M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro vs Akai MPC Studio: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro and the Akai MPC Studio.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is… especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!

I've got you covered.


I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.


Let get into it…

At A Glance:

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro


Akai MPC Studio

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Key Differences Between The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro And The Akai MPC Studio

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro vs Akai MPC Studio

The main differences between M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro and Akai MPC Studio are primarily in the design, features, and focus of the two MIDI controllers.

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is a full-sized, 88-key MIDI keyboard controller with graded hammer action that offers an authentic piano feel. It emphasizes on professional touch and authenticity in its design, making it ideal for users who value these attributes. The key features include Transpose, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator.

Moreover, one of its standout features is the Auto-Mapping functionality that easily maps the controller to several popular DAWs such as MPC Beats, Cubase, Logic, Studio One or any other major DAW.

On the other hand, Akai MPC Studio shines as a MIDI pad controller that comes bundled with various musical software packages for Mac and PC. While it doesn't have as many keys (the Akai MPK variant has 61 semi-weighted keys), it boasts large MPC-style pads perfect for rhythm creation.

  • The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro has more keys – 88 compared to Akai MPK's 61.
  • Akai MPC studio focuses on pad-based control over key-based control which M-Audio Hammer prioritizes.
  • The Akai MPC Studio is more geared towards rhythm creation through its significant pad section.
  • The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro stands out with its Auto-Mapping feature that makes software integration seamless.

In summary, your choice would depend on your personal preference – if you are looking for a larger number of keys with an authentic piano feel then the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro would be more suitable but if you prefer pads over keys then the Akai MPC Studio would be an excellent choice.

SpecificationsM-Audio Hammer 88 ProAkai MPC Studio
TypeMIDI ControllerMIDI Controller
Number of Keys8816 Pads
Key ActionHammer ActionVelocity and Pressure Sensitive Pads
PadsNo16 (Backlit)
Rotary EncodersYesYes
Transport ControlsYesYes
Power SupplyUSB Bus PowerUSB Bus Power
Dimensions11.9 x 5.0 x 55.9 inches1.6 x 11.2 x 10.1 inches
Weight38.5 lbs2.1 lbs

What You Need To Know About M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is a remarkable tool for anyone interested in music production. It's like the granddaddy of MIDI controllers, boasting 88 velocity-sensitive keys, giving you the feel of an authentic grand piano.

These aren't just regular keys either – they are graded and hammer action weighted with aftertouch and assignable zones. This means you can use them to play virtual sampler instruments and synthesizer plugins.

Our Hammer 88 Pro doesn't stop there! It also features 16 RGB backlit MIDI assignable drum pads that are velocity-sensitive. So whether you're into beat production, clip launching or triggering sounds on a soundboard – it's got you covered!

This mighty machine has other cool stuff too! Imagine having 8 knobs & buttons and 9 faders which can be assigned for real, tactile control of your music production needs – from virtual instruments to effect plugins to DAW controls!

Wondering about those extra techy things that could help your music go from great to phenomenal?

The Hammer 88 Pro has auto-mapping for DAW & plugin parameters; Smart Chord & Scale modes; an Arpeggiator; pitch & mod wheels; places for three foot switch pedals and an expression pedal input; even a classic 5-pin MIDI Output.

Now let's talk software: the Hammer comes ready with a complete package including Pro Tools | First M-Audio Edition, MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite plus seven virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech. Not enough? You'll also get nine Akai Professional MPC Expansion packs. So essentially this bad boy has all the tools you need right out of the box!

If this sounds like your dream studio equipment, do yourself a favor and check out the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro on their official website right now!

My 1 Month Review Of The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

My 1 Month Review Of The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Initial Impressions

From the moment I unboxed my M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, I knew I was in for a treat. This keyboard isn't your run-of-the-mill instrument—it's a sleek, well-designed and sophisticated piece of music making beauty.

Setup Process

Getting started with the Hammer 88 Pro was a breeze. The user manual is well written and easy to understand, which made the setup process smooth and painless—something that can't always be said about other music equipment out there.

Build Quality & Design
I was instantly impressed by this keyboard's build quality. It feels sturdy and reliable, so no need to worry about it falling apart mid-performance or during those intense late-night jam sessions.

I also love the design—the matte black finish gives it a sleek, professional look that simply commands respect.

After a month of use, my M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro showed no signs of wear or tear despite regular use and being moved around frequently—an essential factor for any serious musician who needs their gear to be road-ready at all times.

Performance & Features

  • Fully-Weighted Keys: The fully-weighted hammer action keys are truly something else. They provide an authentic piano-like feel that makes playing this keyboard an absolute joy.
  • Flexibility: The option to split or layer sounds is fantastic—this level of customization opens up countless possibilities for creativity.
  • Pitch Bend & Modulation Wheels:The pitch bend and modulation wheels add another layer of versatility and really spice up my performances.
  • Faders & Pads: The integrated faders are intuitive and really easy-to-use, while the pads make beat-making simple—even though it's not exactly what you’d expect from a traditional piano-style controller!
  • MIDI capability:If you're into digital music production like me, then you'd appreciate its built-in MIDI capabilities—a godsend for interfacing with various DAWs.

