Hi,

i'm looking for a good midi controller with realistic keys for under 1000$.

I'll be using it just as a controller, not for the sound. I'll be using it with various virtual instruments but mainly with a virtual piano (Ravenscroft), so i'm looking for something that can resemble a real one.

A full digital piano would be ok too, but the whole sound part would be wasted, so i was thinking i could get a better deal with a controller.

Since i'm using it for other instruments too, some must have are:
  • Pitch/Modulation wheel or joystick (mappable to other CC)
  • Split over differents midi channels
  • Expression pedal

In addition aftertouch would be nice, but i consider a good keyboard far more important.

I'm not a professional musician but this is just a hobby, so i don't require extreme realism.

For the moment i'm leaned toward the Roland A-88.
The Kawai VPC-1 is out of my budget, plus it doesn't have the features that i've previously mentioned.
Another candidate would be the Akai mpk88, but the keyboard doesn't seem at the level of the Roland.

I know that the best option would be to try them, but i live in an area where that is not feasible, so i have to rely just on what i read online.

What do you think about the Roland? What other controller would you suggest me?