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Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller  

Item #: 
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... Click To Read More About This Product

Price:
$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

GUITAR CENTER'S PRO COVERAGE
Pro Coverage gives you added warranty protection for your new gear. Stepping in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" coverage ends, our Pro Coverage program offers you upgraded coverage if your product ever fails Read More.

Pro Coverage includes
  • Accidental damage protection (new gear only)
  • Expedited repair
  • Free shipping (for returns or repairs)
  • 100% coverage for commercial use
  • Extended return period
  • Extended price protection
  • No lemon guarantee
  • 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
 
4.3

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

71%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Functional (6)
  • Good quality (6)
  • Easy to use (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (4)

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 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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3.0

Not bad....but

By GK

from Toronto, Canada

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Functional
  • Good controller layout, pads/knobs work well
  • Vyzex software good but needs update.

Cons

  • Action isn't the greatest for very soft playing
  • Difficult To Use
  • Poor Quality
  • Transport buttons rattle but you can fix

Best Uses

  • Backup
  • Good for aggressive playing
  • Practicing

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

Use this as a controller for film scoring. If you need to play VERY softly, the action sucks because the keys have a slight resistance at the very top. Pianos don't do this!

(12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best I've ever Owned

By Gilmore Black

from N. Texas (NTSU)

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality
  • Highly Programmable

Cons

  • Heavy For Frequent Gigs

Best Uses

  • Concerts
  • Practicing
  • Studio Composition

Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

If all you've ever played is little spring-action keyboards, and never studied piano or played high-end pianos, forget this one, and move along to synth-weight keyboard - which comprise the vast majority of them out there.

But if you've played piano seriously, or played the great ones, then read on.

I've used many, many keyboards and synths. This is a solidly-built machine. Ignore the comments about "key noise"; these people've apparently never played piano - if they have, they've not played Bose, Stein, or Faz. It's a steal at the current price. But don't expect support from Akai. They build a wicked machine, but the support department is a phantom.

This keyboard is fully worth it's full retain price - it's being GIVEN away at these prices!

For those of you that complain of it having no Logic template - simply copy the REASON preset over to a blank one, and rename it "Logic". The transport functions work perfectly in Logic 9 and X, and you can EASILY edit the remainder of the functions, although most controls do useful thing as-is.

I'd spend the money again in a second. And Musician's friend has been more than good about this purchase - instantly supportive, and really won my loyalty.

(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.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great product for the price!

By MM67

from New Jersey

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Composing
    • Practicing

    Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

    This MIDI controller is doing exactly what I need it to do for composing in my DAW and for practicing. Some reviewers on other sites have complained about the keys being noisy and the lack of an 'authentic' feel of a real piano, but that is expected if you are not willing to dish out at least three or four times the amount! For the price (and my current budget) I can deal with a little noise from the keys (if it really bothers me I'll just use headphones or turn my monitors up loud) and the feel of the keys for me is just fine. Yes, it won't replace a real piano, but that isn't its main purpose anyway. It's meant to be a MIDI controller and it does the job well!

    All controls and MIDI assignments are easily editable (please read the instructions!), including the velocity sensitivity of the keys and pads. For composing, I have found it to have a very good velocity response which allows me to not have to tweak every single MIDI note velocity in my DAW after I have recorded the notes. The modwheel, sliders and knobs have a good feel to them, with some subtle resistance (meaning not too loose) for better control.

    The only actual complaint I might have is the weight. It's rather heavy, and you need to make sure you have a sturdy foundation to put it on. Despite that, I'm satisfied!

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Solid - Tons of features

    By Dr. Moreau

    from NYC

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Functional
    • Good Quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Concerts
      • Practicing

      Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

      got it for far less (close to %40)than usual price at one day sale event at MF - thanks a lot!!!
      Action is fine and very much comparable (but not as good) with my Studiologic (Fatar) that actually broke.
      One noticeable difference is that MPK keys bounce a bit at the return if hit and let go immediately.
      I can hear a short rattling sound on rebound - like "Ta-da-da". I use cans most of the time so it doesn't bother me at all. I might mod it to address the issue once its off warranty.
      Knobs, buttons, sliders, pads - all great stuff!
      Tap Tempo led is always blinking. The only way (AFAIK) to disable it is to switch to external source. I might just do that since I don't see any practical need for me to arpeggiate from controller.
      I gave it 5 stars to factor in the price I got it for.

      (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      AKAI MPK88 USB midi controller

      By aglanfield

      from ontario, canada

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Functional
      • Good Quality
      • Improves Sound

      Cons

      • No Onoff Switch

      Best Uses

        Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

        Awesome keyboard with great heavy weighted keys. I am very happy with it, and their condition 2 is like brand new to me, I can't find any scratches :)

        (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.

        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        So far, so good.

        By tkrtomkins

        from Fort Collins, CO

        About Me Novice

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • EASY TO SET UP
        • Easy To Use
        • Functional
        • Good Quality
        • Great Action

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Practicing
          • Writing Music

          Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

          I've been a musician for a long time but this is my first keyboard. I went to the local music shop to test out all of the keyboard controllers I could find and the MPK88 was the best in my price range. I read a lot of reviews before I made the purchase and that definitely helped me make my choice. My own personal opinion is that I love the semi-weighted keys, and as I play more and more I find myself getting used to them. The keys are a bit stiff but I like that feature because it helps me build strength in my fingers.

          I use this controller for Logic Pro and I had no problems getting it all hooked up. It also has presets for a bunch of other DAWs so all you have to do is select your preset and the DAW will program all of the sliders, knobs, etc for you. Pretty handy, though Logic is sadly not one of these presets so you'll have to do all of that manually.

          The controller comes with a super long usb cable which is very nice. There is no power switch on the keyboard but I don't really mind because I turn my computer off when I'm done and that turns the keyboard off anyway. I would definitely recommend this keyboard for a home studio as it is very heavy at 75 pounds or so. Plus it's bulky and hard to carry.

          One other thing I really like is the pitch bend and mod wheel. They are kind of tight, unlike other keyboards I tested out, and for me that allows for more precise control.

          There are a ton of features I haven't yet gotten to but overall I highly recommend the MPK88.

          (1 of 60 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          No Audio Outputs

          By Maestro

          from San Jose, CA

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Good Quality
          • Usb Interface

          Cons

          • Difficult To Use
          • No Audio Outputs
          • No Onoff Switch
          • No Power Supply
          • Not Functional

          Best Uses

            Comments about Akai Professional MPK88 Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller:

            Maybe I am doing something wrong, but there is a long delay between key stokes and sound being produced on the computer.

            The delay and the lack of an audio interface make the instrument impossible to use in a live performance setting. It cannot be used as a stand alone keyboard. It is just a giant midi controller.

            The USB connection is nice, but the instrument does not come with a separate power supply. It must be connected to a USB powered device to work.

            (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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