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on January 4, 2005
I was surprised at the low price of this keyboard considering it has 61 semi-weighted keys. I thought maybe it wouldn't be such great quality but I was pleasantly surprised.

I thought at first that the keys were a little bit "springy", but I soon got used to them. So much so that when I went back to my old Yamaha keyboard (not weighted), the Yamaha felt terrible. This M-Audio lets you play nice and subtle.

There's not much to this keyboard, just a couple of very smooth acting wheels (pitch and modulation), a volume slider and a couple of function buttons. It all seems well-made and the keyboard is heavier than I expected.

I was pleased to find that when I took it out of its box, plugged in the USB cable and opened GarageBand, everything worked perfectly, immediately. No messing about.

It works well with GarageBand (not tried it with anything else), and being powered by the USB cable means it's dead easy to plug in and start playing.

At this price, I can't see how you can go wrong.
44 comments127 of 132 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 28, 2009
I am actually Sarah's Son...

This keyboard had a great feel to it, once you get used to the slight springyness of the keys (as compared to a piano). Setup was incredibly easy, just plug it in and turn it on, USB powered. Works with Garage Band and Logic Pro.

I use the music program Logic Pro 9 on my Mac, and it works wonderfully with this keyboard. You can play so many different instruments. I prefer the simplicity of this product compared to other keyboards; the pitch bend and modulation wheels are easy and fun to use, and the octave change buttons extend the notes, as if you have more keys.

If you buy this keyboard, I would recommend the M-Audio SP-2 US65010 Sustain Pedal Piano Style Sustain for Keyboards for another great effect. It adds a whole other layer to your music. Just plug it in the back of the keyboard, and it has the perfect resistance for different sustain levels.

0Comment19 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 12, 2011
I take piano playing very seriously, and if you want to bring out your true magic the 61es is the most affordable, efficient, brilliant semi weighted piano out there right now. Loved it since the day i got it, built well, it can take a beating.
Get an sp-2 pedal and lock on a steinway software instrument setting on your garageband or logic and boom! Your will play god's whispers.
33 comments27 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 2, 2006
I use this keyboard with GarageBand for which it is well suited. Setup was dead easy, and the keys are very comfortable.
44 comments28 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 28, 2007
Today the M-Audio Keystation 61es arrived (22 August 2007). The Keystation is a 61 key Midi keyboard controller that plugs into the USB port of a computer. So, it's like an electric keyboard except the "brains" of the keyboard are inside of a computer. By itself, the keyboard can not make any sound at all. Once connected to a computer, the keyboard can control a wide variety of generated instrument sounds. Because it is a low powered device, it can run entirely from the USB port of a notebook computer on battery power. This is a great advantage because batteries or a power supply are not needed. Since it is just a keyboard controller, it costs much less than an actual musical keyboard.

My only complaint about the keyboard is that the keys have a spring action that is supposed to mimic the feel of a piano. However, it doesn't feel like a piano and the spring action of the keys requires a considerable amount of pressure. However, the alternative to weighted keys would be a keyboard without any weighted action and those can feel even worse.

Other than this one issue, I find the keyboard to be quite usable. I also ordered the sustain pedal.
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on December 26, 2010
First let me say I'm not much of a musician. I bought this for keyboard input for Garage Band and Logic. It works as expected. There was no setup necessary, just plug it in, turn it on and go. Both programs recognize it automatically.

Since I'm not using it as a replacement for a piano, the 61 keys are no problem. It took a little getting accustomed to using the keys to change the range though. Response is good and the feel is OK to me - then again, as stated before, I'm not much of a musician.
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on February 6, 2012
I got mine for $99 because there was a scratch on the box or something. I am not a pro musician. This is one of my first instruments. I played around with some casio's and yamahas at pawn shops and thought they looked too beat up and cheesy. Anyway, it has been great fun. It works fine on windows 7 64bit. I downloaded the drivers from their website. If you are reading this you must be able to access the internet to get windows 7 64bit drivers.

The velocity sensitive keys all work and are pretty intuitive. It is not as sensitive or realistic as a piano, but who cares, it's 20lbs instead of 2,000lbs, and can play thousands of different sounds.

This is a midi controller, does not have speakers of its own, and does not have sounds of its own, you will have to hook it into a computer.

It comes with abelon live lite which is a program that has some synthesized sounds and recording capabilities. Neither of which I have used. There are lots of free synthesizer programs you can get too.

If you are new to synth music like me, I would suggest finding some free programs on the internet and playing around with them on your keyboard before deciding if you want to get something like this to make note progression more intuitive.

I was contemplating getting casio's priva for like $400, glad I didn't because this is plenty for me to learn some stuff on. I'm mainly interested in playing around with making psytrance music, and having something that I can feel comfortable with my 3yr old daughter having a bit of gentle fun with.

It's big enough you can rest it on your lap, but it is a bit unwieldy. I'd say it's a bit bigger than 3 full size computer keyboards.

Made in China, all visible parts plastic with exception of connectors. The bottom can be unscrewed, for repairs I assume.
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on July 11, 2013
PROS: Great price for a 61-key MIDI controller keyboard, especially since it has its own built-in interface. Amazon's no-hassle return policy made experience as pleasant as it could be.

CONS: I had to return this item twice for two different reasons, both having to do with the shoddy plastic parts with which this item is made. The first time, one of the key-depressing mechanisms was broken causing that key to click loudly every time you played it. The second time, the modulation wheel was broken, causing it to slip downward while you played (which of course makes your notes bend flatter and flatter).

I'm not going to give this item a third try. I think I'll invest a little more money into something a little more substantive. Proceed with caution if you're considering this item.
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on May 29, 2007
The Keyboard was everything I hoped it would be. Easy to setup, and no wall plug mess. Works great with applications like Garage Band and Sibelius. The keys have a nice feel to them too.
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on November 9, 2006
There really aren't many surprises with this controller, except that the keyboard has an awfully nice feel for such an inexpensive unit. This is a good compromise between a piano-ish feel and something you can carry without breaking your back. The only complaint is that the indicators are those eye-scalding blue LEDs that are all the rage with electronics manufacturers, please let that fad die!
0Comment4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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