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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 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.

Like the classic MPCs, the flagship Akai MPC X is a standalone music production workstation that doesn't require a computer. With a 10.1" color touchscreen, touch-sensitive knobs and pads, and 10 GB of world-class sounds pre-installed, this studio centerpiece can also integrate with your Mac or PC via USB.

The MPC Touch gives you a touchscreen interface and the classic groovebox pad grids for controlling MPC sample banks on your host computer. 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 classic MPC grid of backlit pads, and 4 touch-sensitive knobs. The MPC Studio Black includes 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 X Music Production Workstation
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$1,944.00
Save 35%
or 12 payments of $183.25
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Akai Force Grid-Based Music Production System
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$1,249.00
Save 58%
or 12 payments of $124.92
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Akai 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. The MPK Road 88 brings the classic touring piano into the modern world, in the form of a road-ready controller.
Akai MPK Mini Play Keyboard
or 6 payments of $21.50
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Akai APC Ableton Live and FL Studio 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.

Now, Akai takes the FL Studio world by storm and introduces the first controller made just for this DAW. The Akai Fire is a 4x16 backlit RGB matrix controller with an OLED display that'll have you creating, making, and tweaking whole songs in FL Studio, in seconds.
Akai Fire Controller for FL Studio
or 6 payments of $33.17
Free 2-Day Shipping
Akai MIDImix USB Control Surface
or 6 payments of $16.50
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Akai LPD and 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 small-footprint LPD and MPD MIDI controllers give you that MPC feel when triggering drums and samples in your software. Just plug one of these Akai pad controllers into your laptop -- after the session or gig, it'll fit in your laptop bag.

The larger MPD226 offers 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 MPD226.
Akai LPD8 Laptop Pad Controller
or 6 payments of $11.50
Free 2-Day Shipping
Akai MPD218 Drum Pad Controller
or 6 payments of $19.84
Free 2-Day Shipping
Akai MPD226 Drum Pad Controller
or 6 payments of $33.17
Free 2-Day Shipping
Akai MP6 Power Supply
Play as you Pay® on orders $59+
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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 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 plug in your laptop, your MPX sampler will work as a MIDI pad controller, too.

Akai's standalone drum machines let you build beats and synth patterns without a computer. Need a big library of go-to drum samples and patterns, all 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 6 payments of $16.50
Free 2-Day Shipping
Akai MPX16 SD Sample Pad and Controller
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$169.95
Save 43%
or 4 payments of $49.75
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Akai XR20 Beat Production Station
or 8 payments of $37.38
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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 EWI5000 comes with on-board sounds and effects and 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 8 payments of $37.38
Free 2-Day Shipping
 
 
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