How to select the best midi controller from Akai


Akai Professional has been manufacturing the tools that musicians need to explore all of their creative ideas since 1984. With the company’s vast experience in the electronic music industry it is little wonder why musicians favor this brand. The only problem is trying to decide what is the best Akai midi controller for your musical needs. There are several different types and styles of midi keyboard controllers to choose from, and the size can range from small and easily portable to large enough to cover your workspace. To help you choose the right midi controller we have put together this informative buying guide. It includes all the information you need to find the best Akai midi controller so you can start recording and playing all of your musical compositions.

4.2 Akai Professional MPK MINI MKII Midi Keyboard Controller

What to look for when buying a midi controller from Akai?



Akai manufactures several types of midi controllers but almost all Akai midi controller reviews recommend that you start with a keyboard if it is your first time purchasing a midi device. This is even true for more experienced midi users. A midi keyboard controller is set up and it can easily be synched with other devices when you are ready to add more.



Akai midi keyboard controllers are available in a wide range of sizes, and often have other features that can include sliders and knobs. The number of keys can range from 25 to 88, and the best one for you will often depend in the size of your workspace. You will also want to consider portability, especially if you are a traveling musician. If you are only planning on controlling a few virtual instruments during live performances a small, portable 25 key midi controller might be what you are looking for.

1.2 Akai Professional MPK49 MIDI Keyboard Controller

Drum Pads and Buttons

Along with sliders and knobs which can be used to control volume on amps and other pieces of musical equipment, midi controllers can also include drum pads and additional buttons. The drum pads can be used to trigger fast paced drum solos, along with various other sound effects. Knobs can be used as faders to add a unique vibe to your dance beats, and various buttons can also control your recording equipment in the studio. Even Akai’s portable midi keyboard controllers can include a wide array of features that will let you explore all of your musical ideas.


Most popular choices:


Akai Professional MPK49 MIDI Keyboard Controller

1.1 Akai Professional MPK49 MIDI Keyboard ControllerWith 49 keys that are semi weighted you can play crisp, clean notes during your performances, and the 12 drum pads make this the best Akai midi keyboard controller for DJs and other live performers. The midi controller gives you access to a total of 48 pads with the four banks, and will let you control 72 separate parameters with the knobs and faders. There are also eight sliders that are assignable with 3 banks. This gives you unlimited options at what you can play, control, and create.

The midi keyboard controller easily plugs into your PC via USB cable, and includes plenty of factory presets and software to help you get started looping tracks and synching rhythms. There are 32 factory presets that include tap tempo function, while the ability to use Note Repeat and MPC Swing lets you align all of your beats and rhythms perfectly. The 49 key midi controller is lightweight enough at 12 pounds to still be easily portable, and since it uses your laptop for power you can play and perform your music anywhere.

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Akai Professional MPK25 MIDI Keyboard Controller

2.1 Akai Professional MPK25 MIDI Keyboard ControllerAccording to the Akai midi controller review this is one of the best midi devices to use with your computer. It features a portable and lightweight design that is easy to set up and can turn your laptop into a portable music studio. The Akai professional midi controller has 25 keys that are semi weighted and 12 MPC drum pads that are programmable. The pads also feature 4 banks so you have a total of 48 effects and sounds that can be easily added to your music. What makes this midi controller stand out is the 12 Q links that are also assignable. You can control virtually any parameter that you set in your music, and each link can also control two separate commands.

The compact midi controller attaches to your computer via USB, and the included software has everything you need to get started. You also have the advantage of using the midi controller’s arpeggiator which will let you create amazing riffs in seconds. Play and record in real time, and use Note Repeat to add specific rhythm patterns. Ableton Live is also included with the midi controller which lets you mix, record, edit and improvise all of your musical creations from your laptop.

