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Studiologic VMK-188 plus

Studiologic VMK-188 Plus Master Keyboard

1.9 1.9 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

The Studiologic VMK-188 plus looks promising but fails to follow through. Feel of the keys are great but lacks too many velocity values. Knobs and sliders are dodgy but does work and have full range of MIDI values.


26th January 2012

Studiologic VMK-188 Plus Master Keyboard by gaffu

  • Sound Quality 1 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.25
Studiologic VMK-188 plus

So I was in the market for a keyboard with piano-like action. DAW controls were not necessarily but certainly a plus. The choice ended on the Studiologic VMK-188 plus.

The VMK-188p features 88 keys with the FATAR TP40GH keybed. The keybed is graded hammer action with monophonic aftertouch. The keys feel nice and solid but that's about where it ends.

First off; The keys.
As already mentioned the feel of the keys are great and the aftertouch works as expected. But the velocity of the keys were real disappointing. Velocity (MIDI value) 1-50 are good and pretty much all could be hit but after 50 it starts to skip. After 70 it gets horrible stepping the velocity curve by 5 (so would go 71 then 75 then 79). After 90 it skips by roughly 10. Of cause this also affects the aftertouch. Lastly to reach 127 it does require some finger strength to keep at it.

Next is the joystick that controls modulation and pitch.
The Pitch is decent stepping the MIDI value by 2 however the modulation is horrible stepping the MIDI value by roughly 8.

On to the sliders and knobs.
The knobs are not endless rotaries but they can hit all MIDI values. Sliders work as expected being able to hit all MIDI values. There is however a serious issue with both the knobs and sliders. They do not always detect changes which means when you have the slider at the bottom it might still be at e.g. MIDI value 5, then you have to move the slider up and down to make it register the bottom value. This issue is also present with the knobs. Lastly sometimes when you move them they start flickering even when you have stopped moving them which is rather annoying.

Lastly the midi controller shipped with a bunch of preset so they would easily integrate with your DAW. I'm using Logic Pro 9 and I must say that the preset set for Logic is not working (it could be for some older version of logic though). Which meant I had to configure all controls to suite logic. To reconfigure the controller was easy, just click the edit button and move a knob, slider or click a button to be able to control what information to send to your DAW, combined with Logic's learn feature it shouldn't take more than 10mins to set everything up.

Conclusion:
The studiologic VMK-188 plus looks great on paper but it does not translate into either a very good keyboard nor controller. The velocity of the keys are horrible when you get into the higher ranges and the knobs and sliders just doesn't work properly. The Pitch was working fine but modulation was really lacking in sending MIDI values. For a beginner keyboard and the price it is OK. The unit costs around €500 which is about €200-300 cheaper than any other 88 keys graded hammer action midi controller. Just don't expect too much.

BTW: Sound quality is set to 1 as it does not contain any sounds.

20th February 2013

Studiologic VMK-188 Plus Master Keyboard by bace

  • Sound Quality 1 out of 5
  • Ease of use 2 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 1.75
Studiologic VMK-188 plus

I cant understand this. They put a lot of effort in to the mechanics. Expensive stuff, and then they put in a to small controller so they cant do anything useful with it. I can't believe that you cant programming they joystick to send what ever midi you like, or as I turn it off since it send ghost data. Velocity is OK. But the older ones ware much more flexible. Looks very good on paper, but do a real tryout before you buy it.

6th March 2013

Studiologic VMK-188 Plus Master Keyboard by crescentmoon

  • Sound Quality 1 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 1.75
Studiologic VMK-188 plus

The keyboard action is the best thing going for this unit.... and that is it. There is virtually no tech. support and the only way to contact them is through email. If you walk across the floor and touch it with electrostatic energy, the unit will not function correctly. The manual is almost useless. I wish I had known all these problems before I bought this keyboard.

 
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