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TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide
TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide

Prodikeys DM

pujas Senior Member
pujas
pujas

Joined: 14 September 2004
Posts: 938

Posted: 10 January 2005 at 2:11pm | IP Logged
Prodikeys DM

The DM in Prodikeys DM stands for Desktop Music, but it could also stand for Desktop Magic. This keyboard allows you to have music on your desktop without having to add a dedicated music keyboard. It is a full-functioning computer keyboard and a musical keyboard at the same time. 

When you first glance at the keyboard it looks like a regular computer keyboard with a large black palm rest. The keyboard has all the normal computer keys plus enhanced multimedia keys. It has Internet hot keys, programmable keys, and multi-media playback buttons (play, pause, volume, etc.) The keyboard works just as you would expect when working on the computer. As a computer keyboard, Prodikeys is comfortable and has a good tactile feel. My only complaint (if you can call it that) is because of the large palm rest, I found my normal keyboard shelf a bit too high for the Prodikeys. I wound up typing with it on my lap, which actually turned out to be quite comfortable. If I were to use the Prodikeys on a permanent basis I would lower my keyboard shelf to accommodate it and that would probably be a worthwhile project.

The keyboard is easy to set up. It plugs directly into the PS2 keyboard connector on your computer. Turn computer off, plug keyboard in, install the software, and you're ready to go.

The surprise comes when you slide the cover off the palm rest. This exposes a 37 key midi keyboard. This keyboard comes with dedicated sustain, octave shift, and pitch buttons and a volume control wheel. It is easy to switch between the computer keyboard and the music keyboard. Just press the music key and the Prodikeys software appears on the screen and the keyboard goes into music mode. Press the music key again to close the music software and return to the computer keyboard mode. The software is smart. When working on dual monitors it allowed me to play the musical keyboard when working on one screen and use the keyboard for computer input when working on the other screen.

In the music mode you can play the keyboard, create music, or practice your musical skills. The keyboard recreates 128 different instrumental sounds like piano, organ, drums, and violin. Even among the major instruments there are choices. For instance, choose "organ" and you get selections like Reed, Hammond, Percussive, Rock, and Church organ. Of course, the better the sound card and speakers on your computer, the better the Prodikeys music will sound. Yet, the instruments sounded quite good using my average sound card and ordinary computer speakers.

The Prodikeys software is wonderful. It has several different modes, each representing a unique way to interface with the keyboard:

    The FunTunes mode gives you professional DJ mixes on the keyboard. You choose the type of music you want like jazz, rock, ballad, heavy metal, new age, rock & roll, etc. Then you use the keyboard to control the different elements like the bass, accompaniment, and drum to create your own mix. The PentaTunes mode lets you choose a rhythm style to play along with. The white keys use a pre-programmed scale type and the black keys play an effect. The Learn mode gives you guided lessons that are graded automatically. There are plenty of choices and a variety of skill levels. You can slow the tempo to meet your needs. You can also import music to play. I found the learn mode unintuitive and struggled a bit before I understood how it worked. Once I realized that each of the five lessons had a different function, it all made sense. The first lesson lets you listen to the song. The second lesson lets you play the right hand. The third lesson lets you learn the rhythm, etc. It's a good learning tool. IntelligentCord mode lets you play a simple melody with one hand and adds the accompaniment. As with the other modes you can choose the instruments and rhythms. The rhythm choices are extensive. For example, choose waltz types from French, Ballroom, Country, Jazz, and Rock. There is even a Santa Waltz. The FixedCord mode loops a chord progression so you can play along and ad-lib as you go.
  • The Perform mode lets you play with customized chord and music selections.

Each of these modes has a variety of different selections. With all of these modes you can play on the keyboard itself or use your mouse to play on the keyboard on the screen. You can choose the touch of the keyboard from soft, normal, and hard. You can also choose the octave you are playing in and the pitch. You can download additional lessons and sounds from the Prodikeys Web site. You can also record your creations as a WAV, Mp3, or MIDI files to play back any time.

The Prodikeys DM offers much to experiment with. Just investigating the various modes plunged me into a music episode that took hours. I'm not complaining, however. The experience was just plain fun. Expect to spend some time learning how the software works and investigating its many complexities. For anyone musically inclined, this learning exercise will be a joy.

You don't really have to know anything about music to enjoy playing with the Prodikeys keyboard. A professional musician would probably find it boring, but children and adults who are interested in music will find it fascinating.

mango Global Moderator
mango
mango

Joined: 08 December 2004
Posts: 9255

Posted: 10 January 2005 at 3:22pm | IP Logged
thank u pujas for another gr8 article
meghavi IF-Rockerz
meghavi
meghavi

Joined: 21 November 2004
Posts: 8263

Posted: 10 January 2005 at 3:48pm | IP Logged
thanks for sharing!
rabeeak2003 IF-Dazzler
rabeeak2003
rabeeak2003

Joined: 26 August 2004
Posts: 3898

Posted: 10 January 2005 at 4:40pm | IP Logged
thanks for the article!
HUMM IF-Dazzler
HUMM
HUMM

Joined: 06 November 2004
Posts: 2927

Posted: 11 January 2005 at 3:53am | IP Logged
thanks for sharing this with us!SmileSmile
nandiinii Senior Member
nandiinii
nandiinii

Joined: 01 November 2004
Posts: 503

Posted: 11 January 2005 at 6:45am | IP Logged
thanks a lot 4 the wonderful article!!!!Smile
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