Akai Professional XR20

XR20, Drum Machine from Akai Professional.

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All user reviews for the Akai Professional XR20

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Average Score:3.9( 3.9/5 based on 12 reviews )
 4 reviews33 %
 7 reviews58 %
 1 user review8 %
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yoTrakkz's review"Decent, not the best from akai though"

Akai Professional XR20
The quality on the Akai XR20 seems to be pretty sturdy. The drum pads are fairly stiff, but I was used to their feel within an hour of playing. The LCD is large and important info is easily seen from a decent distance away. There are two footswitch inputs on the back (on/off and A/B/fill), which are a huge plus for me.


Outputs are limited to L/R/Aux, but that should be enough for me. My only physical concern was a bit of crackling coming from the headphones when I first tried it out. I soon realized that this wasn't crackling - it was a sample of a record popping 'n' clicking! It would be nice to have USB or expandable memory available, too, but that's easily worked around via midi. I'd also like to be able to switch the swing function on and off as I play, but I can work around this, too.


sounds great, doesnt have the feel of the mpc by akai though.


Programming is a breeze; you get three separate tracks for your drums, synth (bass or other sound) and percussion or SFX. Up to 32 notes are possible at a time, so you can make quite thick patterns. I've read some complaints about timing or voice-stealing when you load your patterns up to the max, but I don't usually have that much going on at once, so I've yet to notice it. I did try an experiment and maxed out the polyphony, but I didn't notice any drag at all. Pattern or song programming really aren't that different from any other drum machine out there these days; the large pads simply make playing the parts live much easier. You can only save 100 patterns onboard. This should be a concern, but each pattern is really four patterns in one: A, B, and two fills for each of those. Switching back and forth between them - or using their respective fills to lead into the other - is simple and offers plenty of both options and variety for my tastes and needs.
Audiofanzine FR12/03/2008

Audiofanzine FR's review

Akai Professional XR20
(Originally written by henridelavillle/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
- Standard audio and Midi connections (Midi out/thru).

- Two effects: reverb and compressor/EQ with presets.

- 3-track sequencer: drums, hits and synth.


- Well conceived configuration. The blue pad light is essential and quite relaxing.

- After only 30 min. of use you can already start to play your first beats... Easier than a Boss.


- Modern drum sounds with very heavy kick drums (which sound very good with the integrated compressor). It's very easy to change the sound of the pads.

- Nice quantize function. I didn't know that this small drum was made by Alesis. The quantize function is much more effective than the one in Cubase or Fruity. It sounds great.

- The effects do their job.

- I really miss an additional sequencer track.

- Good synth sound especially for bass parts.

- The battery operation is a convenient feature.

I don't use Fruity or Cubase to create my drum tracks anymore because their quantize function doesn't groove.

This one is on the same level as a Boss drum machine.


- I've been using it for one week.

- I had a Boss Groove five years ago. It had a fantastic groove function but the audio output was not good enough.

- Good value for money... I will buy a Roland Fantom G6 or an Alesis as soon as I have enough money because I'm fed up with this cable chaos. Perhaps also a MPC500 because of its groove. I use Fruity only for VST plug-ins.

- Typical gangsta sound but I think it's also possible to produce house music too...

peepsaudio's review

Akai Professional XR20
This drum machine has a few different connections. There are standard 1/4" analog outputs if you want to send your beat out to be recorded. You can also output MIDI data of your beats if you want to get them on a workstation. There is a headphone output so you can work on your stuff when you're traveling without the need for speakers or anything. There is also a mic input so you can record something to mix into your beats. There is a ton of flexibility for the sounds you can get. It comes with all different styles of kits. You can also add effects like EQ, reverb, compression and delays. This is really a feature packed drum machine in a small package.


On the surface this is very easy to use, and if you just want to make simple beats it's not hard to get going with it and it's self explanatory. You will definitely want to peruse the manual on this thing though - there is kind of a confusing amount of settings you can go through for every sample and every beat you make. Other than adding the effects I mentioned you can't really edit the samples that much, but they give you a ton of them so it's not hard to find something you like.


The sounds on this thing are great. I prefer them to a lot of sample packs that I have on my DAW and I end up exporting a lot of sounds from the XR 20 into my DAW sequencer for studio use. It definitely specializes in hip hop type sounds - if you want just a plain realistic sounding acoustic drum kit this is probably not the piece of gear you want. The effects are fair - they do what they say but don't sound as good as a lot of the plug ins you would have on your DAW. The expressiveness of the pads is only about fair as well - the velocity curve on them is kind of tricky and takes a little bit of getting used to. I would probably stay away from the reverbs on the XR 20 and leave that to a different program.


