Akai Pro Advance 49 Controller Keyboard Review

Buying a keyboard is no easy task. The market is saturated with options that are designed for kinds of player. Whether you’re a beginner, hobbyist or professional player, it’s so important that you find the keyboard that is best suited for you, so you can create the sounds that you’re trying to make.

During your search, you may have come across the Akai Pro Advance 49 Controller Keyboard. At first glance, this professional and highly-rated keyboard may seem to tick all your boxes with what you’re looking for, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re making the right purchasing decision for your budget.

With this in mind, let’s dive to see the ins and outs of this product and whether it will be able to help you take your music production to the next level.

A Professional MIDI Controller

Of course, at the core of this keyboard is the fact that it is built and designed to work as a MIDI controller in your existing music studio setup, regardless of whether that’s a bedroom installation or a professional music studio.

This is the exact niche that the Akai fulfills. You can effortlessly plug this keyboard into pretty much any VST or virtual music studio and start creating, experimenting and creating new sounds straight away.

While some musicians might like to stick with the tried and tested series controller, such as a Native Instrument model, the effortless setup and the customizable options you have with this controller can help you take full control of your music while providing you with a full range of features that you simply won’t find anywhere else.

A Multi-Functional Masterpiece

When you start to look closely at the Akai Advance, you’ll quickly come to realize that it is, in fact, two products in one. While, as we mentioned above, it’s a fully-featured MIDI controller, you can additionally use this keyboard as a USB keyboard, much like a traditional one, where you’ll be able to load up any of the samples in your sample bank and play around with them as you please.

Once your keyboard is installed on your computer, simply load up your VST, and you’ll be able to browse, search, play and completely control your samples in an extensive range of ways, making it easy to find new sounds, or create the ones that you’ve been dying to create for some time.

With your purchase, you’ll also gain access to the patented iLok software which you have the ability to run as a standalone lightweight VST, or as a plugin in your preferred DAW software package, such as Live or Logic.

However, if you choose to run the software, you’ll be able to access a full range of extensive features, including custom and pre-installed control mapping, patch browsing and other intelligent services.

More Samples Than You’ll Ever Need

Sometimes, when you’re trying to create that perfect sound, you’ll need to play around with samples, whether you’re trying to edit a certain tone or effect, or simply searching for inspiration for your next track.

No matter what reason you want your samples for, the Akai Advance promises to spoil you for choice. In fact, with each purchase, you’ll be subject to over 16GB of software, plugins and sample packs! But don’t worry, these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill freebies.

These high-quality pack and plugins, which come to a grand total of 10,000 unique and varying sounds, come from some of the industry’s top developers and producers, including AIR Music Technology, Toolroom Records, and SONiVOX, giving you more than enough space to play and experiment in the way you know how!

The Features

Okay, so we already know that there’s a lot going on when it comes to your new controller keyboard, and there’s a lot on offer to play around with. But, as we all know, the most important aspects you’ll want to think about is the control you’ll have and the features that are available to you, so let’s cut straight down to it.

In addition to your Virtual Instrument software, complete with present management, control mapping, and multi-patch creation, you’ll also have access to eight infinite control knobs, that will keep going with the effects as long as you need them too.

You’ll also find eight high-velocity, pressure-sensitive MPC pads with the traditional RGB color backlighting illumination, perfect for easy identification and it adds a nice glow to dimly-lit recording space.

There’s even a recording screen to ensure that you’re connected to the hardware and sample banks you need, making navigation of your files effortless. However, while the UI could be improved to be a bit more innovative, it does the job once you’ve moved past the learning curve.

You’ll also find a dedicated pad bank with complete transport control, octave settings and even performance buttons to ensure that you have complete control over the sounds you’re making, right down to the most specific details. The only thing that is missing is an automatic switching instance, but this can be overcome manually using your studio software.

Furthermore, with a rubberized pitch motion wheel and the ability to add expression pedals and footswitches, which is compatible with all major brands and models, it’s safe to say that this is a keyboard controller that will be able to help you achieve any sound, no matter what style or genre of music you’re trying to create.

The Lowdown

It goes without saying that this is a solid piece of kit. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a hobbyist trying to make sounds in your free time, working hard to get your musical career off the ground or a professional artist who needs a trusty keyboard to perform, this keyboard can be there for you whenever you need it to be.
So, if you’re looking for a leading and reliable piece of equipment from a company with nearly four decades in the audio production industry, you may not need to look any further than the Akai Advance 49 Controller Keyboard.