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Live Lite users are offered an upgrade path to the full version. The Akai edition includes 28 custom presets for Live's Impulse virtual drum machine, which are pleasant-sounding and useable. The drum and percussion pads are one of the MPK49's key features and, like the keyboard, they offer both velocity and pressure aftertouch sensitivity. Unlike the keyboard, they also offer a choice of four different velocity curves to fine-tune their response. A threshold setting allows you to control the minimum force required to trigger a note-on.
The pads are made from a kind of heavy-duty rubber-like material, and are just big enough to accommodate two fingertips side by side. According to the manual, the pads are identical to those featured on Akai's MPC the smallest and most portable member of the MPC family. In any case, they're comfortable and feel reassuringly durable. The pads have their own bank function, with four pad banks available A, B, C and D , so that a total of 48 different sounds can be assigned, accessible in groups of By default, they operate in 'momentary' mode as you would use for triggering drum sounds , but can also be set to 'toggle' mode note-on with the first hit, note-off with the next.
Pad sensitivity can be adjusted to suit your playing style. Several features combine to make hands-on improvisation of rhythm patterns, in particular, feel very easy. The first is a handy Tap Tempo button, alongside which a flashing LED indicates the unit's current tempo. The MPK49 can generate its own internal tempo, or be sync'ed to an external source, such as a sequencing application. The Spartan, yet functional rear panel of the MPK Photo: Mike Cameron.
This is simple, but remarkably effective. With Note Repeat activated, pressing and holding a pad causes the assigned sound to be triggered over and over again, at intervals determined by the 'time division' setting.
On the face of it, Note Repeat might not seem that useful, but once you've played with it for a while it begins to seem invaluable. Simple drags and rolls are effortless: just punch in the desired time division and lean on the appropriate pad at the required moment. Many such fills would be impossible to play 'live' with your fingers, and Note Repeat is quicker, more intuitive and more fun than step-programming in a sequencer.
Because the pads are pressure sensitive, some interesting effects can be produced by having Note Repeat triggering sound sources that allow parameters such as for example filter cutoff or stereo panning to be modulated by MIDI velocity. By varying how hard a pad is held down, you can create all sorts of sweeping and rolling effects. Note Repeat's behaviour can be fine-tuned in several ways. The 'gate' duration of each repeat can be adjusted, and a 'swing' parameter can adjusted over quite a wide range, with some nice, loose effects available.
A built-in arpeggiator is another nice feature. Like Note Repeat, it works in conjunction with the time division settings, has editable 'gate' times and can have variable amounts of 'swing' applied. Six arpeggio types are available: Up from the lowest to the highest note held ; Down the opposite of Up ; Inclusive from lowest to highest notes and back again, with lowest and highest notes retriggered when the arpeggio changes direction ; Exclusive like Inclusive, except the lowest and highest notes aren't retriggered ; Random; and CHRD which repeats the held notes as a chord.
The arpeggio's range in octaves can also be adjusted. Overall, the Akai MPK49 strikes a pretty happy balance, offering enough flexibility to be very useful without becoming over-complicated. The large panel and generously spaced controls make for a very comfortable controller, the arpeggiator is easy to use, and the combination of the MPC-style pads, the Note Repeat and swing functions is good fun — and occasionally inspiring.
Add a quality keyboard, a fair selection of assignable knobs and sliders, and a user interface that's easy to learn, and you've got a very good all-rounder at a decent price. Korg's Kontrol 49, also in the same price band as the MPK, and featuring pads, knobs, faders and a note keyboard, would also be worth a look.
Finally, something like M-Audio's Axiom 49 might be an alternative for the more budget-conscious — if you can live without the features provided by the more expensive models. As I've said, there's a lot to choose from in this marketplace at the moment, and time spent researching what's right for your needs will pay off.