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Akai Pro APC40 Ableton Controller

3.1 Akai Pro APC40 Ableton ControllerAs the best Akai midi controller for live performances and studio recordings it includes everything you need to create and perform any type of music. The first thing that you will notice is the compact design which makes it an ideal midi controller to use in tight spaces. The sturdy construction is durable and can withstand live performances, and it also features a non slip design so you can use it on music stands for convenient access.

Since it doesn’t require any mapping it is ideal for beginning midi controller users, and it features plug and play ability via a USB plug. There are 40 pads triggers that are back lit for easy playing in the dark, and the 16 LED encoders relay feedback and musical activity in real time. With the ability to instantly use Ableton Live you can create and customize all of your controls to your specifications. The midi controller is also designed to be used by professional musicians, and has eight knobs with four assignable banks. This gives you the ability to control 72 different parameters and really explore all of your musical options.

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Akai Professional MPK MINI MKII Midi Keyboard Controller

4.1 Akai Professional MPK MINI MKII Midi Keyboard ControllerThis small 25 key midi controller is easy to use, and take with you when you are traveling. Its compact size fits into most workspaces, and includes everything you need to start composing, recording, and playing all of your musical creations. The keys are sync action for quick, sharp notes and fast paced tempos, and there are also 8 drum pads that include Note Repeat for adding beats to your tracks. The pads are also lit so you can easily find the one you need even when you are performing on stage.

There are 8 Q link knobs that are assignable, and make it easy for you to tweak your recordings or for mixing different tracks and effects. Unlike other Akai midi controllers that use sliders and wheels to control pitch and bend modulation, this one uses a joystick for fast and precise results. You also get the benefit of 2 two banks for the pads which lets you insert more samples and effects. The midi controller can be used in standalone mode for convenience or with your favorite DAWs.

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Akai Professional MAX49 MIDI Keyboard Controller

5.1 Akai Professional MAX49 MIDI Keyboard ControllerThe bright cherry red color of this Akai midi controller is fun and creatively inspiring. There are 49 keys that are semi weighted for a quick response every time they are played. The compact device also features 8 faders that make it easy for you to control every aspect of your music. The midi controller will automatically map itself making it ideal for beginners, while professionals will apreciate the fact that it can be synced with other devices through the Gate and CV outputs.

There are 12 MPC style pads that include Note Repeat, and 4 assignable banks. There are also banks for the faders which gives you the ability to control 32 different parameters. The arpeggiator makes it possible for you to create different cascading melodies that can add a new depth and dimension to your recordings. Bend pitch and modulation with the wheels, and control up to 275 virtual instruments with the included Ignite music software. You also have the advantage of using Ableton Lite which makes it possible for you to edit, mix, record, and lay tracks. It is one of the easiest midi keyboard controllers to set up, and will let you create and explore all of your musical ideas.

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Akai Professional LPK25 MIDI Keyboard Controller

6.1 Akai Professional LPK25 MIDI Keyboard ControllerWith 25 touch responsive keys you can play crisp notes and sharp rhythms, and the lightweight midi controller is constructed to be easily portable. It is compatible with almost all music software, and can be used in the studio, classroom, or on stage. You also have the advantage of the built in arpeggiator which will help you create unique patterns during music production. For a true piano sound there is a sustain button that will carry a note or chord over into the next musical bar, while the octave button lets you move up and down whenever it is called for.

There is a tap tempo control button that is ideal for studio recording, and will ensure that all of your musical ideas are stored on your hardware. The portable midi keyboard controller can be used with your Mac or PC via a USB cable, without the need to find an additional power source or install a driver. To make set up quick and easy the necessary software is included with the midi keyboard, and it will let you customize all of the commands to fit your individual workflow.

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There are several different types of Akai midi controllers, and finding the right one for you can be difficult. The size of the midi device will play an important role in your decision, along with whether you need additional features like drum pads and Q link knobs. Two midi devices that include all of the features that you need to record, compose and play are the Akai Professional MPK49 MIDI Keyboard Controller and the Akai Professional MPK25 MIDI Keyboard Controller. Each of these products are included in our comparison table which was created to help you make the best choice for your musical needs.