Fully weighted 88 key midi controller suggestions


I’m curious about who might be using a fully weighted 88 key midi controller and how well it replicates the feel of a typical acoustic piano.I’m using a Casio Px5. Not bad but keyboard action is very noisy.


I love my Kurzweil PC3K! Even though its action is a bit lighter than a regular grand piano, it’s still very piano’ish to play - I’m not missing anything.

IMO, the best piano option from the master keyboard pool (unless you go for a full-out stage piano - Kawai rules here…) would be the Roland A88. If you want to go for a more lightweight option - and if you want aftertouch, which the Roland and Kawai don’t offer, you might want to explore the Arturia KeyLab 88. The Fatar keyboard used here is lighter than the more hefty standard options - but this comes at the expense of more noise - the keyboard is significantly louder than e.g. my Kurzweil…




I play an old Roland RD700 sometimes at church. That keyboard is very quiet and has a very nice touch. I’m sure the A88 is equal or better in that respect. I don’t think I’d want anything less. Not a good time to spend a grand on a new keyboard. Guess I will stick to my noisy Casio


Kawai MP11 and Yamaha KX88 here

KW11: home use, 35kg, great grandpiano feeling (grand hammer action), terrific dynamic control, probably one of the best piano masterkey sections available atm, love at first side (at least for me)

KX88: I use it for rehearsals and on stage, oldie but built like a tank, 28kg, no real hammer action even though a great touch but in a different way: good dynamics, fast rebound, sometimes available at ebay for a reasonable price (I payed 190€ for mine)

Regards, humphrey


Need a hernia belt to lift those things!


:sweat_smile:…yep, or a helping hand in case of a gig as in my case. Definitely not a keyboard for someone having 200 gigs a year and no road crew abailable…


I am a Komplete fan of the Native Instruments S-88. I really, really love playing on this thing! Very fast, and can handle extremely light touch movements very consistently. Very “caressable”.



Worth the cost if I don’t use Komplete or NI apps?


Yes, but you do get Komplete Select with it anyway, so you will have some NI apps to play with right away.

Here is the comparison list of the different editions of Komplete. It lists everything you get in Komplete 11 Select.


They describe them in more depth on the main page.


I always recommend waiting for a sale, though!!! :wink:



M-Audio® Hammer action Oxygen 88 USB MIDI controller suits me so far…


try lugging a Rhodes around…


Yup. Had a Rhodes 88 back in the day. Traded up to a Kurzweil K2600X (88). At least the Kurzweil had a road case with wheels! Now a Novation SL 64. Much easier.


I think my yamaha cp-33 is hard to beat! Nice quiet weighted graded action, 2 zone master capabilities and decent internal voices too . Find them used all day for 500.00. David Bantle


May I suggest the Studiologic SL88. Very practical and I love the action


Steve, would this be the Studio or Grand version? and how quiet is the action?


I’m considering the M-audio Hammer 88 since I have all the buttons/faders/knobs I need on my Akai MPK261. My local Guitar Center doesn’t have any for me to try though. Anyone have any experience with one?


I’ll second that - a good, mid-price option.

@Torsten, do you find that any of the built-in velocity curves are satisfactory? I couldn’t get good results with any of them, even tweaking plugin velocity curves. (My main acoustic piano plugin is Ivory II.) I now always route MIDI input from the A88 through a custom software velocity curve, regardless of which plugin I’m playing with it.

One minor practical consideration is that the A88 is not very deep; consequently the buttons and knobs are all to the left of the low end, which means it’s longer than usual, and doesn’t fit in some standard size bags or cases where other 88-note keyboards would. If you went out with the A88 as your only keyboard, it doesn’t have the space to rest music or other units on it.

I’m from a classical and then jazz background, and it doesn’t quite give me the precision of velocity/volume control I’d really like. Only a top-end keyboard would give me that… and that’ll have to wait until I can afford it. The A-88 is pretty good for the money, though .


Still considering my options. Frustrating that there are no music stores within hundreds of miles which carry a good selection of 88 key weighted midi controllers. I just can’t justify ordering something without laying my hands on it first.

Has anyone tried the recently released M-Audio Hammer 88?


Hmm, to be honest, it’s been some time since I played an A88. I just tried it out at MusicStore some years ago, and it felt great. But I didn’t test it with my setup, so can’t judge if the velocity curve is satisfactory.

Besides my Kurzweil PC3K, I’ve got an AKAI MPK 88 set up at a second rehearsal room. I like that one too, but its original linear velocity curve is horrible - when you set it up with an exponential curve, it’s super-playable. But I don’t think they sell the MPK 88 anymore - which is a pity…




Maybe give this article a quick look - pretty comprehensive overview based on various reviews and ratings.