Korg Intros plugKEY, A MIDI + Audio Interface For iOS Devices

korg-plugkeyKorg has introduced plugKEY, a portable MIDI + audio interface for iOS devices.

The plugKEY attaches directly to your iOS device with a Lightning connector, so no adapter is needed. It’s designed to provide you with what you need to connect a keyboard to an iOS device and get MIDI in and audio out.

Here’s the official intro video:

Features:

  • Studio-quality 1/4″ jack audio outputs
  • MIDI IN
  • Stereo 1/8” headphone output
  • DC5V microUSB port, so you can charge while using (microUSB cable not included)
  • Compact design
  • “Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad” certification obtained from Apple

plugkey-use

Pricing and availability for the Korg plugKey are TBA.

46 thoughts on “Korg Intros plugKEY, A MIDI + Audio Interface For iOS Devices

  1. I was super pumped when I saw this.
    Until I realized there’s no 5 pin out.
    Why?
    WHY!?
    I so desperately want to hardwire sync my iPad apps to my MIDI hardware. Why won’t anyone make my dreams come true? This was so close. Am I the only synthhead that wants a pile of synced gear without a DAW or Bluetooth sync or USB none sense. I can’t be. I CANT BE!

    …if anyone has a creative solution I’d love to hear it. The closest I’ve gotten was using ableton link to sync korg gadget with the korg monotribe sync app to set a tempo for an electribe to control five synths. It worked. But c’mon there’s got to be a simple way. Can someone just make some genius cable with a lightning adaptor on one end and a five-pin on the other…

    1. Dude, just get an Alesis IO DockII…many standard audio interfaces (scarlet, US800, etc) work with ipads too.

    2. I’m using the IK iRig Midi 2 to sequence my Volcas with Modstep. Super easy to set up and works like a charm. 🙂

    3. The red, 16 bit version of the Akai EIEIO has 2 mic pres, 4 in 4 out, midi in/out and a 4 port USB hub. Works like a charm with ipad. A bit large, though.

    4. Yo people’s and bitches, will this thing take pressure off the iPads or iPhones CPU, freeing up processing power? Does this interface process audio and converting from digital to analog? I’m guessing this is the case?

    1. I thought about that at first, but then realized I’m pretty sure you can just use the regular lightning to USB connector Apple sells for that.

      1. Yes, and the current model of the Apple Camera Connection Kit USB adapter has power passthrough (at last!) so you can charge your iDevice while you play.

  2. now add audio in and midi out and we will talk

    but for now you have a way to turn your iPad into a sound module

  3. you want a midi out and audio (stereo, otherwise it makes no sense)? So the price of the device increases enough and Korg loses a large segment of customers.

  4. This could be the perfect minimal/compact solution for using my phone as a sound module to fill in sounds missing from my main gigging keyboard. While there are other full-featured options out there that are larger and more expensive, hopefully they have kept the price down by leaving out midi-out and audio-in.

  5. For those out wants both Midi Out and Audio In features, why not just go with a Roland DUO-CAPTURE EX module. Connect with camera kit, and the Roland module works with AA battery or bus powered. And it’s pretty small size too compare to a normal ext sound card.

  6. i was super excited until i realized, there’s no MIDI out, no internal microphone, no 64 channel audio I/O, no stereo speakers, no subwoofer and no self-charging electric vehicle included… bummer!

    1. Maybe you could route your MIDI controller through the computer, feeding MIDI to the iOS device, then record the resulting audio on a straight audio track.

  7. This is one step forward, one step back.
    You gain the advantage of direct connection via lightning – without the need of a CameraConnectioKit.
    You lose MIDI out + audio in.

    There is already a lot of budget price ‘Dock’ products already available and USB Audio+MIDI interfaces by Roland/Edirol, Behringer, etc. Only you need a CCK to connect them !!

    1. If this meets your needs, it’s a single brick rather than two or more.

      But you’re right – connect the CCK to USB power and a USB hub and you can build all sorts of custom configurations of class-compliant USB MIDI and audio gear.

  8. I don’t get why companies like Korg don’t announces prices when they introduce gear like this.

    The price could make the difference between people thinking WTF and OMG on something like this.

    Korg’s been targeting the low end lately, so I’d expect this to be pretty affordable.

  9. This is absolutely perfect for me. I’m using an Akai Synthstation 49 to play iOS soft synths on an iPad 2 on stage at the moment, and I’ve been trying to find an elegant replacement that will allow me to update the iPad. This, plus a better keyboard (I have a Novation SLmk2 lying about not doing anything) and a stand mount for the iPad look like the way ahead!

  10. Having that Lightning cable fixed to the unit is the biggest mistake.
    Apple are not going to stick to that connector, everybody knows that is bound to change.

  11. Not really designed for nerds at Synthtopia but seems like a nice gateway device to get people started. Most people have no idea of what iOS is capable of. Could be a good way to get some use out of old phones. I have an iPod Touch in the drawer. Even just used as a simple audio output it has to be better than the headphone output. What would you pay for it? If it’s $59 I might order one depending on the power situation. I don’t understand: “DC5V microUSB port, so you can charge while using (microUSB cable not included)”. Does it have a battery? Does it power the iOS device?

  12. Does sting theirs no MIDI out, but the thing is with it being a Korg, it might end up being like $34.99 and if enough people buy it they have the resources to make a 4 1/4″ in and out 4 MIDI in and out lightning device for <$160. Speculation, but I'm curious to see what they price this at.

  13. I also want an inexpensive USBMIDI(lightning as well) to CV interface. There’re some of them already but hey please big companies take it and make it very reasonable!

  14. This is actually EXACTLY what I need. I need to sync the ipad with the Roland MX-1 and other gear we run. The audio outs are perfect, and I dont need midi out our audio in, I already have interfaces for that if I need it. I just want to run my soft synths, and have it synced, and charged! This is designed for someone like me…

  15. This could (‘ve) be great for Synth Editor Software running on a iPad or sumn’
    They should’ve made the MIDI port mappable to either IN or OUT. Well, maybe in the future!

  16. Hobbled as usual to achieve maximum profit rather than get the job done efficiently, well done KORG

  17. Do you think the 1/4 plugs are better than headphones out?
    I use ipad pro on live concerts with headphones out and camera connection kit to my code 61 and works very good
    But the jack plugs perhaps are more profesional and perhaps has better sound.

    What do you think about this?

  18. I was interested then saw that it’s $99. Guess its still a bargain. I was hoping it to be somewhat less like $30-50 but I don’t have another $100 to blow on more iOS compatible stuff.

  19. Does anyone know if the korg plugkey produce good sound quality out I want it for live stage purpose. And does it have latency?

  20. Can’t believe all of the “complaints” about what it doesn’t have. It’s a $99 small footprint interface that elegantly solves several issues. If you are using an iOS device live for soft synth sounds, this is ideal. Get your MIDI controller of choice and buy < $100 worth of soft synths and you have a pretty robust sounding keyboard rig for live performance.

  21. Runs on a iPad Pro and iPad air2. I’m using GeoShred by @JordanRudess and miniSynth II. Small footprint and solved a problem. No latency that I can hear unless multiple synths in mem at the same time. Just buy it!

  22. I have a iPad Air with apps, and a Roland Juno ds88 . My iPad have piano apps. I can hear the apps play from my iPad to my amp’ I cannot hear all the 88 keys , in other word the sound from my iPad piano apps , my Roland keyboard will not play all 88 keys , only some of the keys I hear that coming from the iPad thru the Roland piano, now if I purchase this micro plug will all the 88 keys play from the iPad?

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