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M-Audio Keystation 49es 49-Note USB MIDI Controller Keyboard (OLD MODEL)
- 49-note full-size, velocity-sensitive keyboard
- Separate MIDI out jack routes MIDI signals from your computer to control external devices
- Class compliant with OS X and Windows XP for plug-and-play
- Powered via USB or 9VDC power adapter (not included)
- Sustain foot pedal input
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Top customer reviews
I am not sure how far he wants to go with this but what is sure is that he's a beginner. And I'm going to rate this from the same point of view, and rate the whole package.
This is a nice keyboard, seems to be nice quality, fun to use, with a good feel (we are talking about a sub-100 dollars keyboard here, so I did not expect, or want, anything "pro"), and I love that it is USB-powered.
That being said, for the intended use of a keyboard at this price point (one of the lowest from M-Audio), the provided software could be much better. It takes an awful amount of time and headache to get the software situated and get to the point where you can actually play a note with the keyboard, especially with your offspring waiting to try it on Christmas day. Documentation for it is terrible and even mentions options that do not appear in that version of the program (such as the MIDI button at the top).
The software is pretty slow, unresponsive and power-hungry, and the version provided is pretty old. I realize that program is powerful but once again, at this price point I expected something a bit more accessible. My son has a PC. In contrast, it took about a minute to connect the keyboard to my Mac, start GarageBand, choose an instrument and start playing.
I'm not faulting the keyboard in itself, but this is just a controller and without a piece of software to be controlled it is nothing. They need to put a second choice in the box and something that is more adapted to the type of customers they are going to get at that price-point. Develop it if noone else makes it for Windows. I'm sure pros or more advanced musicians are not interested in the software that comes inside the box and have that all squared up already.
To sum up, if you're a beginner and are using a PC, forget about this until you know exactly what program you are going to use. If you are a more advanced and have the program figured out already you probably know more about keyboards than I do :) On a Mac with GarageBand, you can put the software CD aside and start playing or working right away. Without the bad PC/software/Christmas experience, I might have given this a 5.