Edirol PCR-A30 (keyboard controller/audio interface)

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This is part keyboard controller, part audio interface. It also has small speakers. It connects to your computer via USB, and can receive power via either the USB cable or an external power adaptor.

User Comments

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Tripecac (Travis Emmitt)

I bought my Edirol PCR-A30 on 2005-05-11 for $170.

I use it with my laptop, which is running Sonar and Project 5. The PCR-A30 controls the soft-synths.

As a controller, it's hit-and-miss. It doesn't have as many keys (32) as the Triton (61+). Also, the keys aren't as sensitive; I often get missing notes if I try to play softly. I'm also not sure if the keys have after-touch; doesn't really matter, since I keep it turned off on the Triton too.

On the plus side, the PCR-A30's knobs and sliders map extremely easily to controls in Sonar. It's cool to be able to mess with volume, pan, reverb, filters, and other sound qualities from the PCR-A30, with no need to use the mouse. Transposing up or down an octive is extremely easy as well; there's an easily accessible button for it. And, of course, it's far more portable than a full-sized keyboard.

I haven't tested the audio interface very thoroughly. This is because I haven't tried adding vocals to or mixing down any songs on the laptop. I've mostly been focusing on learning how to control soft synths. I do know that audio output is cleaner than the laptop's internal audio card (which has noticable noise).

The PCR-A30 has built-in speakers. They sound about the same as the laptop's speakers, which isn't saying much. You'll want to use headphones or some other monitoring system.