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All user reviews of 4/5 for the M-Audio ProKeys Sono 88

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Audiofanzine FR11/29/2008

Audiofanzine FR's review

M-Audio ProKeys Sono 88
(Originally written by Yjanet/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Features:

- 88-key half-weighted keyboard

- USB/MIDI master keyboard

- Internal sound presets (GM standard = 128 instruments + percussions) for laptop or standalone applications

- USB audio/Midi interface

Connections:

- Inputs: 1/4" jacks, RCA and XLR audio inputs (no phantom power so don't try to connect a condenser mic)

- Outputs: two 1/4" jacks plus two headphone outputs on the front

- Midi output

- USB

- Sustain pedal connector (auto-detect mode on power on)

UTILIZATION

- Pleasant playing feel compared to the current "light" keyboards, but it's still far behind the quality of the first GHS system for example...

- Extremely easy general configuration if you only use the main controls : direct access to seven sound presets, reverb and chorus on/off, etc. It starts getting more complicated if you want to control more things because advanced functions are not very user friendly. Why are the advanced functions not labeled on the buttons? To solve this problem you'll have to label them yourself with tape. It would also be nice to know what you're doing on an LCD display.

- Very easy installation on a PC with generic drivers (the keyboard is automatically detected by Windows). Installing the drivers provided results in more editing possibilities.

- The PDF user's manual is very short but clear.

OVERALL OPINION

I've been owning it for a few weeks and I use it every day.

Cons: advanced editing i not user friendly. MIDI sounds are quite bad, except for the seven "high-quality" sound presets that you can use in case of urgency.

Pros: audio inputs with comprehensive connections and rather good mic preamp (I thought it would sound awful). Other pros: light weight and compact size.

I tested many other models that didn't match my needs: either a simple master keyboard without standalone operation (useless when I travel without my rack) or much more expensive digital pianos and synths without comprehensive audio/USB interface.

As a summary, I consider it an all-round tool even if I prefer to use virtual synths (Timidity++) that sound much better.