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M Audio Hammer 88

A poster ( our Gavinski )

Inspired me to seek midi keyboard controllers before I tried Pianoteq.

So probably would buy the M Audio instead of SL88 studio.

If a person can confirm questions.

Can it pass midi din through a faderfox pc12, which is a midi merger which can send note buttons itself. So should relay data needed ?

Is midi din fine, instead of USB?

Can it be powered by psu and if you had to use a different mains socket. Would you choose a midi controller instead of an audio instrument ( for potential noise ) ?

If I have an ipad set at say 128 samples. Using the, I guess latency free Audio4c. If the reciever ipad is say 1028 samples. Does a piano lose its 128 sample goodness ? The reciever ipad is for audio. The sender ipad would record midi.

Thanks.

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Comments

  • heshes
    edited June 23

    @sigma79 said:
    A poster ( our Gavinski )

    Inspired me to seek midi keyboard controllers before I tried Pianoteq.

    So probably would buy the M Audio instead of SL88 studio.

    I don't have a Hammer 88 or an SL88 Studio, but I will try to answer some of your questions. I do recall, several years ago, having played both in a music store. I preferred the keybed on the Hammer 88, didn't like keybed on SL88 Studio at all. But to some extent this is personal preference. Both keyboards seem to be generally well regarded as inexpensive hammer action midi keyboard controllers.

    Can it pass midi din through a faderfox pc12, which is a midi merger which can send note buttons itself. So should relay data needed ?

    This is more a question about the faderfox pc12 than it is about the Hammer 88. The Hammer 88 can send midi out the MIDI DIN port, same as many other controllers. What happens to the midi after that depends on other devices, not on the keyboard that first sends the midi out MIDI DIN.

    Is midi din fine, instead of USB?

    Hammer 88, like many keyboards, has both USB Midi and MIDI DIN ports. I'm sure both work fine. Whether MIDI DIN is fine for you depends on your other equipment.

    Can it be powered by psu and if you had to use a different mains socket. Would you choose a midi controller instead of an audio instrument ( for potential noise ) ?

    Not sure exactly what this question is asking. Hammer 88 is USB bus powered, so generally I'm sure most people power it that way, typically getting power from a host computer that it's send USB Midi to. It's compatible with iOS devices, but I suspect that you would want to use a powered hub if you're connecting to a non-USB C device (i.e., one using Lightning port and Apple CCK). There is an optional power supply available that feeds into a 9V input on the Hammer 88; I'm sure it works fine but I'm not sure in what situation you'd want to use it. Not sure what you mean by question re: "midi controller instead of audio instrument". Midi controllers don't send audio so don't add audio noise, if that's what you mean. But I don't see that as important. If you want a midi controller, buy a midi controller. If you want a device that sends audio, buy that. Or buy one device that can do both, if you want to send both midi and audio.

    If I have an ipad set at say 128 samples. Using the, I guess latency free Audio4c. If the reciever ipad is say 1028 samples. Does a piano lose its 128 sample goodness ? The reciever ipad is for audio. The sender ipad would record midi.

    Not sure exactly what this question is asking. But the 128 in "an ipad set at say 128 [or 1024] samples" and the fact that "midi velocity has 128 different levels" are completely unrelated. One has to do with audio, one has to do with midi. The fact that you might see the number 128 in both contexts implies nothing. Midi performance will be the same regardless of what sample setting you have for audio on your iOS device.

  • Thanks Hes.

    I guess I just need to know about latency.

    Instead of keyboard just usb to ipad. Then choosing 128 buffer.

    The ipad will be 128 latency setting.

    Then headphone out to audio interface line in ( either set to 512 or 1028 lol )

    and then there might be latency with the midi routing.

    It would actually now be. Keyboard to faderfox input to output ( mio ) to an ipad. Then the audio route.

    So you got more midi routings

    and a low latency setting but recieved on an ipad with a higher latency setting

    but dosent need to write midi to reciever ipad.

    Has to work.

    Found how nice piano playing is ( just on a korg microkey air 61 )

    The m audio should be a better keyboard ?

