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Topic: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

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  1. #1

    Warning: M-Audio wrong about the Prokeys88sx...

    Edit: I have modified this rant somewhat because it is beginning to appear that M-Audio themselves do not actually know what the product is supposed to do. So they weren't deliberately lying, they just did not have a clue...
    --------------------

    I always think 'system' when I purchase any piece of hardware or software. How will it fit in my system and does it have ALL the capabilities that I require for a specific purpose.

    The Prokeys 88sx is lightweight, has decent internal meat-and-potatoes sounds, pitch bend and mod wheel, sustain and expression pedal inputs and even a sostenuto pedal input. The only thing I can't tell from looking at the pics - does it have aftertouch?

    So I download the manual, and on page 27 is a midi implementation chart that shows that aftertouch is transmitted.

    So I bought the board. No aftertouch - is it broken? I email M-Audio tech support, and they state "The Prokeys88sx does not have aftertouch." But the manual shows it.

    Oh. No, it doesn't...

    The Prokeys88sx manual shows the midi implementation for the Prokeys88, NOT the sx. <edited>It appears that someplace down the line, someone screwed up - perhaps two parts of the company were working from different specs? Unknown at this time, but stupid, not criminal<end edit>

    I am extremely disappointed, I have been waiting for the Axiom 61 to be released, this was to make up the upper manual of a portable live-performance rig.But I no longer can trust the company to deliver what it states in their advertising and documentation, so I cannot purchase this keyboard.

    Do not purchase from M-Audio unless the vendor will allow you to return the product if it fails to deliver as promised.

    Such a shame, they were a pretty decent company (or so I thought.)
    Last edited by thesoundsmith; 06-14-2006 at 03:44 AM. Reason: change title
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  2. #2

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    Just so you know, the reason companies print manuals with possible misleading or incorrect data is because to save costs of printing, they print one manual for many products in a line - so some info may be incorrect for your particular model.

    Typos also exist and may not be corrected in time to go to press.

    I am not making an excuse for M Audio, but I looked at the controller you are referring to and I always read the technical specs to make sure it does what I want. I avoided this product NOT because it said it has no aftertouch capability, but because of the OBVIOUS LACK of that feature in all the marketing and ads. Aftertouch is usually a selling point and will almost always be mentioned if it has that ability. This was later confirmed when I called Sam Ash and asked them about the product.

    Personally, I am interested in the CME 88 weighted-key controller.

    Mike

  3. #3

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    Quote Originally Posted by karmacomposer
    Personally, I am interested in the CME 88 weighted-key controller.

    Mike
    I'm using that. It's nice, but the action is a bit jerky. You have to hit the keys quite hard to make them move at all, then suddenly, if you hit them any harder, you get 127. You can fiddle with the velocity curves, but it's very hard to access lower velocities with any consistency. Also the USB driver is very unstable- many, many users have found that the keyboard suddenly loses all contact with their DAW. On the other hand, if you connect via MIDI, it's rock solid.

  4. #4

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    Have you asked M-Audio for a refund? Frankly, that might be a better way of handling this than going on the internet and telling everyone in sight not to buy their products, which include everything from Firewire interfaces to sample libraries.

  5. #5

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    So, and not to steal this thread, what is a good 88 key weighted controller (no sounds needed) that is light to the touch, but can also be hit pretty hard with proper response (namely, it feels like a piano)? I don't really need knobs and sliders, but all the standard MIDI functionality needs to be there (velocity sensitive, after touch, zones, splits, pitch bend and modulation, pedal and damper plugs, usb 2.0, does not weigh 10,000 lbs, etc)

    Thanks all.

    Mike

  6. #6

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    This is the reason that I always buy hardware at a place that I can return it without a restocking fee. Usually I use americanmusical.com, they have a 45 day no hassle return policy and I've bought and returned several keyboards from them for full refunds with no questions asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu
    I'm using that. It's nice, but the action is a bit jerky. You have to hit the keys quite hard to make them move at all, then suddenly, if you hit them any harder, you get 127. You can fiddle with the velocity curves, but it's very hard to access lower velocities with any consistency. Also the USB driver is very unstable- many, many users have found that the keyboard suddenly loses all contact with their DAW. On the other hand, if you connect via MIDI, it's rock solid.
    The CME UF8 is one of the keyboards that I tried and returned for a refund, and the funny thing is that it was for the EXACT same reason that Pingu complained about. Overall I didn't like the action but I could have lived with it if it wasn't so hard to play at low velocites. When you press very lightly on the keys they stick until you use more pressure and then they SNAP down at a much higher velocity then you intended. It was especially hard to play soft piano and string parts..

