Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard for Xbox 360
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- All-new Keyboard instrument for Rock Band 3
- Plays Rock Band 3 Keyboard, Guitar* and Bass* parts / Two-octave design with 25 velocity-sensitive keys (*Does not support Guitar/Bass Pro Mode)
- Play real Keyboard parts in the new Rock Band Pro Mode / Versatile layout: Play like a Guitar or on a tabletop
- Use as MIDI Keyboard Controller when not playing Rock Band (compatible with most MIDI sequencers)
- 3 AA Batteries and Keyboard Strap included / Use as MIDI Keyboard Controller when not playing Rock Band (compatible with most MIDI sequencers)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Danielle G.
Met all expectations and arrived before it's estimated date of arrival despite being shipped across the Atlantic. I'm as pleased as I can be.Published 1 month ago by Daisy
This keyboard is a fun way to learn how to play the piano, even if it's not the total experience. I enjoy the ability to play the guitar parts on it too as it is easier to strike... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brian Booher
My husband loves the Rockband games. When he told me about the keyboard option, I had to get it for him. Everyone loves it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by BANsteph
Great addition to rock band. Also I use it as a midi controller to make my own music!Published 5 months ago by Brady P
I was thinking of buying a korg Volca Keys but didnt want to be stuck on the ribbon controller. I found a forum talking about this controller as a solution so i decided to try it... Read morePublished 5 months ago by WarrOne