Renowned for its catalogue of no-fuss MIDI keyboard controllers, M-Audio has a new member of the Keystation family – Keystation 88 MK3. The USB/MIDI controller features 88 velocity-sensitive keys and a pleasing amount of controls and expressive capabilities to achieve an effective workflow and performance. The controller is designed for both studio and stage, coming in a lightweight and gig-ready form factor.
The new USB-powered keyboard controller sports octave range buttons, pitch-bend and modulation wheels and some transport controls to navigate your DAW and plug-ins without having to click a mouse. A quarter-inch sustain pedal input lets you connect an external control pedal to the Keystation 88 MK3 for an authentic-sounding piano sustain, among other potentialities.
New to the Keystation MK3 range is the 88 MK3’s 5-pin MIDI output and semi-weighted keys – you won’t find these on the Keystation Mini 32 MK3 and Keystation 49 MK3. Its USB-MIDI connectivity will easily allow you to connect to your computer. The controller can also hook up to iOS devices if you have an Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.
M-Audio’s Keystation 88 MK3 will immediately give you a pleasing amount of music-making software. Pro Tools First (M-Audio Edition), Ableton Live Lite and MPC Beats are included out-of-the-box – although MPC Beats is free anyway, this could still offer an easy set-up for newcomers.
A set of virtual instruments are instantly accessible, too, including:
- Velvet – Vintage Electric Piano Instrument
- Mini Grand – Acoustic Grand Piano
- Vacuum – Polyphonic Analogue Tube Synthesiser
- Boom – Vintage drum machine
- DB-33 – Tonewheel Organ Simulator
- Xpand!2 – Multitimbral All-In-One Workstation
Sound expansion packs will give you a collection of samples and loops to get creative with, including:
- MPC Beats Producer Kits – Multi-Genre Beat Production Pack
- F9 Instruments Beats Edition – 25 Instrument Samples
- Laniakea Sounds – rapSoul & LoFi Production Pack
- MSX Audio – Soulful Drums Collection
- ADSR – LoFi Producer Collection
To sharpen up your musical skillset, some educational programs are available out-of-the-box, too.
- Melodics – Software that adapts to your abilities and musical tastes to help you get better at playing keyboards. This includes 40 free lessons to get you started.
- Skoove – Interactive piano lessons for beginners and advanced players. A three-month Skoove premium trial is included as well.
At a price of £175, the Keystation 88 MK3 could be an ideal MIDI keyboard solution for both beginners and experienced producers and musicians alike.
To find out more, head to m-audio.com
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