Value for Money

Honestly? The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro isn’t just affordable; it’s also excellent value-for-money considering its build quality and range of features. In short? It’s worth every cent!

In Conclusion

In just one month with the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, I’m already head over heels in love with this controller! Its superb design combined with impressive features makes it an amazing companion for any passionate musician.

It might not be perfect (what is?), but so far? My experience has been overwhelmingly positive.

What You Need To Know About Akai MPC Studio

The Akai MPC Studio is a super cool music-making machine. It's a mix of hardware and software from Akai Professional, perfect for creating beats and electronic music. Imagine having a workstation that has all the sounds you need, like basses, leads, effects, keyboards and a ton more!

This product pairs the classic hands-on feel of MPC hardware with the power of today's computers. So, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds while making your music.

Even better? There's also a software DAW-style environment included. This offers you a 128-track sequencer that is really versatile. It means you can play around with many layers and elements in your music without feeling limited.

If all this sounds interesting to you, check out more about the Akai MPC Studio on their official page!

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPC Studio

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPC Studio


From the get-go, I must admit that my experience with the Akai MPC Studio has been nothing short of amazing.

As a music producer, I have used many music production controllers but this one caught my attention and truly stood out. I've been using this device for about a month now, and I am thoroughly impressed.

Set-up & Software

One of the first things that struck me regarding this MPC was how simple it was to set up. The software installation process was straightforward, enabling me to get started without any hiccups. Only within a few minutes, I was off creating beats.

The included software is feature-rich and seamlessly integrated with the hardware. It comes with an extensive sample library, plug-ins and feature set which greatly enhanced my workflow.

Ease of Use & Portability

Next on my list of positives are ease of use and portability. This machine is incredibly user-friendly, even for someone who isn't particularly tech-savvy. The controls are intuitive while the backlit buttons add to its usability in different lighting conditions.

Aside from being easy to use, it's also highly portable; just slip it into your backpack and you’re ready for on-the-go sessions! This kind of freedom is priceless as inspiration can strike anywhere.

The Feel & Design

The Akai MPC Studio has a sleek design that just feels right. The solid build quality gives you confidence in its durability – it feels robust yet lightweight – perfect for production on-the-move.

I love how these guys put some thought into every aspect; from the quality drum pads right down to the scroll knob – everything works perfectly giving you full control over your production.

In Conclusion…

As far as critiques go, honestly…I’m struggling to find any major downsides. Perhaps if you’re used to larger units or different layouts there might be a slight learning curve but that’s hardly a downside considering what you get in return.

The Akai MPC Studio , in my opinion, stands out as one of those products that deliver exactly what they promise – seamless production capability packed inside a sleek design providing unbeatable value for its price point.

• Simple set-up
• Seamless software integration
• User-friendly controls
• Highly portable
• Solid build quality

In summary – one month later and I'm still head over heels in love with this piece of kit! It's taken my studio sessions up several notches since day one!

Who The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPC Studio

Who The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPC Studio

The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro and the Akai MPC Studio are both top-class MIDI controllers, but they cater to different musical needs and preferences.

The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is ideal for:

– Musicians seeking a full-sized, 88-key controller for a more traditional piano feel.

– Users who prioritize advanced features like Transpose, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator.

– Those who appreciate the convenience of an Auto-Mapping feature which easily integrates with popular DAWs.

– Artists who need additional accessories like a music tray and MIDI editor software.

This model would be particularly appealing to players needing a professional touch with authentic piano feel.

The Akai MPC Studio, on the other hand, may be more suitable for:

– Users favoring rhythm creation using sizeable MPC-style pads.

– Those preferring a compact keyboard solution with fewer keys (61 semi-weighted keys in the MPK variant).

– Artists requiring bundled musical software packages for Mac and PC.

Individuals drawn to rhythm production would likely find the Akai's pad-based design more appealing.

Remember that your choice between these two should largely rest on personal preference, your unique requirements as an artist, and compatibility with your preferred music production software.

Who The Akai MPC Studio Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Who The Akai MPC Studio Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Who is the Akai MPC Studio For?
The Akai MPC Studio is a prime choice for music creators who lean more towards beat-making and DJing. Its prominent features, including sizeable MPC-style pads, are perfect for creating intricate rhythms and beats. This MIDI controller is further ideal for those who prefer working with a compact device that takes up less space but still delivers top-notch performance.

Why Choose the Akai MPC Studio Over the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro?

Strong Emphasis on Beat Creation: Unlike the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, which places a heavy emphasis on piano-like performance, the Akai MPC Studio excels in beat creation. Its sizeable pads offer an intuitive and tactile platform for beat-makers.

MPC Software Packages: The Akai MPC Studio comes bundled with several music software packages suitable for both Mac and PC users. This offers you a variety of creative tools to explore and enhance your musical prowess.

