music composer
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Keyboards
choosing a good keyboard a checklist of things to look out for
touch sensitive keyboards the different types of sensitivity available
keyboard weighted keys the four different weighting options for keyboards

yamaha p95 review 88 note digital piano
casio px-330 review light weight keyboard
m-audio keystation pro-88 budget mother keyboard

Sustain Pedals
sustain pedal polarity why pedals are often not compatible with keyboards
yamaha fc4 sustain pedal a well-built yamaha pedal
yamaha fc5 review budget pedal from yamaha
m-audio sp2 review a sturdy m-audio pedal

USB Microphones
best usb microphones things to look out for when buying a usb mic
snowball-blue microphones retro looking classic mic logitech usb mic popular desktop mic samson co1u mic review studio condenser

MIDI Equipment
what is MIDI? with a list of popular control numbers
usb to midi cables for recording your ideas into your computer etc. yamaha UX16 USB/MIDI a midi/USB cable adaptor guitar midi interfaces for transforming your guitar into any midi instrument!

Sound cards
usb sound cards a list of things to look our for when buying one.

sounds cards for the Mac

covering the different types of cards & uses.

maya 44 sound card a short review of this popular sound card.

 


M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 ES Review

 

A very cheap full 88 note mother/controller keyboard with a USB port for link-up to your laptop, Mac or PC. Comes supplied with Ableton Live Lite software and a USB cable to get you going.

 

 

 

 

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pros

The Keystation Pro is powered via USB. There is no need for an external power supply, and no hassle with needing to plug one in. Simply connect the keyboard to a laptop or computer and away you go!

The Pro ES is designed to be compatible with Mac and PC operating systems, and should work straight away as a plug and play device.

The price - this is one of the cheapest 88 note mother keyboards on the market and is about a third of the price of a Yamaha p95 or Casio CDP-100

A light and portable mother keyboard. At just 22 lbs this is one of the lightest semi-weighted 88 note keyboards around, and this together with it's compact size (at 4" deep, 9.5" wide, and 53" long) make for an ideal gigging mother keyboard.

A touch sensitive keyboard

The Keystation Pro 88 has a pitch bend and modulation wheel, as well as an easily assignable control slider for full control of your performance.

 

 

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cons

This instrument is a controller - it has no sounds or rhythms built in. (It also has no speakers!) The keyboard will only work if plugged in to a computer with the relevant software installed.

The semi-weighted keyboard has received mixed reviews, with a number of users reporting a wide disparity between the feel of the black and the white keys - the white ones being relatively easy to strike, the black ones being stiff and more laboursome. If at all possible, make sure that you try the keyboard out yourself before purchasing, or at the very least, check the returns policy of your online store.

The supplied USB cable is short and plugs in on the left hand side - you may need to invest in a longer cable, depending on how your studio or computer set-up is arranged.

The instrument does not come with an electrical power supply - you'll need to buy an adaptor if you're planning to use it without a laptop or computer.

 

 

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verdict

This product represents great value for money - an 88 note portable mother keyboard, with pitchbend and modulation wheels, all linking seemlessly with your laptop. However, be sure to road test this before buying - seasoned players may well be disappointed with the feel and response of the keys. Ultimately you will need to decide whether it is worth paying two or three times more instead for a naturally sensitive instrument by another manufacturer such as Yamaha or Casio.

 

 

 

 

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