Roland A-88 Review

The Roland A-88 is a standout MIDI keyboard, featuring Roland's impressive Ivory Feel-G Keyboard in slim form factor.

Roland A-88

UPDATE: This keyboard was featured in Gearank's 2016 guide to The Best 88 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.

This unit is designed as a slim MIDI controller for pianists that are looking for hardware with convincing piano key action and response. Its 88 keys feature Roland's Ivory Feel-G keybed with Escapement, which carefully mimics the behavior of hammers lifting off the strings. This results in authentic feeling keys that acoustic and classical pianists really appreciate.

It inherits its keyboard quality from Roland's successful range of Digital Pianos - so if you're a fan of them, you'll be an even bigger fan of the A-88!

Aside from its quality keys and sturdy hardware, the Roland 88 comes with a whole array of features. Most notable of which is its compatibility with three major operating systems - Windows, Mac and iOS - which means you can use this keyboard to control your favorite Mac and PC DAWs as well as your favorite iPad music production apps.

Although it specializes in authentic piano hammer action, the A-88 also comes with essential controls, including assignable knobs, switches, octave and transpose buttons and many more. This unit features keyboard splitting and layering, and it has dedicated inputs for sustain and expression.

Other cool features of the A-88 are Roland's bend/mod lever and the D-Beam controller. If you're not familiar with Roland's D-Beam, it's an infrared beam of light that you interact with simply by waving your hand over it. The picture above gives you a little bit of an idea, and you'll see it in action in the demo video below.

Roland A-88

Having been made by Roland, this controller features a dedicated SuperNatural mode for use when hooked up with Roland's SuperNatural instruments, like the Integra-7 sound module, or the Jupiter synths. This mode unlocks a variety of sound-selection features and allows for superior control over Roland's popular synth machines.

Having satisfied many professional pianists, Roland A-88's piano-like keys will not disappoint. It usually sells for $999.

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