M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII - 88-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

76
GEARANK

76 out of 100. Incorporating 550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$200
M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII - 88-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

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.

Key Features:

  • 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.
  • Bundled Software: Ableton Live Lite, AIR Music Tech Xpand!2, SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble.
  • 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

Pros

Many customer reviews report that it is surprisingly well constructed given that it's made of plastic and has such a low price for an 88-key controller. Several customers commented on how good the bundled Eighty-Eight Ensemble virtual piano is.

Cons

The feel of the keys got mixed reviews - some liked it and some didn't - all the pianists who reviewed it confirmed what you'd expect, it plays like a synth and not like a piano.

Overall

We used to recommend this keyboard, however its Gearank score has declined since we first did so in April 2016 so it's no longer on our recommended list. To see our current recommendations take a look at The Best 88 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.

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