M-Audio Keystation 88es

M-Audio Keystation 88es

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Keystation 88es, 88-Key MIDI Keyboard from M-Audio in the Keystation series.

42 user reviews
Prices starting at $229 Average price: $229

M-Audio Keystation 88es tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: M-Audio
  • Model: Keystation 88es
  • Series: Keystation
  • Category: 88-Key MIDI Keyboards
  • Added in our database on: 10/27/2004

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Buy new M-Audio Keystation 88es

Sweetwater Keystation 88 88-key Keyboard Controller $229

M-Audio Keystation 88es user reviews

Average Score:4.3( 4.3/5 based on 42 reviews )
 19 reviews45 %
 19 reviews45 %
 3 reviews7 %
 1 user review2 %

ejmitra25's review

M-Audio Keystation 88es
I chose this product because of its color black grey and white it matched the color theme of my Macbookpro and my audio interface Steinberg UR44.

This unit is very simple. It has 88 semi-weighted keys, which will give you more like playing an acoustic piano and it has a midi ins/out similar to other controller but i use the USB connection because the cable is much more cheaper

I use the m-audio sustain (sp1) and its compatible


Setting this up was very simple, just plug in play.

i use macbook pro ( mid 2012) 4 gig ram 2.66 quad-core running at osx 10.9.4 and it works very smoothly. my audio recording software that I use is Cubase 7 and theres no compatibility issues

I didnt have time to read the manual because of its thickness. but the unit itself is a plug and play so everything will just work fine


The Cheap plastic feel of its casing irritates me. sometimes i hear crackles when i move it to one place to another. this unit might crack if you fell it accidentally. you must place it to a flat and solid flat-form for the plastic not to squick

I tried Casio keyboard before but my heart is in the m-audio because of its simplicity and support and integration

- Natural feel of keys
- for home studio use

- cheap plastic feel
- it doesn't feel sturdy
-some keys squeaks

johnrae's review"Great!"

M-Audio Keystation 88es
I bought the M-Audio Keystation 88es this summer because I needed a new, conservative, and good feeling Midi keyboard to play on. That is exactly what I got, and at an AWESOME price! I absolutely love this thing. It's a full 88 key model, with very little frills, a pitch and modulation wheel and a couple buttons for program selection. The entire thing is powered via USB so no need to plug it into the wall! It's great on stage or in the studio, and it doesn't take up much space. It only weighs about 20 pounds so it's real easy to take places.


Setting it up is as easy as plugging it in and letting it load it's drivers. No dvds or anything or extra programs to run. Very easy to use! I do everything from using Kontakt to practice piano to all of my midi sequencing in Ableton Live. The Semi-Weighted keys feel so good under your fingers. While it still can't quite compare to the real thing, this is pretty darn good. Especially considering the measly price of only 220 bucks! I use a M-Audio SP-2 Sustain Pedal along with. The board feels really good, I've had no problems with sticky keys or bad action. I am not a professional piano player, so this is more than sufficient for my needs.


Overall, I really like this keyboard. It is cheap, functional and ergonomic. It feels good and works great. It's perfect for voicing chords and recording midi sequences. With MIDI you literally have thousands of instruments right there at your fingertips, and this is an awesome way to utilize them. I do think it would be nice if it had included some transport controls(Play, Stop, Pause, Beginning, End, Record etc) but for the price it's more than worth the cash. While I wouldn't recommend it to a professional pianist or someone gigging a lot, it's great in the studio and at one time gigs. But personally, I really like this keyboard, and use it almost every day.

yoTrakkz's review"For your home studio"

M-Audio Keystation 88es
The M Audio Keystation 88es comes with the very basic features that you expect from a decent midi controller keyboard, including MIDI ins and outs, USB, a DC in port (but no included wall wart, which is no loss since the unit can be powered by the USB cable), an input for a damper pedal and one other footswitch. Otherwise, it's a fairly sparse, no-frills controller with only pitch bend and modulation, a volume slider and a pair of buttons that implement the octave up/down function in case you have a Bosendorfer sample or some other reason to expand beyond 88 keys. That's in stark contrast to the Pro 88, which has yards of knobs and faders that should let you control everything from your VST instrument to your DAW mixer to the small appliances in your kitchen. This is not the only significant difference, though. I played the fully weighted keys of the Pro 88 at a local retailer, and it is more pleasant than the semi-weighted keys of the 88es, which feel stiff and decidedly plastic and synth-like, more so even than my old synths, like the M1 and Juno 60.


The keyboard only transmits a fixed release velocity. That in itself isn't unusual--most of them do--but it unfortunately transmits a value of 0 (instead of a more common 64). If you have presets that respond to release velocity, you may find them acting peculiarly.


Overall, this is a good 88-key controller for under $200. There has been some criticism about this product because the keys do not have "piano action", but it is more responsive and has a better feel to me than my FantomX. If you are looking for an 88-key controller and don't need the frills of some of the pricier full-sized boards, you can't go wrong with this one!

Anonymous 's review

M-Audio Keystation 88es
The M Audio Keystation 88es is a no frills MIDI controller that essentially says to the buyer: "You need a keybed to input MIDI in a more natural way than you could with a mouse and keyboard. I am a keybed that can help you do that."

It does not really give much more. But what it gives, it gives well. First off, the M Audio Keystation 88es has a power switch on the back, a USB connector, a MIDI out connector, a sustain pedal jack, and a power jack if one is not using the Keystation 88es with the USB port but with the midi connection instead. Aside from that, nothing is remarkable about the Keystation 88es. It does have the necessary pitch bend and modulation wheels everyone should be able to expect from a MIDI controller. It has a single volume fader, which is interesting, and two octave shift buttons, as well as another button labeled advanced functions. In my short time with it, I never got to use that button to truly understand what it was, but I do not assume that the Keystation is hiding a special feature from me in any way.


I will be honest, despite the fact that the keys are advertised as semi weighted, I found the Keystation 88es's keys to be a bit too springy for my taste. I have noticed this with more M Audio controllers however, so it is not something that surprised me at all. However, it syncs up perfectly with whatever MIDI instrument you are using in whatever DAW you are using, and plays it rather flawlessly, through both the USB and the MIDI connections.


Overall, you cannot really beat he M Audio Keystation 88es when it comes to having an 88 key MIDI controller for the price. There is not a thing special about the Keystation, but it does its job without fail, so I would say that it is a good purchase for someone who needs to have a full keyboard. Otherwise, I would recommend some of the controllers with more functions, as those will significantly speed up a workflow in a DAW once one is used to their function and utilization.

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