Making music is like a recipe: all the ingredients have to come together to create something more. Without a doubt, some of the most important ingredients in the mix are your instruments and controllers. They're the parts that turn your actions into sound, after all, which means that they're the direct link between your muse and the end result. With so much riding on it, getting the best possible sound calls for high-end equipment like Akai professional keyboards and MIDI. Starting out in 1984, Akai has been in the thick of MIDI ever since the standard was first created. Throughout that time, the relationship between the two has been very close: a lot of the advancements the MIDI standard has seen are the direct result of Akai technology. The perfect examples of this are their woodwind controllers. Using special sensors to register breathing techniques, these controllers are played just like an acoustic instrument. That gives woodwind players the opportunity to use MIDI in a completely natural way. Although their specialty MIDI controllers are impressive, keyboards are probably still the most well-known segment of the Akai lineup. You can use these as standalone electronic keyboards or MIDI controllers - for either use, they work great. Check out the MAX49, for instance; its semi-weighted keys have a plush, natural feel and there are 8 pads on top to trigger effects and sequences on-demand. Or, if you need a keyboard with a full 88-key manual, look no further than the MPK88. DJs, live sound technicians and plenty of other performers have come to rely on pad controllers more than ever, so you'll be glad to see that Akai has not forgotten those. In fact, they make some really world-class pads, like the top-of-the-line MPD series. Do you use Ableton Live on your digital audio workstation? If so, you should also consider the APC controllers, which are purpose-built to take advantage of that software. However you plan to put them to the test, the important thing to know about Akai professional keyboards and MIDI is that they'll easily pass your trial. Akai has proven itself with three decades of building fantastic MIDI equipment, and when you add any of these keyboards or controllers to your setup, you'll have the tools you need to express yourself better than ever.
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