I have been using this for over a year now. I love the great choices of drum sounds and the sheer amount they give you to work with. It's also easy to set up songs and sequence part changes and fills which is nice. The XR 20 also lets you do some melodic stuff - the drum pads also have note values so you can program in simple synth melodies or basses as well. I have tried a lot of drum machines, and this one has great bang for buck. I would get it again.

KromeMusic's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Well to start but only"

Akai Professional XR20
Good little drum machine to start. It is oriented hip hop but also get by electro. It has a drums section 1 SHOT (various samples) and with synth bass leads, violins, pianos ... The sounds are editable there are several effects and parameters (pan, reverb, velocity ...) It has MIDI connection but no usb.


Very easy to use, very intuitive. The manual is more than enough.


The sounds are really more oriented hip hop. Although she is doing in electro remains insufficient. When used alone, but it goes in a composite with other instruments, it seems flat, we do not hear the sounds do not have enough punch. There velocity but very low. No aftertouch.


I use it for more than a year. This is my first drum machine. and my first electronic instrument. At first I was happy but now it gathers dust while I spring from time to time ... Against by the value for money is exellent. Today I no longer used in any component, it is only an instrument for beginners. I do not have that choice. I use my kits drums synth which are a thousand times better. if I had to buy a drum machine would be the spark to arturia or Akai MPC Renaissance.
Nissan Fairlady02/08/2012

Nissan Fairlady's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Effective."

Akai Professional XR20
midi in and out, line 4 audio outputs (2 stereo), microphone input, headphone output, 2 pedal ports.

there are internal effects, but of course they not break bricks. there is a section "mastering" that can help, it is a treatment "compression + EQ" who can play on bandwidth and dynamics, its signal to mix with other sources. reverbs are great, but it's super hard to find good reverbs, it would have been surprising to find one in the XR20. output can help to solve this problem, however, if one wants to invest in a pedal or rack apart.

available styles: hip hop, r'n'b, crunk mainly, but also reggae, dub, reggaeton, everything that happens is basically MTV. Sounds old school type beasties, 808 are also part of. you can play on the pitch shift of sounds, but it is not necessary. sounds are calibrated, it is not there to make frills, but for which cartonnent make beats, make them faster, and with one machine.

I do not know well the sequencer part. I generally customizes the existing patterns. the latter having created summers with lots of events, I delete the events I do not like and I mute the tracks that squeaker, this personal is how I use it, but there is no one way to use it.


philosophy of the bike is broken jaws. one must understand how the machine is organized.

there are 100 factory presets and 100 user presets. Each preset contains a pattern (divided into A, B and AB fill, fill BA) and a kit. we can do what you want with the user presets. change the partition (patterns) or modify the kit (change sounds), but it changes a factory preset, if you save, it will put it on the default user preset with the same number. distrust has therefore not erase his work. you must choose a preset number of blank. it is necessary to note what we did and where it was placed. once you know it is no longer crashes. apart the phone number, user and factory presets have nothing to do. kits plants are named. once you have customized and saved, it will use the kit XX. the kit user XX can be copied and pasted into any preset and has many associated patterns as desired. we can also customize. therefore careful to rename. I said it was against the advice of gurped system. it is actually easy to get tangled brushes, but you can not do. the manual is not very clear. editing and sound effects is easy.
this is not a typical tree way windows so you are confused. but once we understood the trick, it rolls.


sounds suited to my style of music when I do hip hop yes. it's a bit like buying a bank of samples with midi files associated with it. one can start from zero, do it yourself kit with the sounds we love, and save the pattern by playing fingers, done for, but you can also remix an existing song. Personally this is how I use it. it saves time, it grooves, and I choose what I like, tempo, events and sounds assigned to pads. I get something very different from the factory preset, a sound that I like. as I'm harder to play the synth to program beats, it suits me quite. I bought it because the samples of sample banks must be programmed and mixed, and the loops are all doing great, but has cut dficiles. if you want to put some reverb on the snare for example, it is complicated or impossible.


I use it for 2 years.

I had a boss and a Yamaha QY70 DR55 hands long ago.

The special feature I like most is the separate output, and the fact that we can settle the pan for each pad. when we know that it's been four separate outputs, 4 different channels, and therefore the possibility of the distortion on the kick, the reverb on the snare, a little less reverb on the hi-hat ... very handy.

I also like the fact that we can take him on a journey, a headphone and shoo it can beat a quiet vacation, the train, the plane, returning from the beach, or even the beach or just before the aperitif. or after a drink, but need to be careful not to crush his old files in this case ^ ^.

this box has rhythm is not a gimmick like andysan seems to say. if you make hip hop, it just needs a little eq to sound as it should, because I think she made too many mediums, personal. a small plug of compression has a lamp can be more evenly. In short, like any tool, it must be returned in the mix anything.

