Has anyone used the m-audio hammer pro 88 controller?

Has anyone used the m-audio hammer 88 pro controller?
Opinions please…

I played one in the demo room at Sam Ash and really liked the keyboard feel and the compact size considering that it’s hammer action.

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No personal experience with it, but quite a lengthy discussion and video reviews in the link below.

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EDIT: I just realized that the keyboard shown in the link is a newer version that DOES have the knobs and sliders. Mine is the original that only has the pitch/mod wheels. It also cost US$399, which was attractive to me.

I have used it as my primary 88-key controller since June 2018. I wanted a weighted keyboard to play piano parts, but had a limited budget, and was willing to accept the fact that it a very limited set of knobs and sliders. I just needed a controller that could be my piano and electric piano. (I have a 2nd keyboard for organ and synth parts.)

With that expectation set, I love it. I have never had any issues. To me, the keyboard feel is as good as any other weighted keyboard that I have tried (keeping in mind that I have only looked at keyboards under US$1000)

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I haven’t tried it, but I looked at the specs, and as far as I can see it has 3 switch footpedals and 1 expression - I would need two continuous pedals, one for expression and one for sustain. Your needs may be different, this was just an observation.

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I stumbled upon this post when searching for how to use Cantabile 4 with my new Hammer Pro 88.

I’m a bit new to PC audio production and Cantabile

Could someone please tell me how can I configure/define this USB connected midi controller to use.
Is it the same as a ‘Main Keyboard’ ?

I also have the Focusrite 4i4 audio interface with midi ports, but I’m not using those with the Hammer Pro 88, I’m using the usb connection (I don’t have the cables)



Oh, I’ve just seen this post from 2018 advising not to use usb in Windows. Not sure if this is still the case

nevermind! figured it out. Created a new midi input in the options menu

Hi @jwhittlestone … and welcome to the group!

Personally I have had no issues with a wide range of MIDI over USB under Win10x64, including drivers and devices from RME, Aodyo, Novation, Akai, DoreMIDI, Faderfox, Conductive Labs, T.C. Helicon, Audiothingies, Boss, and DigiTech. I did experience glitchy behavior from an older Yamaha S-08 keyboard and switched to DIN MIDI, but I’m not sure what the issues was in that case …

I had done a latency comparison between MIDI over DIN vs. USB, and they came out similar.

Shout if you have more questions …

That was definitely back in Win7 days so under the newer versions it may no longer be such an issue. I don’t know because I still practice my “everything on one input” rule rigorously!

I broke down and bought one. A week later I sent it back.
I currently use a Kurzweil PC88, been using it for years. I think it has the absolute best piano feel ever, but it lacks the midi control options that I need. The m-audio hammer pro 88 has the midi control features, but the keys felt to spongie for me. The key return seemed slow (bounce back).
I had high hopes for that. Fatar keybeds are the best ones to my knowledge.

Please explain.

I still have my PC88 and love it. I never take it for live gigs anymore as it is just too heavey.

  • Paul

I use a MIDI merger to get everything down to one MIDI input into my interface and that’s the only usb connection to the computer. So no matter where I go or what controllers I use, it’s bullet proof. (Trade off is loss of some control functionality from controllers but I work around that).

So all your keyboard controllers are 5-pin DIN output to a hardware MIDI merger, then to a MIDI-2-USB Interface to the same USB port?

USB MIDI is pretty reliable. I just did a three hour gig with three keyboards on USB, two on DIN MIDI.

You need to follow a guide like Brad’s Glitch Free Audio guide on his website to ensure USB power saving features are off.

And you need to be careful you are using good quality cables that are not too long. I have had some issues when I made the cables too long (6M). Some devices are fussier than cable lengths that others - I couldn’t get beyond 4M with my Helix. These days I tend to arrange my live USB setup so it has USB leads no longer than 3M, but I am using 5M with the same devices in my studio with no issues.


Agree with all that - I run my rig with 3 USB. A good powered hub helps too (I use a Numa Compact as a controller, and that needs power) - @Derek it might solve your length issue?

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I am indeed using a powered hub. Like I sad, I think it depends as much on the receiving device as well, as I have noticed different behaviour using the same leads/lengths. My Helix is especially touch about cable length.

M-Audio hammer-action keybeds have had this ‘spongy’ feel for years. I liken the feel to that of a '60s Fender Rhodes piano.


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