Edirol PCR-M1 review

  • £149

Edirol's MIDI controller offers quality construction and portability in one sleek package

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Our Verdict

A go-anywhere, light-weight MIDI controller that can be powered by USB, mains or four AAA cells.

For

  • Easy to lug around. Well-constructed. Good looking.

Against

  • Keys feel a bit clunky. Pitch-bend and modulation controls take some getting used to.
Buying options

The PCR-1 has proved a popular choice for those seeking MIDI control plus audio I/O – the PCR-M1 is the MIDI-only version.

It has the sleek lines of its stablemate and Edirol seem to have had portability in mind – there's even a padded neoprene gig bag in the box.

Its 25 keys have a short-stroke, low-profile impact mechanism (SLIM) and, while they're standard width, the keyboard feels a little clunky.

The overall build quality is excellent, although the unusual design of the pitch-bend and modulation controls takes some getting used to.

Its eight knobs and six buttons (all assignable) are reassuringly positive and a Shift function means that all knobs and three of the buttons can be remapped instantly, making for 27 controllable parameters per map.

For all its extensive functionality, including both MIDI In and Out and sockets for Roland expression pedals, populating the 16 control-map save locations could result in some head-scratching for folk who don't like reading manuals.

A three-character LCD offers a limited view of what's going on and there's a fair few button-press combinations to master.

That said, PCR Editor software is bundled, and you can download pre-authored control surface templates from edirol.com.

For portable and flexible MIDI control from an attractively designed unit, the PCRM1 is worth considering.

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Tech Specs

Power SupplyBattery Mains USB
DescriptionRotary Encoder, Assignable Rotary Volume Knobs (R1--8), Assignable Buttons (B1--6), Mode Switch x 4, Octave Shift Switch ?UP / DOWN), Transpose Switch, Pitch Bend Switch, Modulation Switch
Weight (kg)1.5
Height (mm)220
Available OutputsMIDI out
Number of Keys25
MIDI in/outYes
Available InputsMIDI
Width (mm)450
FeaturesCD-ROM. USB cable, owner's manual, template sheets, PEDAL conversion cable x 2 and gig bag included
Depth (mm)28