B021055's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" I love this BAR"

Akai Professional XR20
The features are on the site AKAI.


Super easy to use, sound editing, programming ...
Manuel fairly comprehensive one would easily find


I like the sounds but it is a matter of taste, for it is the only complaint against the pad sensitivity, you can adjust the sensitivity on mine but I do not see much difference depending on the settings. It's always the dynamic max.


I use it for 6 months for the price (got it for € 170) is really great. Handy pads that lights up to know where we stand.

BMBMBMBM's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" very well on the move but do not require too much"

Akai Professional XR20
2 output jacks, one MIDI I / O, an output jack on the stereo, a microphone input and headphone jack.
Section slight effect but some master proper treatment compared to fxs.
Alim, battery possible, very convenient!!
There are over 700 samples, editable envelopes, assigning samples on any pads and kits can be edited at will.
The sequencer manages three tracks (drums, synth and one shot) and it is very convenient in programming or in real time, to sequence an expander. Live I shall not use more than MIDI in a analog control.
Lack of exits!


config simple type MPC by patterns against the factory can not be edited or deleted, and it's a shame, everything is simple but distrust saving kits, there is a chance to modify other patterns as the same kit can be used in various patterns.


As the machine is played alone or in live sound is massive and heavy, hip hop oriented, but there really is way to beucoup styles, I used it for the dub and DnB but it also works for the discopunk and many other styles.
The expression is very good no problem, are are realistic as they are in the machine, in effect, left there on Pro tools, I always had to rework them to restore their original fishing in the studio is limited.
The sounds are very good but not enough to be able to effect change, the blow is not always the same sauce.


I used well for 2 years and then not using more in the studio, I also removed my machine set live.Bonne to discover the world of MPC, without sampling.
I do not have that choice would do for me, but I will offer much to my daughter to learn and play is terrible.
What I like most is the side post it in 5 minutes you create fun patterns with 3 tracks

alatchala's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Akai Professional XR20
View previous opinions.


The XR20 is very easy to use. This is my first drum machine and I managed to get nice sounds in less than an hour. The division into two sets drums (Drum + 1-shot) facilitates the direct creation and editing of sets is also quite fast. Synth Section is a bit small but useful for basslines. I wish I could mute each pad independently, allowing only the XR20 to mutate by section. However, I loved the Note Repeat button and backlit blue pads are really nice.

The French manual is clear but it will refer to the complete manual in English for the problems a little more pointed. However, one can very well do without the manual if you fiddle a little buttons.

Editing sounds is easy with the wedge that can quantize the notes at the right place. It is a bit tedious with the Step Edit function, which is still useful to reset pad badly hit by when recording.


The XR20 was designed for the Hip Hop sounds, therefore in this direction but it is quite possible to do other genres like Rock, Techno, Jazz ...

The sounds are mostly not too realistic but I do not think it is the role of a drum machine.

I think the claps sound a bit like all but the sounds are still effective, few kicks even very interesting.


I use it for 9 months and I'm not about to part with it. It is very small (I put in a pocket notebook), it connects quickly, we can put it on batteries, perfect for a small beef improvised.

However, to use "live", it is not practical, it has not all functions at your fingertips. That's why I will soon move to the next level with a Korg Electribe EMX-1, more directional control.

€ 150 bought almost new, I think the value is excellent as the rhythm box is full of resources and the choice I would do without hesitation.

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Aie Aie Aie but prices Akai!"

Akai Professional XR20
Pads (low) velocity.
Various sounds, but typed electro R'nB


Intuitive in all except for the management of sets: do not forget to save sets of drums in addition to the patterns. Otherwise, the mode of operation allows pads remarkable creativity you can be amazed at the ideas found!


Very good sound quality but the catch is fragile.


Instrument naive style, that's why I like it.
A bit expensive for what it is.
If you call serious music, go your way ...

azzo's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Akai Professional XR20
What connections (audio, MIDI ...)?
see data sheet
How many sounds and styles available?
Are they edited?
Through a utility Mac / PC?
He has an effects section?
What are the characteristics of the sequencer?


The general configuration is it simple?
Editing sounds and effects is it easy?
The manual is clear and sufficient?


The sounds they are suitable to your style of music?
Are they realistic?
The effects are they effective and responsive?
The expression is good? (Response to velocity, aftertouch to)?
What are the sounds you prefer, you hate?
too much to say


How long have you use it?
2 years
What is so special that you like most and least?
blue pads
Have you tried many other models before buying it?
How would you rate the quality / price?
not bad
With experience, you do again this choice?