As I was looking for a new (smaller) MIDI keyboard for my home studio, my eyes fell in love with the “basic” looking LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25. Reading the specs this could easily be my next big studio love… The next question popped up, would the LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 be compatible with my Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)!?
The specifications read compatibility with IOS, MAC, and PC. OK, that sounds promising, but my DAW is built around an Apple Mac Book 5.1 running Ubuntu Studio 10.04. Searching the web I couldn’t find any answers… So I decided to give it a shot. As we just passed the new Ubuntu milestone, I also decided to take a look at the latest version of Ubuntu Studio. So I ordered the LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 online and downloaded Ubuntu Studio 12.04. To my surprise, I found out that Ubuntu Studio 12.04 is a very nice LIVE CD (a complete bootable computer operating system that runs in the computer’s memory, rather than loading from the hard disk drive) which runs perfectly on the Apple Mac Book 5.1. I spent the weekend replacing my Ubuntu Studio 10.04 LTS with Ubuntu Studio 12.04 and making it mine (installing loads of extra software/packages). Yesterday when I came home from work I found a big box on my desk containing my new LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 MIDI keyboard. After unpacking the kit I was pleasantly surprised by the solid feeling of the keys, knobs, and wheels. At first, I hooked it up to OSX, as one could have guessed it worked like a charm. Next up was booting to Ubuntu Studio… (tune into the melody of Jaws here 😉 I started Jack (JACK Audio Connection Kit) hooked up my Mobile Keys 25 and TADA a new device popped up in my connections list. After connecting the Mobile Keys 25 to Qsynth in Jack I was ready to play and man it felt good!!! After that, I disconnected Qsynth and started Yoshimi (an alternate version of ZynAddSubFX) and with a little help of a2jmidid (you can start a2jmidid from a terminal window by typing a2jmidi_bridge), I was able to hookup the Mobile Keys 25 to Yoshimi and play it away. After that, it was time to connect my Mobile Keys 25 to my iPad (read the manual and install the free MIDI app from LINE 6) the first message I got was that there was a new firmware update for my new Mobile Keys 25. The updating process was dead easy, so I updated my Mobile Keys 25 with the latest greatest firmware. Conclusion the LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 is a well build product (thank you guys at LINE 6) which works perfectly with an Apple Mac Book 5.1 running Ubuntu Studio 12.04.
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