    My main controller is a Yamaha Motif ES8 and I love the feel of it, so it's not fair to compare keyboards in the $400 - $600 range, but I've still tried to find one that I like and haven't been happy with one yet.

  7. #7

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    I've been happily using an Alesis QS-8 for a few years. Also, I really love the feel of the Roland RD-700. (It's not just a controller - with the SRX piano card the RD-700 is a great gigging tool...)

    EDIT: I forgot to suggest looking at the Edirol controllers. I've been very happy with the ones I've used...

    EDIT2: Oops, forgot, all the Edirol's I've used are NOT weighted...

  8. #8

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    Just so you know, the reason companies print manuals with possible misleading or incorrect data is because to save costs of printing, they print one manual for many products in a line - so some info may be incorrect for your particular model.
    Sorry, Charlie! This manual is NOT for the entire line, but specific to the sx. I would have known better than to trust the Implementation Chart if it were for several models.

    I avoided this product NOT because it said it has no aftertouch capability, but because of the OBVIOUS LACK of that feature in all the marketing and ads. Aftertouch is usually a selling point and will almost always be mentioned if it has that ability. T
    Yup, I had the same initial response, which is why I downloaded the manual and checked the spec. Marketing is a game of creative distortion, and they could have made a decision not to mention it in order to punch up some other feature (the internal sounds don't have need for AT, so it could be low priority...) Also, when I called Musicians' Friend, they didn't know - no tech support here.

    I wound up using the board for a couple months as a stage piano while waiting to afford a Receptor, so return is too late.

    And the CME controllers are what I wanted in the first place - breath controller, drawbars, etc., but they have NO patch capability, and are extremely unreliable, according to their forum members.

    What I WAS waiting for for the upper manual was the M-Audio Axiom 61, but now I can not support the company any further...
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  9. #9

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    Let me put my own opinion about this s_h_i_tty company. It released a USB sound card called Quattro, which never had any working drivers for it at any given time(as for what I can recall). It never responded to the mails regarding how to get them going or if it will ever fix the drivers. This company needs to go down with the Fight Club

  10. #10

    Re: Warning: M-Audio lies about the Prokeys88sx...

    I'm going to risk a flame or two here, or worse, getting run out of town on a rail...

    First, I agree 100% that failing to provide an accurate MIDI implementation chart for every product is bad... really bad.

    BUT, I don't think that posting with an inflamatory subject line accomplishes much, and, I don't think it is fair.

    Years ago I worked as an analog design engineer for MIDIMan, and it was a wonderful experience. There wasn't a bad egg in the crew!

    I still stay in touch, but I no longer work there, so things might have changed, but I doubt it. From it's inception the company has always tried to do right by musicians who can't necesarilly afford Neve, SSL, API or other such things.

    Do they cut corners to keep their costs down? Of course they do. From my experience most of those decisions were the right ones. There were a couple of things I argued about, and lost, but thus far it seems like they were good choices after all.

    The world has demanded $100 large diaphram condensor microphones, and $200 ribbon microphones, and the world expects these low cost knock-offs to sound as good as a Neuman U-67 or RCA DX-77, and when that doesn't happen (and it isn't going to) some folks get upset.

    One of the things that I most admired about the folks that operate M-Audio is that they never claimed to be building a $100 Neve. They build the best possible product at whatever price point they selected.

    As an engineer I'm not certain that this is way to build the best possible product, but...

    Do they make mistakes? Yeah, from time to time. And at least when I was working for them I never knew them to shy away from admitting it. Sometimes you have to ask "exactly" the right question to get the right answer, but you can get the right answer.

    In my evaluation M-Audio is well above the average for companies building pro-sumer audio gear. They used to stand behind their gear, and I'd be shocked if that changed.

    (I can certainly come up with horror stories about a lot of their competitors<G>...)

    I'm not sure why you got the runaround you got, but if you contact their headquarters and tell them you purchased the keyboard with the expectation that it would have after touch, based on the manual, I'm quite certain that you'll get your refund, and an apology.

    But you have to deal with M-Audio, not one of their dealers. While anyone in the chain can make the decision, headquarters is the most likely place for it to happen. That's just the nature of the business.

    Bill

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