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Rating and Reviews: M-Audio Hammer 88 Keyboard

Get natural grand-piano feel for your virtual instruments with the M-Audio Hammer 88, an authentic hammer-action, fully weighted MIDI keyboard controller.

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"Very nice piano controller" submitted October 24, 2018

By William A in Bogota, NJ
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Musical Background: Professional musician and composer
Music Style: Rock, progressive rock, jazz, classical
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Overall: I used to have a Yamaha KX-8. This is quite close in action to that controller, and much more road worthy. Since I will be touring soon, I needed something robust to bring on the road. However, I am quite impressed with the features of this controller. The action is quite good, and much better than I expected for the price. The "preset editor" does a good job of letting you adjust the keyboard for your tastes, and requirements, and I've already made significant changes after only a day of ownership. There are three controller inputs: two latch type controller inputs: one for a sustain pedal, and one for a soft pedal, but you can assign any MIDI CC controller to either input, as well as an expression pedal input, which can also be assigned any MIDI CC controller. There is a "master volume" fader on my front of the keyboard, which you can also assign to any MIDI continuous controller. You also have the ability to move up and down octaves, directly from the front panel. There is a pitch bend wheel, which most of the other piano controller do NOT have, and an assignable continuous controller right next to it. Again, most piano-type keyboard controllers do NOT have these, so they are a very nice added bonus, and let's me keep this on my studio desk as my only controller. I'll probably sell my Nektar LX88+ plus controller now, but may keep it as an extra for touring purposes. There is a MIDI out port, for any older gear you might have, as well.It also has up to four zones you can use to trigger different sounds in a live setting, which is required for many of my compositions to be played live. The transposition features are wide, and should satisfy almost anyone.The one thing I wish you could do is draw your own velocity curves. Perhaps M-Audio will include that ability in a future update. Otherwise, I'm very happy with this purchase.
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"The Best Keyboard I've Ever Used" submitted July 25, 2017

By Kevin N in Springfield, MO
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Musical Background: Self-Taught Hobbyist
Music Style: Contemporary, Classical
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Overall: It comes very close to emulating the feel of a real piano, which is important to me since I prefer a more expressive sound and feel. Still breaking it in and haven't installed the recommended software yet. Plugged it straight into FL Studio and got it working for the most part. The sustain pedal is the only one that works right off the bat; the volume control probably needs to be modified as well. Amazing product!
8 of 9 people (88.89%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Not quite there " submitted October 9, 2017

By Joshua C in Columbia , SC
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Musical Background: Musician(piano/keyboards) 28 years
Music Style: Gospel,jazz,christian,electronic
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Overall: I bought this due to its low price when compared to similar weighted models. It arrived packaged well and visually looks like a high end board. The feel of the keys are a bit heavier than I expected but not unplayable. Unfortunately that is where the good stuff ends. The velocity curve for this board will not work in a studio session for piano work in my opinion. Either it's to soft or to aggressive. Downloading the keyboards utility is a MUST. I made the mistake of thinking this keyboard would be like most and plug and play but it is only half way there. The sustain pedal didn't work until I tinkered around in the editor and set it up. If they update the velocity curve I think this board will definitely compete with higher end models.
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