M-Audio Keystation 49 Midi Keyboard Review

Gosh it’s been a long time since we’ve done one of these eh! We totally accept responsibility of losing track of our product reviews, but then the site has grown so much so fast that we’ve barely had time to concentrate on anything but songs. But no longer! We want to start providing a more rounded platform for music in general, that means we need to start uploading more product reviews pronto. So where better to start, than with something slightly wackier than your average guitar… Let’s throw this midi keyboard into the mix!

The looks: At the end of the day, it’s just a midi keyboard. Sure it looks slightly clunkier and weightier than others on the market, but I think it looks pretty compact and solid. It certainly is durable and it looks good on your average studio surface; I’ve seen much worse looking in some studios trust me. There isn’t much else to say about the looks for this midi keyboard because, well, it just looks like a keyboard, what more do you want!

The flexibility: As you may of notice, we’ve dropped the sound category for this review because it obviously isn’t applicable to the piece of hardware itself. This keyboard is one of the best I’ve used for below £100 no doubt. The keys are never stiff and never feel bulky; they suit my playing style ever so fittingly. The lag from the keyboard is so minuscule you’ll barely even notice; I know this is more software based, but I’ve played midi keyboard with terrible lag issues, this isn’t one of them. There aren’t many gadgets or buttons on this keyboard which makes it ill suiting for a big budget studio; but for home use it’s fantastic. The majority of the ambient sounds I make are done using this keyboard as it just feels so great to play; everything is conjunct and solid which is what I love in a midi keyboard. The fact it has 49 keys is another good thing, it gives you flexibility up and down the board. You have room to play and you can play the bass and melody all at once; much more handy than people give it credit.

The extras: There aren’t many extras like I hinted at in the prior section. There is a modulation scroll, a pitch wobble and multiple volume keys but that’s about all; standard issue for any midi keyboard. Don’t throw away the box you buy this thing in by the way, the handle and toughness of that box makes it great to carry around on the go, so I guess that counts as an extra. You do however, and this is the fun part, get Ableton Live Lite free I definitely recommend any beginners who buy this keyboard to install it straight away and get used to it. It’s a fantastic piece of software and great to make basic music on.

The price: I got this keyboard for £55 from Maplins in the UK, a bargain if you ask me.

All in all then the keyboard is perfect for people about to start a home studio, or for people who are just learning how to use midi keyboards etc. It’s simple, quick to install, comes with some great software and is a solid buy for it’s cheap price. It definitely outweighs it’s competition around this price bracket.

P Rating: 7/10 – One of the better music buys I’ve made in the last five years.

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