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Topic: An 88 key controller recommendation

  1. #1

    Thumbs up An 88 key controller recommendation

    Hey guys, just wanted to recommend a bang for the buck keyboard if you're just getting by with the controller you have. Enter the M-audio Keystation 88es ($200!).

    It's no surpsise that with all the flexibility these sample libraries give us that a good controller is of high importance. Well, I had severly neglected that by using a Roland A-37 that only had 76 keys, and a combined pitch bend/modulation "joystick" that left very little room for expression on the modulation. Not only did I have to do a lot of reparing of expression, but a lot of keyswitches were just out of reach of my keyboard causing me to have to scroll on the mini keyboard sampler window to access them.

    Well, I stumbled across the M-audio for $200 and can't tell you how pleased I am with the purchase. I will say that they keys are a little springy feeling and take a little getting used to (I'd still use my 88 weighted for piano), but for everything else, it has made life a LOT easier. Plus, it is USB powered so it's one less power suplly I am having to deal with. It doesn't go deep in other areas (aftertouch and more comprehensive midi controlling), but if you're having to break flow as I was to repair controller events, keyswitches, and just need all 88...this is the way to go! Plus, I really like the "return to zero" of the pitchbend...it is very quick, but doesn't snap too hard.

    With all that said, if $200 isn't too big of a deal, it is worth the gain in workflow. I was able to get it at Guitar Center for $199 (with tax included!)

    Best! -Scott

  2. #2

    Re: An 88 key controller recommendation

    I have one too. Nice board.
    Robert Gregory Browne
    KISS HER GOODBYE (now available)
    KILLER YEAR: Stories to Die For (Jan. 2008)
    St. Martin's Press

  3. #3

    Re: An 88 key controller recommendation

    I would also suggest the CME keyboards.

    Sean Beeson

  4. #4
    Senior Member james vogts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    las vegas ,nv> USA

    Talking Re: An 88 key controller recommendation

    If you like playing live and want extreme control for velocity curves and dynamics, try to find an Oberheim MC3000 Master MIDI Controller. There's a good reason why they are rare. Anyone who likes playing sampled pianos live, and was trained on an acoustic instrument, falls in love with the action, and control. But I do have an M-Audio KS-88 Pro for my analog synths, and an ES for my home programming. You can't go wrong for 200 USD for 88 notes. Do a search on ebay just to see how many of each instrument pops up. Usually the ones that you see most are used, and uneeded. The CME UF8's don't pop up because they are the new have to haves. M Audio KS 88's are all over the place USED!! Great for synth work, but the action is nice, but unrealistic as far as weighted action goes. CME must have something on the ball in that respect. I still have my KX 88 from 1984!! The action was great, but got mushy after many tours. Too bad. For 10 years, it was awesome, but the Oberheim is the only real dynamic controller that I have played in years. If you see one on ebay ( which I seriously doubt ) they are very heavy w/ a case. But the MC2000 ( cutdown MC3000 ) comes w/ sounds, and has the same kick ~~~ dynamics.

  5. #5

    Re: An 88 key controller recommendation

    Man I'm really stoked in this category because I just won an auction on ebay this evening for my fav weighted hammer action keyboard-Fantom s-88...I had to sell mine about 2 years ago to pay for some of my wife's medical bills so, with a good tax return am able to finally be reunited! I've been using a classic Triton for awhile now and will keep it for synth/guitar type parts (cause I hate playing those parts on weighted keys) and of course triton sounds parts too...As much as I love the soft synth stuff (and I got a ton of it!) I'm slowly returning to hardware as well for the best of both worlds...As to comments on the CME board, I'd be leary because I've seen quite a few posts on the build quality not being up to par...Korg just launched a k-series controller which looks interesting though I'm not sure if they have an 88 key version of it or not...

  6. #6

    Re: An 88 key controller recommendation

    just wanted to say reply about the cme boards -- originally there were some extremely negative as well as some extremely positive reports-- this definitely made me wary-- but, since then it has begun to be sold in all the mainstream stores, widely used at namm (where, obviously, companies are trying to show off their stuff and can't afford to have problems) and generally been proven to be generally reliable-- my own UF8 has been awesome, no problems to report ( when i first opened it up, one of the sliders fell off, and i was really worried that the whole thing was like a piece of junk, but that was by far the worst thing that's happened-- and it fit right back on--) in fact i found just the opposite, it is built very strong, at least where it counts , which is the keys, and unlike some other controllers we know, it actually feels like an instrument and not a toy-- i can honestly say i love it-- obviously the old roland and yamaha controllers are great too, it's just u gotta get em on ebay and like any used items u don't know exactly what u're getting or have any sort of warranty

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