  • edited June 23

    Agreeing with @hes in that trying to find your personal best weighted keybed can only be done hands-on.
    There is no such thing as "the best one", which I had to learn after trying out the Kawai MP-11SE myself, a keyboard controller hyped by many that felt awfully muddy when I actually played it, and my own favorites are the weighted keybeds used in some Yamaha and Kurzweil keyboards.

    As for the audio buffer sizes (128 on the MIDI iPad vs 1024 on the Audio iPad), depending on the receiver app, most likely you are going to deal with additional processing latency from the second buffer if you are monitoring through the Audio iPad.
    But can't you monitor low-latency audio from one single instrument that you run on the MIDI iPad via the Audio4c?
    The idea is to have one reduced-workload instrument run on the MIDI iPad, for monitoring purposes.
    Latency is relevant while playing live and recording, right?

  • @rs2000 said:
    Agreeing with @hes in that trying to find your personal best weighted keybed can only be done hands-on.
    There is no such thing as "the best one", which I had to learn after trying out the Kawai MP-11SE myself, a keyboard controller hyped by many that felt awfully muddy when I actually played it, and my own favorites are the weighted keybeds used in some Yamaha and Kurzweil keyboards.

    As for the audio buffer sizes (128 on the MIDI iPad vs 1024 on the Audio iPad), depending on the receiver app, most likely you are going to deal with additional processing latency from the second buffer if you are monitoring through the Audio iPad.
    But can't you monitor low-latency audio from one single instrument that you run on the MIDI iPad via the Audio4c?
    The idea is to have one reduced-workload instrument run on the MIDI iPad, for monitoring purposes.
    Latency is relevant while playing live and recording, right?

    I dont know what you mean by single instrument and using audio4c as a monitor ? I remember people use audio interface for live monitor but unsure what it means or if its setup in audio4c.

    I think 3 ipads is kinda lame, except more screens and seeing just a handful of synths on screen and not synths, drums and scrolling etc

    Then theres this from the manual

    Power Input: This input accepts an optional third party power supply. A power supplymust be connected when using Hammer 88 in stand-alone mode (when triggeringexternal hardware synths). Use a USB cable to power Hammer 88 when connecting to acomputer to trigger software synth

    I guess you can use a psu but they dont think you will when using a computer because they forgot about din to a computer or because even din is more latency than just a usb for midi and power ?

    Does an 88 key for piano etc seem like a lame idea, if Im routing through ipads and midi mergers as described?

  • I have a keyboard anyway.

    I can test latency.

    But wonder why I can use a psu and din with a computer ?

  • edited June 23

    Ok.

    Are keys of m audio actually wider than korg microkey air ?

    I guess it would be better if reciever ipad were for piano at 128 buffer and other ipads slower buffer but routed to piano ipad.

    To solve controller issues etc.

    Instead.

    Use a widi uhost for keyboard ( this dosent work with launchpad maybe because a usbc to usbc cable isnt OTG. OTG has to have different ends.

    Should be ok for m audio. 128 ipad out to a 512 buffer reciever ipad via line in ?

    I guess I will have to test latency more this way with the microkey

    Its all a bit lame.

    Its either loads of ipads or ipads not uitilising multicore etc.

    Ideally ( because of the piano thing now )

    A drum and bass ipad

    A synth, sample and voice ipad ( but perhaps bass ) If latency has to be different now ) It is Moog Mariana. I feel I need to sidechain bass to drums at least. So can route via audioc if not on same ipad.

    Then a classical instrument ipad.

    I lose my launchpad to drums and its annoying leaning over tweaking fac drum in drambo with both hands to one side.

    Its either that or sell 2 ipad 9 and buy a better spec ipad to go with drum ipad so ipads gain all controllers

    but still means perhaps no sidechain bass.

    Even if using a single ipad.

    128 buffer. Just isnt ideal without multicore.

    Is this how it works ?

    Buffer/no multicore or are people happy with M2/M4 ipads ?

    lol

    Im just being stupid.

  • @sigma79 said:
    A poster ( our Gavinski )

    Inspired me to seek midi keyboard controllers before I tried Pianoteq.

    So probably would buy the M Audio instead of SL88 studio.

    If a person can confirm questions.

    Can it pass midi din through a faderfox pc12, which is a midi merger which can send note buttons itself. So should relay data needed ?

    Is midi din fine, instead of USB?

    Can it be powered by psu and if you had to use a different mains socket. Would you choose a midi controller instead of an audio instrument ( for potential noise ) ?

    If I have an ipad set at say 128 samples. Using the, I guess latency free Audio4c. If the reciever ipad is say 1028 samples. Does a piano lose its 128 sample goodness ? The reciever ipad is for audio. The sender ipad would record midi.

    Thanks.

    Interesting - I was also investigating this topic more since the topic of weighted keys controllers came up yesterday, and stumbled across the Hammer 88 as a budget option with good potential. As rs2000 says, it really does seem that it might be worth going to a physical store to try different things out.

  • @Gavinski said:

    @sigma79 said:
    A poster ( our Gavinski )

    Inspired me to seek midi keyboard controllers before I tried Pianoteq.

    So probably would buy the M Audio instead of SL88 studio.

    If a person can confirm questions.

    Can it pass midi din through a faderfox pc12, which is a midi merger which can send note buttons itself. So should relay data needed ?

    Is midi din fine, instead of USB?

    Can it be powered by psu and if you had to use a different mains socket. Would you choose a midi controller instead of an audio instrument ( for potential noise ) ?

    If I have an ipad set at say 128 samples. Using the, I guess latency free Audio4c. If the reciever ipad is say 1028 samples. Does a piano lose its 128 sample goodness ? The reciever ipad is for audio. The sender ipad would record midi.

    Thanks.

    Interesting - I was also investigating this topic more since the topic of weighted keys controllers came up yesterday, and stumbled across the Hammer 88 as a budget option with good potential. As rs2000 says, it really does seem that it might be worth going to a physical store to try different things out.

    Hey mate.

    A post you made started my piano playing and wanting to buy a better keyboard.

    Are digital pianos also midi controllers ( cant see how they would have better keys if same price )

    Think id buy the m audio.

    Think for me, it needs to be made bluetooth with a widi uhost.

    Usb b to usb c ( OTG cable ) from CME.

  • @sigma79 said:

    @Gavinski said:

    @sigma79 said:
    A poster ( our Gavinski )

    Inspired me to seek midi keyboard controllers before I tried Pianoteq.

    So probably would buy the M Audio instead of SL88 studio.

    If a person can confirm questions.

    Can it pass midi din through a faderfox pc12, which is a midi merger which can send note buttons itself. So should relay data needed ?

    Is midi din fine, instead of USB?

    Can it be powered by psu and if you had to use a different mains socket. Would you choose a midi controller instead of an audio instrument ( for potential noise ) ?

    If I have an ipad set at say 128 samples. Using the, I guess latency free Audio4c. If the reciever ipad is say 1028 samples. Does a piano lose its 128 sample goodness ? The reciever ipad is for audio. The sender ipad would record midi.

    Thanks.

    Interesting - I was also investigating this topic more since the topic of weighted keys controllers came up yesterday, and stumbled across the Hammer 88 as a budget option with good potential. As rs2000 says, it really does seem that it might be worth going to a physical store to try different things out.

    Hey mate.

    A post you made started my piano playing and wanting to buy a better keyboard.

    Are digital pianos also midi controllers ( cant see how they would have better keys if same price )

    Think id buy the m audio.

    Think for me, it needs to be made bluetooth with a widi uhost.

    Usb b to usb c ( OTG cable ) from CME.

    I've never had a controller that wasn't Bluetooth but I think for a big controller like this you don't have portability, so using it with a hub and a cable is probably the way I'd go.

    Some digital pianos with inbuilt sounds are also midi controllers. I'd assume most today work that way, but I really don't know. You'd need to double check all this when considering buying sth. For me, as much as I'd like one, I don't think I can have a piece of gear like this at the moment, sadly, as my life is too nomadic and it gets expensive and inconvenient to lug this kind of thing from one place to another.

  • Also, you know btw there is a Hammer 88 Pro model too?:

    https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/m-audio-hammer-88-pro

    Btw, also worth googling ‘Pianoteq Hammer 88’ to see how well people think these work with Pianoteq. I think I remember quite a few negative comments on the forum, but can’t remember the details.

  • @Gavinski said:
    Also, you know btw there is a Hammer 88 Pro model too?:

    https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/m-audio-hammer-88-pro

    Btw, also worth googling ‘Pianoteq Hammer 88’ to see how well people think these work with Pianoteq. I think I remember quite a few negative comments on the forum, but can’t remember the details.

    And worth investigating whether you could add three continuous control pedals or whether pedal inputs would only work as switches. Pianoteq allows continuous control, so it would be a shame if you couldn't make use of that. You would probably at least want one continuous pedal for sustain, but might want more than one continuous pedal.

  • edited June 23

    @Gavinski said:

    @Gavinski said:
    Also, you know btw there is a Hammer 88 Pro model too?:

    https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/m-audio-hammer-88-pro

    Btw, also worth googling ‘Pianoteq Hammer 88’ to see how well people think these work with Pianoteq. I think I remember quite a few negative comments on the forum, but can’t remember the details.

    And worth investigating whether you could add three continuous control pedals or whether pedal inputs would only work as switches. Pianoteq allows continuous control, so it would be a shame if you couldn't make use of that. You would probably at least want one continuous pedal for sustain, but might want more than one continuous pedal.

    Were going to maybe buy Roland FP-10 ( digital piano )

    but maybe need sustain and expression for swam instruments ( even if using screen keyboard and an ec4 ) So mapped additionally the same cc numbers to each swam but shouldnt matter being mapped the same when switching tracks ( theres no recordable midi really at the mo ) Then as you say, also with piano tech. So maybe cant buy the Roland and now wondering about the m audio. Even if theres no editor for these switchnumbers, that pass through keyboards midi output. It should map when pointed to map? Iv got a blueboard but would keep for another ipad ( turntable fx and mute all other sound source apart from deck ) Another blueboard an option but more money.

    Not sure about hubs ( or extension hub to the audio4c hub ) For launchpad and a keyboard, instead of using a widi uhost.

    I think it needs to be bt anyway. As other ipads keep launchpad. The 3rd ipad is line in ( the pianoteq ipad etc ) Seems maybe ok, latency wise with s korg microkey, this way.

  • @rs2000 said:
    Agreeing with @hes in that trying to find your personal best weighted keybed can only be done hands-on.

    I’ll agree with this too. Recommendations are a good start point, but you’re going to play every keyboard differently as the feel is going to be different. I would always go for feel over price, ratings, etc.

  • Id need class compliant for a widi uhost and a widi uhost not damage keyboard. It works with an Akai lpd8 but not launchpad because launchpad is usbc to usbc. Non usbc cables are OTG. So should work for keyboard.

    When using WIDI Uhost as a USB host, it supports most plug-and-play"class compliant" standard USB MIDI devices. It is important to understand thatUSB devices that need special drivers or are created as combined devices, willnot be compatible with WIDI Uhost. If your USB MIDI device falls into thefollowing conditions, it is not compatible with WIDI Uhost:1.USB devices that require the installation of special drivers are notsupported.2."Combined Device Class" products are not supported. For example:Audio + MIDI USB device.3.USB devices that include USB hub functions are not supported.4.USB devices with multiple MIDI ports will only function on the firstUSB MIDI port.Some USB MIDI devices have two modes of operation and can be set tooperate in Class Compliant mode even if this is not the default. The ClassCompliant mode might be called "generic driver", the other mode may becalled something like "advanced driver". Consult the device manual to see if themode can be set for Class Compliant.

    Although Iv got a launchpad for synths.

    Would maybe buy a more piano keyboard than the m audio

    but even with a microkey air.

    Its nice to do easy swipes along keys.

    So may buy the m audio.

  • Are the keys of a regular keyboard wider than Korg microkey air 61 ?

  • I thought yes.

    An actual video of a person explaning if a regular key is wider than a mini key but like all reviews. They forget to say.

    Its a conspracy and perhaps only on a music forum would we find out.

  • @sigma79 said:
    I thought yes.

    An actual video of a person explaning if a regular key is wider than a mini key but like all reviews. They forget to say.

