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Rating and Reviews: Akai Advance 61 USB MIDI

Virtual-instrument virtuoso? Get real-time feedback with the Akai Advance 61's high-res color screen. VIP software helps you find the right instrument fast.

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"A Must Buy" submitted December 14, 2015

By John Dylan L in Redondo Beach, CA
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Musical Background: 10years of Musicianship, Guitar, and Now EDM Keys
Music Style: EDM, House, Trance, Metal, and Jazz
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Overall: Ordered this beauty last week, this being my first controller I do not have any experience to compare it to another controller. I will say that it is a extremely professional looking and feeling instrument, everything responds perfectly; I have never used a keyboard before so getting used to how the keys react was different since they are pressure sensitive. VIP software works great, I can find useful sounds a lot quicker then before when I was just using my DAW to browse the sounds. Definitely recommend you pick one up, has all of the features you could want, and that screen on the keyboard is extremely useful. The included Plug-ins sound amazing as well! Hybrid and VacuumPro have allot of great sounds, Hybrid has an infinite amount of trance based sounds. Excited to dive into it more and more each day, is a very inspiring instrument.
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"Akai Advance, awesome concept not fully mature" submitted December 3, 2015

By Allen S in Granite Bay, CA
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Musical Background: 35-plus year serious hobbyist & occasional professional.
Music Style: Electronica, rock, pop, soundtrack
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Overall: The Advance 61 is high-quality product which comes with lots of very good free software (downloadable), but suffers somewhat through lack of full support for the complete integration of the VIP VST Host software. The keyboard itself is very well built. I find myself wishing this keyboard was on all of my other synths and workstations ... it's that good. The pitch wheel has an oddly slow return-to-center. This will bug some players, but I find it works just fine. I should note that there is something comforting and inviting about the construction of the wheels themselves. The buttons, knobs and pads are first-quality and reassuring "pro" feeling. The VIP VST host concept is incredible, when it works right, which it does with most VSTs. It's very possible to scarcely look at your computer screen at all ... the workflow is that well thought out and intuitive. You'll need to need the manual and scratch your head about a few things, but it becomes obvious very quickly.What's bad (and the reason for the 3 start overall score) is that VIP isn't very well supported by Akai, in the sense of maintaining patch maps and compatibility. There are significant problems/bugs with some populatr VSTs (in my case Arturia MiniV and Prophet V) which make these VSTs unusable within VIP. These have been known for months with little support from Akai besides "trying reinstalling". Despite the fact that this is a MIDI controller, I rated sound 5-stars owing to the excellent compliment of VSTs which are included. Its' not an exaggeration to say you'd have a complete sound-set with just what is included. These are not stripped down versions, but the "real thing" from Air Music Technologies. The inclusion of a DAW program - like Abelton light - would have made this a "system in a box", but now I am quibbling.
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"Akai Advanced 61 Keyboard Review" submitted May 15, 2016

By CEDD M in Stone Mountain , GA
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Musical Background: Producer, engineer-
Music Style: Multiple genres.
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Overall: I am loving this keyboard!! Just the look of it inspires me. I love being able to control my instruments and effects with VIP software. It feels like more than a midi controller, solid and sturdy, just like my old Roland and Korg boards. My workflow has definitely sped up. Keys are a little stiff, compared to the NI Kontrol Series., but playable.
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"Standalone is amazing But..." submitted February 29, 2016

By a customer from hotmai.com
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Overall: Standalone using VIP is simply amazing. Don't even need your computer Screen on. Sounds great like concert class. Mine won't work with Reaper, I've looked at videos and tried reinstalling the DAW program and no go. Ableton works good with it except for the fact it won't let me Import plugins from VIP, shows my folder empty but all the plugins are in VIP. Customer support isnt very great. Haven't heard back about issue. The VIP software is a little buggy sometimes starting. Have to close and restart. The key board functions, features and build quality are very good. Doesn't feel like a cheap plastic. There are better products out there but for the quality and amount of plugins VIP gives you. It's not a bad deal, you can always add equipment however you choose your setup to be. BTW the grand piano sounds amazing. Sadly sounds better then some videos of regular Yamaha keyboards. If I were to purchase a different keyboard it would be the Native Komplete Kontrol downside is your stuck using their stuff only and you have to buy the program not to mention that will run you 1200k. It's worth it if your positive that's all you want to use but why be limited.
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