M-Audio puts the Hammer down with new 88-note keyboard controller

You might have a plugin instrument that sounds pretty much like a real piano, but if you’re using it with a two-octave portable controller, it’s not going to feel like one. For those who want a more authentic piano playing experience, M-Audio has released the Hammer 88, a “premium” keyboard controller that offers 88 hammer-action keys.

Aside from these, there are dedicated pitch and modulation wheels, along with an assignable volume fader. The up/down buttons can also be set up to control the function of your choice.

“The new Hammer 88 combines real grand piano feel with weighted hammer-action keys and the versatility of custom controls in a way that no previous instrument has,” said Sandira Blas, Product Marketing Manager for M-Audio. “Players are going to love the keyboard’s action and they’re going to love the custom controls and included software. This is an amazingly complete package.”

Specs are below, and you can find out more on the M-Audio website. The Hammer 88 will ship soon priced at £380.

M-Audio Hammer 88 features

  • 88 fully-weighted, hammer-action keys
  • USB-MIDI connection for playing virtual instruments and controlling recording software
  • 5-Pin MIDI output to trigger external MIDI devices
  • Pitch bend, modulation, volume and ± controls for expressive performances
  • Inputs for Sustain, Expression and Soft pedals USB-powered, no power supply required
  • No drivers required, supports plug-and-play connectivity to your Mac or PC iOS compatibility using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite, a powerful music performance and creation software
  • Includes AIR “Mini Grand” Acoustic Grand Piano, AIR “Velvet” Vintage Electric Piano Instrument, AIR “DB-33” Tonewheel Organ Simulator and SONiVOX “Eighty Eight Ensemble” Authentic Piano Instrument
  • Includes 3-months of Skoove interactive online piano lessons
  • Multiple keyboard zones for layering, splits and 4-note chords with a single key press
  • Clean, professional editing with included Hammer 88 Controller Editor
  • Power adapter (optional) for stand-alone use
  • Music rest
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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