M-Audio Prokeys 88: an affordable quality digital piano workstation

M-Audio revealed their ProKeys 88 Hammer Action “Premium Stage Piano” at this year’s NAMM show.

M-Audio ProKeys 88It features 88 graded weight hammer-action keys, and three velocity curves plus fixed velocity for synth work.

It boasts a large 64MB sound bank in which its 14 sounds are stored. The 3-layer stereo grand piano samples alone take almost half of this space.

The acoustic sample is taken from the classic Yamaha C7 concert grand.

Its 14 patches are:

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  • Stereo Grand Piano (Yamaha C7)
  • Bright Grand Piano
  • Fender Rhodes
  • Wurlitzer E.P.
  • Bright Yamaha DX7 FM Classic E.P
  • Warm Yamaha DX7 FM Classic E.P
  • Hohner Clavinet D6
  • Vibes (with hybrid mallets)
  • Hammond B3 Percussion Organ
  • Hammond B3 Rock Organ
  • Acoustic Upright Bass
  • Fingered Electric Bass (including harmonics)
  • String Ensemble
  • Warm, Lush Synth Pad

It has a massive 126 note polyphony, essential for sustained piano playing, sustain, sostenuto and expression pedal inputs, pitch and modulation wheels, 3 reverbs, chorus and tremolo, 2-stage equalizer, 12-key data entry pad with 3-digit LED screen, dedicated volume faders for master, layer and split parts, built-in USB and MIDI interfaces.

The ProKyes 88 appears to be a well-constructed, class instrument which has focussed on being a good all-round keyboard and basic MIDI controller for the travelling / gigging musician. Great care has been taken on achieving high-quality samples and playing experience, housed in a sleek, uncomplicated case weighing in at 48 pounds (21 kgs).

It’s definitely one of the most affordable professional digital pianos around, and could prove popular.