Akai Intros MPK49 USB/MIDI Performance Controller with MPC Pads

Akai MPK 49

Musikmesse: Akai Professional has introduced a keyboard controller that’s so cool, we don’t even mind that they’re using the cool “glowing keyboard” effect from our site banner.

The MPK49 is part MPC, part control surface and part keyboard. What could have been a frankenkeyboard, though, looks like it’s a supermodel.

The MPK49 combines a high-quality, 49-key, semi-weighted, aftertouch equipped keyboard with 12 MPC-style drum pads. 48 total pads are accessible via 4 pad banks. The pads feature the popular MPC Note Repeat function and Swing parameters. The MPK49 performance controller also features its own built-in arpeggiator for making quick creative riffs. These features make the MPK49 ideal for anyone wishing to have powerful hardware control of their digital audio workstation (DAW), software plug-ins, or virtual instruments.

Here are the details:

Unique to its class, the MPK49 delivers a full suite of controls that include:

  • 8 full-sized, 360 degree rotation pots, each with 3 banks for 24 pots total
  • 8 full-sized sliders with 3 controller banks for 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

In addition, the MPK49 includes a Tap Tempo function, 32 presets in which to store preferred settings and the flexibility of either master or slave-to-MIDI clock operation. The MPK49 was engineered to give musicians the tools they need to meet any live or studio task and is backed by the legendary Akai Professional name and rock-solid build quality.

“The MPK49 is the next generation of USB/MIDI controller,” says Akai Professional product manager Glen Darcey. “Built-in performance features like the Arpeggiator, Note Repeat and Tap Tempo set this far apart from the competition. Note Repeat with Swing is already a staple in R&B, hip-hop and electronic music production, so we have brought that classic MPC feel to this amazing new keyboard.”

The pads on the MPK49 feature the legendary MPC-style Full Level and 12 Level velocity function. MPC Swing can be applied to both Note Repeat and Arpeggio functions for additional creative control. Tap Tempo and time-division buttons allow for real-time control of Note Repeat and Arpeggio clock speeds. The MPK49 carries an amazing total of 72 assignable controls with assignable inputs that include an expression pedal, footswitch, pitch bend and modulation wheel.

7 thoughts on “Akai Intros MPK49 USB/MIDI Performance Controller with MPC Pads

  1. So…you’re saying you invented the glow effect from photoshop? Had no idea this site had cutting edge art as well as cutting edge midi controllers.

  2. Rob

    We get to be snarky once a week – it’s one of the unspoken rules of this site. If we get snarky too much, though, call us on it…..

    Actually, we’d encourage all gear manufacturers to copy our glowing keyboard effect settings. That way – all the gear photos would look awesomely cool at our site, like Akai’s.

    More important than Akai’s use of the glowy keyboard effect, though, is the controller – doesn’t it look like an awesome set of features?

    There have been a lot of great controllers coming out recently, and this is one of the nicest yet. I’d be tempted if I didn’t already have a Kurzweil!

  3. This beast looks insane. I have been tossing up weather to get an axiom or a kontrol49 and i think this has settled the argument. This beast looks like it just about shits on any of the competition. The others either dont have enough pots/faders or the pads arent of good enough quality etc or. I think the akai could be a real killer in this space.

  4. Blaze

    Throwing in the MPC pads tops it off for me. You’ve got your DAW transport controls, you’ve got 8 channels of sliders and pans, and they throw in MPC-style controls.

    What else is there to add?

    Adding wireless support might be cool, but that seems like it would be more important with portable controllers.

  5. Let me say that, awesome MPC pads or no, there is no more room in your studio, Mr. Synthhead, for any more keyboards.

    Unless, of course, you want to get one of those Dave Smith keyboards with the glowing blue pitch-bending wheel thingy that really, truly does glow (without Photoshop). In which case we’d move out the conga drums, and the electric guitar you bought me for Christmas in 1986, and the big unopened bucket of electronic drum pads to make space for yet one more (must-have) keyboard.

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