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Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller  

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1274115061221
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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 keyb... Read More

Available 12-22-2016 You will not be charged until order ships. Email me when this is in stock.

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$7990.00
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Overview

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.

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
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
Warranty

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  • Extended return period
  • Extended price protection
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  • Free transfer of coverage to a new owner
  • Repair costs covered for up to three years from date of purchase
  • Repair authorization-toll-free by phone or via the web
  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Akai ProfessionalMPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller
 
4.2

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A fantastic keyboard with a few flaws

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...Read complete review

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.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good but still not great

The keys feel great, and playing this thing is a naturally creative experience for me, so for feel this keyboard gets some great points. The downside is that programming the functions of the...Read complete review

The keys feel great, and playing this thing is a naturally creative experience for me, so for feel this keyboard gets some great points. The downside is that programming the functions of the knobs and sliders is almost exactly the opposite for me. Every blue moon I can get one of the controllers set the way i want it to, but most of the time it's a struggle that takes away from my musical experience...the one the main keyboard so joyfully provides. The software which comes with the Akai keyboard to help in programming is not much help. I've only been at it a few weeks so far, but with nearly all of my attention and focus, when not at work, to get this thing integrated into my rig. Even using it in Live Lite (provided with the keyboard) isn't always smooth and it comes with a preset for that! The presets for other DAWs are notably lacking for Logic or DP, though most of the P.C. programs I also use are listed. And as mentioned they do skimp on the power connector, assuming you will just use the USB with a computer. For the money, I do think that was a cheap move. The sliders are also cheap as previously noted and not only have play, side to side, but can sometimes rattle. For feel - (5) stars For lack of good control interface - (-1) Star For cost being greater than my expectation - (-1) Star It's not a bad controller, but it's still not great. Even with the skimping on the sliders and the power supply, this would be a tremendously greater value once they enhance the user interface software, thereby unlocking it's potential. At that point, this keyboard will truly be worth more to me than their asking price. I haven't given up on it yet, so maybe that tells you something, but I do wish it was more straightforward to program.

Reviewed by 10 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A great addition to the studio

By David Orr

from LA, CA

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

Just picked up the MPK88 after years of window shopping for a combo upright/weighted keys level piano w/ Midi, USB, and digital capabilities. The MPK88 is more than that with the addition of the MPC style pads, and 2 sets of assignable (8) programmable knobs/faders, transport controls, and other functions.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A great keyboard with a couple minor quirks

By Mark Cornell

from Roaring Spring, PA

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

I bought the MPK88 at Christmas while GC was still offering the special discounts. I thought about Studiologic as I love the Fatar action, but didn't want to pay big bucks or end up with a controller that didn't have the controlability that I wanted. The controls feel good. The pads do seem a bit on the insensitive side but that isn't a big deal to me for my purposes. It seems more user friendly than my Novation SL MkII 49 but only slightly. The action is good but not without an issue. I use Pianoteq as my piano (awesome program) that makes use of ALL of the velocity curve (I think 127 different velocity points). At the very lightest end of the scale when trying to play as softly as you can, some notes won't trigger...but i'm talking VERY light playing. This is possibly typical on all weighted controllers. The keyboard seems like a tank - very well built and solid in every aspect...BUT...there is one thing that I'm not fond of and wish that it was corrected by AKAI. That is the button rattle that is present when playing the keys moderately to aggressively. The buttons don't feel cheap, it's just that they aren't tight which results in the rattle. In a stage setting where you've got monitors in your face or using in-ear monitors, it won't be an issue, but when at home, playing at a family friendly volume level, it's slightly annoying. Despite those two minor issues, I would buy the MPK88 again. If they would throw Fatar action in it and take care of the button rattle, Akai would have a controller that would be tough to beat anywhere.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

This keyboard is awesome!

By Samuel Phillips

from Pittsburgh, PA

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

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.

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Rattling Buttons

By casey

from Houston, TX

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

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.

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(3 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

This is why Akai is still around

By Charles

from Does it really matter

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

Finally someone stepped up to the plate and actually swung. If you are crying about the price for this controller you must not be serious about music production. Akai could charge twice the amount for all the features you get with this controller. Your alternative is Studiologic or M Audio. Dont even think about it!!!!!!!! Get this and be happy. Makes your home studio look cooler LOL. Seriously......I am a long time Akai owner from the S series samplers to the MPC drum machine. Akai is letting you know they are still in the game to win. In this ecomony you have to watch how money is spent. This is a great investment.

