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Buying Decision: Keystation 88 Pro or Akai MPK88?

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My friend wonders which of these 2 keyboards is better for someone who is primarily a keyboardist but has a light interest in recording and sequencing music. Are the few hundred extra dollars worth it for the Akai MPK88, or does the Keystation 88 Pro basically have all the "Pro" a budget-minded college student could need/want?


I'm basically posting this for him, without a good working knowledge of either keyboard, so if there's a better third option or any other relevant information, just post it up.

Thanks in advance for any replies!

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it's ichitootah! how are you man?

regarding your question, if your friend is a keyboardist and needs 88 keys, it's all about the key action of course. first and foremost, he has to go to a store, ask a salesman to hook the keyboards up with a motif rack or something, and play both of them for a good while.

personally, i found the keys of the MPK ridiculously hard to push down. weighted keys by M-Audio on the other hand usually feel more flimsy/synthy (i've never tried that pro edition though). it's a matter of personal preference really.

the drumpads of the akai are a nice bonus, and i expect them to be atleast decent coming from that company. automating stuff with knobs and faders is fun and good for experimentation, but the amount of controls on either keyboards are probably overkill for the average musician unless you're into creating complex performance setups for live use.

i'd imagine the last thing your friend wants is to buy a gadget-ridden monster controller and then find out a while later that the keyboard itself isn't really to his liking, so that should be the decisive factor.

myself, i've had an x-station 25 for a long while and really regret not having gotten the 61 keys version right away. i recently bought an Axiom 61, and while it's decent enough, playing a piano sound on that little synth action keyboard of my x-station still feels more convincing to me!

so all i can say is, play both keyboards extensively before purchase. if you don't feel sure about either of them after a day of demoing, don't purchase. or keep on testing one keyboard at home, as most music stores allow you to return it within 2 weeks or so (guessing it's the same in the US).

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