Compact Size: If having a compact setup is your preference, then you might find the smaller footprint of the Akai MPC Studio appealing as opposed to the full-sized M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro.

While it's important to note that personal preference plays a considerable role in selection, if you're primarily interested in creating beats with an easy-to-navigate pad-based interface, then opting for the Akai MPC Studio might serve your needs best.

If the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro and Akai MPC Studio aren't quite what you're looking for, don't worry—I've got more comparisons you can check out.

I've done a deep dive into how the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro stacks up against other popular models such as the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 and Novation 61SL Mk3.

If you're curious about how it fares with a model from Native Instruments, take a look at my comparison with Komplete Kontrol S61.

And of course, I couldn't leave out Arturia's other popular controller. Check out my comparison of the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro vs Arturia KeyStep Pro.

I hope these posts help you find just the right gear for your music-making adventure!


What makes the graded hammer action of the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro unique compared to other MIDI keyboards?

The u003cbu003egraded hammer actionu003c/bu003e of the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is designed to emulate the feel of an acoustic piano. This feature makes it unique because it offers variable resistance based on pitch, meaning lower notes have a heavier touch while higher ones are more responsive to lighter playing. This gives musicians a feeling remarkably close to playing an acoustic piano which is typically not present in most MIDI keyboards.

How does the Akai MPC Studio enhance music production experience with its pad controller?

The Akai MPC Studio features sizeable u003cbu003eMPC-style padsu003c/bu003e, which provide users with tactile control over sound production. These pads are pressure and velocity-sensitive, providing a high level of expressiveness when creating rhythms or triggering samples. The integration with bundled software packages allows users to sample, sequence and program beats directly from their computer, greatly enhancing their production workflow.

In terms of software compatibility and integration, how do these two models compare?

Both models offer robust software integrations but in slightly different ways. The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro boasts an u003cbu003eAuto-Mapping featureu003c/bu003e, making it instantly compatible with several popular DAWs like MPC Beats, Cubase, Logic and Studio One among others. On the other hand, Akai MPC Studio comes bundled with numerous musical software packages for both Mac and PC users – ensuring seamless integration for beat-making or music creation workflows.

If I am looking for additional features apart from keys or pads in my MIDI controller what can these two models offer me?

Apart from keys or pads both models come packed with additional useful features. The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro offers Transpose function , Chord Mode , Arpeggiator , an included music tray as well as built-in MIDI editor software all aiming at enhancing your composition process . On its part ,Akai MPC Studios’s strength lies in its deep integration capabilities through bundled music softwares adding versatility to your song creatives process.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Midi Keyboard

1. Assess Your Needs

Before you dive into the wonderful world of MIDI keyboards, it's critical to evaluate what you need in your music production setup. One person might be infatuated with the sumptuous M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, with its incredibly realistic weighted keys, while another might be more drawn to the compact and highly portable Akai MPC Studio.

Are you looking for a simple keyboard to input melodies into your digital audio workstation (DAW), or do you require a full-fledged performance instrument laden with knobs and sliders? Understanding your specific needs is key when buying a MIDI controller online.

2. Reflect on Your Comfort Level With Software

A crucial part of using a MIDI keyboard is interacting with music software. Are you adept at using DAWs, or are you just starting out? Some models have extensive control options that may seem overwhelming for beginners but could be appreciated by seasoned producers looking for quick access to software features.

Let's not forget about the amazing capabilities of drum machines and samplers too! The Akai MPC Studio offers an integrated pad controller along with impressive sampling abilities.

3. Don't Neglect the Size Factor

Size matter when it comes to studio equipment, especially if you're aiming for a portable studio setup.. If space is limited or if your work often requires mobility, smaller keyboards can deliver great performances without demanding much room.

However, music producers craving full piano-scale experience will prefer an 88-key behemoth like the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro – although bear in mind this will take up more real estate in your workspace.

4. Consider Key Type: Weighted vs Non-weighted

One important factor that should influence your decision is key type- weighted or non-weighted keys? These provide very different playing experiences; as an example, most pianists prefer weighted keys as they are designed to replicate the feel of an acoustic piano accurately.

5. Research Brand Reputation

When investing in new gear like a MIDI controller or keyboard controller, brand reputation matters significantly – no one desires unreliable equipment! Names like M-Audio and Akai have proven track records in delivering quality studio instruments that perform consistently over time.

6.Examine The Extras

In addition to all these essential factors when buying Midi keyboards online, don’t forget about those extra goodies! Look for bonus features such as built-in speakers, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity,and/or bundled software that can truly enhance your music-making experience.

7.Reading Customer Reviews Should Never Be Overlooked

One excellent strategy when shopping online is reading customer reviews – these offer unfiltered insights into how different controllers function in real-world situations.

There’s no doubt that finding the right MIDI keyboard plays an integral role in shaping up any music producer’s creative journey. By keeping these seven steps top-of-mind during your search process,you can bring home some new gear that offers just what you need.

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle