There are a great many reasons to love Akai and its huge range of studio-ready products, not least the world-famous MPC, essentially the foundation of hip-hop production thanks to its ground-breaking swing functionality. The range now spans anything from the more compact end of the market – the MPC Fly for iPad, the MPC Studio and MPC 500 – all the way through to the huge production rigs like the MPC Renaissance. With effortless controls and pads, it’s a perfect choice for hip hop and dance production.
Controller keyboards are also the order of the day with Akai – the MPK Mini, a 25-note keyboard with pads, faders and encoders all packed neatly onto a compact, portable chassis. That’s just the tip of the MPK iceberg, though, with a whole range of keyboard controllers of increasing size that go all the way up to a full 61-note, control-laden uber-model. The perfect solution for the multi-talented arranger, songwriter or producer.
Ableton users will be able to indulge themselves with the APC 40 production pad, using colour-identified control pads to trigger samples, loops and effects to their hearts’ content. For those who are doing everything straight into the laptop, the LPK controller keyboard is again a portable way of dropping in MIDI – light as anything and surprisingly feature-stuffed. There is of course an accompanying LPD pad controller as well, and the two together barely make a footprint on your desk.
Those looking to get a little more synthy will doubtless already know of the Miniak, which combines a huge number of quick-to-select, quick-to-edit sounds and a vocoder with included mic for the potential of true robot rock!
Finally the Synthstation app has been a recent hit with iPad and iPhone users, bringing powerful, editable synthesis to the Apple devices. It’s perfect for those of you who simply don’t want to stop creating for even a moment.