General Review:

Beat creation, MIDI sequencing, and live performance control are all possible with Akai’s MPK49 USB/MIDI controller. Featuring a sleek black design, this 49-key, semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch comes with 12 MPC-style drum pads with 4 pad banks each for a total of 48 total pads.

The pads have swing parameters that can be applied to the MPC Note Repeat function and the MPK49 keyboard’s own arpeggiator for instant creation of ear-catching riff effects. They also feature the MPC-style Full Level and 12 Level velocity functions.

Included in the array of assignable controls are 8 full-sized, 360-degree rotation pots, 8 full-sized sliders, and 8 backlit switches. All of them come with 3 banks, giving you a total of 24 pots, 24 sliders, and 24 switches to play with. Amongst the other assignable inputs are an expression pedal, footswitch, pitch bend, and modulation wheel. The MPK49 MIDI keyboard controller also has Tap Tempo and time-division buttons allow for realtime control of Note Repeat and Arpeggio clock speeds.

The large, custom LCD display makes it easy to see what you’re working with, whether in the dark atmosphere of a nightclub or in the comfy confines of the studio.

akai mpk49 review electronic dance musicAkai Professional MPK49 Keyboard USB MIDI Controller Features:

  • 8 full-sized, 360 degree rotation pots, each with 3 banks for 24 pots total
    MPC-style note repeat and all new arpeggiator
    8 full-sized sliders with 3 controller banks each for 24 sliders total
    8 assignable backlit switches with 3 controller banks each for 24 switches total
    MMC/MIDI Start-Stop transport buttons
    Large, easy-to-read custom LCD display

Akai Professional MPK49 Keyboard USB MIDI Controller Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 29″L x 12″W x 4″H
    Weight: 13lb.

The Down & Dirty:

The only real negative about the Akai MPK is the lack of sensitivity in the drum pads. The sensitivity is a quick fix though. I did it myself. You just need to unscrew the back of the MPK, remove the pads, add some strips of duct tape to the back of the pads, and then put the pads back in. It’s really easy, but it voids your warranty. ┬áDon’t try it with out researching some more.


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