AKAI Intros Next-Generation ‘Thick Fat’ MPD2 Pad Controllers

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2015 Summer NAMM Show: Akai Professional has introduced three new MPD2 pad controllers – the second generation of their MPD Series of pad controllers.

Key features of the entire line include:

  • New, sensitive ‘Thick Fat’ MPC pads that deliver improved responsive user interaction;
  • Each of the controllers offers an expanded control set, to maximize the sounds and effects available to the user;
  • iOS compatibility using the Camera Connection Kit; and
  • A software package, including: Big Bang Drums and Big Bang Cinema from Sonivox, Ableton Live Lite, and Software Preset Editor.

In addition, you can edit controls right from the front panel on the MPD226 and MPD232, and all three models can be programmed via the included Preset Editor. 

AKAI MPD2 Series Controllers

Building on Akai Pro’s previous MPD18, MPD26 and MPD32 controllers, the new pad controllers offer many new features:

  • The MPD218 has red light-up MPC pads and a greatly expanded control set of 6 knobs in 3 banks vs. one control on the previous MPD18 model.
  • The MPD226 has an expanded control set of 4 knobs, 4 faders, 4 buttons in 3 banks for 36 total controls vs. 12 controls on the MPD26
  • The MPD232 boasts an all-new 64-channel 32-step performance sequencer, which the MPD32 did not have.

Here are the details on each of the new MPD2 pad controllers:

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MPD218

  • 16 Thick Fat backlit MPC Pads with Velocity and Aftertouch
  • 48 assignable pads accessible via 3 banks
  • 18 assignable 360-degree potentiometers accessible via 3 banks
  • MPC Note Repeat and Full Level
  • iOS compatible using the Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
  • 16 configurable presets
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite
  • USB powered, no AC adapter required

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MPD226

  • 16 Thick Fat RGB illuminated velocity- and pressure-sensitive MPC Pads
  • 64 assignable pads accessible via 4 banks
  • 4 assignable faders, 4 assignable Q-Link knobs, 4 assignable Q-Link buttons
  • 36 assignable controls accessible via 3 banks
  • Classic MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, 16 Level, Full Level and Tap Tempo
  • 30 presets total, with configurations for most popular DAWs
  • iOS compatible using the Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
  • MIDI In and Out jacks for controlling external gear
  • Dedicated Transport controls
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite

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MPD232

  • 64-part, 32-step sequencer to control pad events
  • 16 Thick Fat RGB illuminated velocity- and pressure-sensitive MPC Pads
  • 64 assignable pads accessible via 4 banks
  • 8 assignable Q-Link faders, 8 assignable Q-Link knobs, 8 assignable Q-Link buttons
  • 72 assignable controls accessible via 3 banks
  • Classic MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, 16 Level, Full Level and Tap Tempo
  • Dedicated transport controls
  • iOS compatible using the Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
  • 30 presets total, with configurations for most popular DAWs
  • Works with virtually any MIDI software or MIDI hardware
  • MIDI In and Out jacks for controlling external gear
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite

“Six years of research and customer feedback has led directly to some of the most capable pad controllers we’ve ever developed,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “Our goal was to create controllers that respond quickly and intuitively to the player’s input, to make their playing experience the best it can be.”

Pricing and Availability

The Akai Professional MPD Series will be available in Summer 2015 at Akai Professional dealers and online directly from Akai Professional.

U.S. retail pricing is $199 for the MPD218, $299 for the MPD226 and $399 for the MPD232. For more information, see akaipro.com.

30 thoughts on “AKAI Intros Next-Generation ‘Thick Fat’ MPD2 Pad Controllers

  1. These junk products akai continues to put out while they’re gettting lapped by maschine in the mpc game are beyond me. I don’t know who’s in charge over there, but what a poorly run company.

  2. MPD232
    Hopefully the ” six years of research ” will have shown Akai that multiple software banks using shared physical controllers are near useless if they do not have midi pickup/ takeover algo built into the software , otherwise when you go to move knob / fader left at value 127 from bank 1 , in bank 2 it will start sending from 127 which you probably dont want.

    Hopefully the three years of research helping code sister company M audio’s Trigger Finger Pro will have shown them that the interested potential customers who didnt trust their longterm update support were right ,and it will be even harder to convince potential buyers that bugs & missing features will be updated.

    Controllers with built in sequencers is a great concept , but are developers willing to put in the long term software continuing effort .

