AKAI Professional Advance 49 Midi Keyboard Controller [Review]

AKAI Advance 49 Midi Keyboard

AKAI Advance 49

You have 49 semi-eighted keys and 8 multi-colored drum pads.

If you told that to me and tell me that I could get it for just $500, maybe I’d reconsider having a secondhand.

Or maybe not.

This is AKAI we’re talking about..

And at the very least, you get real quality for many of the best reasons.

The Advance 49 just came out last month at June 12, 2015 and not everyone has a review for this baby just yet.

But again, just like AKAI’s own brand, this works with almost every DAW and VST Software you might have in your arsenal.

It even has presets for almost every VST in your arsenal including Native Instruments Komplete.

So, should we get it just because it’s that expansive? Well, let’s see!

Read more about The best Keyboards that control midi

A plastic and metal Design

AKAI’s Advance 49 is built with some solid plastic and metal hybrid. The controls feel very tight and they don’t wobble quite easily.

I play a little bit of synth myself and we all know as synth players, we often tend to intensify our hold or use of certain parts a little bit especially during live performances.

The Advance 49 was built to withstand that passion and translate it into notes and accurate pieces.

Akai Advance 49 Rear View

Rear View

This 49-key component of the Advance series excels where its predecessors did; sensitivity and immense size. This allows you to bring out some of the best dynamics in sounds especially when you perform live.

However, you don’t have much of a MIDI master volume dial. Sometimes, the key-bed can also be quite hard to push down, probably because AKAI thought the sensitivity needed an opposing force to balance out everything.

As you plug and play, the AKAI’s interface is seamless. As it powers up, it shows you an impressive, full colour, high resolution screen. It has cursors and jog wheels to help you find your patch.

While they may have opted for a touch screen hardware here, I could say that the jog wheel/cursor combination is adequate, but resolution can do so much better.

Front Akai Advance 49

Front View

Integrating with Digital audio workstations

As you connect this piece of good fortune into your computer, you get a DAW template selection.

AKAI does not bundle its own hardware with most DAW developers. So you get a plenty of DAW templates including Logic, Cubase, Bitwig, Ableton, FL Studio and even crowd-pleaser Reaper.

I did have to set it up in my own way because every one of us knows we have our own wants and needs when it comes to these settings.

Once you’re finished, the main software takes you to the VIP software main window displaying the plugin you’ve selected and the available patches on the right of the screen.

A freaking nice feature:

It then scans for your plugins in your computer and it imports your presets from your computer to your browser. All I could say was it saved me more than 8 hours of looking for and reorganizing everything in the MIDI browser.

AKAI Advance VIP Software

AKAI VIP Software

Final Words about the Akai

I’ve used this little baby for a while and I could say things are pretty much pointing to reasons why many people love the AKAI Advance series.

This 49 key set is phenomenal, but it could improve better if AKAI didn’t want to torture you with some very hard keys. But all in all, this is an excellent product in terms of compatibility with most DAWs and VSTs and its amazing software features.

I do love Akai since the MPC, what do you think about it? Please comment and share!