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(22 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Worth every penny

By jmik

from Rockville, MD

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

I'm not a pianist by any stretch of the imagination, but a majority of my writing and production is done on a keyboard. The lack of weighted keys on my previous controller was annoying, and contributed to somewhat lifeless and uninspired passages on disk. After upgrading to the Akai, I can say I'm not disappointed. The MPK88 feels great and offers an abundance of control options to further streamline your work flow. Pros/Cons: Initial set up is easy. Install the software, plug in the USB cable and you're good to go. If you want to send midi out of the midi ports simultaneously though, you'll need to invest in a power supply. The MPC pads are definite strong point, and I use them like crazy, however they won't feel as sensitive to seasoned MPC users. The hammer action feels great, but aggressive playing produces a slight buzz, coming from one of the PCB's vibrating internally. If you care to fix it, you can open up the guts and place some weatherstripping along the edge of the board and it's gone. Biggest drawback for me is that there's no template for Logic. There's at least a dozen, including Ableton and Fruity Loops, but no Logic? Come on. It was extra tweak time that I didn't want, but at least once it's set, it's set. Overall, a great controller, and so far, worth every penny. The rebate makes it a steal. 4 out of 5 for the reasons stated above.

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(41 of 41 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A fantastic keyboard with a few flaws

By Jonathan Long

from Bloomington, IN

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

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.

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(12 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Good but still not great

By Ordeith23

from Portland Or.

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

The keys feel great, and playing this thing is a naturally creative experience for me, so for feel this keyboard gets some great points. The downside is that programming the functions of the knobs and sliders is almost exactly the opposite for me. Every blue moon I can get one of the controllers set the way i want it to, but most of the time it's a struggle that takes away from my musical experience...the one the main keyboard so joyfully provides. The software which comes with the Akai keyboard to help in programming is not much help. I've only been at it a few weeks so far, but with nearly all of my attention and focus, when not at work, to get this thing integrated into my rig. Even using it in Live Lite (provided with the keyboard) isn't always smooth and it comes with a preset for that! The presets for other DAWs are notably lacking for Logic or DP, though most of the P.C. programs I also use are listed. And as mentioned they do skimp on the power connector, assuming you will just use the USB with a computer. For the money, I do think that was a cheap move. The sliders are also cheap as previously noted and not only have play, side to side, but can sometimes rattle. For feel - (5) stars For lack of good control interface - (-1) Star For cost being greater than my expectation - (-1) Star It's not a bad controller, but it's still not great. Even with the skimping on the sliders and the power supply, this would be a tremendously greater value once they enhance the user interface software, thereby unlocking it's potential. At that point, this keyboard will truly be worth more to me than their asking price. I haven't given up on it yet, so maybe that tells you something, but I do wish it was more straightforward to program.

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(19 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great "Heavy" Controler

By Richard

from San Jose

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

This is an 88 key Weighted Controler. This is not a light keyboard in any way. It weighs about 60lbs but is shorter and deeper then other 88's. The action is heavy with a long throw. I have played a lot of piano so this was a good thing for me. Took about a week of playing to get used to it. It does have 5 velocity curves but I just left it on linear and adjusted in Ivory just slightly. It has a nice spacing between the black and the white keys, compared to the Keystation Pro (a truly flimsy keybed) or an old fatar action of an RD150 I was using. Controls feel solid and are easy to program. There is aftertouch on the pads or it can beassigned to a fader or knob. The actual keybed does not have aftertouch. Comes with software to help manage the 30 presets that you can have on the keyboard. Plugged it in to my Laptop and windows 7 saw it and installed 3 MIDI interfaces. 48 MIDI channels at once. Nice! Love how the mod wheel and pitch bend wheel light up. I recommend it as long as the heavy, long key throw is good for you.

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(26 of 41 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Great control with horrible key action

By Tim H

from Kansas City

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

I was very excited to finally get my mpk88 in! The excitment wore off almost immediately when I first loaded up pianoteq software and started playing. The action on this thing is VERY stiff! so much so, that when trying to play delicate passages I found it difficult to get the key depressed sufficiently. When played softly, the keys sort of "catch" to the point where is severely interferes with my playing. It is really a shame since the assignable controls and the rest of the features are to nice and easy to set up. I am sending it back unfortunately.

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