3. M-Audio Keystation 88 II Semi-Weighted MIDI Keyboard Controller
If you like the sound of the M Audio keyboard above but are looking for a full-size model with similar functionality, this unit from the same company could be the ideal alternative.
With its 88 full-size keys, it will feel much more like playing a real piano, making it a good pick for those who want to be able to play a wide range of styles.
The design is very simple and easy to understand, but we like the way it incorporates Core Control, a feature designed to make it easier to use this keyboard to control your DAW with minimal use of the mouse.
The onboard controls also include useful pitch bend and modulation adjusters, again, making it easy to control these parameters from the keyboard.
It comes with its own software package, making it easy to start playing as soon as it arrives. However, it is also compatible with all the most popular DAWs, so if you already have one, you’ll be able to use it with that too.
The pack also includes a 2GB sound library, giving you loads of scope for original composition.
However, on the downside, if you want to use it with other DAWs, the setup can be a little complicated, and you may find you need a little patience to get it set up and working correctly.
Also, be aware that this is a big keyboard with a large footprint – so if you don’t have lots of space, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
In short, a great option for anyone who’s looking for a full-size MIDI keyboard that’s easy to use and represents great value for money. However, if you’re looking for a compact option for a smaller home studio, this might not be the best pick.
- Full-size keyboard with 88 keys – for the feel of playing a real piano
- Core Control – makes it easy to control your DAW
- Includes software – but also compatible with most other DAWs
- Pitch bend and modulation controls – for extra creativity
- Includes 2GB sound library – allows you to play a range of sounds
- Complicated setup for some DAWs – may take some time and patience
- Large footprint – will take up quite a bit of space
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