Roland A-800PRO 61-Key Midi Keyboard Controller

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$420
Roland A-800PRO 61-Key Midi Keyboard Controller

Meta Analysis Overview

Our rating of 86/100 is based on analysis of 200+ sources comprised of online reviews and discussions. Under the Pros and Cons headings below you'll find a condensed analysis of what those owners and users have been saying. Feel free to ask questions or add your thoughts in the comments section.

The A-800PRO follows Roland's tried and tested formula of combining technology, quality and reliability in a package that is priced just right to appeal.

It comes packed with many features for its price, with 45 assignable controls that include sliders, knobs, transport, buttons and more.

But its more than just a numbers game because its main feature is still the quality of its velocity sensitive keys and pads.

Besides its wealth of controls, Roland also designed the A-800PRO to be easy to use, with convenient software integration.

The Roland A-800PRO is light compared to other 61-key controllers, especially when considering the many things that it can do.

Key Features:

  • Keys: 61 / synth-action / velocity-sensitive / aftertouch
  • Pads: 8 pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity
  • Controls: 45 assignable controls: knobs, sliders, buttons, transport and more
  • Automap: With any Active Controller Technology enabled DAW
  • Bundled Software: Cakewalk Production Plus Pack and three other instruments and production software
  • Power: USB powered and can use an optional power adapter (sold separately)
  • Connectivity: USB, 5-pin MIDI Connectors (IN & OUT), DC IN Jack, Footswitch and Expression pedal jacks
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, Windows XP (SP2) Vista, & 7 compatible
  • Dimensions: 3.63 x 39.5 x 9.88 inches
  • Weight: 9 lbs

Pros

The Roland A-800PRO has a long list of commendable traits, from its soft touch synth-action keys, to its easy software integration, along with its iOS compatibility and portability. The 61-key synth-action keybed gets the most positive mentions, with plenty of reports saying that it is easy and inspiring to play, especially for non-piano players. It is popularly used with Sonar, but it works just as well with other mainstream DAWs like Reason, Ableton Live and more. Another often repeated plus is the relatively light weight.

Cons

Piano players who prefer weighted keys will have to look elsewhere, because this one is as synth as it gets. Some users expressed concern on the unit's durability because of its mostly plastic components, but this is the price to pay if you want a portable lightweight 61-key controller. There are some experienced users who complained about deep editing problems, thankfully these are workable and may not effect its other functions. One user reported problems with ProTools integration though this may have been addressed in a software/firmware update since.

Overall

If you want a reliable and portable MIDI controller, then the Roland A-800PRO is your best bet. With its big name backing and good user ratings, this is well worth considering.

Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best 61 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.