The MPD24 is a Midi controller from Akai featuring 16 pads, 6 faders and 8 knobs. It has USB and midi in/outs. It's pretty easy to use, and the quality is nice. The pads feel good under your fingers and are responsive, featuring velocity and aftertouch and such. There are four available pad banks. It also has a set of transport controls. The thing is well built, but not as good as some of the other pad controllers out there, and rather small. The big pads are nice, but you only have 16 which means you can pretty much only use it to record drums. If you have the cash, you should spring for the APC40 or the Novation Launchpad, my favorites. I wouldn't really recommend it unless you need more pads than come on a lot of midi keyboards, and only want to do drums. Set up and installation are easy, factory presets work fine. The sliders are actually of exceptional quality, and the knobs are pretty smooth. I'm still not sure how useful or economical the thing is though. It's only use is playing drums and samples. It's basically a midi version of the MPC. If you need an MPC type thing, save up and get one, way worth your money compared to this. Also, one thing is that the pads are square, but the sensors below are round! This can cause some velocity and feel issues that can actually be pretty annoying, whereas something button based like the novation launchpad is a better option. I sold this not long after owning it, as it just sat in my unused junk closet gathering dust and taking up space. It's really not a good alternative to the MPC type approach to making music, though I don't like that approach anyways, so you may want a second opinion.
What I like most about the MPD 24 is the super great feeling knobs on this machine. I know that the most important aspect should be the pads, but I will get to those. The knobs are endless encoders and feel like they belong on a unit three times the original price of this guy. They are very smooth and have just the right amount of resistance so they feel absolutely solid. The faders are also extremely nice. Both faders and knobs blow away my M Audio Axiom keyboard as if the keyboard was the pig in the straw house and the MPD the wolf. What I don't like about the MPD is really just one thing. The pads are not as sensitive as they should be, and that of course is a huge problem. The main issue is that akai built the sensors under the pad in a round shape....the pads are of course square...hello!!!! So, if you strike the corners, you get about a 50% in my experience of triggering something, and if you do, its very low on the 0-127 scale (about 10-15). I have ordered the sensitivity upgrade on ebay and will be installing it very soon. If you only want to use this for single velocity hits or triggering scenes in ableton or something along those lines, you can set the pads to send "full" hits (127) with any hit of the pad. That seems to respond perfectly.
As for value, I got mine used for $75 so after the pad upgrade, I have invested $90. If that solves the problem than I am going to be crazy happy and feel I spent very little to get what I need.
This is just a midi device so there is no sound quality rating needed. I have used a few different drum pads including older akai models, the m audio trigger finger (better pad sensitivity but crappy everywhere else) and the Axiom pads which are also a little better. Again, if the sensitivity upgrade works, then this will be the best pad I've owned. For the little price of $75, I would buy this again just for the encoders.
Great for bangin out some drums, samples, or whatever you choose to put on the pads. It’s even a pretty useful midi controller when you take advantage of the faders and knobs. I got a great product for the price, which isn’t too bad either.
The thing is durable. I’ve been bangin my drums out on it for over a year. The build quality is just plain solid. The faders have resistance to them, same with the knobs. It’s got a nice solid weight, so it doesn’t feel like your gonna break it by going wild on it. The pads have a solid feel to them as well. So far nothing has broken on it except a knob that has come out out a little, but it still works perfectly fine.
I’m pleased with the way it interacts with my software as well. You could use the midi learn function to map out any preset you want, so that the pads control whatever you need. The more impressive thing is that it actually has a preset made for the FL plugin “FPC”. It’s called “MPC2500”. All the pads and banks correspond with the right pads and banks in the FPC. The knobs and faders you can easily assign to any parameters in your DAW as well.
One major complaint I have though is that the pads are VERY unsensitive. There is a mod to fix it but it requires you to open up the unit. Even with the sensitiviy all the way up I have to disable the velocity sensitivity on my DAW to use the MPD.
If you need what the MPD has to offer, and you won't something with more knobs and faders than the PadKontrol this is for you. I don't regret buying it at all.
This is a review for the MPD24 MIDI Control Surface. It's a USB device that plugs seamlessly into your computer for use as a MIDI Controller in your various DAWs. In general, I think it's a great investment for the short price of $150.
What you would notice first is the striking resemblance to its older, bigger brother, the MPC series of Samplers and Drum Machines. They are both made by Akai, which is the reason for this resemblance. Once you realize that it is made by Akai, the well-known father of the drum pad machine, you will feel much better about purchasing the MPD.
As we get into the bulk of this review, I just wanted to say one thing. I had originally bought the MPD16. It does not have a screen, and it looks like an M-Audio Trigger Finger. (I will review the MPD16 next). I loved the MPD16 so much, and I thought that the MPD24 would be even better, and I was not disappointed.
First off, the MPD is built very solid. It's a great piece of handiwork. The faders and the knobs are solid. The buttons will not stick in, and the overall solidity of the product is unprecedented. You can probably take it around with you if you travel because it's a rugged little piece of equipment.
Delving into the features is what this next section will cover. First off, it has eight knobs and six faders that you can program to link to aspects in your DAW. That seems to be a great feature of this piece of hardware. Many other MIDI controllers will skimp on the knobs and not even have faders, so this is a big +1 for the MPD. Another feature that I really love is the presets for the drum plug-ins on your favorite DAWs. As I sit next to the MPD as I write this review, I'm going to name off a couple of the presets for your favorite DAWs:
- Presets 2 and 3 are for Reason's ReDrum.
- Preset 5 is for Ableton's Live.
- Preset 7 is for the Battery Drum Machine.
- Preset 11 is for Cubase LE, the free version.
- Preset 12 is to emulate the pad setup of the MPC 2500.
Those are just a few of the presets. After that, you have over fifteen slots to program your own configurations in.
Under the screen, you have a selection of FOUR pad banks. You can change your programs here, too. Not to mention the classic 16 Level switch and Full Level switch.
When it comes to features, the MPD is teeming with them.
The last part of this review will cover the thing most are worried about, the price. Worry no more! One week's paycheck for most of you on a 9-5 will score you one of these. It's a shallow price at just $150, and I feel that it is worth it. You can go with the PadKontrol or the Trigger Finger, but I picked this one because I trust Akai, especially in the drum pad control market. I would recommend this to anybody, for the price.
Overall, I think that this is a great product. What I liked most about it was the feeling of the pads. They feel great, like a true MPC. They're a little thinner, however. What I liked least was the little ease of navigation on the screen. If you do not study the manual very carefully, you will get lost in a world of confusion when it comes to the fragmented words that display on the screen. The value, going for $150, is unchallenged. If I could buy it again, I would.