advice for bewildered novice!

Hi Everyone,
I have just bought an M-Audio Keystation88 from Ebay ( no instructions/manual included )and although I do read and play music on guitar and piano- I have no real idea how to get started with playing and recording using computers.
Could I use the Audacity downloads in order to get going or, do I have to buy special software packages first?
I wish I was not so ignorant on these matters but I am a child of the analogue world and need your help to catch up!
Any not-too-technical helpful hints welcome¬

Many Thanks-Kropper

The M-Audio Keystation 88 is a “MIDI Controller Keyboard”. That means that it does not produce sounds from itself, but controls sounds from other things by sending “MIDI commands”. Typically you would use a keyboard like this with a “MIDI Sequencer” program, or connected to a synth / sound module that you could then play and/or record live.

Audacity only has very rudimentary support for MIDI - not much more than being able to display MIDI files. Audacity is very much a program for working with audio rather than MIDI.

I’d suggest that you look here for a manual for either the Keystation 88 or a similar product:
(When I searched that page for “Keystation 88” it offered me the user guide for the “CTRL49”, which looks like it’s a similar thing.)

Thanks very much for your very helpful reply Steve, there is certainly a lot to learn and I will apply myself to that.For a start I will look up the M-Audio site you mentioned and download what I can to find out what I need to be doing.
I now realise that I must buy some software and have been looking at the Ableton range, I won’t commit to any particular one until I know what I need from it.
Very Best Wishes

Wish me luck!

Not necessarily, or not necessarily spend hundreds. There are a few applications here you could look at