on where my hand is. It takes some practice and for expert mode you basically have to learn the song, which isn't a bad thing. The keys you play are the actual keys used in the real song, albeit only the right hand in most cases. One gripe is the game doesn't seem to have a freeplay mode for keys like it does for drums. Would have been a nice option to just mess around with if people don't have a piano or other keyboard at home. Only about 60 something songs out of the 80 something have keys support in Rock Band 3. And none of the DLC and imported tracks prior will have keys support.

If you already have a keyboard with MIDI out you can get an adapter to use in Rock Band 3 instead of this, though depending on how much trouble it would be to set it up and tear it down, this keytar may be more convenient. I recommend getting this if you are looking for a new challenge in Rock Band and interested in learning some basic keys. However if you are someone that plays on Easy/Normal and very casually, the standard guitar will work with standard keys mode and you don't need to get this.
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on July 7, 2016
I do wish this was used on more games! I didn't realize that until after I bought it that there isn't many games that actually use the keyboard, and not too many songs either. Eitherway, reviewing the product itself, it's awesome. The keyboard features several ways to play (One handed, two handed, and full keyboard) so that's really neat. It's comfortable, it's sturdy, and we haven't had a single problem with it! It's all around awesome, now they just need future games using it.
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on July 9, 2012
I do not have RB3 so this review is just for the midi function.
I was looking for a cheap keyboard to use with Garageband, and this was the least expensive I could find.
Using the HDE USB Midi cable, it works much better than I thought it would. I didn't expect the keys to be pressure sensitive, or the ability to change octaves at the push of the X and B keys. Also didn't expect it to be as sturdy as it is, it feels like a 'real' instrument.
I would definitely buy this again if I had to.
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on October 18, 2014
This instrument rounds out the rest of our Rockband gear and boy is it fun!
Sturdy, solid construction and has color coded two octave scale keyboard that can be used for beginner, intermediate and expert skill levels.
Runs on two AA batteries but I believe there may be an aftermarket power pack you can purchase seperately instead of using batteries. Overall we absolutely love this additional item.
This thing is so neat, all you need now are the color tinted shades and black Panama hat to bump up the cool level while playing.
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on July 3, 2015
Exactly what you were probably looking for!! Only thing that sucks is the audio connection for your headset makes other players sound dreadful. But it also has a midi out connection for you to be able to hook up to your pc into your DAW so you can use it to control midi for your music. Great little touch!!
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