Below, you can read the comparison between two 88-key MIDI controllers, Alesis Q88 vs Keystation 88. These two models are available in a similar price range, and they are among the most affordable options available in the market. So, which model is better for you to choose?
What we will discuss in this article include:
– The size and weight of each model
– The connectivity features of Alesis Q88 and Keystation 88
– The on-board controls on each model
– The keyboard quality of Alesis Q88 vs Keystation 88
– The included software on each MIDI controller
– Which MIDI controller that is generally more recommended
The first thing that we are going to compare is the dimensions of these MIDI controllers. Both of them are quite slim, compact, and lightweight. However, if you don’t have much space available in your room, you may want to choose Alesis Q88 over Keystation 88. It has a smaller overall size. See also: Alesis VI49 vs Akai MPK249.
Alesis Q88 is more compact and space-friendly, although it is actually a little bit heavier than Keystation 88. It measures 53.5 inches wide, 5.5 inches deep, and 3.5 inches thick. One reason behind the reduced dimensions is it doesn’t have many on-board controls. The weight is approximately 22 lbs. As expected from a controller of this price range, the housing is made from plastic. Still, it is fairly sturdy and durable.
Keystation 88 is larger, so it requires more space. This model measures 53.9 inches wide, 9.8 inches deep, and 3.6 inches thick. It is larger because it has more on-board controls plus a display screen. However, it is actually a little bit lighter than Alesis Q88 at 17 lbs. The housing is plastic. The buttons and sliders are quite solid and durable. All in all, it has fairly good build quality.
The next thing to consider when choosing between Alesis Q88 vs Keystation 88 is the connectivity features. These two models provide different connectivity options. Alesis Q88 only comes with the basics, while Keystation 88 comes with a few additional options.
Alesis Q88 has a USB port to connect to your computer. It doesn’t need any driver; it is plug-and-play on most computers. It can be bus-powered through the USB connection. Alternatively, you may use the power port with a dedicated power adapter, but the power adapter is sold separately. Furthermore, Alesis Q88 has a volume pedal jack, a sustain pedal jack, and a five-pin MIDI output jack. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a dedicated MIDI input.
Keystation 88 also has a USB port to connect to your computer, and it is also plug-and-play. Similarly, it can be bus-powered through the USB connection, but you may also use the dedicated power port. Again, the power adapter is sold separately.
There are a few more options on Keystation 88, so it can be a bit more flexible and versatile. It has a MIDI-assignable volume pedal jack and two MIDI-assignable sustain pedal jacks. In addition, it has five-pin MIDI input and output ports.
One significant difference between Alesis Q88 vs Keystation 88 is about how they approach control. Alesis Q88 keeps things streamlined by having minimal on-board controls. This is nice if you prefer a simple controller. Keystation 88 has a display screen and multiple controls, so it is great if you want to be able to access some parameters quickly.
Alesis Q88 only comes with the basics. The on-board controls are pretty much similar to the ones on a standard digital piano, even though the keyboard of this device is nowhere close to a real piano keyboard. You can find a pitch bend wheel, an assignable modulation wheel, an assignable volume control that doubles as a data entry slider, and an octave/transpose button.
Keystation 88 is very nice in terms of control. To begin with, there is a backlit LCD screen. On the left, there are the pitch bend wheel and the modulation wheel. On the left side of the display, there are zone buttons, function keys, and octave buttons. On the right side of the display, you can find 22 buttons, 24 rotary controllers, and 9 faders, all of which are MIDI-assignable. Hence, you can easily access various features and parameters.
In terms of keyboard quality, these two models are pretty much similar. They are cheap because of a reason. Their keyboards are very, very basic. Yes, they each have 88 keys, so you can easily access the notes of multiple octave ranges. But, if you think that these MIDI controllers will feel like real pianos, you are greatly mistaken.
The keyboards of Alesis Q88 and Keystation 88 are semi-weighted. But the action mechanisms are terrible. They are cranky and uneven. Some people even say that their keyboards are even worse than some unweighted keyboards.
Still, if you are interested in these controllers because they are cheap, and you don’t care whether they feel like real pianos or not, Alesis Q88 and Keystation 88 remain as viable options. They are still quite useful as basic MIDI controllers.
Alesis Q88 comes two software apps, which are Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition and AIR Music Tech Xpand!2. Keep in mind that this is just a MIDI controller, so it will not produce any sound by itself. It is designed to be connected to your computer and work with the audio software for making music.
Keystation 88 has a slightly better bundle. It comes with more software apps. It also includes Ableton Live Lite, a decent DAW, and AIR Music Tech Xpand!2, a decent multitimbral workstation. In addition, it also comes with SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble, which provides a virtual piano that is modeled after a CD327 Steinway piano.
Alesis Q88 Vs Keystation 88
|Alesis Q88||Keystation 88|
|Key features||- 88-key USB MIDI keyboard controller provides the ideal surface for composing and performing music with computer-based digital audio workstations, sequencers, and more
- 88 semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keys give you piano-like responsiveness and range for professionals or practice sessions||- MIDI keyboard controller for composing digital music and playing virtual instruments
- Powered by USB connection to computer with features to fully control music software without reaching for mouse;Lightweight design for easy setup and portability|
|Customer ratings*||3.7 out of 5.0 stars||3.4 out of 5.0 stars|
|Best deal*||Save Money Please click here||Save Money Please click here|
NOTE : Product prices, availability, ratings and save money information are accurate as of the date/time indicated on post time (as seen right bellow the tittle) and are subject to change. Any price, ratings, availability and save money information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
In general, between these two models, Keystation 88 is more recommended. This MIDI controller offers extensive control over your sounds by providing lots of assignable buttons, rotary controllers, and faders. It is also more flexible and versatile in terms of connectivity. It also comes with more software apps which add some value, and the software apps can be quite handy.