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Item # 583978 | Customer Ratings: Ratings ( 4 Based on 10 reviews)

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Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller
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      Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller (583978)
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A piano-action production powerhouse.

The Akai Professional MPK88 is a professional performance keyboard controller with MPC (Music Production Center) production controls. The MPK88 draws on the design of the popular MPK49, the first keyboard ever to feature MPC pads. This first-of-its-kind keyboard is ideal for performance, starting with a premium, fully weighted, hammer-action keyboard, adding MPC pads, Q-Link controls, and a selection of MPC technologies. The MPK88 is born for the stage and is equally at home in the studio.

Creative input:
The Akai MPK88 features an 88-key keyboard and 16 genuine MPC pads. The hammer-action keyboard is fully weighted and features aftertouch for expressive melodic control. The MPC pads are pressure and velocity-sensitive to capture every nuance of your creative concepts. The pads can access four banks of sounds, so you have 64 samples at your fingertips with the touch of a button. The MPK88 USB MIDI Controller places dedicated transport controls within your reach for easy manipulation of some of the most important tracking and editing controls. The MPK88 has modulation and pitch-bend wheels for expressive musicality, and two assignable footswitch inputs enable you to connect an expression pedal (or other continuous controller) and a footswitch for momentary controls like patch change or start/stop.

Q-link command:
One of the most important input devices on an MPC is its Q-Link assignable control section. Akai Pro built a massive collection of Q-Links into the MPK series. The MPK88 keyboard gives you eight virtual knobs that are assignable to control nearly any software parameter. You can control three different parameters per knob thanks to the knobs' three-bank selection, totaling 24 parameters of instant, hands-on control. Like the virtual knobs, eight virtual faders and eight virtual buttons also control three banks of parameters each, so you get 24 virtual faders and 24 virtual buttons for a total of 72 Q-Link controls.

Expressive engine:
Two technologies pioneered in the MPC series and built into the MPK series are MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing. These note-modifying features can be heard in many popular tracks over the last two decades. MPC Note Repeat is a capability that enables the MPK (or MPC) to automatically play a rhythm pattern, such as 16th notes on a hi-hat, for accuracy and speed of entry. MPC Swing is sometimes referred to as "the heart and soul of hip hop" because it turns perfectly aligned sequences into human feeling time alignments. You can specify exactly the degree and timing of swing you want to apply for the perfect feel. The Akai MPK88 has Key Split, enabling you to control two different sounds from the same keyboard. On top of MPC technologies, the MPK88 has its own arpeggiator, which enables you to create quick, creative riffs in seconds. Just pick a note or chord and a rhythm pattern in the arpeggiator's library and the MPK will play your notes in the rhythm and sequence you choose. The MPK88 USB MIDI controller also has MPC Full Level and MPC 16-Level on its pads, as well as Tap Tempo and Time Division so you can nail the tempo, timing, and dynamics exactly as you hear them in your head.

Complete system:
The Akai MPK88 is a MIDI controller that sends its MIDI values over USB. It is bus powered, so all you need to connect and power the MPK88 is the supplied USB cable. Because it is MIDI compliant, the MPK88 works with most MIDI recording, sequencing, and performance software for musical performers from keyboard players to producers to DJs and even VJs. The MPK88 comes with Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition, one of the most popular and powerful performance and production programs in the world. Ableton Live Lite enables musicians to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise, and edit musical ideas in a seamless audio/MIDI environment. Hit the stage with an incredible keyboard designed to enable you to perform the way today's music is made.

Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller Features:

  • 88-key fully weighted, hammer-action keyboard with aftertouch for expressive melodic creativity
    16 genuine MPC pads with pressure and velocity sensitivity
    MPC pads access four banks each for instant access to 64 samples
    Control up to 72 software parameters with 24 assignable Q-Link knobs, buttons, and faders
    Key Split enables two different sounds from the same keyboard
    MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, and arpeggiator aid in creative process
    Transport controls for use with sequencers and DAWs
    MPC Full Level, MPC 16-Level, Tap Tempo, and Time Division assist with tempo and dynamics
    MIDI output over USB, bus powered, class compliant: plug and play with one USB cable
    Comes with Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition software
    Works with virtually all MIDI recording, sequencing, and performance software


Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller Specifications:

