Akai MPK49
Akai MPK49
ericthegreat 10/25/2011

Akai MPK49 : ericthegreat's user review

« I love akai »

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I've had my eye on the Akai MPK 49 keyboard for some time now (years actually) but when it came to buying this, it often felt like I was spending money on a luxury. I'll admit, what people said about it is true, that it had issues from the moment I plugged it in it wasn't detected by windows and had massive issues with getting recognized.


When I plugged it in (windows 7), the little screen wouldn't light up, and windows gave me an error saying "unknown usb device". Someone mentioned a shortcut to resetting the firmware which was to hold down [<< + STOP + REC] while plugging it in, which lit up the device, when it asked me if I wanted to proceed in resetting it I hit [Cancel] intead. Bingo, the device was lit now. So it was powered, and once I selected it as a Midi Controller in Live (it comes up in the dropdown list of Midi controllers as "MPK49") it worked perfectly through USB and I don't have to do any tricks to get it to turn on anymore, just plug and play. I blame Microsoft for this problem though, not Akai. Windows will never be predictable when it comes to developing USB devices for it. Especially since Vista. Despite the few hours it took me to get it working, it's a beautiful device, and works wonderfully. All the controls automate easily, the keys feel good for playing (semi-weighted is a good balance for playing synth and piano) I had a fully weighted keyboard (the Triton LE) and it was awkward for playing synths or anything non-piano.


My favorite thing though is the little mixer console, it doubled my mixing time, ability, and productivity. My workflow is totally changed now. It's really nice to have the pads too, however it's not sensitive enough and you really have to hit them hard to get the desired response. Still, nice to have. I really have no complaints and I'm going to be using this controller for a long time. I'd recommend it to anyone.