    1. That’s entirely out of Akai’s hands as the DAW or whatever software you have it connected to needs to support this.

      on the other hand, hopefully akai had enough sense to make sure the bundles software actually has this feature

  3. I like the look of this but I’m a Reason user and the chances of this having Remote support has got to be near to zero. There are DAWs other than Ableton, Akai!

  4. I have a few akai MPc samplers .Would love to see a slimline Akai sampler with ten outs.
    The Mpc 5000 is great, but one heavy beast .
    I hope Akai get back to what they used to do best .

    1. I beg to differ, the MPC5000 could have been way better of they had continued developing the OS. Honestly that MPC is the biggest rip off I have ever experienced in my life. Freaking thing started smoking on me and Akai handled my complaint extremely poorly (they did not help me). An MPC2500 with JJOS is better than an MPC5000. Also, as previously mentioned above, Akai is not what it used to be which is a real shame.

  5. This is huge! Due to its on-board sequencer and its physical MIDI In and Out jacks, the MPD232 is basicaly a NEW REAL STANDALONE MPC!
    — 64-part, 32-step sequencer
    — Classic MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing
    — Works with virtually any MIDI hardware
    — MIDI In and Out jacks for controlling external gear

    1. omg – yes MIDI in/out & sequencer… this one is very interesting… I’d definitely like to check that with synths & drum-machines

    2. shame its teathered to a laptop, and last i checked my mpc’s sample and playback …

      at 2nd look it has power plug + switch, heres to hoping it can be powered without laptop

    3. Hardly a new mpc.
      Only 32 steps per sequence? That is way too small, 2 Bar loops?
      Is there pattern performance modes or pattern muting?

      This isnt a new mpc, more like a baby mpc..

  6. Anyone else think that the built in sequencer is a result of someone in marketing shitting bricks over a certain Arturia product that’s due to be in the wild?

  7. wow, hardware sequencing on a tiny LCD. its the 90s all over again! except now we have COLORED LED PADS!!!!!!!!!! truly we live in a remarkable age.

  8. If you want to sequence with the computer and a controller, this doesn’t hold a candle to Maschine. If you want a hardware sequencer, this doesn’t hold a candle to the beat step pro. AKAI are the new Numark. Making a crappy limited and unsupported versions of innovation that already exists. ultimate fail.

  9. Did anyone out there really want or need this with all the MIDI controllers out there today?

    What’s up with Akai’s reluctance to just make a new standalone MPC? If they could take the MPD226 form factor and make it run JJOS, that would be all I need. I keep waiting, but they just keep announcing more controllers…

  10. I bought a MPC Studio a couple years ago that continues to hibernate in that ugly red carry case, even after all those updates. The thing is just uninspiring. I’m more of a hardware guy so The MPC60II is my favorite MP to use.

    AKAI continues to put out shit on top of shit. R.I.P

  11. Arturia threw the game when they revealed Beat Step to be a marketing ploy. Roland and esp. Yamaha are doing the same thing with their current runs. Expect Beat Step Pro equivalents from both 1-2 years. (Analog kitchen sinks with all the knobs & complete digital connectivity.)

  12. Pointless waste of time trendy flashy video creates unfavorable impression. Akai, not understanding marketing, does not understand its market. I want to know what it does and how it does it not blinking lights.

  13. I’ve always loved the feel of the old MPDs, especially when I upgraded to sensitive + Thick fat pads. The response and feel was great. However, I wanted an upgrade of sounds (as Akai had none with those old MPDs) so I went to Maschine. Killer software (as a DAW or Plugin), but the feel of the pads, etc. just isn’t the same. So I got excited when i saw this, but as someone above mentioned, if there’s no sound involved why the hell would I pay 400$ for that?!!?

  14. Please MPD 226 users! Check your THRESHOLD option on MPD226. Does it makes pads less sensitivity, or filter low level notes? My doesn`t do anything. I just need answer what it does. I recorded video with easy paper-test, please somebody, do the same. Can`t sleep anymore.
    https://youtu.be/x033IuwGbmM

  15. MPD 232 Is a clear example of marketing lie. I bought the MPD232 and found that AKAI falsely advertise the presence of 8 q-link knobs, and instead are only MIDI knobs with no q-link function enabled on MPC essential. They advertise one fact and then if you ask for question in the forum they reply with another, saying that q-link on MPC software is available only for MPC controllers. So, why they advertise q-link also for MPD line?. DON’T Buy if you hope to use Q-LINK integration in MPC Studio or MPC Essential….

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