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Akai Professional MPK88Item ID: MPK88
88-key USB MIDI Controller Keyboard with Hammer-action Keys, 16 MPC Pads, Assignable Knobs, Faders, and Buttons, and Transport Controls
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From Our Research Team:
Get the Most out of Your Music with This Keyboard Controller!The Akai Professional MPK88 MIDI keyboard controller gives you the power and flexibility to get the most out of your instruments — onstage or in the studio. The 88-key MPK88 gives you a fully weighted hammer-action keyboard for incredible feel and expression, while its 16 onboard MPC pads provide velocity- and pressure-sensitive control. You'll also appreciate the array of assignable knobs, faders, and buttons, as well as handy transport controls and pitch and mod wheels. Built to work wonders for a vast range of players, the MPK88 is a real performer.
Akai Professional MPK88 88-key MIDI Keyboard Controller with MPC-style Pads at a Glance:
Creative control at your fingertips
MPK88 features an 88-key keyboard and 16 genuine MPC pads. The hammer-action keyboard is fully weighted and features aftertouch for expressive melodic control. The MPC pads are pressure and velocity-sensitive to capture every nuance of your creative concepts. The pads can access four banks of sounds, so you have 64 samples at your fingertips with the touch of a button. The MPK88 places dedicated transport controls within your reach for easy control of some of the most important tracking and editing controls. The MPK88 has modulation and pitch-bend wheels for expressive musicality, and two assignable footswitch inputs enable you to connect an expression pedal or other continuous controller and a footswitch for momentary controls like patch change or start/stop.
Assignable knobs, faders, and buttons
One of the most important input devices on an MPC is its Q-Link assignable control section. Akai Pro built a massive collection of Q-Links into the MPK series. The MPK88 gives you eight virtual knobs that are assignable to control nearly any software parameter. You can control three different parameters per knob thanks to the knobs' three-bank selection, totaling 24 parameters of instant, hands-on control. Like the virtual knobs, eight virtual faders and eight virtual buttons also control three banks of parameters each, so you get 24 virtual faders and 24 virtual buttons. That's 72 Q-Link controls!
Great rhythm features built-in
Two technologies pioneered in the MPC series and built into the MPK series are MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing. These note-modifying features can be heard in many of the most popular tracks over the last two decades. MPC Note Repeat is a capability that enables the MPK (or MPC) to automatically play a rhythm pattern, such as 16th notes on a hi-hat, for accuracy and speed of entry. MPC Swing is sometimes referred to as "the heart and soul of hip hop" because it turns perfectly aligned sequences into human feeling time alignments. You can specify exactly the degree and timing of swing you want to apply for the perfect feel.
The flexibility you need, onstage or in the studio
The MPK88 has Key Split, enabling you to control two different sounds from the same keyboard. On top of MPC technologies, the MPK88 has its own arpeggiator, which enables you to create quick, creative riffs in seconds. Just pick a note or chord and a rhythm pattern in the arpeggiator's library and the MPK will play your notes in the rhythm and sequence you choose. The MPK88 also has MPC Full Level and MPC 16-Level on its pads, as well as Tap Tempo and Time Division so you can nail the tempo, timing, and dynamics exactly as you hear them in your head.
Akai Professional MPK88 88-key MIDI Keyboard Controller with MPC-style Pads Features:
Akai Professional MPK88 88-key MIDI keyboard controller puts creative control where you need it!
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Henry, Marion, IL
Reviewsbased on 6 reviews
by Rick from Charlotte, NCI've played piano/keyboards for over 40 years. I've been using MIDI since the Mac came out, and I purchased one in 1986. Over the years, I've played quite a few 88-key digital pianos and MIDI contro... read more [+]llers. This is the best I've ever used. Beyond the quality and feel of the keys, this thing is a one-stop MIDI control center. Nothing better! close [-]
October 25, 2011
Music Background: composer, performer
Great keyboard but random key makes annoying click sound
by Ryan McClure from Escondido, CA USAI was excited to get this controller and began using it right out of the box. It works great and has some really cool features. However, only 2 days after I started using it, the 2nd octave G# key s... read more [+]tarted clicking every time I pressed it. It still does it and I can't hear it with my headphones on but I can feel it and it can get a little annoying. I would have expected a bit higher quality from such an expensive keyboard. Other than that it's great. close [-]
July 26, 2011
Music Background: Student, hobbyist
Best Bang For Buck
by JBlongz from NYCPros: Great Weighted Feel, AFTERTOUCH which is important for software that supports it, midi knobs for automation
March 3, 2013
Music Background: Pro Musician, Producer, Engineer
Cons: Buttons are pretty cheap, one of them stopped working, screen ed... read more [+]itor is awkward. I would rather had an ios editor and snap my ipad/ipod into the unit. close [-]
My New MPK88
by Mike McClain from Dallas, TexasI just got my new MPK88 and I am impressed. This thing has a very solid case and the controls are of good quality. It's a heavy mother but since I'm just using it as a controller in my studio that doe... read more [+]sn't matter to me ! My first impression of the feel of the keys was that they were not as piano-like as the Yahama I was replacing but after playing it a while and listening to the way it responded with my Ivory plug-in I loved it. It somehow made the Ivory sound much better to my ear. I was equally pleased that the sliders were already programmed to be drawbars in B-4 which I use a lot. Another feature I like is the wide 4 octave range on the transpose. This lets you move up a couple of octaves when doing bass parts etc.
