Akai Pro Advance Keyboard Controller In-Depth Demo

In this video, Jennifer Hruska from inMusic takes an in-depth look at the new Akai Advance controller keyboard  and how it works for controlling software plug-ins.

The Advance Keyboard series was introduced earlier this year at NAMM. The keyboard controllers are designed to provide deep integration with virtual instruments. There are three keyboard sizes in the Advance line, the Advance 25, Advance 49, and Advance 61.


Advance Keyboard Series Highlights:

  • Keyboards for advanced virtual instrument performance
  • Integrated 4.3-inch high-resolution full-color screen with dedicated interface buttons
  • Screen provides 1:1, real-time feedback of plugin parameters
  • Available in 25-, 49-, and 61- key sizes
  • Includes Virtual Instrument Player software for unprecedented virtual instrument preset management, control mapping and multi patch creation
  • Premium, semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keybed with aftertouch
  • 8 large, endless and continuously variable control knobs
  • 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive MPC pads with RGB illumination
  • Dedicated pad bank, transport control, octave, and performance buttons
  • Note repeat, time-division, pattern arpeggiator, and tap-tempo buttons
  • Rubberized Pitch and Modulation wheels
  • Expression pedal and footswitch inputs
  • USB and 5-pin MIDI Input/Output for use with any MIDI capable software or hardware
  • Also functions as a standalone controller
  • Includes a 16GB download with more than 10,000 sounds from leading virtual instruments from AIR Music Technology and SONiVOX.

Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) Software Highlights:

  • Plays virtually every VSTi-compatible plugin
  • Operates as a standalone virtual instrument player for your computer
  • Also operates as a plugin within any AU, VST, or AAX compatible DAW
  • Organizes your plugin collection with intuitive browsing by plugin, artist collection, instrument type, timbre, and more
  • Access, edit, and mix up to 8 virtual instruments at one time
  • Set list feature lets live performers switch between patches from any plugin instantly from the keyboard
  • Extensive key zone splitting, custom mapping, and instrument mixing options
  • Pre-mapped to hundreds of industry-leading virtual instruments
  • Unlimited instances of VIP may be run in a DAW

Pricing and Availability.

Akai Professional’s Advance 25, Advance 49, and Advance 61 keyboards are priced at $399.99, $499.99, and $599.99, respectively.  For more information, visit the Akai Pro Advance keyboard website.

via AskAudio Mag

13 thoughts on “Akai Pro Advance Keyboard Controller In-Depth Demo

  1. The most powerful MIDI controller for VST and rack module use is still Novation Remote. The most controls with the greatest programmability.

  2. This is awsome; hated that had to use wrapped VST for my novation (which i’ve sold a while ago); had issues with my current arturia keylab controller as you had to program templates to control vsts in DAW (Cubase in my case) (there was no factory library available for arturia).

    Put a deposit on the advance 49 a couple of weeks ago and am looking forward to it. Great job Akai!

  3. Not convinced on this, just seems to me like Ableton device racks with an extra layer of software to slow everything down, which is the last thing we want. And, I don’t think it really speeds anything up other than reaching for a mouse once in a while. It may be great for previewing presets in a live setting, but who is actually doing that? Nobody does that. But I really like the layout, other than the position of mod and pitch wheels. If they removed the software and screen and did this layout at a reasonable cost, and then focused more on DAW integration rather than VST integration, then I would look at this in more detail for a purchase. But as it stands it is a pricey solution to a problem I don’t have – as for Ableton, this is less effective and more expensive than getting Push. It surprises me that someone still hasn’t done a reasonably priced 49 board (with aftertouch on keys), 8 encoders and 16 pads ( with velocity and aftertouch) and the mod and pitch to the left of the keybed, (rather than above it) – no bells or whistles, just the basics, where is it?

  4. How would this work with something like an Access VirusTI? Would you need to have the vst part pre-launched, or do you just need to have the hardware connected?

  5. Interesting controller/keyboard. That said, a couple of things came out of this demo that turned on a “caution light”:

    1) She had to use the iMac’s mouse a lot more than I expected.
    2) When asked about AU plug ins, she admitted that AU plug-ins weren’t compatible with this controller.

    The former problem would probably be solved by mapping the controls, but she was cagey about what DAWs supported their auto mapping and which ones needed individual programming to the controls. The AU plug-in support problem is a bit more serious, raising concerns about overall compatibility with Logic Pro X and MainStage 3.

  6. Something I don’t clearly understand : she says it works with all VST plug-ins, and then shows a tag based search system. But how patches are tagged by VIP, if it works with “all“ VST plug-ins ? Did AKAI work with “all” VST developpers ? Or does the software analyze the patches and so can classify them in categories ? Sounds unlikely.. Did I miss something ?

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