Keysonic ACK 540 Alu

Keysonic ACK 540 Alu

Today, I swapped my standard PowerMac keyboard and Microsoft optical mouse for the Keysonic ACK 540 Alu above.

One of the constant annoyances of being a computer-based musician is the lack of any proper ergonomic way to work. If, like me, you like composing at an 88 note controller keyboard, how do you fit that in alongside the ASCII keyboard and mouse? And what about using a hardware controller like the C4 or Control?

Why is there no existing workstation, some bit of studio furniture that can accomodate controller keyboard, fader box, ASCII keyboard, LCD monitor and maybe even monitor speakers? I’m sure if someone designed one that worked, they’d sell a bundle of them, even if they cost a fair bit. There are plenty of professional musicians like me who are developing crooked spines and knackered eyes trying to cope with ungainly setups.

For the moment, the Keysonic has saved me valuable desktop space, space into which I could now plop a C4, maybe. My setup still isn’t ideal: I have my controller keyboard off at the right, at 90 degrees to my LCD. This will have to do, for now, but I hate not hearing things I’m playing in proper stereo. And it’s virtually impossible to tweak softsynths and play at the same time. Grrr…

OSX Tiger handled the Keysonic beautifully, just asked me to press a couple of keys and then it was configured. The trackpad worked right away and I much prefer it to a mouse. The Windows key is the Apple key and everything else is as labelled.

I was a little puzzled about how to eject my DVD drive but it turns out that if you hold F12 down for longer than normal, that ejects the drive. A nifty little bit of UI design there!

So, for any music geeks out there, Windows or Mac, looking to save some deskspace, check out the Keysonic! 🙂

Ooop! Forgot to say – the Keysonic has two PS/2 connectors at the end so I had to buy a lead to convert both of them into one male USB plug. An additional expense but still worth it.