Keith McMillen Instruments Intros K-Board C MPE MIDI Controller

Keith McMillen Instruments has introduced K-Board C, a colorful update of its K-Board portable MIDI keyboard.

The KMI K-Board has long been one of the most affordable expressive MIDI controllers available. The new version adds a USB-C port, MPE MIDI support and colorful ABS polycarbonate enclosures (Galaxy, Snow, Orchid, Lime and Aqua).

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“K-Board-C is a simple yet expressive, durable, portable USB MPE MIDI keyboard designed for music producers and performers to use anywhere. K-Board-C works with all of your music software, connecting to your computer or mobile device via USB-C. K-Board-C is MPE compatible with 25 touch sensitive keys to detect velocity, polyphonic aftertouch, and per-key tilt, giving you total control of musical expression. The new K-Board-C enclosure features a durable ABS polycarbonate finish that comes in 5 fun colors: Snow, Galaxy, Orchid, Lime and Aqua. Powerful and portable, the K-Board-C is designed for everyone making music!”

Pricing and Availability

The K-Board C is available now for $119 USD.

32 thoughts on “Keith McMillen Instruments Intros K-Board C MPE MIDI Controller

    1. The K-Board has been the market for years. It makes sense for KMI to release an updated version.

      If you’ve got a bunch of money invested in legacy gear and workflows, the K-Board may not make sense to you. But to anybody using iOS music apps or enjoying portable rigs, the K-Board is a great option.

      1. Yes, I realize that, especially for the price. My point was specifically about the rather odd 2-octave keyboard, and that it is only two octaves. I also understand that it is a fully featured MPE keyboard, but you can get a CME 37-key mini keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch for about the same price. I do see your point, though.

  1. one thing I want to know is if they finally discontinued the latex based coatings that they have had on previous models that break down and get sticky

    1. Yeah that was the thing that scared me off this when I was looking for a small, portable keyboard controller. Melting rubber is funky, funky stuff.

    2. Noo, it’s a feature. That means it’s expired and you should buy another one. Also bugs and broken velocity 8 years after the release means that there still is room for improvement!

    3. Yes, the “soft touch” coating is long gone from our product line. Our ABS Polycarbonate enclosures are designed to last for decades without any degradation.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, I updated the post to include a photo with the new colors.

      Do the new ABS polycarbonate enclosures avoid the issue that some K-Board users have encountered with the plastic of their device getting sticky? Also – is there anything that you recommend for existing users to minimize that issue?

      1. Rubbing Alcohol will remove the latex coating. Disassemble the K-board then use Rubbing Alcohol and paper towels to rub off the latex coating. The text is printed under the latex coating.

      2. New models are abs poly as you noted and therefore immune to becoming sticky.
        Old ones had metal enclosure covered with rubberised coating that over time became sticky.
        Keith McMillen used to offer replacement poly enclosures but not anymore 🙁
        Isopropyl alcohol does the trick of removing sticky mess but it is hard work and sadly doesn’t last…

      3. Cornstarch is the cure:
        1) Hold the board with buttons facing down.
        2) Brush cornstarch onto the sticky parts
        3) Brush or blow off excess cornstarch
        4) Enjoy the non-sticky

      4. Yes, the new ABS polycarbonate enclosures do not have the old “soft touch” coating that caused issues with stickiness. We specifically designed this new material to to avoid the sticky issue, and none of our current products have soft-touch.

        For customers with sticky enclosures, we have ABS polycarbonate replacements available for purchase on the parts page of our website, and anyone under warranty will be taken care of.

        1. Hey Keith,
          Can you provide us with the link for replacement parts please?
          Looks like links I have curtesy of KVR don’t work
          Can’t see “parts” section on your website

  2. Considering that the QuNexus, QuNeo, and K-Mix all got the “ABS-Polycarbonate” treatment already, I’d be willing to bet this new K-Board is made of the same new material.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more KMI devices get USB-C refreshes!

  3. curious if the key materials and function have been changed much. i found the original keys to be incredibly stiff and difficult to actually use for anything particularly expressive or nuanced. felt like i had to whack the damn thing to just get it to work. always like the idea and form factor but just didn’t land quite right for me.

  4. My original K-board works just fine and never got sticky. Maybe it’s an environmental issue. Maybe it comes from vaping too close to the keyboard. Anyone think of that? On the other front, I have a Roland A-50 and A-80 (key aftertouch back before it was a thing) and recently a Hydrasynth Explorer, so I don’t need a little MPE keyboard. I hope McMillan get enough custom. I suppose the originals will be discount priced after this. Also, the only USB-C port I have is in the back of my laptop and that is reserved for my audio adapter. I don’t think multiple USB-C ports has become a common thing, yet. Oh, and that quote up there from Liam Gallagher about Americans being unfit to worship his pristine armpits, he can piss right off, and take his unoriginal Beatles cover band with him.

  5. well its all how you look at it. after the rubber melts it becomes a mini roll seaboard

    all jokes aside I had one of these and I enjoyed it , I sold it but it is a truly portable option . I would love to see a version with one more octave and touch strips for pitch and mod instead of the button

  6. The sticky rubber is easily removed with rubbing alcohol and a little elbow grease. I didn’t try the cornstarch solution. Not sure I’d want to. But alcohol works great and leaves no residue. The software update that adds sequencing is also great. I ended up buying a new case anyway because I wanted the updated function labels.

    1. If you want to not expend nearly as much elbow grease, you can try acetone (but if you use full strength, you might want to put it only on one small corner of a key first to see if it dissolves the material the key is made out of. It’s unlikely to occur, but it is possible). Otherwise, you can try acetone-based nail polish remover, or you can cut pure acetone with 98% rubbing alcohol 50/50. Unfortunately, all of the really good solvents for these kind of purposes are no longer available because of greatly exaggerated carcinogenicity risk!

      I’d say to use talcum powder instead of cornstarch (if you wanted to go in the ‘sweep it under the rug’) direction, but as we all know, talcum power is now consider a threat to utreri.

  7. Right on! The only thing that kept me from getting this was the crappy mini USB. Thanks Keith McMillen.

    Now if you could redo the KMIX with normal knobs (or a touchscreen) I’ll rebuy those as well. 1010Music wouldn’t listen so it’s all yours for the taken! 😉

  8. The soft step also suffered from the sticky plastic problem. While it was a fantastic concept, in practice it just did not work well, and was difficult to program. But even if you could triple click down and program / configure it, i found that the sensitivity curves of the foot pads could not be easily customized / optimized to work properly. I eventually gave up. I even went to their offices in Berkeley and happened to meet Keith by chance, and they were very friendly. But at the end of the day the unit was sticky, the foot controller x/y curves were not musical nor easily adjustable, and i tossed it in the garbage. Now i use a dbinstruments xy pedal and it is like skating on smooth ice — just awesome — but only a single xy with a much bigger footprint…

  9. Yes, the world needs this. There are very few poly-aftertouch or MPE controllers on the market. This goes great with a portable Hydrasynth desktop + deluge setup.

  10. Can anyone confirm if the new version reaches down to the lowest MIDI octave? (Oct -1, MIDI note numbers 0-11). A couple years ago I had bought a K-Board as a keyswitching controller and unfortunately had to return it (despite liking its much sturdier feel vs. the Korg NanoKey) because it simply wouldn’t reach the octave where I keep my keyswitches 🙁

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