M Audio Keystation Pro 88
M Audio have produced two new controller keyboards, using technology from UK controller manufacturer Evolution, who they bought last year. The Keystation Pro 88 (£400, pictured) is an 88-note hammer-action MIDI controller which can be powered solely via USB. The keyboard also provides nine faders, 24 knobs and 22 buttons, all of which can be assigned to any MIDI controller with the aid of a backlit LCD screen, and the keys themselves can be split into four zones.
The polarity of the faders is reversed when in Drawbar mode, making them more intuitive to use when controlling organ synth modules or software. Fully-programmable pitch and mod wheels and inputs for two footswitches and an expression pedals bring the total number of assignable controls to 60! Controller assignments are saved to the onboard memory and can be imported and exported via SysEx.
The Keystation Pro 88 doesn’t require additional drivers for Windows XP and Mac OS X, being fully class compliant, but drivers for Mac OS 9 and Windows 98, ME and 2000 are included, as is M Audio’s Maximum Audio Tools software bundle, which features Arkaos VJ Lite, IK Multimedia Sampletank Free, Linplug Free Alpha and D Sound RT Player Express.
M Audio’s second new keyboard, the Keystation 61ES (£160), is a 61-note semi-weighted USB controller keyboard, designed as a bigger brother to the Keystation 49, which was chosen by Apple as the companion to their Garage Band software. It features pitch and mod wheels and an assignable slider, as well as a footpedal input. Like the Keystation 88 Pro, the Keystation 61ES is class compliant with Windows XP and Mac OS X, and is supplied with drivers for earlier versions of each operating system, as well as the Maximum Audio Tools software bundle.
Finally, following the release of their Luna and Solaris mics, M Audio have added a third microphone to their roster: the Nova. The Nova (£89.99) is an entry-level large-diaphragm condenser mic, with a 1.1-inch evaporated gold diaphragm and a fixed cardioid polar pattern. The mic employs Class-A solid-state electronics and its frequency response is quoted as 20Hz to 18kHz.
T M Audio +44 (0)1442 416590.