SOLVED: Anyone out there who has actually played the NI S88 MKII and the StudioLogic SL88?

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarini GT 5300 Strada
I'm looking for feedback from anyone who has played the Native Instrument S88 MKII and the StudioLogic SL88. I'm back and forth on those two after a boatload of research. I have two things I'd like to know regarding the two different types of Fatar keybeds, since getting both of these side by side in a store to actually PLAY them is near impossible:
  1. Which keyboard works better for also playing in string and brass and WW parts? I'm going to be fine with the piano action on either, I'm not a classically trained pianist, but I'm the guy you want if you're starting a Billy Joel or Elton John cover band, lol. So reasonable piano action is fine, I'm hoping to hear that one or the other works well for playing other instruments (percussion isn't a factor)
  2. For playing particularly soft parts, either String instrument or piano, does either excel in range on the quiet end? The StudioLogic boasts a 3-point contact and the keyboard guru at Sweetwater really likes how you can go from near silent to loud. Let's say the NI is better at #1 above, how much worse is it compared to the SL88 for this feature?
I don't care about any other features like drum pads or joysticks vs wheels or LCD screens etc etc, and size and weight are irrelevant, really I'm after someone's take on feel for all instruments and range sensitivity.

Thanks!
 

brojd

New Member
I swapped out my main 88 key controller somewhat recently and tried several options (the two you are interested in included)

If you are considering the SL88 Studio I’d say it’s a matter of personal preference (I would have chosen the Native Instruments S88 in that case)
The key action is good on both, but the other features on the Native would have been more useful for me.

But, if you are considering the SL88 Grand I’d pick that one (I got one for myself)
The action is excellent, and a noticable step better on controlling fast repeating notes and getting the ”right feel” with velocity no matter if it was a piano, string or a synth patch I was playing.

I also really liked the Kawai stage pianos/controllers (VPC and MP series) Roland RD-2000 and the Nord Grand quite a bit, but they’re all stage pianos except for the VPC)

I’m very happy with my SL88 Grand anyway.
 

BassClef

Active Member
...never tried the S88... not a pianist (actually a French Horn player) but still wanted to step up to 88 WEIGHTED keys from my Nektar Panorama P6. I wanted 1) closer to a piano "feel" 2) to avoid constantly transposing the 61 up or down an octave 3) to help me improve my piano playing 4) better "touch" for getting consistent dynamics as in soft to loud, which is harder on a semi-weighted key bed. I tried the SL88Studio (I believe the same keybed as the NI S88) but felt it required to much pressure compared to my actual grand piano. I returned it to Sweetwater and got the SL88Grand. It's still a little firmer than my actual grand piano but I like it better than the Studio. I can't play anything fast, so when necessary I just slow down my DAW and record that way. I added the StudioLogic Mixface. So for $100 more than S88 ($900 + $250) I got a better keybed and mixer.
 
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OP
PaulieDC

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarini GT 5300 Strada
But, if you are considering the SL88 Grand I’d pick that one (I got one for myself)
The action is excellent, and a noticable step better on controlling fast repeating notes and getting the ”right feel” with velocity no matter if it was a piano, string or a synth patch I was playing.
I tried the SL88Studio (I believe the same keybed as the NI S88) but felt it required to much pressure compared to my actual grand piano. I returned it to Sweetwater and got the SL88Grand. It's still a little firmer than my actual grand piano but I like it better than the Studio.
Ba Da BING, that's what I was looking for, thanks! I was already stuck on the SL88, I really was trying to sift out the NI S88, making sure it wasn't SO superior with the different Fatar keybed for playing in other instruments that it should been considered, if that makes sense. Definitely don't need the lighted keys or LED library control screen or a bazillion knobs or any wheels, just a slim 88 controller with a great keybed. Italian design doesn't hurt either, lol. Now I'm 100% sure. Whenever the budget allows.

Thanks Brojd! And BassClef, you did it again... helped me make up my mind so I could spend more money. What distributor do you work for?? :rofl::cautious:
 

Fleer

Feeding the Trolls
I finally decided to order the new Roland RD-88 stage piano. It’s got the tried and tested PHA-4 action (as in the FP-60/30/10) with dedicated CC controller wheels and even over 3000 sounds of the latest Zen-Core variety plus speakers and Apple Mainstage compatibility, at $1000 street.