M-audio hammer vs Roland A88 mk II for beginner

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So, I'm thinking of learning piano/keys to give my brain a different perspective on this music thing.
I've been messing around with Abelton Live too, so I'd like to be able to play keys to better take advantage of the synths in there.

My impression is that a decent weighted key controller is the way to go, and some searching and review reading turns up the m-audio and roland options.

The Roland is double the price. Does thefretboard think it's worth it in terms of the quality and feel of the keyboard?

I tried looking at some other keyboard forums but all the threads seem to get into a level of religious war and detail that as a beginner just don't make sense to me.

Perhaps that previous sentence is answering my own question :-)

Any help much appreciated!
Link to my trading feedback: http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/58787/
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Comments

  • Piano key action is as personal/subjective as guitar set-up. Purist/fundamentalist types will insist that only a "proper" hammer action is worth having and that, even aftertouch sensitivity is sacrilege. The only valid test is to try them yourself.

    IMO, unless you are an advanced acoustic pianist, it is unlikely that you will be able to exploit the hammers to the greatest effect. This is before any discussion about your MIDI-triggered sound source(s). 

    As a synthesist, I manage perfectly well with a semi-weighted key action. My money would go on the A-800 Pro. 
    Be seeing you.
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  • thanks @Funkfingers i'm not aiming to be a great acoustic pianist, but if i'm going to learn acoustic piano will i miss the 88 keys?

    otherwise the roland you recommend looks good enough, appreciate heads up
    Link to my trading feedback: http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/58787/
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  • if i'm going to learn acoustic piano, will i miss the 88 keys?
    Depends on what sorts of music you expect to be able to perform. 

    If you need access to the extremes of the pitch range simultaneously, there is no substitute for eighty eight. 

    Somebody as average as me can manage with 76 keys and an octave shift button. The Wurlitzer EP200 has just 64 keys but has graced stages around the world.
    Be seeing you.
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  • if i'm going to learn acoustic piano, will i miss the 88 keys?
    Depends on what sorts of music you expect to be able to perform. 

    If you need access to the extremes of the pitch range simultaneously, there is no substitute for eighty eight. 

    Somebody as average as me can manage with 76 keys and an octave shift button. The Wurlitzer EP200 has just 64 keys but has graced stages around the world.
    Fair point. I have small arms and an even smaller talent. The extremes of an 88 are probably unnecessary right now haha
    Link to my trading feedback: http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/58787/
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  • Every so often, I toy with the idea of investing in Spectrasonics Keyscape (a software instrument, specialising in piano, organ, clav and assorted related oddities). I view the official product demonstration video featuring artistes such as Herbie Hancock and Greg Phillinganes and I think, why bother? I'll never match up. Those are proper piano players. 
    Be seeing you.
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  • I bought a Hammer 88 a couple of months ago. Good, solid build. Nice feel. A lot of instrument for the money.
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  • I bought a Hammer 88 a couple of months ago. Good, solid build. Nice feel. A lot of instrument for the money.
    Thanks, good to hear some feedback on these.

    I got myself a cheap Roland off eBay to get started and see if I’m really going to find the time to spend with keys. 

    An upgrade will definitely be needed in the future so the Hammer is on the list
    Link to my trading feedback: http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/58787/
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 3628
    Cheap used Roland, Yamaha, Casio etc are all great
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