Pros A comfortable, user-friendly controller. MPC-style pads and Note Repeat function are a great combination. Nice arpeggiator. Software editor is a bonus. Cons Faders could perhaps be sturdier. Mains adaptor not supplied. Summary A user-friendly controller favouring intuitive, hands-on playability over excessive complexity. Buy PDF version. Previous article Next article. Customer reviews. How are ratings calculated? Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon.
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Verified Purchase. Make sure you understand the MIDI functionality before purchasing. Been using mine for a few years now and it's holding up well. That said, all I use it for anymore is the keyboard itself which is admittedly very nice. The pads are awful, as others have said, which is shocking coming from an Akai Pro product. I realized that I was having to hit them so hard to get any decent velocity, I was masking the sound of my drums with the sound of my fingers hitting the pads.
The upside is that after stubbornly trying to get used to it for a month or two, I'm fairly certain I can now jab my way out of a coffin Kill Bill style should I ever find myself in such a situation. It is built like a tank though, nice and solid. I love how it looks in the studio as well. I can see how someone willing to tinker and set up a perfect control template would love this, just not for me.
If that wasn't enough, the price was high enough to qualify me for free day shipping.. These two feats were so amazing that I had to pinch myself to ensure I wasn't dreaming. The controller is in perfect condition no shipping damages and works flawlessly. Everything on this controller feels fantastic. The pads, as everyone has stated, are a bit too insensitive; you really have to hammer down on them to get a good sound..
It took me under 10 minutes to install everything and configure this keyboard to work with Fruity Loops of which there is no preset for ; I'm already making music. I couldn't be happier with this product I did a lot of research and roaming around different stores in my city trying out all of the controllers or Amazon's quality of service.
I'm simply blown away. When I get famous from the use of this thing, I'll surely come back and show Amazon my gratitude. I bought this after my axiom 25 started to send ghost pitch bends and I'm very happy with it. It's the perfect size for sitting right in front of my monitor on my regular non-audio production computer desk. It's solid when I play it, the axiom 25 rattled when I played it, not this one.
The keys are expressive but take some getting used to because the springs are quite springy. I see why people are complaining about the pads. There's a small amount of space between the pad and the sensor underneath. I've found it easier to rest my finger on the pad and pulse as opposed to hitting it like a drum. They're sensitive and responsive. If that space bothers you there's kit you can buy online here: [ I'm going to continue with the stock pads.
Knobs and faders with multiple banks so you'll never run out. Setup with Ableton was a snap with the preset. Feels great and great for the price. I just started using this today, I'm still new to its I interface.
But it's amazing, the keys feel slightly heavy. I've never played a semi weighted key. But I'll get used to it. The sliders and knobs work perfectly. I can record automations so easy now instead of clicking them in, as well as the pitch bending wheel. I'm a beginner when it comes to home production and just getting the hang of Ableton live 9. This keyboard is great because its basically Ableton live 9 pulled off your screen and placed at your fingertips. Once you map the keys and buttons to what you want which is pretty simple in ableton, there's nothing slowing you down.
Only reason I gave it 4 stars was because the pads don't seem to be very responsive and plays the notes quieter than using the keys. I'm sure there is a way to adjust this though, so I'd still recommend it. Very happy with my purchase. See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. Build quality is great, the keys feel nice, and it's just the right size. No complaints! One person found this helpful. Excellent, well manufactured product offering hours of enjoyment.
Highly delighted with this purchase that fits well within my home based music system. Great thanks great sound. Report abuse. Excellent midi controller! All I had to do is plug n play and all the pads, knobs and faders worked quite well!
The MPK49 ushers in a new era for USB/MIDI controllers by combining a high-quality key semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch and 12 genuine MPC drum pads. Akai Professional MPK49 | Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with MPC Pads ; Color, Black ; Model Name, MPK 49 ; Item Dimensions LxWxH, x x inches. Complete Workstation Control – Introducing the MPK2 akinozilkree.xyzered to be an all-in-1 controller solution, the Akai Professional MPK is a key.