Cre8Audio's NiftyKeys is a MIDI controller you can build a Eurorack synth in

Combining a four-octave keyboard and a 112hp Eurorack case for $600 is a surprising bargain.


Cre8Audio made a splash a few years ago when it launched the NiftyCase in 2019, a Eurorack case that featured a surprising amount of convenient features for a stunningly low price. Seriously, $200 for an 84hp Eurorack case with a power supply, MIDI to CV converter, MIDI over USB capabilities and audio connections is kind of bonkers. Now the company is going a little more upmarket, targeting a niche within a niche, with the NiftyKeys.

NiftyKeys is a full-sized 49-key MIDI keyboard with a 112hp Eurorack case mounted on top. Now, at $600 it's a decent investment, especially considering you still have to fill it up with modules. But the only comparable product I can think of is the now discontinued Waldorf kb37 which retailed for $999 and was smaller and less feature packed than the NiftyKeys. Which means, it's actually something of a bargain?

There are four paired CV pitch and gate outs across the top which means you can patch up a four-voice polyphonic synth, or four separate monophonic patches playable split across different zones of the keyboard, or a pair of duophonic patches, or... you get the idea. There's also CV outs for aftertouch, velocity, modwheel, expression or the clock-synced LFO. There's an internal clock, but the whole rig can also be clocked externally, even over MIDI. There's five-pin MIDI In and Out/Through, plus MIDI over USB. Plus the keyboard itself has an auto-chord feature, a multi-mode arpeggiator, glide and swing control.

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