I spent Sunday searching for a keyboard for our Piano Wizard Music Academy at Low Yat Plaza. I was hoping to find a cheaper midi keyboard or at least a shop that was stocking the M-Audio KeyRig 49 – which is the same model that they use for the Piano Wizard Music Academy. Although you can use any keyboard with a USB connector with the Piano Wizard Music Academy, I figured that if I can get the same model, I might as well do so.
I learned a couple of things from my experience yesterday…
1. Don’t ask for a “midi keyboard”. Most of the staff at those computer shops will either think you are asking for a computer keyboard (as in the qwerty keyboard), or they will think you are asking for “mini” keyboard. Instead, ask for a “midi controller”.
2. There is only one shop in Low Yat Plaza selling midi keyboards – Midi Specialists. They are located in a blind alley on Level 4. The entrance to the alley is near the lifts.
3. Chambers Music in Sungei Wang also sells midi keyboards and they have a much larger variety. They are also the only ones (at the time of writing this) that have stock for the M-Audio KeyRig 49.
4. The cheapest midi keyboards with 49 keys all cost around RM500 (you have to bargain a little).
A couple more things you should be aware of if you are looking for a keyboard for the Piano Wizard Music Academy:
1. You can also find the M-Audio KeyRig 49 on Lelong. It’s going for RM468 plus RM23 shipping to West Malaysia.
2. Although most Apple shops carry M-Audio in the States, they don’t over here, so don’t waste your time looking in there. In fact, I don’t know any computer shops over here that stock midi keyboards. You still have to look for them at a specialist outlet.
4. If you are looking for a keyboard to play with the Piano Wizard Music Academy, look for one that is powered by the USB cable so you don’t need a separate power supply. Also try to get one with the least special functions because these can confuse the program.
If you’re going to order the Piano Wizard Music Academy, I would suggest you get the package without the keyboard and source your keyboard locally. This saves you on import duty on the keyboard and on shipping charges. If you’re waiting for my review, stay tuned…
In the meantime, check out the two year old playing Piano Wizard in the following video: