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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just another plastic controller.
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...
Published on November 12, 2010 by Aku

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad...
I was doing pretty good on the Rockband drums. I bought this thinking I may have better co-ordination than the guitars in which I am still struggling. When I got this, I was a bit intimidated. Honestly I need to use it more. Some songs I like sometimes do have the keyboard, however I usually end up playing the drums again. So the review on this would be average at best...
Published 5 months ago by Peer Szeto


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just another plastic controller., November 12, 2010
By 
Aku (A little yellow sock puppet.) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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 down...as 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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The peripheral is good, it's use in the game has some flaws..., November 8, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware the Pro Keyboard setting!, January 13, 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great peripheral, November 29, 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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.

Pros:
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.

Cons:
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Piece of Hardware, January 5, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Honestly .. I had no expectations when I bought this. My worst fear was that I would use it with Rock Band 3 before it would be retired to the corner of the room reserved for the plastic guitars. Never did I dream that I would be using it even when my XBox was sent to the shop for repairs. I use this instrument every single day.

First off, unlike the mustang guitar, this doesn't feel cheap. The keys have a nice feel to them. The instrument itself also has nice weight that feels snug in my lap, but I can also pass it over to any nearby person by the "neck" without arm strain. It works as designed with the XBox and in Rock Band itself.

It takes a little while to get used to the Rock Band tablature. The trainers are pretty horrific. They don't explain much of anything such as it is only designed for one hand. That said, it is still pretty awesome to jam out with friends. Overdrive works by pressing a button and the touch sensor makes audio distorting pretty fun (I couldn't stand the whammy bar on the guitars). On easy and medium songs, I found I could laze back in my couch when playing, but once I hit the hard songs with the keyboard shifts, I needed to sit up and maintain good posture.

The instrument really shined for me when I bought a midi-to-usb converter. I'm currently doing eMedia's piano teaching software (which is pretty awesome) and the keytar makes for a wonderful practice tool. I'm able to play it through the computer with the software, enabling it to watch my playing and provide feedback. I'm also able to practice when I take a break from work. I just plop it on my desk, fire up my piano trainer, then play along for ten or so minutes. After which, I return to work feeling refreshed.

This is so much more than a game controller and definitely worth every cent. And hey, if you play at work like I do, maybe your co-workers will appreciate it as well (probably not, but you can still hope)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid peripheral, December 2, 2010
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn to play Piano? Maybe., January 4, 2011
By 
C. Furniss (seattle, wa United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I've been a huge Rock Band fan since the first one came out, and I love all the innovative stuff they put into each subsequent version. In Rock Band 3, one of those innovations is the keyboard controller. RB3 songs now have keyboard parts and having an extra instrument in case you have people over who want to play along but don't want to sing is awesome. You can play guitar and bass lines with the keyboard on the older songs as well. The pro keys mode is neat but I am not convinced it will actually teach you how to play piano. It only shows you finger positions on the note highway, instead of actual notation. The pro guitar mode shows notation so this is completely mind-boggling. My fiancee, who plays the piano, was completely baffled by the pro keys mode. I guess it just takes some getting used to.

Hardware quality is great. This is a solid piece of kit. It's even got a MIDI out so if you wanted to use it as an actual keyboard, you could. The keys feel nice to play on as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PT-BR Muito bom!, November 8, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Produto muito bom. Chegou bem rápido. Caixa em perfeito estado, produto idem. Para quem curte o jogo Rock Band eu recomendo muito.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second best instrument to drums, October 4, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, High-Quality Rock Band Instrument, November 13, 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I haven't bought a peripheral from MadCatz since I had a bad experience with their PS1 controllers, but this keyboard for Rock Band 3 has restored some of my faith! This instrument isn't hollow and flimsy like the default Rock Band guitar, but has some weight to it and feels solid in your hands. When you pick this wireless keyboard controller up, I think you'll likely be surprised at how much it weighs.

It turns out that this product is actually a legitimate MIDI keyboard that's been retrofitted as a controller, so that helps to explain why it's so satisfying to play. If you feel like plugging this bad boy in and rocking out freestyle, then there's nothing stopping you. You've got two octaves and 25 keys to work with.

When it comes to actually using this controller with Rock Band 3, it's a lot of fun. In standard mode you're restricted to just five keys, so in a lot of ways it's a lot like Guitar Hero or Rock Band guitar gameplay. Pro mode on the other hand is a whole different beast, with all 25 keys fair game. This mode is TOUGH, but there are some decent tutorials available in order to give you some basis to work from. Even though this mode is tough, it is very satisfying - once you get used to things, you'll really feel like you're playing some rock and roll keyboards.

The only potential bummer to keep in mind is that there are only about 65 songs that have full keyboard parts in Rock Band 3, out of well over 2000 available songs. Hopefully moving forward there will be more of this content available, and I'd love to see some (hopefully free?) updates to existing songs in order to add keyboard parts. Here's hoping!
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Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360
$39.99 $38.70
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