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M-Audio Keystation 88es 88-key MIDI Controller Reviews

4.0 stars based on 8 customer reviews
  • Herman Brooks
    from Norfolk, VA May 22, 2013Music Background:
    Audio Engineer, Recording Artist, Producer, Euphonist

    Cheap, but awesome!

    I bought this because I grew interested in learning the piano so I could improve my production workflow. I saw the MPK 88 and it was $800. I immediately said no. However, I did want the pads and functions the keyboard had as well, so I bought this and an MPD 26. I'm definitely Pleased with this keyboard. Feels ok under your hands, and you can link a sustain pedal to it. Pretty solid.

  • Lasonia Rideout
    from Sherrill, AR USA February 18, 2013Music Background:
    Gospel singer, composer, and musician

    Sweet as Pie!!!

    I bought this controller 2 weeks ago and I am glad I did. First of all don't let the price fool you because this is a great controller. Originally before I purchase this controller I consider the mpk 88, but due to the depth of mt studio desk I decided to go with the 88es. What I like about the ES88 is that it is core compliant with Mac OS X. All I had to do is plug it in and begin making music because no driver is required. It works great with pro tools x and studio one 2. The black keys have some resistance even though the are not weighted. The control has a simple layout without all the knobs, pads, or display. I didn't need all the extra features because I have 3 Maschines. So, if you are looking for a simply keyboard controller without the extras featured the es88 should be your next purchase. Also it is light weight.

  • Harry
    from Fremont, CA October 3, 2013Music Background:
    Worship Pastor, Songwriter, Arranger

    Does Exactly What I Need

    I needed this keyboard to control MainStage 3 on the stage at my church and that's TOTALLY what it does. I've had the 49 key version for awhile and had an idea of what I was getting. This totally didn't disappoint!

  • Joseph Maas
    from March 27, 2013Music Background:
    recording engineer/hobbyist

    Great piano for a beginner!

    This piano syncs right up with software. It is fantastic. It's affordable, reliable, and feels pretty good considering how inexpensive it is. My only beef with it is that the black keys are a bit stiff. But it steers away from all the other great things this piano has to offer. Like I said, it's good for the price. Not the best keyboard you'll ever have, but it will get the job done. In my opinion, it was totally worth the money. It has made a great adition to my studio. And if it's worth anything, I give a great shout out to my sales engineer, Adam Chesi. You're the man bro! Love the customer service here at Sweetwater. Wouldn't have made this decision or any of my other ones without him, and he hasn't steered me wrong yet. Thanks!

  • Harold
    from Oklahoma March 1, 2013Music Background:


    Just got this today and I am really happy with it. The feature that sold me was the semi-weighted keys and they do not disappoint. You can simply plug and play using the usb cable. My only complaint is the lack of midi controllers, but I didn't get this keyboard for the controllers, I wanted something that felt a little more like a real piano.

  • SOC7 Productions
    from Jacksonville, FL USA May 14, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-Pro musician

    Keystation 88es

    Although this product is perfect for what I need, which is a simple 88 key controller with volume, pitch up/down, mod and pitch wheels, I give it a 4 because of lack of additional controls that would be nice if needed such as some extra knobs and sliders which could be used to control the organ drawbars in the B3 AU in Logic Pro. It has the semi-weighted keys, but it still feels somewhat "squishy". Overall, for the price, it is nice, functional for live gigs, and when used in conjunction with other controllers, it works out well.

  • Chris D.
    from Austin, Texas July 10, 2015Music Background:
    Pianist, Dramatic Tenor

    Chris from Austin, TX

    My spouse bought me the Keystation 88 M-Audio after hearing gripe and moan about my old Baldwin piano, you know....the one we all grew up taking lessons on. We spent a few days reading the reviews and I was really iffy about the purchase. I had seen some rather affordable electric pianos on Amazon and was almost set to purchase one. The thing that drew us in was the fact that it was a light weight midi and I could get some really cool music banks that had strings and horns; a sustain pedal could be purchased along with it for a great price, plus I could record it right to the computer. The great price makes me say we got what we paid for a two hundred dollar midi. I did not realize that we would eventually have to redesign our computer to manage and fit music capabilities. Your average home computer is most likely not going to support the information that it takes to run the programs that actually make the midi create sound. So if you're not running Windows 7 you're going to run into some issues. Vista will support other midi sound banks you can download off of the internet but it is not going to support the software that comes with the midi. You will find that staccato notes and 16th notes will not play in tandem with your strike. Don't even think about playing Scott Joplin.

    I would like to address some review on here that I found almost patronizing. On one the reviewer said that he or she was going to use it for giving piano lessons. Not on a spring action key you're not. I took lessons for 18 years and even have taught piano. I would never consider using a spring back versus hammer action to teach someone else how to play. Another reviewer claimed that he or she loved the touch, then you're a keyboardist and not a pianist. I just want to make it very clear to people that the touch of the keyboard is almost like the touch of a very expensive pipe organ. Very stiff.

    In the end, of course I am able to make beautiful music on this midi.

  • SWA
    from Paonia, CO December 6, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    No Aftertouch or Expression Pedal Input

    Rating 2 for OK Average because it does not have aftertouch, or an expression pedal input so beware!

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