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M-Audio Keystation 61es

M-Audio Keystation 61es

4 4 out of 5, based on 1 Review

Simple plain MIDI controller that simply does its job.

26th February 2012

M-Audio Keystation 61es by maticomp

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
M-Audio Keystation 61es

Keystation 61es is perhaps the most basic MIDI controller one can find on the market. It has 61 semi-weighted full sized keys, a pitch bend wheel, modulation wheel, and a volume fader. It has octave switch buttons giving the easy access to octaves below and beyond the standard 5-octave scale of this keyboard. No knobs, no pads, no faders. Just a basic keyboard.

The connectivity is superb, utilizing a traditional USB-A<>USB-B cable with standarized USB MIDI implementation. Therefore you need no drivers to work with this unit, and it will probably work just fine with any newer version of Windows/Mac or Linux. Unlike some controllers using their proprietary drivers, dropping support for new OSes quickly.

You can also connect a sustain pedal using typical TRS connection - nothing more to add here, it just works.

here is nothing fancy about this unit. It is a cheap controller that does its job. The keyboard is quite loud (no damping material underneath the keys) and lacks aftertouch often found in synth-like MIDI controllers. Don't be fooled about the keyboard being semi-weighted if you have a background as a pianist. The static weighing with no hammer mechanism is not suitable for finesse playing. After owning this unit for few years I would much rather prefer a synthesizer keyboard to this one, as it would be much more lightweight and I wouldn't miss the weighing at all.

The bottom line is that this unit simply works, and has been completely reliable for few years now. The built quality is far from for example CME keyboards though, being all plastic, top to bottom. If one needs a 61 key controller with no bells and whistles, I can happily recommend Keystation 61es. Bear in mind that it's not a small lightweight keyboard thingy for drafting ideas!


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