Nektar Impact LX88 88-key MIDI Keyboard Controller (Discontinued)
The Nektar Impact LX88 is not trying to replicate the feel of a piano, it's simply providing 88 keys with many of the features you expect for a DAW controller keyboard.
NB: This used to be one of the 88 Key controllers that we recommended, however we now recommend its successor: the Nektar Impact LX88+
One nice feature included by Nektar are the assignable 3cm square pads which you assign simply by holding down and playing the sound you want on the keyboard - it beats going through menus to set them up as you have to on many other controllers.
- Keys: 88 full sized semi-weighted, velocity sensitive keys with 4 editable velocity curves plus 3 fixed.
- Zones: 3 which you can split or layer.
- Pads: 8 velocity sensitive.
- Controls: 9 30mm faders, 9 assignable buttons and 8 knobs, pitchbend and modulation wheels, and 6 dedicated transport buttons. It also has 1 1/4" assignable footswitch jack.
- Automap: Works with Cubase, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Digital Performer, Reaper, Reason, Sonar and Studio One.
- Power: USB and optional 9v 600mA power adapter.
- Connectivity: 5-pin MIDI out and USB.
- Dimensions: 50.25" (L) x 11" (W) x 3.5" (D).
- Weight: 18 lbs.
- Bundled Software: No.
- Compatibility: OSX 10.7 or higher, Windows Vista or higher - also works with the iPad via Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. They also provide printed guides (in PDF format) for using it with PreSonus Studio One, Bitwig Studio, Cakewalk Sonar, Steinberg Cubase & Nuendo, MOTU Digital Performer, FL Studio, GarageBand, Logic, Reaper and Reason.
One of the most commonly repeated sentiments in customer reviews is that they are impressed by the number of features included for such a low price. Reviewers were also impressed with the large number of DAWs it seamlessly integrates with. Non-pianists were generally quite happy with the feel of the keys and their weighting.
There were some negative customer reviews but there were no consistent complaints. The only major negatives I could find were from customers who had received products damaged during shipping - but you find a few of those with any widely sold product online.
If you want seamless DAW integration at a relatively low price for an 88-key controller, then this is a great option. I quite like the way Russ Hughes from Studio One Expert said in his review in relation to the price that "I would go as far as saying that you'd be mad not to try one".
The following video review provides a good overview of the Impact LX88: