Swissonic ControlKey 88

USB MIDI Keyboard and Controller

  • 88 Semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys with Aftertouch
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheel
  • 16 Velocity sensitive trigger pads
  • 9 Faders
  • 9 Rotary control knob
  • 9 Mute and Solo buttons
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Transport controls: Rewind, fast forward, stop, play, record
  • Octave transpose button
  • Menu buttons: Menu, scene, bank, track, patch, channel, page, value, enter, exit
  • Assignable features for trigger pads: Bank, velocity curve, 8 levels, full level, hold, roll, Aftertouch and mode
  • 30 Scene memory slots
  • 6.3 mm Jack input for sustain or expression pedal
  • 5-Pin MIDI output
  • USB port for transferring MIDI to computer
  • Power supply via USB or optional power adaptor 9V 500 mA
  • USB cable included
  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 1283 x 320 x 87 mm

Further Information

Hammer Action Keys No
Aftertouch Yes
Split Zones 0
Layer function No
Pitch Bend / Modulation Yes
Rotary Encoder 8
Fader (Amount) 9
Pads 16
Display Yes
MIDI interface 1x Out
Sustain Pedal Connection Yes
USB-port Yes
Mains Operation Yes
Bus-Powered Yes

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Swissonic ControlKey 88 + K&M 18950 +
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starting from $365
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78 Customer Ratings
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4 /5
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  • features
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Total
handling
features
quality
Swissonic ControlKey 88 Master Keyboard Review
08.05.2015
The beggining of the sory was not so funny.
The first Swissonic ControlKey 88 that came in my studio from Thomann was defect.
No aftertouch with the keybooard except pads.
No way to assign MIDI cc manually with the master fader (The 9th one)
Thomann replace immediatly the defect unit with another.
Great ! Keys Aftertouch works now.
But I can find any way to program my own midi cc to this master fader (S09)
It works with pre-programmed DAW setups (Cubase, ProTools, Logic) but if want to copy one of those pre-programmed setups to a user bank or program manually a different cc to this fader. This is not working. Bug ? (firmware of my unit is v1.17)

Pros:

- Robust, solid ans stable structure. The keyboard will not move on your desktop.
- Good semi-weighted key touch impression. Key sensitivity is high but tweakable.
- pads are solid and velocity/polypressure sensitive
- Those blue led lignts give a pretty look and are useful with rotative pots whre a a led shows you are in the middle of the course (pan pot)
- you can change parameters of each pads (note, channel?) choose several velocity/polypressure modes. Hold and roll modes.
- DAW pre-programmed setups seem working so far. I tested the « Cubase Scene » with Mackie Control device setup loaded into Cubase Software. The Swissonic can send and receive DAW midi messages on a second virtual midi port and then reflect some DAW states (play, rec, ?)
- the USB power of the computer (iMac her) was enough for the keyboard. No need of external Power Adapter.

Cons:

- Toggle switches are not very easy to play with. If you press just too long time (half a second or so) on it, the value increment/decrement of 2 or more?
- the modwheel rubs a little bit on metal structure of the keyboard. The adjustment of pieces are a little bit approx.
- The rotattive faders are a little bit hard to? rotate. They are unusable at the same time you play (as cutoff parameter for example). These are more DAW control oriented.
- the manual is very incomplete. there are many things undocumented.
- it seems impossible to copy DAW presets into user banks without loose some parameters.
- no way to program master fader (S09)
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Total
handling
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Good quality/price ratio
Progressive rock composer, 17.09.2019
I use this keyboard with Fruity Loops and many plug ins. At first glance it was heavy, lots and lots of binding knobs/buttons, learning and exploring. My previous keyboard had only keys and nothing else, it is groundbreaking update for me. Midi and power cable is not included but it is powered by usb port. I would not give this to your 10 year old daughter, unless she is super intelligent genius, but it is versatile tool that need some time to set it up to your needs.

+ Bargain price.
+ Keys feel okay to acoustic piano player, I was expecting a lot worse.
+ Pitch and modulation knob are excellent quality.

- Drumpads need some serious punching, light touch does not register. My cheap akai lpd8 does better job than this.
- All the other knobs/buttons are cheap plastic and they have ugly snap sound when pressed. E1-E8 knobs have specially awful feeling. This product would be better without those knobs...
- Quality is not constant. My B key feels embarrassingly different than others. Not much, but it is there.

If you are planning to get this, don't worry, my review sounds worse than it is. This might be your best shot for budget home studio.
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Best MIDI controller you can find
OGsus, 23.03.2019
First of all, I'm not a professional. I'm a hobbyist so keep this in mind throughout.

I think this is the best MIDI controller you can find. At the very least, it's got the best price/quality ratio, hands down.

This keyboard has most of the features you can ask for in a MIDI keyboard: 8 octaves, sustain and expression pedal inputs, aftertouch and lots of knobs, sliders and pads.

There's also the fact that the keys aren't weighted. This, to me, is a bonus. The way I see it, if the keys aren't weighted, it's slightly harder to control velocity (keyword: slightly) and this helps you learn better control. The hugely lower price (because of not having weighted keys) is a given.

A detail I appreciated, compared to a cheaper keyboard I owned: the black keys' springs are just as light as the white keys'. Meaning you don't get more velocity from one or the other.

The pitchbend spring is very tight, immediately returns to initial position, giving you nice control. If you're into synths, you might like this.

Build quality is excellent. The thing is very heavy and sturdy. It's made of aluminum or some other alloy and very large screws are used. To me it feels very solid though I haven't had it for long.
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Swissonic ControlKey 88
laerti, 04.06.2020
Usage:
I bought it for studio use because it has the drum pads and the mixing faders and controls for DAW's,so i could get rid of a few extra devices in the studio.
I tried to use this for studying classical pieces but it seems to me that it doesn't fit the job since the semi-weighted keys aren't capable of giving you the feeling and dynamics of a real piano.But mostly for inputing notes in the studio and also maybe a couple of live applications i thinks this keyboard would do a good job.
Build quality:
It is seems a really sturdy piece of gear that might live long but sometimes the buttons feel a little hard to press.Also sometimes the buttons get a double press which i think is a software issue which can be fixed with a firmware update.Some people think its heavy but its not bad considering the size,
Pros:
1.A lot of helpful features
2.Really sturdy
3.For the price i don't think you can find any better
Cons
1.The semi-weighted keys could have been built to have a better feeling.
2.The usage is a bit counter-intuitive at first,takes a bit of learning.
So to sum up i'm happy with this addition for my studio i think i'm gonna keep it for a long time.
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$252
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