By interstella on 23rd January 2012
Disclaimer: I don't OWN this keyboard, rather I have borrowed it long-term from a friend. So this review can only take into account the unit itself, not the packaging, physical documentation or software, etc. We begin:
The first thing I noticed about this keyboard is its construction, which I'll admit impressed me. It's hefty, and the outer shell seems very sturdy indeed. The knobs, faders, and buttons feel great to my fingers. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the keys and pads. The keys aren't full sized, and their ("semi-weighted") action feels flimsy to me. If you aren't much of a keyboard player, this might not matter to you. If, however, you do require the feel of a real piano, quit reading this review right now because the MPK49 is not for you. Onto those pads: I have read elsewhere that the MPK's pads have been a letdown to those who expected the same feel and quality as the legendary MPC line. I whole-heartedly agree. To me these 12 pads feel stiff and rather shallow, i.e. there's not a satisfying amount of vertical movement. You really have to bang on these suckers.
On the plus side, the keyboard looks rad when it's plugged in. The modulation wheels glow and little LEDs blink red alongside a sleek blue LCD display. As awesome as this is onstage or in your studio, there is an immediate downside: It's ALWAYS on! Even when your computer is asleep. There is no on/off switch on this keyboard, so you'll be plugging and unplugging the USB every time you use it. I suppose you could leave it on all the time if you wanted to, but that would bug the hell out of me.
Another complaint I have is that the keyboard has not held up well. A couple months after I started using it, the octave up button stopped working permanently, and some of the keys have started to respond worse and worse. This despite my gentle and infrequent use, and covering it to protect from dust. Apparently you can repair these things, if you don't mind the hassle. I do.
One more note: although the MPK includes 15 or so presets for popular DAWs and synths, there's no preset for Logic! A disappointment for users of the ever-popular DAW.
The previous described the keyboard as "love it or hate it." Call me a hater!
That's about it. Thanks for reading!
By CurseesConnect on 24th February 2012
I have had the AKAI MPK49 for about four months now. Before this unit, I had only a M-Audio Keyrig 49. This is what I think of the MPK49 in use with Logic 9:
Sound Quality: 10
Simply for the fact that this is a MIDI Controller, so there is no sound create from this unit, but only sound triggered through your DAW or sound module.
Ease of use: 9
The LED display is bright and clear white-on-blue configuration. There is some buttons you can use to configure the controller as you like. The rotary selection knob seems a pretty cheap feature, but it actually works extremely well with the other buttons. The rotary knobs and the sliders can be used with almost anything in your DAW if you use the "Learn" mode. This is quite a nice feature, but sometimes it can take a while to set it up. Once set up, it works great. The Arpeggiator works well, is easy to use and makes great phrases. The pads are easy to set up too and is one of the features I was really looking forward to use...
The pads, you must have heard about it, are not great in stock form. They are difficult to hit and so a drum beat is very hard to do. The solution is to get those fat pads sold on a third party vendor. These are wonderful. Very responsive and playable in any situation.
Features : 8
Well for features, like mentionned earlier: The arpeggiator, the rotary knobs, the sliders, the pads, they are all very useable. I put 8 because of the pads that need to be replaced to have a 10. The keys are very responsive, very sturdy and feels great to play with.
Bang for buck : 7
Because the pads need to be replaced for this controller to really shine, I gave it a 7. It will cost you more, but the results are worth it. I will not be searching for another MIDI controller. This is it for me and it could probably be it for you. My advice is try before you buy and keep in mind that you WILL want to replace the pads.
By mahasandi on 24th February 2012
As far as controllers go this one is better in some ways than the maudio axiom and not as good in other ways.
I like the build it doesnt feel as cheap as the almost expected budget chinese plastic.
It looks cooler.
The key action is stiff and I dont feel for my playing style is ideal.
The one thing I liked about the axiom was its key action.
This keyboard has a hard time being lightly
pressed and triggering, maybe as the first reviewer would suggest this means I have bad technique.i just feel that the way I play was not an immeadete fit with this action YMMV, whereas with other controller there is a feeling of a good fit.
Now the drum pads one might dream are just like the akai mpc, well it is a nice dream.
Good to know there is a mod, well thats a mixed feeling, even though this looks nicer then similarly priced contollers its not.
When you buy something at this price I guess if you know nothing at this price is going to do everything right, then , cool a mod value added.if however you were hoping you would not have to fiddle to get the product done right well......
That said this is a good solid controller for the money, and to be fair I have never played
a controller with built in pads that felt right or had enough.
I guess because of the name sake I was hoping for excellent pads.
All in all I like this controller.
I find keyboards tend to wear in over use time, and at any rate you do get used to
the feel of what your muscle memory gets used to.
Worth checking out, but to.me besides the looks not leaps and bounds better then others in its price class.
By Entence on 17th March 2012
I got mine when it first came out and its been great. I feel like it just came with everything someone would need for today's productions. I thought it was better to get the MPK 49 and get samples vs. a real Roland or Moog... and being stuck with only those sounds.
The MPK allows for cool effects with the knobs and faders.
I moded the drum pads to increase the sesntivity (My only complaint) but fixable so no biggie....But Idk if this will mess up your warranty if you have one Mine was so old already it didn't matter.
I also like the feel of the simi weighted keys.
Presets com stock for almost and platform that your using. From Reason, Cubase, Sonar... list goes on and on. Good stuff.
Can't say much bad about the keyboard. I've had it for years now... no problems at all. Worth @ least giving a try.