M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII - 88-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller (Discontinued)
Before it was discontinued, we used to recommend this keyboard. However its Gearank score declined after we recommended it in April 2016 so it came off our recommended list.
M-Audio designed the Keystation 88 primarily for computer based musicians rather than performing pianists.
You can't expect all the bells and whistles in an 88-key controller at this price, however it has been well received and reviewed for what it is - a fairly good controller to use with software.
As well as PC and Mac it can also be used with an iPad although you'll need to buy the optional power adapter or a powered USB hub to get it working with an iPad.
It's reasonably solidly built, so don't be put off by the fact that it's made from plastic.
One thing to note is that the keys are semi-weighted, so expect the keys to play more like a synth than a piano.
- Keys: 88 full-size velocity-sensitive semi-weighted keys.
- Zones: No.
- Pads: No.
- Controls: Pitch bend and modulation wheels, octave buttons, transport buttons for DAW control. Also has 2 x 1/4" jacks for a sustain and volume pedals (not included) .
- Automap: No - but the transport and directional controls use Mackie Control and HUI protocols so are easy to set up - the instructions are in the User Guide.
- Power: USB bus powered or optional power adapter.
- Connectivity: 5-pin MIDI Out + USB.
- Dimensions: 53" (W) x 9.5" (D) x 4" (H).
- Weight: 22 lbs.
- Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.5 or later and on PC Windows XP or later. It can also be used with the iPad via the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit