M-Audio Unveils ProKeys 88 Premium Stage Piano

Aug 11, 2005 2:29 PM, by Mix Editors


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M-Audio unveiled the new ProKeys 88 premium stage piano. The ProKeys 88 houses unique features including "realistic piano and other instrument sounds," "hammer-action keyboard with MIDI controller functionality" and "sostenuto pedal input."

The ProKeys 88 piano’s full-range 88-key clavier features weighted hammer action to deliver an authentic playing experience in conjunction with 64-voice polyphony. It features three velocity curves tailored to different touches, as well as a fixed velocity for synth work. The keyboard also features split and layer capabilities and users can even have a split and layer simultaneously for a total of three sounds at once. Dedicated volume sliders are provided for master, layer and split components. Adding to the ProKeys 88 piano’s playability and realism is a sostenuto pedal input that complements the standard sustain pedal.

Where most digital stage pianos offer little more in the way of external communication than a MIDI jack, the ProKeys 88 inherits much from M-Audio’s years of experience pioneering mobile MIDI controllers. It incorporates a full USB MIDI interface that communicates with a PC or Mac computer via a single, simple USB connection—perfect for recording with virtually all MIDI sequencer software on the market. (The instrument features class compliancy with Windows XP and Mac OS X platforms without installation of additional drivers.) Users can even control their sequencers remotely via front-panel Start, Stop and Tempo buttons. MIDI In and Out jacks allow full communication with all standard MIDI gear as well. The ProKeys 88 is also General MIDI-compliant.

The ProKeys 88 also features performance controls that are rare on digital stage pianos, including pitch wheel, modulation wheel, two footswitch inputs, and expression pedal input. The three different ranges available via the ProKeys 88 piano’s combined split and layer functions can each transmit on a separate MIDI channel as well. The unit also includes dedicated front-panel buttons for program change, channel, bank MSB, bank LSB and local on/off.

The ProKeys 88 has on-board effects: 2-stage EQ, three different reverb spaces, chorus and tremolo. Stereo ¼” unbalanced jacks deliver a pristine signal derived from our best audio technology, featuring a dynamic range of 103dB. A stereo headphone amp with ¼” connection is also provided.

The user interface of the ProKeys 88 features dedicated buttons for the 14 instruments, plus a button to add a ride cymbal to the acoustic and electric basses when in split mode. There’s also a dedicated button that cancels any splits and/or layers and returns the user to the stereo grand piano sound. There’s also a 12-key data entry pad in conjunction with a 3-digit LED display for edits.

The ProKeys 88 is expected to ship in August 2005 an MSRP of $749.95.

For more information about M-Audio, visit www.m-audio.com.

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