    Its a conspracy and perhaps only on a music forum would we find out.

    I'm sure you'll find specs, including key width, on the web page for any keyboard you're interested in, tbh, no?

  • edited June 23

    @Gavinski said:

    @sigma79 said:
    I thought yes.

    An actual video of a person explaning if a regular key is wider than a mini key but like all reviews. They forget to say.

    Its a conspracy and perhaps only on a music forum would we find out.

    I'm sure you'll find specs, including key width, on the web page for any keyboard you're interested in, tbh, no?

    Havent seen key width in any specs of any keyboards but assume key width is wider on an 88 key but still variable.

    From post I linked.

    The microkey is probably the microkorg

    and the M audio hammer 88, would be a Roland RD-300 ( both 140cm diameter )

    Psu wise 9v

    Its either positive or negative.

    Would be using a widi uhost to power keyboard.

    Thats probably 5v

    No wonder people complain about broken keyboards. There isnt a psu or bus standard but I dont know about electronics.

    Should be ok.

    An ipad etc is usually 500ma ?

    and I doubt 9v

    Unsure why a psu would be 9v ?

  • edited June 23

    @sigma79 said:

    @Gavinski said:

    @sigma79 said:
    I thought yes.

    An actual video of a person explaning if a regular key is wider than a mini key but like all reviews. They forget to say.

    Its a conspracy and perhaps only on a music forum would we find out.

    I'm sure you'll find specs, including key width, on the web page for any keyboard you're interested in, tbh, no?

    Havent seen key width in any specs of any keyboards but assume key width is wider on an 88 key but still variable.

    From post I linked.

    The microkey is probably the microkorg

    and the M audio hammer 88, would be a Roland RD-300 ( both 140cm diameter )

    Psu wise 9v

    Its either positive or negative.

    Would be using a widi uhost to power keyboard.

    Thats probably 5v

    No wonder people complain about broken keyboards. There isnt a psu or bus standard but I dont know about electronics.

    Should be ok.

    An ipad etc is usually 500ma ?

    and I doubt 9v

    Unsure why a psu would be 9v ?

    I have no idea about most of this. That assumption that an 88 key keyboard should have wider keys than keyboards with fewer keys is definitely not correct though, that's not the way it works. Microkey refers to Korg Microkey, yes. Those keys are not full size but the width of the keys is the same on all the microkey models, regardless of octave range.

    Unless you're very far from a decent music store, you really should go to the best music store in your area, try the keyboards and have a chat with an expert there, I'd say.

  • Bought a keyboard

    Didnt overly research and will take up space.

    May make room feng shui be lame

    Mainly hoping for it to work and the BT.

    I do have option of routing from a fast buffer ipad to a slower buffer ipad

    but maybe choosing fast buffer for piano ipad now and other ipads whatever buffer.

    Tbh.

    Pianoteq does only really need a piano controller for piano keys.

    All other instruments wouldnt really use even keyboard keys.

    So controller is really just for piano.

    So bought a Roland fp-30x

    Nearly bought the fp-10 as its the same ( when used as a controller )

    Apart from the damper pedal.

    They didnt make it continous cc for the fp-10.

    So also bought the roland dp-10 pedal ?

    Think for Swam instruments using ipad screen and a side faderfox ec4.

    Id only need 1 pedal.

    So dont think I even need other blueboards etc.

    Which I already have

    but is on another ipad perhaps, for turntable delay fx and mute music.

  • heshes
    edited June 24

    I have an FP-10. But, yes, good choice, FP-30x is among the best out there for its combination of features, keybed feel, price, and quality. The hammer action is good for piano playing (e.g., with Pianoteq), but cheaper "synth action" keyboards are actually preferable for most iOS uses.

  • @hes said:
    I have an FP-10. But, yes, good choice, FP-30x is among the best out there for its combination of features, keybed feel, price, and quality. The hammer action is good for piano playing (e.g., with Pianoteq), but cheaper "synth action" keyboards are actually preferable for most iOS uses.

    Thanks for reply.

    I thought this but do have a launchpad for synths and screens for control.

    Screen seems good for some pianoteq

    I like the Vibraphones via screen.

  • edited June 24

    Good choice on the FP-30x. I regret not getting one myself. I went with a Yamaha because I liked the keybed feel better, but once I got it home, I realized the velocity sensitivity over MIDI isn't great on the Yamaha (only goes up about 70% no matter how hard I wail on the keys) and I use it exclusively with MIDI so lesson learned: when this one wears out, I'm getting a Roland or possibly a Korg.

  • @bluegroove said:
    Good choice on the FP-30x. I regret not getting one myself. I went with a Yamaha because I liked the keybed feel better, but once I got it home, I realized the velocity sensitivity over MIDI isn't great on the Yamaha (only goes up about 70% no matter how hard I wail on the keys) and I use it exclusively with MIDI so lesson learned: when this one wears out, I'm getting a Roland or possibly a Korg.

    Hmm.

    Hope the Roland is fine for midi.

    It will always be midi really.

    Which Korg ?

    Let you all know how it works.

  • @bluegroove said:
    . . . I went with a Yamaha because I liked the keybed feel better, but once I got it home, I realized the velocity sensitivity over MIDI isn't great on the Yamaha (only goes up about 70% no matter how hard I wail on the keys) and I use it exclusively with MIDI so lesson learned:

    That seems strange. It should require a lot of effort to max out, but max midi velocity should be much closer to 127 than that. And I'm sure on Yamaha keyboards that it is higher. 70% of 127 is 89. Is that really highest velocity you can get? If so, you should be able to change sensitivity setting on the keyboard to get it higher. (You can of. course adjust in velocity curves in Pianoteq or other software, but best first spot to adjust is on keyboard itself, in theory preserves possibility of full 127 value range.)

  • edited June 25

    Q > @hes said:

    @bluegroove said:
    . . . I went with a Yamaha because I liked the keybed feel better, but once I got it home, I realized the velocity sensitivity over MIDI isn't great on the Yamaha (only goes up about 70% no matter how hard I wail on the keys) and I use it exclusively with MIDI so lesson learned:

    That seems strange. It should require a lot of effort to max out, but max midi velocity should be much closer to 127 than that. And I'm sure on Yamaha keyboards that it is higher. 70% of 127 is 89. Is that really highest velocity you can get? If so, you should be able to change sensitivity setting on the keyboard to get it higher. (You can of. course adjust in velocity curves in Pianoteq or other software, but best first spot to adjust is on keyboard itself, in theory preserves possibility of full 127 value range.)

    Yes, I thought so as well, but I tried everything, but no luck. Seems a common problem for this model when I initially googled it.

    I tried adjusting the curves in Pianoteq, but didn’t seem to help a whole lot as I couldn’t really force it to go any higher than 70 or 80. Maybe I’m doing something wrong?

  • heshes
    edited June 25

    @bluegroove said:
    Yes, I thought so as well, but I tried everything, but no luck. Seems a common problem for this model when I initially googled it.

    I tried adjusting the curves in Pianoteq, but didn’t seem to help a whole lot as I couldn’t really force it to go any higher than 70 or 80. Maybe I’m doing something wrong?

    Sounds like you're doing something wrong. Both on failure to get different behavior by adjusting settings on the keyboard and by not knowing how to adjust velocity curves in Pianoteq.

    If you haven't found the keyboard setting that increases or decreases velocity values for same hardness of a keypress, I assure you it's there and it will change things. I don't know if it will get to full 127 value, but it would make it higher. (This also is not an issue with your keyboard that is relevant only to sending midi out. Your keyboard uses the same midi values internally as the ones it sends out. If you've so far been happy when playing the keyboard itself, but think something is worse when you're sending midi out, then you have an issue that is primarily psychological perception, not something based on reality.)

    As for Pteq, it's a quick adjustment in Pianoteq to get a velocity of 127 from every single keypress, from super-soft to super-hard and everything in between. Of course, that's not what you want either. But if you aren't able to adjust a velocity curve to do that then it seems you're not understanding something. Maybe you're still looking at the input velocities to Pteq, which of course will not have changed; the key is what they are after they've been processed by the velocity curve.)

  • The only buffer settings I use are 32 or 64, period.
    (Does not apply to music notation pograms).

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