Studiologic SL88 Studio

88 Key Controller Keyboard

  • Weighted hammer action keyboard TP/100LR with Aftertouch
  • 6 Way joystick control
  • 3 Function buttons
  • 4 Programmable zones
  • 4 Programmable pedal connectors
  • 3 Joystick controllers
  • TFT colour display (320 x 240 px)
  • Editable and programmable software (SL Editor)
  • Programmable Key-Balance function
  • 6 Editable velocity curves
  • Magnetic rail system for holding sheet music and laptop (holders not included)
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 1260 x 310 x 125 mm
  • Weight: 13.7 kg
  • Power adapter (9 V DC, 1 A) and PS 100 sustain pedal included

Yderligere info

Hammer Action Keys Yes
Aftertouch Yes
Split Zones 4
Layer function No
Pitch Bend / Modulation Yes
Rotary Encoder 1
Fader (Amount) 0
Pads 0
Display Yes
MIDI interface 1x In, 2x Out
Sustain Pedal Connection Yes
USB-port Yes
Mains Operation Yes
Bus-Powered No

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Studiologic SL88 Studio + K&M 18950 +
9 flere
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Fra 3.699 DKK
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92 Kundens vurdering:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.5 /5
  • betjening
  • features
  • forarbejdning
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A VERY GOOD jack of all trades - Master at none
noodletoon, 19.03.2018
Context:
I purchased the Studiologic SL88 Studio controller primarily to use with orchestral sample instruments.

I went specifically for the "studio" version with the fatar tp100 keys as I wanted a middleground between fully weighted keys and a lighter action for organ/synth type instruments.


Overall:
The studiologic SL88 studio is a very good midi controller.
It has a simple and elegant design, it does not look nor feel like a plastic toy with disco lights.
The overall build quality is very good.
The metal chassis is very sturdy and inspires confidence.
Due to its simple feature set, there this overly complicated setup and no midi mapping to deal with, except if one wanted to map the joysticks with specific functions.

Keys and action:
The keys are very good compared to many midi controllers, they feel similar to the keys on my Nord Electro.
However they are on the lighter side and and have an odd springy feel once they are pressed all the way down.
Over time i have gotten used to the feel and it does not bother me too much.

Peripherals:
The controller features 3 joysticks in place of the traditional mod/pitch wheels.
The joysticks have a very short physical range and feel rather flimsy to the touch, I have no confidence that they will last with heavy use.
Due to the short range, it is very difficult to make finer adjustments, but I do not use them at all as I prefer a seperate fader controller for most types of midi cc.

The screen is very bright (even when usb powered) and has a very simple and intuitive layout for the active zones.

The menu is very pleasantly laid out as well with a simple hierarchy - as such there is not much "menu diving" and once the initial configuration is done, zones can easily be controlled from the main screen.
(This is only useful if the controller is used to control instruments outside of the computer, e.g. synths/drum machines)

The menu joystick feels a bit flimsy as well, but as it is only needed for configuration, I would assume that it will not be used often enough to wear it out.


Software editor:
Configuration software for the SL88 keyboards is available for download on studiologics download page.
Besides the obvious zone configuration (midi zones / splits, joystic CC values etc.), there is also an editor for velocity curves for the keyboard.
This is a very pleasant feature which allows to either pick and choose from preset velocity curves or to "draw" a custom velocity curve (using the mouse for example) inside of the editor.


Conclusion:
As mentioned a few times, its a very good controller (when compared to the current available offerings).

After using this keyboard for nearly 2 years I find that I works well for most tasks, being a lighter type keyboard it can be used for different types of instruments (e.g. pianos, synths, organs etc).

However it's versatility is debatable.
Having a lighter keybed I feel I have to work harder to achieve finer dynamics (expression) when dealing with orchestral samples such as strings and end up spending additional time on "mouse" adjusting velocity levels after.

Similarly the keybed is light but not synth light, and feels too heavy for playing synth instruments.

(I think this is a common issue with solutions which attempt to solve everything)

Despite these "issues", I am still using the keyboard every day.
If I had to replace the controller tomorrow, I would buy the "grand" version instead or any other controller with fully weighted keys similar to the TP40 type keys of fatar and a seperate keyboard with synth action.

But for anyone on a budget (or with budget constraints) this is a very good and versatile keyboard.
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Grymt, 10.05.2020
I was looking for an 88 keys midi masterkeyboard with a piano feel, that wouldn't make too much noise. I use it for my DAW (Reaper), to compose music with VST's. I'm not a well trained pianist, but took lessons for 3 years and I know how a piano feels. And if I could choose again, I would have made a different choise.

The SL88 is sort of OK.
I own a piano, and the SL doesn't play like a piano at all, but other keyboards that I tried felt the same or worse. I didn't try the most expensive ones though, such as a Doepfer or Kawai.

The keys are a bit hard and muddy to press at first, just like the Arturia Keylab 88 (still MKi back then). Same Fatar TP/100 LR keybed. But after even a few days of playing the resistance is going down considerally. Alas, the noise becomes much bigger as well. After a year of playing, I can hear and feel where my hand is, in the dark and without switching the power on: the lowest keys still have a bit of resistance, and they're much more quiet. None are as noisey as my old M-audio Code49 though.

I doubted a lot back then between the Arturia, which had a few problems with Dead On Arrivals according to the reviews, and the SL88. I've got a bit of regret. I really miss having a pitch and modulation wheel. The tiny joysticks on the SL88 are quite useless: you can never give any nuance to for instance the vibrato of a violin with such a small travel.

I bought a second hand BCF2000 with 100 mm faders to do that now, and a Native Instruments Maschine MK3 for the pads. So with the Arturia, twice the price of the SL88, I would have spend much less money, and also I'm still not sure where to park all this equipment.

My old footswitch doesn't work on the SL, as Studiologic wants you to buy theirs for extra $$. I hate that. Oh, if you want faders, you can get Studiologics SL Mixface, but don't do that. You can't assign any new CC number to those faders, which in my mind is the only reason why you would buy such a thing. They don't seem to have any idea of what their users want, apart from having okayish keys for a low price.

Still, not everything is bad. You can set sensitivity of the keys, there's aftertouch, it's cheap, the build is not bad apart from being a bit noisey, and nothing broke so far. Or did it? I've got a problem with double midi notes being sent, that I could only solve by switching off one of the triple sensortechnology...

It's such a pity I can't control my DAW with my 120 year old piano. The SL keys are much slower than my standing piano's, they feel plastic, you really need to hammer to get more then just a low volume, and they make much more noise when playing softly then the old piano, that has much and much more dynamic.

But at least you don't have to tune this one, and my old piano, well, sadly it's too old to tune, and my piano tuner gave up on it.

End verdict: this is not worth more than its price. It's quite OK for the cost, but don't expect too much.
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