M-Audio keyboard any good?

siLLiLicious

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2005
10
0
Arlington, TX
Hey everyone.

I was wondering if anyone has had any experiences with the M-Audio Keystation keyboard that Apple offers on their site? How good is it? Sensitivity, sound quality, realistic, etc? I am taking piano lessons and in the process of finding a keyboard that I can hook up to my Apple to practice with in the privacy of my own room but not overkill for my wallet. I was considering either the Keystation series or the Radium. Or is it better for me to just stick with a stand-alone piano? Thank you for any input that you guys have.

(sorry if this is in the wrong section, wasn't sure were to put it)
 

berkleeboy210

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2004
1,641
0
Boston, Massachusetts
very good keyboards

I'm a professional Musician, a Student @ Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA.

I own a M-Audio Radium 61,Keystation Pro 88,and the Oxygen 8 25 key.

I use each of them for different things and they all do the Job well. the Keystation Pro, has a steep price tag, but I believe that M-Audio released a lower-end version of the Keystation Pro with 88 semi-weighted keys. So that might be worth checking out.

If you don't want the full 88, then check out the Keystation 61es.....

All Good Keyboards, especially for Garageband. I use the 88 pro with Reason 3.0 and Finale too. All Work Great.
 

siLLiLicious

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2005
10
0
Arlington, TX
berkleeboy210 said:
I'm a professional Musician, a Student @ Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA.

I own a M-Audio Radium 61,Keystation Pro 88,and the Oxygen 8 25 key.

I use each of them for different things and they all do the Job well. the Keystation Pro, has a steep price tag, but I believe that M-Audio released a lower-end version of the Keystation Pro with 88 semi-weighted keys. So that might be worth checking out.

If you don't want the full 88, then check out the Keystation 61es.....

All Good Keyboards, especially for Garageband. I use the 88 pro with Reason 3.0 and Finale too. All Work Great.
Which one would you recommend is the better of the two? Radium 61 or Keystation series? Thanks for your input!
 

berkleeboy210

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2004
1,641
0
Boston, Massachusetts
As a Professional Pianist/Organist, anything without at least semi-weighted keys feels like a toy. I'd check out the Keystation es if i were you. I might end up selling my Radium 61 for one of the Keystations
 

rtdgoldfish

macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2004
571
0
Jacksonville, FL
I picked up the Keystation 49e a few days ago. I haven't touched a keyboard in almost eight years so I am trying to pick it up again. It is a great keyboard for the price. Works very well with garage band. It is powered via USB so there is no need for any other cables. I just got it to mess around with and it is great for that. Any professional will want something better and with weighted keys. But just for messing around, it is great. Any other questions, drop me a PM.

As far as sound quality goes, I think it really depends on what kind of speakers you have. I have a pair of Klipsch 2.1 THX certified speakers. They sound amazing. When using a drum set in GB, sounds really cool. As I said, I do not know much about professional audio. I am just using this setup to mess around and have some fun.
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,263
76
I have a Keystation 49e, and I'm not much of a musician so I may not be the best person to judge, but it seems like a pretty good product to me.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
siLLiLicious said:
Hey everyone.

I was wondering if anyone has had any experiences with the M-Audio Keystation keyboard that Apple offers on their site? How good is it? Sensitivity, sound quality, realistic, etc?
Ummm, sound quality? You do know that none of the M-Audio Keystation keyboards generate sound?

In order to work they have to trigger sounds either from your Mac or from a stand alone MIDI synthesizer or sampler unit.

The problem comparing a MIDI keyboard / Mac sound generating system with an electric or acoustic piano, is that there is a short period of time between when you hit a key and when the sound comes out of the Mac. This is on the order of 5 to 20 milliseconds, and is called Latency.

The amount of latency depends on the speed and quality of the driver software, the speed of the machine (including the speed demands of the programs running on it), and the amount of buffering the interface does (more buffer = longer latency because it takes longer to fill the buffer. But smaller buffers lead to crackles and spitting in the sound, as the computer gets busy, the buffer runs dry before the computer can refill it.)

For a piano player, anything over about 8 to 10 ms latency starts to feel like your fingers are disconnected from the sound. Not good.

And of course, the M-Audio keyboard won't make any sound at all if it isn't plugged into the computer and the computer running GarageBand or whatever software instruments you have.

The FEEL of a keyboard is a huge consideration. Even though the keyboard may not make sound, the quality of the keystroke feel (as well as the velocity sensing electronics) will affect the way you play and therefore how good you sound. A good pianist can coax many nuances out of a keyboard if the keys "push back" in the right ways.

My bias is: If you can afford a stand alone electronic piano with its own sounds, get that. You can practice with headphones anytime anywhere, and not be dependant on the computer. The sound quality potentially is better, and the latency is not an issue. You can still use it for input to the computer as long as the keyboard comes with a MIDI or USB port

Again if you can budget for it get a 76 key or 88 key model, with at least semiweighted keys. Best would be an 88 key hammer action model, this would give you the closest to a real piano feel. You should be able to find them from $600 and up. Some people like Yamaha, Korg, Casio or Kurzweil pianos, I like the Roland RD series.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com