Piano Keyboard - what are you using? Pros and Cons?

I want to buy a new keyboard but I’m not sure what to get. Just sold a FA08 I got years ago. Never used the sequencer or sampler or the sounds really. Hated the menu diving to the point that I just didn’t use it.

I’m a Roland fan and am looking at the RD88 for the PHA-50 keybed. But, the jog wheel and menu feel antiquated and menu dive-y. But really it’s the Roland sound. I have Zenology Pro so I have “the sound” and can go with a diff brand.

I tried the Arturia Keylab 88 MK2 but the fact that I can’t just play it bothers me. Yeah, I know that’s what a MIDI controller is. I thought I would like it but I don’t.

I’ve heard that the Yamaha’s play really well with Cubase (duh!). I played a MX88 and a MOXF8 at the store today. They keys had a bit of spring in them that created a nice bounce. The MOXF had a better display and seemed to have more features. Then there’s the MODX too.

Then Roland just released the Fantom 0 series a few weeks ago. Seems to have a lot of the Fantom features. But it’s a lot like the FA and I’m sure I won’t use so many of those features.

To sum up, here are some of the attributes I’m thinking about.
Cost: $1000-$2000
Good Keybed
88 keys
Good sounds and lots of them
A modern interface like a touch screen would be nice.
Sound control - cutoff, ADSR, etc
Not looking for a Midi controller
Don’t need sequencer or sampler
Not sure if I really need an audio interface in my keyboard
Plays well with Cubase 12 Pro and Mac M1
Use will be playing midi into Cubase and recording the audio of the unit.

Maybe hearing what you have and why you like it or why you don’t like it will help me. So what are you using? What are the pros and cons for you?


For me, the only important thing is the keyboard on the MIDI keyboard. I have other devices to control Cubase (DAW controller) or to send other MIDI messages. Choose the keyboard, which is the best playable for you. At least, this is what I did.

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The MODX8 covers most of these things very, very well for a great price.
Just be aware that if you also want to use it as a DAW Remote/control surface, it doesn’t play very well with the new MIDI Remote API in Cubase 12 (but you can use it with the legacy Mackie Remote protocol). This might (should!) change with a firmware update.
Apart from that, you really need to test it somewhere, as keybed opinions vary a lot.

That’s very subjective.
Some people love Yamaha’s, but I just can’t play them.
I’m sold to Roland’s keybeds.
You could consider the RD-800. (it has a joystick (not mod wheels) and has a great PHA-4)
I have the RD-2000 - I highly recommend - maybe you could find in the used market with some luck.
There’s also the FP series, if you value having built-in speakers.

I have two options for you based on my experience and what I use:
(1) Get the MOXF8, its much better than any of the medium ranges including MODX ranges; and/or
(2) Get the Korg Krome 88 as it has a very good keybed calibrated as natural feel just like the MOXF8.

I have both keyboards and use them to complement each other. Differing sounds, so that works well for me. The Korg has touch screen which is very good for navigation. Both have fantastic sounds. The Korg often has immediately usable sounds for production. The MOXF8 has fantastic sounds also, a lot of it very usable immediately, but then you might also need to use the effects to process some of it to get them to sound like what you want. The MOXF8 is for serious professionals into sound design…more like it. The Korg is for immediate production…so whichever way you look at it, if you have both, you can do serious work as a sound designer or just as a production hobbyist.