M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro


3dc

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If you are in the market for 88 key midi controller check out the new M-Audio Graded Hammer-Action USB MIDI Controller with Smart Controls and Auto-Mapping. They essentially combined the M-Audio Oxygen Pro features with refreshed Hammer 88. The price is 752 EUR here in EU and to me extremely competitive compared with other 88 key controllers.

More info on M-Audio page and on YouTube

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SeaGtGruff

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I'm glad they added all those controls, because one of the things that was holding me back from getting the original Hammer 88 was its scarcity of controls.
 

3dc

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I'm glad they added all those controls, because one of the things that was holding me back from getting the original Hammer 88 was its scarcity of controls.
I forgot to add that it comes with aftertouch and the keybed is probably Fatar TP/100LR. I also have to say that sliders and knobs are probably not very precise and pads are a bit stiff. I know that because they are the same as on my Oxygen Pro 61 however at this price range I guess they are fine enough.
Overall it looks like great "all in one" 88 key midi controller. I am very tempted to place an order but with 142 cm in length I am not sure where to put it in my ultra tinny studio. :p
 
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The M Audio units I have tried in store have not been of the best quality compared to other brands, it does seem though that it is quite well equipted.

Retails in UK @ £570.

My preference would be a Studiologic SL88 which also has aftertouch on its TP100 keybed @ £360 and add a Studiologic Mixface at £185 for the sliders and pads.
 
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I don't understand the obsession of putting pitch and modulation controls to the side of the keybed, makes the keyboard that much longer and really impractical.
As @3dc says, I agree that it is too long, which could have been avoided.
Having said this, the normal Hammer 88 seems to be decent quality, no idea if the keybed on that one is Fatar or not. I did hear criticism concerning the quite sharp edges of the keys, though.
Still, the Hammer Pro seems to be a good deal for the price. Could interest me as well, I even considered the normal Hammer 88 but unfortunately, too long for my use case...
 
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3dc

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The M Audio units I have tried in store have not been of the best quality compared to other brands, it does seem though that it is quite well equipted.

Retails in UK @ £570.

My preference would be a Studiologic SL88 which also has aftertouch on its TP100 keybed @ £360 and add a Studiologic Mixface at £185 for the sliders and pads.

I had many times Studiologic SL88 Grand, with Mixface and all accessories already in shopping cart but then I would change my mind. Its to risky for me. I read to many bad reviews about display going out after one year, partially working software, bad keys or poor assembly and more or less useless joysticks. The problem is I really like SL88 Grand keybed. In the end I decided to save money either for MODX8 or something completely new on the market. This Hammer 88 Pro is really tempting. :p
 
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3DC
Yes, I know what you mean.

Early last year I travelled 50km to a Music Store to try out a Numa Compact 2x only to find that they had sold it that morning so I left the store with a Roland A800 which I soon returned for a Yamaha P121.

I bought my Numa Compact 2X online the spur of the moment a couple of weeks ago and time will tell if it stands up to action, two weeks in and I am loving the feel of the TP9 keybed, the sounds. The build quality is better than the Yamaha which was a similar price and although the sliders and knobs look a bit cheap the action of them feels smooth and robust.

Which reminds me I must register it.

I did try a MODX, the 61 key version (the keybed of which sucked) about 15 months ago. Did not like the Menu system, the LCD was very cramped with everything they have placed on the display, that multi function knob was a pain to use. Worst of all was the sounds, piano’s were excellent strings strained, brass best forgotten. I was swapping between it and a Roland FA, and to me the FA was vastly superior and had Roland updated it in January 2020 I would have bought an FA07. To each there own though, for most keyboard players the MODX is probably a good buy at its price point which is £1300 for the 88 key version.
 
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41 pounds; in contrast their semi-weighted Code 61 keyboard was 11 pounds... Something is amiss here.
Similar to the 30-ish pound difference between a Montage 6 and a Montage 8. Maybe actually more understandable on the M-Audio, since I think the Code has a plastic chassis while I think the hammer 88 boards have metal chassis. (Both Montages have metal chassis.)

I forgot to add that it comes with aftertouch and the keybed is probably Fatar TP/100LR
Doubtful that it's a TP100... it probably wouldn't be that heavy, plus they say it has a graded action, and AFAIK there is no graded version of a TP100.
 

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Doubtful that it's a TP100... it probably wouldn't be that heavy, plus they say it has a graded action, and AFAIK there is no graded version of a TP100.

Yeah you are right.
I checked on the net and it looks like Hammer 88 have a modified version of Medeli K6 keybed also used in Kurzweil. I can only assume then that Hammer 88 Pro is on the same or similar keybed but with added aftertouch, but its too early to speculate.

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Yeah you are right.
I checked on the net and it looks like Hammer 88 have a modified version of Medeli K6 keybed
Some kind of Chinese action (lke Medelli) makes more sense. I think M-Audio has always used Chinese actions. I don't think they've ever used Fatar. Probably too pricey, considering M-Audio's general price points.
 
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I actually have one of these coming within the next week. It came down to this or the Komplete Kontrol S88 MKII. Those (plus some super-long Doepfer units) are the only 88-key controlelrs that have pitch and mod wheels to the left of the keys. While I appreciate that wheels above allow a keyboard to be shorter, they are never in a position where one can use the mod wheel without taking the hands off of the keybed. And most of these boards don't have multiple expression pedal inputs to "hack" around that issue. Which creates a disaster if you use a lot of layers with filter sweeps, fade ins, etc. And of course joysticks and paddles don't stay put (except on the Studiologic stick #2 on the SL boards, which are also super sparse on controls), which is its own problem. So the only other options would have been $4000 large, heavy flagship workstations. Not practical.

The Komplete Kontrol S88 MKII looked good except I believe it's a Fatar TP-100, which I've never liked (at least not in the various Nord and Studiologic Acuna implementations). The other issue is that I saw a fair number of reports of the keybed wearing out after a year. Not okay for almost $1,100. The weight would have been nice though, at around 30 lbs.

Anyway, it seems like the Hammer 88 Pro has a ton of functionality. I'm actually buying it for use with a rack setup at college, in lieu of my 100lb Motif XF8 & case combo which is also too large to use here. I debated buying the original Hammer 88, but I wanted more controls. I will say that I've seen very few complaints (none actually) about the Hammer 88's keybed wearing out, so hopefully this will be a solid product.

Let me know if anyone has any burning questions.
 
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3dc

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Let me know if anyone has any burning questions.

Yeah what DAW do you intend to use with Hammer 88 Pro?

I am on FL Studio with Oxygen Pro 61 ( little brother of Hammer 88 Pro ) and while most functions work some just don't. I find this Mackie/HUI control "standard" more of a guideline.

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Its unbelievable to me that from 1981 till now no one ever figured out how to program properly a MIDI keyboard controller for DAW. And its not just M-Audio but all of them including Korg, Yamaha, Roland with their synths and workstations. Like the midi keyboard is so complicated its intended to drive a space rocket to the Moon. Geez. :rolleyes:
I find Roland implementation of Midi 2.0 hilarious in Roland A-88 MKII. Somebody should tell them to fix the 1.0 implementation first. Did you guys know that from 5 pins only three are actually used in MIDI? The other two must be spare channels for satellite control. :D:D

Fortunately M-Audio comes with Preset Editor so you can adjust a thing or two but not everything and not in every DAW - Pro Tools and Cubase included. o_O
 
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Yeah what DAW do you intend to use with Hammer 88 Pro?

I am on FL Studio with Oxygen Pro 61 ( little brother of Hammer 88 Pro ) and while most functions work some just don't. I find this Mackie/HUI control "standard" more of a guideline.
...
I can answer that right off the bat before the Hammer 88 Pro gets here. :D I'm going to be using it with Cubase (Elements 10.5 and Pro 10.5), as well as Mainstage (not a DAW, but similar enough to Logic). I also have the free version of Studio One, but I don't plan on doing anything with that. Otherwise I'll be using it with a physical rack of synth modules for gigs etc.
 
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If they would make a 76 key semi-weighted with all of the controllers like the 88, with expression, sustain and midi jack, I'd buy it.
 
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If they would make a 76 key semi-weighted with all of the controllers like the 88, with expression, sustain and midi jack, I'd buy it.
More functionality than you need, but the best solution might end up being the forthcoming Kurz PC4-7, which has the virtue of having more controls than your PC3 (the additional 9 knobs) and being half the weight. $1799 is a lot for a controller, but if it meant you could also sell your PC3 and put those dollars toward it, your cash out of pocket might be less than any theoretical 76 controller with the features you want would end up being anyway. The big question for me right now is what those keys will feel like...
 
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So...I contacted M-Audio a few days back about an issue I'm having. My Hammer 88 Pro hangs notes randomly - like it's not sensing note off messages. And the octave shift buttons will activate on their own while I play occasionally.

M-Audio hasn't responded to my support inquiry yet, but I called up Sweetwater and they decided it's defective and are sending me a replacement overnight. They've sold 70 so far and have had three support tickets including mine, but the others were things like software installation directions etc, so mine is the first report of a keybed issue or octave shift issue. Hopefully this replacement unit won't have any problems. I am kind of wishing I had remembered that the Physis K4EX existed (Thomann still has a few in stock it appears) - I would have gotten one of those right off the bat instead of dealing with this. :rolleyes:
 
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