Ra­dial En­gi­neer­ing Key Largo

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

This key­board mixer and per­for­mance pedal aims to route out all your stu­dio prob­lems. Rob­bie Stamp checks it out

It might seem to have a sim­ple, func­tional premise, but there’s a lot more go­ing on as you dig down into Ra­dial En­gi­neer­ing’s Key Largo. Aside from the three stereo in­put chan­nels there’s USB I/O (up to 24 bit/192kHz), MIDI I/O (via USB), stereo FX send/re­turn, sep­a­rate mon­i­tor and mix out­puts, vol­ume pedal con­nec­tiv­ity and footswitches for ef­fects by­pass and sus­tain (ex­plained be­low). All of this is de­liv­ered in clas­sic Ra­dial style: un­fussy, built like a tank, com­pact and well laid out.

The three stereo ana­logue in­puts (left jack = mono/cen­tre pan) of­fer plenty of gain, so even your most weedy synth can get a hear­ing. The au­dio path qual­ity is as high as you’d ex­pect from Ra­dial, and there’s no hint of noise at high gains, ex­cept from the source. The chan­nel con­trols are sim­ple: gain and EFX send level. The send/re­turn amp path is happy with line level FX units and stomp ped­als.

The stereo mix runs in par­al­lel to Mon­i­tor and Main out­puts, each with in­de­pen­dent level and ground lift con­trols. Again the sig­nal path is of ex­cel­lent qual­ity, al­low­ing your keys/ synths to blend with­out any coloura­tion or loss. Th­ese are pre­ceded by a stereo vol­ume pedal insert. For per­for­mance use, the dual out­puts are a boon for those with their own sep­a­rate mon­i­tor rig, which could be a head­phone amp as the Key Largo lacks this ca­pa­bil­ity.

As a per­for­mance tool, the Key Largo is de­signed for floor as well as desk­top use, which is why there are footswitches for EFX re­turn switch­ing and sus­tain pedal out­put. The lat­ter al­lows the player to skip tak­ing a sep­a­rate sus­tain pedal and just run a ca­ble from Key Largo to their key­board, thus keep­ing the setup ‘lo­calised’. The PSU in­put is ac­com­pa­nied by a ca­ble clamp to pre­vent the power loss po­ten­tial that comes with stage floor sit­u­a­tions; it’s the lit­tle things that re­ally count!

Mod­ern key­board per­for­mance inevitably re­quires a com­puter, and the Key Largo’s USB in­ter­face presents a stereo in­put (with EFX send) as the fourth mixer chan­nel, with the summed out­put avail­able as a record­able stereo in­put at the lap­top/tablet. The USB mode can be switched from ‘Live’ to ‘Record­ing’ modes so it acts as a nor­mal record­ing in­ter­face. The AD/DA con­ver­sion is great and makes the Key Largo some­thing of a one-stop­shop for key­board mu­si­cians, es­pe­cially with MIDI I/O.

Key Largo is a well-thought-out, flex­i­ble and high-qual­ity tool for the per­form­ing/record­ing key­board/synth mu­si­cian that, be­sides the lack of head­phone mon­i­tor­ing, fills the DAW in­ter­face slot on top of in­te­grat­ing a multi-in­stru­ment setup. It’s not cheap, but then fit­ting a mixer and in­ter­face of this stan­dard into an easy-to-use and highly durable pack­age never is.

CON­TACT WHO: Po­lar Au­dio TEL: +44 (0)1444 258258 WEB: www.ra­di­aleng.com KEY FEA­TURES Stereo In­puts: 6x 1/4" TS (3x stereo). USB I/O: 24bit 192kHz. Conec­tions: 2x XLR main out­put, 2x 1/4" stereo send/re­turn, 2x 1/4" stereo mon­i­tor out­put. Noise Flor: -91dBu. Clip Lev­els: +12dBu (In), +24dBu (Out). WEIGHT: 1.47kg. DI­MEN­SIONS: 213mm x 127mm x 48mm.

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