Akai Pro Advance Keyboard Controllers At The 2015 NAMM Show

At the 2015 NAMM Show, Akai Pro introduced the Advance Keyboard Controller series.

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.

In this video, Akai Pro’s Dan Gill demos the new Advance 61 MIDI Controller.

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.

20 thoughts on “Akai Pro Advance Keyboard Controllers At The 2015 NAMM Show

  1. well, as it’s time for me to get a controller, this looks like it’s gonna be the one.

    was considering the Nektar (and the NI, but I’m not a NI guy)…

    any thoughts about Akai’s previous controllers in terms of build/key quality?

    1. I have an MPK61 and the build quality is very solid. It’s got a nice weight to it so it won’t fly off the stand when you start gettin’ into it 😉 and the keys have a nice weight to them as well (weightiest keys on a board that is not intentionally designed to be so).

    2. Conversely to Josh, I own a first-gen MPK 49, and have numerous keys that have to be POUNDED on to register notes. It sucks to be trying to solo and have notes drop all the time.

      I’ve babied the thing; it has maybe 100 hours of use on it, so it’s not due to abuse, simply bad build quality, unfortunately. That might’ve been fixed on the next generations, for what it’s worth. I’d check the forums, or at least wait until this thing is in the wild for a while.

      Yeah, it’s heavy, but when I cracked mine open to see if I could find out why those keys weren’t working, I saw a lot of empty space, lol.

      I’m eyeing Nektar for my next controller.

      1. This.

        Same problem with BOTH MPK49s that Ive owned. I am OCD when it comes to taking care of my gear as well but after getting burned twice, I am not a fan of AKAI build quality.

        When it was time to replace the last MPK, I ended up purchasing a Nektar P6 and I can honestly say I could never go back to anything else. Amazing build quality and the customer response at Nektar is outstanding… Ive even had them contact me within the hour at times to answer simple questions. That kind of commitment from a company these days is practically non-existent.

        1. Uh oh! Well so far so good on mine. Perhaps I got lucky as I’ve put it through the ringer a bit and it keeps on ticking (I even bought it used). Good to know though so thanks for the heads up and I’ll see how much longer it lasts 😉

  2. Ahh – now this is starting to pique my interest. This guy explains these things better than Akai’s intro video.

    I like how you can do everything from the keyboard and that you actually have a nice screen to use when selecting sounds. My question is whether the software will work with ANY vst?

    Those pad controllers look huge, which makes sense on a keyboard controller vs a pad controller.

    Like Matthew said – this and the Nektar are looking good, it may be time to retire my old M-Audio controller!

    1. No- Roland 1 loads the plug in in to the keyboard (it has DSP), this keyboard can remotely load VST’s on your computer, so you can load a new VST without reaching for the mouse, but only on your computer, the keyboard is just an advanced ‘controller’, not a synth.

    2. Yes, SLiC is correct. This contains no internal DSP etc, it’s just a front end that communicates with your computer. If you unplug it from that, it will not make a sound… If it did, and at that price, it would have been the best in show at NAMM!

    3. The Roland and this are two very different concepts. The system 1 works right now with Roland VSTs (only) that work inside and outside of the computer. The Akai is an advance controller keyboard competing with the likes of NI and Novation (where as Novation does not have an integrated VST browser, just Automap to adapt your VSTs to your controller).

  3. He said it will come with software from Air Music Technology.
    The synths from that developer look interesting but a bit pricey, so might be a reasonable package all together!

  4. I’ve come to the conclusion, that as far as keybed quality goes the only real guaranty is a fatar one.
    I used to have an older akai controller (mpk 49) , the build was very good, solid but the keys were very stiff and slow, not very responsive…
    I hope this is better. As much as i like a good screen,software, etc in the end it’s always about the keys.

  5. I think you guys are missing or burying the lede, it’s also a vst/au wrapper for aax, or vst wrapper for au etc….. IF IT WORKS right :)… been down the road with novation, ug. Had a difficult time working, and would often crash the system. I heard it got better, but by that point, I was over the headache… I think VEP has gotten “that” portion down rock solid from what I hear however…and some of the stuff from BlueCats patchwork (?)…. I have an original mpk61, and I haven’t had problems with the keyed, a little heavier then most “synth” players want as it is semi weighted, which I got to kinda find a middle ground for playing both piano and synth stuff…. Do not use the mapping on it that much, and the software bundled with it was quickly abandoned…(to akai’s credit, they had outsourced that to another company, but it’s a shame they never updated it)…. But perhaps if people keep chipping away at this concept someone will get it right!

  6. So, for example , i can instal inside plug in that work inside Native instrument Kontact like
    realivox? Or any VST?
    realy?

  7. Can instal inside plug in that work inside Native instrument Kontact like
    realivox? Or any VST? And works also without computer?

  8. I wish they would make a 24-knob version with no keys or pads. Just a sick VST knob controller that auto-maps and auto-switches based on what patch you have selected. That would get my money. I have no need for another stupid keyboard

  9. I’ve bought an Axiom 25 around 6 years ago USED and played the hell of out it on four albums, not including other bands’ stuff and it is still alive and kicking. The pads show wear but work fine. The only reason I’d upgrade is for more keys, and I may do so with one of these.

  10. I am thinking that it might be useful
    for AKAI to have one version of
    Controller/Keyboard with a large screen and Sampling/Sequencing features of MPC 4000/5000 Series.

    Or the lower level but still powerful MPC Series ALSO INCLUDING realtime Pattern Play assignable to Pads , Keys, ( RPPS ) including in Sequencer Record Mode for Nested Pattern Record etc. like some of the older Roland Workstations.

    Get a Great Groove before you start Sequencing on the Computer, then Midi Record or Transfer for full Production.

    For LIVE , no Computer Needed.

    Get me one AKAI for about $1500.
    Thanks. By next Quarter of 2015.Lol.

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