M-Audio extends the range of their MIDI/USB Keystation controllers to a full 88 keys with the Keystation 88 Mk3 while keeping it lightweight and gigable.
Keystation 88 Mk3
Following on from their more octavely challenged controllers the Keystation 88 Mk3 gives you the whole range of note playing possibilities. This is not like their Hammer 88 controller this has the semi-weighted keys of the Keystation 61 and all the same functionality including the MIDI output port that the smaller versions don’t have.
That functionality includes octave range buttons (which seem superfluous on an 8-octave keyboard), pitch-bend and modulation wheels and a volume control. There are transport controls and also a sustain pedal input. But really the key feature of the Keystation 88 Mk3 is that you get a piano-sized keyboard in a very compact and desktop friendly format. Obviously it’s going to be 88 notes wide but the depth is impressively shallow which makes it perfect for sitting in front of sound modules or a computer.
It comes with quite an impressive bundle of software. For recording you get Pro Tools First, MPC Beats and the ubiquitous Ableton Live Lite plus. There are 6 virtual instruments taking in pianos, organs, synths and drum machines plus a load of samples and sound expansions. There’s even some educational software to get you learning to play better.
At a price of £174.99 I can’t think of a better value 88 note MIDI controller keyboard.