December 23, 2011
Music Background: Piano lessons as a boy,Vox Continental when the Animals came out, 30 years of all kinds of gigs, and music arranging and recordist since 71. Still going strong at 62
I haven't gotten into the programming of presets yet so I can't say how easy that is but what I have come across just puttering with it seems intuitive.
On the negative side, they should have included a 1 amp power supply and not sucked juice out of my computer to power this up. I'm not big on that. I figure my computer needs its own power for itself, and 1 amp is a lot. But, I saw this coming back when manufacturers quit putting a nice big power supply inside and instead provided us with a cheap plastic wall-wart to keep up with. And of course no nice big easy to understand manual. But that's just the way it is these days. At least they didn't cut corners on the quality of the construction.
Overall I'm real happy with this. The last time I bought something that said Akai it was a reel-to-reel tape recorder. But that was long ago in a galaxy far away. close [-]
Very nice, but could have been even better!
by Dale W. Carter from Edgewood, NMMy first hammer-action keyboard. Though not quite the same as an acoustic grand, I love the feel verses an old non-weighted Roland W-30 I've got. If you tap the keys with your fingernails, however, ... read more [+]you probably won't appreciate the "plasticky" sound you get back. Also, the keyboard is a bit noisy, so if you're doing any acoustic recording (e.g. voice or other instruments) with this in play, you might pick up some keyboard clatter. Also, be sure to have a VERY sturdy stand for this monster as those hammer action keys don't feel right with even a slightly flexible stand. I would also have liked to see this cased in aluminum instead of plastic, but it already weights 67 pounds, so...
July 14, 2011
Music Background: Theorist, composer, hobbyist
The LCD display is easy to read, but my personal preference would be to have amber (to match the button and bender/modulator knob lighting) backlighting in the display rather than blue as amber is a bit easier on the eyes in low light.
As a MIDI controller, this thing is awesome!! Just about any of the buttons, sliders, knobs (except for the pitch-bender), and pads can be assigned to broadcast any MIDI messages you want, whether it be for selecting instrument or effect programs, controlling mixing or effects in your software, controlling other MIDI compatible devices, or for playing instruments. In my case, I am driving reverb and echo parameters within my ancient Alesis Quadraverb with sliders on the MPK88 and I can honestly say that, after owning my Quadraverb for 18 years, I haven't gotten nearly the value out of it that I have in the last few weeks under MPK88 control. And, any MIDI controls you program can be saved in a multitude of presents, so you're up and running with a twist of a knob and the press of a button. The only two things I'd like to see added are a user-definable keyboard velocity curve added to the resident five (LINEAR, LOG1, LOG2, EXP1 and EXP2) curves and I would like to be able to tune the threshold velocity that causes a MIDI velocity value larger than "1" to be sent when a key is pressed (for us newbies to hammer-action that sometimes don't reach the default threshold velocity for an instrument to make a sound).
One little nit-picky complaint I have is that to get the MPK88 to broadcast internally generated MIDI messages to its own MIDI-Out port, you must also have a 6 Volt, 1Amp external power supply (Akai recommends the Akai MP6-1 which is, unfortunately, not a regularly stocked item at most pro-audio stores) plugged in because, if the MPK88 is running on USB power, it reserves the on-board MIDI-Out port to echo messages coming from your computer. This is not a big deal because you can just have your computer echo the MPK88's USB messages back to the MPK88, but I think the behavior of the MPK88's MIDI-Out port should be user configurable.
In summary, I'm extremely pleased with the Akai MPK88.
* 88 fully weighted, hammer-action keys
* A huge assortment of fully programmable knobs, sliders, and pads
* Would be happier with less "plasticky" keys and aluminum shell
* On-board MIDI-Out port behavior is not user configurable close [-]
Akai Professional MPK88
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