New Toys

M-Audio Pro Keys 88sx

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M-Audio Pro Keys 88sx One of the most popular keyboards at the recent Winter NAMM Show was M-Audio's ProKeys 88sx digital stage piano. This unbelievably lightweight keyboard (less than 20 pounds) has semi-weighted action and plenty of memory to handle its seven, onboard sounds. Seven sounds?? The ProKeys 88sx's multi-velocity layer stereo grand piano samples of a Yamaha C7 uses 17-MB--more than some keyboard's total memory for all sounds.

I especially liked the Piano 2 sound and the electric pianos include: classic Yamaha DX7, a darn good Fender Rhodes and a vintage Wurlitzer. There's also a percussive Hammond B3 organ and a funky clavinet. On-board reverb and chorus are available along with two 1/4-inch stereo headphone jacks right up front.

Coming from M-Audio, you know that the ProKeys 88sx has to also double as a USB MIDI interface and controller for recording and playback with PC or Mac. A standard MIDI Out jack allows control of outboard MIDI gear and three velocity curves plus fixed velocity are provided to optimize the playing feel of this keyboard. M-Audio leads the way in class-compliancy with Windows XP and Mac OS X systems supported without the installation of additional drivers. The ProKeys 88sx also incorporates MIDI performance controls including pitch wheel, modulation wheel, two footswitch inputs (both sustain and sostenuto), and expression pedal input. The unit ships with an M-Audio Sustain Pedal.

I think the must-have new instrument and best deal at the 2006 NAMM show, the ProKeys 88sx sells for $449.95 MSRP. Much more at

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