  • Number of Keys: 88 + 16 x 4 banks of drum pads
    Type of action: fully weighted hammer action
    Aftertouch (Channel)
    Computer interface: USB/MIDI
    Displays: custom LCD
    Footswitchable patch changes: yes
    Number of independent MIDI Ins/Outs: 1
    Programmable continuous footpedals: 1
    Programmable footswitches: 2
    Programmable controllers: MMC, MIDI START/STOP, MIDI CC
    System real-time controls: MMC, MIDI START/STOP, MIDI CC


Product Reviews
(Based on 10 reviews)
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Viewing Reviews 1 - 3 of 10 |
  • A fantastic keyboard with a few flaws

    As reviewed by Jonathan Long on 6/23/2010

    I had been shopping around for a good midi controller for both live and studio use. For the price, I don't think you can beat the MPK-88. It's a great, versatile fully weighted keyboard, but does have some flaws. The Good: I've grown up playing acoustic pianos, so key action was really important to me. The weight and action of the keys make this a natural and expressive keyboard. Some reviews say that the keys are too stiff, but if you are used to playing acoustic pianos, I do not feel that this is the case. Both the black and white keys feel natural to play. I also really like the layout of the controls. The sliders, knobs, and other controls are laid out logically so that they are easy to access. Many of the buttons also light up so it's easy to see what's going on, even on a dark stage. I like that it has the MPC style pads for drumming. Since I use my keyboard to record drums in my DAW software, it was nice to have the precision and responsiveness of the pads, which allow you to hit notes more quickly than on a regular key. Finally, the quality seems to be good all-around. I don't see any problem with looseness of the sliders/knobs, the buttons feel solid, the case is durable, and the pitch and modulation wheels have just the right amount of resistance and spring tension. The Bad: This keyboard is not without it's flaws, though. First of all, it weighs nearly 70 pounds. I took the keyboard apart and found that virtually all that weight is under the keys, for the hammer mechanisms. The hammers are all metal, as the base of the keyboard. I was disappointed by this because hammer-action keybeds can be done while still keeping the weight down. The keyboard is virtually hollow from the top of the keys to back of the keyboard. They keyboard feels sturdy, due to the weight, but it's a huge pain to carry around or move. The next thing I noticed was that the some of the buttons above the middle octave will rattle if you play the keys pretty hard. This doesn't occur on the smaller models because there is no impact from the keys to vibrate the chassis. It's not a huge problem, but can be annoying. Finally, the MPC pads aren't as sensitive as on other MPC devices. Overall, despite the flaws, I would buy the same keyboard again if something were to happen to this one.

    40 of 40 people found this review helpful.
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  • This keyboard is awesome!

    As reviewed by Samuel Phillips on 10/8/2012

    I switched to this keyboard after using a Yamaha motif ES 8 for years. While the action on the ES-8 is still better in my opinion, the added controls and flexibility of the Akai MPK 88 are well worth it (Not to mention the price difference). I use this keyboard in live performances with my band and it is very reliable. The parameters of the controls and pads are very easy to manipulate in live settings as well. It is also very solidly constructed. I wouldn't worry about how this keyboard will hold up on the road because it's a beast. A case for transportation would still be a good idea though. To sum it up, I would definitely recommend this keyboard because of its flexibility, reliability, and solid construction. Although the action on the MPK-88 is pretty nice, if you're looking for a keyboard with really nice action, I would go for a Yamaha Motif.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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  • Rattling Buttons

    As reviewed by casey on 8/8/2011

    Excellent keyboard. I grew up taking classical piano lessons on a old Yamaha with weighted keys so I took a liking to the weighted key feel for the Akai mpk88 quickly. The reported noise of the key action is negligible for me. What is not negligible is the vibrating rattling noise that the four front buttons make (Play, Stop, Tap Tempo.. etc) I feel like the buttons need some kind of thin rubber lining so I improvised my own. I'm somewhat resourceful. The rattling issue is solved and I'm a happy owner of an Akai mpk 88. Another note, I exchanged my first Akai mpk88 a week after because of a "key action defect". That's how I would describe it anyway. All 87 keys sounded the same except for an "E" key close to middle C. There was an internal "clanking" that was subtle but yet impossible to ignore. My new one is good so far. Also, that rattling buttons issue was also present on the first one I received so I feel it's a minor design flaw.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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