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Akai Buying Guide

Akai Professional: MPCs, MIDI Controllers, Drum Machines and More

Electronic music makers know Akai Professional as the brand behind the iconic MPC sampler, as well as more modern gear like the Advance and MPK MIDI keyboards, APC Ableton controllers, and much more. Follow this buying guide to find the Akai gear you need for your studio or live rig, from drum machines to EWI wind instruments.
Akai MPC Grooveboxes
When we hear "Akai," we think of the MPC -- the classic groovebox that combines a drum machine, sequencer, and sampler with a grid of 16 rubber pads, built to take the abuse of aggressive finger-drummers. The Akai MPC -- which once stood for MIDI Production Center, and now means Music Production Controller -- has seen a few updates since it first appeared in 1988. Today, the MPC's sample banks live on your host computer. The MPC Touch adds a touchscreen interface to the classic groovebox. Just connect your Mac or PC via USB, and fire up the included MPC 1.9 software, which includes some 20 GB of samples and software instruments. MPC software works as a standalone app, or as a plug-in within your existing DAW software, so you can work the way you want to.

Less than one inch thin, the MPC Studio Black is a USB MIDI pad controller with the classic MPC grid of backlit pads, and 4 touch-sensitive knobs. The MPC Studio Black comes with 7+ GB of sounds for your computer, including The Bank and The 809 libraries. Use the included MPC Software as your main DAW, or run it as a VST, RTAS or AU plug-in in your DAW of choice.
 
Akai MPC Touch Music Production Workstation
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$539.95
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or 6 payments of $99.84
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Akai MPC Studio Black Music Production Controller
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$359.95
Save 54%
or 6 payments of $66.50
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Akai Advance and MPK MIDI Keyboard Controllers
Akai MPK controller keyboards have long been favorites of studio producers -- they combine great-feeling keybeds with MPC performance pads, even on small, affordable models like the MPK mini.

Akai's Advance series of MIDI controller keyboards include VIP (Virtual Instrument Player) software, giving you fast access to all your software instruments -- within a DAW or as a standalone app -- directly from the keyboard. A full-color 4.3" LCD screen shows you all your virtual instruments' settings in real time, as you control them from your Advance controller's 8 oversized knobs and glowing MPC-style pads.
Akai Advance 25 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, 25-Key
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$319.95
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or 6 payments of $66.50
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Akai Advance 49 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, 49-Key
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$404.95
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or 6 payments of $83.17
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Akai APC Ableton Live MIDI Controllers
The original Akai APC40 was a big hit with Ableton producers, delivering hands-on control of all Ableton Live's functions -- clip launching, recording and mixing -- in one beast of a controller for a great price. The APC40 mkII upped the ante with an RGB clip-launching grid, giving you better visual feedback so you can perform without looking at your computer screen.

Then there's the APC Mini, APC Key 25, and Akai MIDImix knob controller -- all amazing values on dedicated hardware controllers. If you want to be able to play chords and melodies on a keyboard without a bulky separate MIDI controller, the APC Key 25 is for you.
Akai APC Mini Ableton Live Controller
or 4 payments of $25.00
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Akai MIDImix USB Control Surface
or 4 payments of $24.75
Free 2-Day Shipping
Akai MPD MIDI Pad Controllers
Want to play drums in your DAW? Akai Professional is at the top of their game when it comes to crafting great-feeling MIDI pad controllers. Using the same pressure-sensitive, velocity-sensitive performance pads found on MPC grooveboxes, Akai's MPD series of small-footprint MIDI controllers give you that MPC feel when triggering drums and samples in your software. Just plug one of these MPD pad controllers into your laptop -- after the session or gig, it'll fit in your laptop bag.

The larger MPD232 and MPD226 offer both MIDI-over-USB and 5-pin DIN MIDI I/O with 1/8" to 5-pin breakout cables.. If you're using USB MIDI, your controller will be USB-powered. If you prefer to use the 5-pin MIDI I/O, pick up the optional Akai MP6 power supply to power your MPD.
Akai MPD232 Drum Pad Controller
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$224.95
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or 6 payments of $49.84
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Akai MPD226 Drum Pad Controller
or 4 payments of $49.75
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Akai MPD218 Drum Pad Controller
or 4 payments of $24.75
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Akai MP6 Power Supply
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
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Akai MPX Samplers and Drum Machines
Triggering sounds with a MIDI controller is great in the studio, but when you're playing live, bringing your laptop on stage can be hazardous. The solution: Akai's MPX sample pads. The MPX16 and MPX8 let you load .WAV samples onto an SD card, add effects, then trigger them from MPC-style backlit pads. And if you do want to plug in your laptop, your MPX sampler will work as a MIDI pad controller, too.

Akai's standalone drum machines also let you build beats and synth patterns without a computer. Need a big library of go-to drum samples and patterns in one place? The Akai XR20 is an easy-to-use digital drum machine stocked with 700 tunable sounds.
Akai MPX8 Mobile SD Card Sample Player
or 4 payments of $25.00
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Akai MPX16 SD Sample Pad and Controller
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$164.95
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Akai XR20 Beat Production Station
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$239.95
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Akai DJ Controllers
Heads up, Serato DJs: Put the Akai AMX mixing surface/audio interface between your timecode vinyl turntables, or simply plug into your laptop to control Serato's software decks with an InnoFADER crossfader, transport controls and more.

For effects-happy DJs who want advanced control, the Akai AFX gives you touch-activated knobs, trigger pads and a touchstrip. And if you're new to Serato DJ, both controllers include the full version of the software.
 
Akai AMX DJ Controller for Serato
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$229.95
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or 6 payments of $41.50
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Akai AFX DJ Controller for Serato
or 4 payments of $49.75
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Akai EWI Wind Controllers and Synthesizers
If you play a traditional woodwind instrument like the saxophone, clarinet, oboe, or bassoon, the Akai EWI is the MIDI controller for you. "EWI" stands for "Electronic Wind Instrument," and it lets you use your breath and your fingers to trigger sounds on any synth or sampler with a MIDI input, including virtual instruments on your computer! The Akai EWI feels like a real wind instrument, and it can control any sound you like, from smooth saxes to the most spaced-out synths. The EWI4000S and EWI5000 models come with on-board sounds and effects, and the top-of-the-line EWI5000 even includes a built-in stereo wireless system so you can play live without being tethered to a USB cable or MIDI cable. The affordable EWIUSB model includes a library of Garritan sounds for your computer.
Akai EWIUSB USB Wind Controller
or 6 payments of $49.84
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Akai EWI4000S Wind Controller/Synthesizer
or 6 payments of $116.50
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
Akai EWI5000 Wireless Electronic Wind ...
or 6 payments of $133.34
Free 2-Day Shipping
 
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