Available in 25-, 49-, and 61-key sizes, the Advance 25, Advance 49, and Advance 61 let you load, play and control your virtual instrument plugins directly from their keyboard.
According to the company, the Advance Keyboard series has been designed “to fuse the power of software instruments with the live playability of a keyboard workstation,” transforming the use of computer-based plugins into an entirely hands-on playing experience.
Here’s the official intro video:
The Akai Professional Advance Keyboard Series
The Advance controllers feature an integrated high-resolution full-color 4.3-inch display. In addition, the Advance Keyboard series works with any VSTi virtual instrument, using the Advance keyboard’s custom designed Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) software application. VIP operates as a plugin inside any major digital audio workstation (DAW) or as a stand-alone application on both Mac and Windows operating systems.
A wide variety of physical controls are also included, with RGB backlit, velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads integrated into each keyboard surface, rubberized pitch and modulation wheels, continuously-variable endless knobs, and a semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keybed which supports aftertouch.
Included with each Advance Keyboard is the Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) application which gives Advance Keyboard users access to any virtual instrument in their collection with or without a DAW. VIP software users can also create set lists for immediate access to user-curated instruments. VIP also boasts facilities for fast instrument and patch browsing, key zone splitting, layering of up to 8 instruments per VIP instance, expansive custom mapping capabilities, and support for any VSTi plugin. Advance Keyboard users may run as many instances of the Virtual Instrument Player as their computer allows. VIP runs as a VSTi, AU, RTAS or AAX plugin, allowing you access to VSTi’s in virtually any DAW, such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live.
Each Advance Keyboard also ships with a 16GB download of over 10,000 sounds from industry-leading developers at AIR Music Technology and SONiVOX.
- 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 new Advance 25, Advance 49, and Advance 61 keyboards will be available in early 2015, at a suggested retail price of $399.99, $499.99, and $599.99, respectively. For more information, visit the Akai Pro Advance keyboard website.