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88 Key Midi Controller with Piano-like keys

ranaprathap

Active Member
Hello,

I am looking for a relatively small and portable light weight 88 keys MIDI controller with a piano like hammer action keys. Any suggestions?

I have got an offer for a used M-audio keystation pro 88 but its not small or portable or lightweight. It has plenty of faders though.

I could just get an electric piano but I was also hoping to get some decent faders along with it.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
For portable and lightweight the best is probably Casio PX-5S. 12 kg (in letters. TWELVE) for triple-sensor 88-key action, 6 sliders and 4 knobs.

For BEST possible action (but a bit bulkier, yet still manageable), definitely Roland RD-2000. 21 kg, but this is bar none the best action I've ever played so far.
 
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ranaprathap

ranaprathap

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For portable and lightweight the best is probably Casio PX-5S. 12 kg (in letters. TWELVE) for triple-sensor 88-key action, 6 sliders and 4 knobs.

For BEST possible action (but a bit bulkier, yet still manageable), definitely Roland RD-2000. 21 kg, but this is bar none the best action I've ever played so far.

They all look promising. They are stage pianos and not simple MIDI controllers. So I will be paying for a sound engine that I won't be using, as my primary use is as a MIDI controller. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
Stage pianos is where most of improvements in piano action is at. :) If that's what you really need, then you shouldn't mind paying extra. At least IMHO. I would consider it a "premium action with additional sounds that sometimes might come in handy". Especially in case of RD-2000.
 

Maximvs

Senior Member
I just had a chance the other day to play the Dexibell Vivo S7 (http://www.dexibell.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=70#4). I don't remember the last time I was so exited when playing a new stage piano and I already own a Kawai MP8 which is very heavy (ca. 35kg). This stage piano action with its on board piano and many other sounds is absolutely excellent.... It is not sold just as a stage piano but also as a controller due to its many capabilities but there are not programmable faders and knobs apart to programmable wheels... I am seriously considering it for my studio and for remote work. This is not exactly a lightweight keyboard but I tried lifting it and compare to some other stage piano on the market is very portable. My two cents and I am not in any way associated with Dexibell, this is a comment purely from someone who tested it and loved it so much:) Cheers, Max
 
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ranaprathap

ranaprathap

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I just had a chance the other day to play the Dexibell Vivo S7 (http://www.dexibell.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=70#4). I don't remember the last time I was so exited when playing a new stage piano and I already own a Kawai MP8 which is very heavy (ca. 35kg). This stage piano action with its on board piano and many other sounds is absolutely excellent.... It is not sold just as a stage piano but also as a controller due to its many capabilities but there are not programmable faders and knobs apart to programmable wheels... I am seriously considering it for my studio and for remote work. This is not exactly a lightweight keyboard but I tried lifting it and compare to some other stage piano on the market is very portable. My two cents and I am not in any way associated with Dexibell, this is a comment purely from someone who tested it and loved it so much:) Cheers, Max

Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think its available where I live. And the lack of faders and rotors is a let down for me.
 

tack

Damned Dirty Ape
Best action has to be the Kawai VPC-1 but at 30kg it's not as portable as it might be. And if you want faders and encoders you'd need a separate controller
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
VPC-1 is darn good, also a bit slow to rebound, but RD-2000 is on a whole new level. Smooth, consistent, fast rebound (as it would on a premium grand piano)... I urge everyone who can to just go out and try one.
 

n9n9n9

Active Member
Arturia feels squishy and weird to me. The Roland feels nice.

If I were you I would check out the Native Instruments Komplete control 88. The keyboard is very good and it has a well designed and appealing control system. Seems like everyone is using them on stage these days too: I've seen Max Richter, Johan Johansson and Olafur Arnalds using them in the last few months. This is what I would buy if I were in the market right now. $999.

Although, that said, I love what I do use as my master keyboard maybe more than the NI: A Casio PX160. It's an older model that I got for $445 a couple years ago. The built in sounds are not bad but I never use them. It doesn't have pitch bend or mod wheel, which I don't love, either, but the feel of this keyboard really works for me. Very solid, mechanical weight that feels different between the low and high notes. I find myself wishing for this keyboard when I am using a real piano. I make up for the lack of a mod wheel by using my BCF-2000 motorized fader box like 8 mod wheels and the touch strip on my Ableton Push as a pitch bend, but there are other solutions. I will say that having your mod and pitch at the left end of an 88 key keyboard is not really ideal.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Ugliest damn controller ever made.
But Orca Whales were well represented.
The PX-3S is what I use as a spare.

PX-5S is actually a big improvement in internal sounds and MIDI Control.
The action is really a pleasure to use.
The size in height and depth is a huge benefit for crowded desktop space too.
Sound wise it's a hardware version of Keyscape with hotter outputs.

Price, nothing else compares as it is perfectly situated in its own market.
Great support over at Keyboard Corner.
 

dversion

New Member
Anyone has any experience with Arturia Keylab 88 or Roland A88?
I switched to the A88 for touring and I'll be buying one for my studio rig. You get the famous Roland Keybed without the weight.

There are a few controllers on it but they kept it spartan on purpose.
 
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ranaprathap

ranaprathap

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Arturia feels squishy and weird to me. The Roland feels nice.

If I were you I would check out the Native Instruments Komplete control 88. The keyboard is very good and it has a well designed and appealing control system. Seems like everyone is using them on stage these days too: I've seen Max Richter, Johan Johansson and Olafur Arnalds using them in the last few months. This is what I would buy if I were in the market right now. $999.

Although, that said, I love what I do use as my master keyboard maybe more than the NI: A Casio PX160. It's an older model that I got for $445 a couple years ago. The built in sounds are not bad but I never use them. It doesn't have pitch bend or mod wheel, which I don't love, either, but the feel of this keyboard really works for me. Very solid, mechanical weight that feels different between the low and high notes. I find myself wishing for this keyboard when I am using a real piano. I make up for the lack of a mod wheel by using my BCF-2000 motorized fader box like 8 mod wheels and the touch strip on my Ableton Push as a pitch bend, but there are other solutions. I will say that having your mod and pitch at the left end of an 88 key keyboard is not really ideal.

The komplete kontrol S88 is not easily available here, and the one place that sells it is way over prized because of all the import duties, ending up at 2000 USD converted.

The Px-160 is available though, but getting that means I will have to get a controller separately for faders, which means one more instrument on the desk and to carry around.
 
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ranaprathap

ranaprathap

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Ugliest damn controller ever made.
But Orca Whales were well represented.
The PX-3S is what I use as a spare.

PX-5S is actually a big improvement in internal sounds and MIDI Control.
The action is really a pleasure to use.
The size in height and depth is a huge benefit for crowded desktop space too.
Sound wise it's a hardware version of Keyscape with hotter outputs.

Price, nothing else compares as it is perfectly situated in its own market.
Great support over at Keyboard Corner.

If PX-160 is available, PX-5S should be as well. Go with that one instead if possible.

Now I am really considering the PX-5S but its not available in amazon or any of the other places. The one place that sells it is overprized as well - at 2000 USD converted.
 
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