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MIDI Keyboard help
Old 23rd November 2017
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
MIDI Keyboard help

I have a super cheap MIDI keyboard right now and am looking for somehting with a better feel and something that has pads. 49 keys is a must. My budget is between $400-$500.

I was considering the AKAI MPK249. It has great reviews and all but my issue with it is that it's too deep. It would take up too much space on my desk and I don't want to have to constantly move it.

Right now I'm considering the M-Audio Code 49. I've heard mixed feelings about this one, but most people say it has a great feel and is a good value.
https://www.long-mcquade.com/86818/K...ad---Black.htm

Any suggestions?
Old 23rd November 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 
GregkoNYC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal123 ➡️
I have a super cheap MIDI keyboard right now and am looking for somehting with a better feel and something that has pads. 49 keys is a must. My budget is between $400-$500.

I was considering the AKAI MPK249. It has great reviews and all but my issue with it is that it's too deep. It would take up too much space on my desk and I don't want to have to constantly move it.

Right now I'm considering the M-Audio Code 49. I've heard mixed feelings about this one, but most people say it has a great feel and is a good value.
https://www.long-mcquade.com/86818/K...ad---Black.htm

Any suggestions?
I have the MPK261 - If pads are important to you, there's really no better option. Can you get a larger desk or perhaps get a riser for your monitor so the MPK49 will fit? How about a dedicated keyboard stand? Another option would be to get a decent/slim controller without all the bells and whistles (Roland perhaps) and then a dedicated Akai MPC for the pads separately?

Greg
Old 24th November 2017
  #3
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I'm a big fan of the Novation Impulse 49, even though I sold mine. I don't use pads, and always found them cumbersome and used a custom template where their velocity was turned down to zero, but the keyboard felt great: "tighter" than M-Audio or Roland keys, but "looser" than Akai. I can't speak to the feel of the pads. :-)

If at all possible, try it out before you buy it or at least get it from a dealer with a solid return policy.

It's a little long in the tooth, but Novation is good with driver upgrades, and I found it highly reliable in live gigs with an iPad and an iConnect MIDI.
Old 24th November 2017 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpr103 ➡️
I'm a big fan of the Novation Impulse 49, even though I sold mine. I don't use pads, and always found them cumbersome and used a custom template where their velocity was turned down to zero, but the keyboard felt great: "tighter" than M-Audio or Roland keys, but "looser" than Akai. I can't speak to the feel of the pads. :-)
I also like the Novation Impulse 49 a lot. Well enough that I bought the 61 for my son. Same here on the pads. I use an Akai MPD, for pads. Just can't see what I'd do with 8 pads set out in 2 rows, and I don't feel like figuring out that sequencer thing it has. But I really like they keybed, and it has a good enough range of knobs, faders, and switches.
Old 24th November 2017
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
+1 for the M-Audio 49. I love it for production music and EDM, etc..
Old 25th November 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
JayTee4303's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Akai MPK-2xx has four banks of 16 pads, and three banks of 8 faders, 8 knobs, and 8 buttons.

We MADE room for ours.

:-)
Old 25th November 2017 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 ➡️
Akai MPK-2xx has four banks of 16 pads, and three banks of 8 faders, 8 knobs, and 8 buttons.

We MADE room for ours.

:-)
If space wasn't an issue I would get one. I actually got a new desk recently. The biggest one I could find at Ikea and it's perfect. Sure it can fit the Akai, but it would take up room I'd like to use for other things and gear. A MIDI keyboard isn't something I use everyday. However, I want something better than my cheap $100 midi keyboard where the keys feel very cheap and lacks features.
Old 25th November 2017 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Scott ➡️
+1 for the M-Audio 49. I love it for production music and EDM, etc..
How do you find the quality of it? When did you purchase it and how long have you had it for? Reason I ask is because what's currently holding me back from getting it is that I've heard several cases where users were having some issues with it freezing/not being responsive and having to constantly restart the device.
Old 25th November 2017 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpr103 ➡️
I'm a big fan of the Novation Impulse 49, even though I sold mine. I don't use pads, and always found them cumbersome and used a custom template where their velocity was turned down to zero, but the keyboard felt great: "tighter" than M-Audio or Roland keys, but "looser" than Akai. I can't speak to the feel of the pads. :-)

If at all possible, try it out before you buy it or at least get it from a dealer with a solid return policy.

It's a little long in the tooth, but Novation is good with driver upgrades, and I found it highly reliable in live gigs with an iPad and an iConnect MIDI.
Looks like a solid keyboard. My issue would be the pads. I want something all in 1. I don't use the keyboard and pads enough to buy 2 separate units and don't want it to take up that much space.
Old 25th November 2017
  #10
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal123 ➡️
I have a super cheap MIDI keyboard right now and am looking for somehting with a better feel and something that has pads. 49 keys is a must. My budget is between $400-$500.

I was considering the AKAI MPK249. It has great reviews and all but my issue with it is that it's too deep. It would take up too much space on my desk and I don't want to have to constantly move it.

Right now I'm considering the M-Audio Code 49. I've heard mixed feelings about this one, but most people say it has a great feel and is a good value.
https://www.long-mcquade.com/86818/K...ad---Black.htm

Any suggestions?
Personally I think the M-Audio Code series is pretty good, I know a friend who has this keyboard and after my own experience I think the keybed is pretty good. However one thing I do dislike about the controller is the plastic construction of the body, which is not as good as higher end MIDI keyboards, but for the price you really can't complain.
Old 26th November 2017
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Accompianist's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The best keybed you can find on a controller is probably either Novation's SL mkii series or the Komplete Kontrol line.

I have a Code too though and I like it. I just wouldn't gig live with it if you use aftertouch, as it occasionally causes a MIDI freeze up.
Old 26th November 2017
  #12
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
After doing some more research, it seems like I really can't go wrong with the Akai MPK249. It has consistently good reviews.

Again, my only issue is the keyboard is a bit too deep for my liking. Does anyone know of a similar unit that is a less deep?
I took a look at the Novation Impulse 49 and it has a similar depth.
Old 26th November 2017
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
With that high of a budget you could get pretty much anything you wanted.
Old 26th November 2017 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal123 ➡️
After doing some more research, it seems like I really can't go wrong with the Akai MPK249. It has consistently good reviews.

Again, my only issue is the keyboard is a bit too deep for my liking. Does anyone know of a similar unit that is a less deep?
I took a look at the Novation Impulse 49 and it has a similar depth.
I would steer clear from Akai midi controllers. The pads are not comfortable, they're sort of cheap and flat and plasticy, and i've had 2 products to become completely defective for no apparent reason that I know of. One was the MPK249 and 5 keys just stopped working. The other was an MPD26 thats screen went haywire. They just don't even feel nice.

You would like Novation a hell of a lot better I promise you that. Akai is overpriced too for the product they sell. Even the M Audio Axiom Air 49 series have much better pads and lights and everything for the $. With your budget you could get something really nice, but I suggest this for only $200 new and way less on eBay. With the Keylab you still get 16 pads like the Akai, The wood encasing gives it a better look (less plastic the better) and its not as deep as the Akai or Axiom Air 49 or Impulse.

Old 26th November 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
 
GregkoNYC's Avatar
^

I own the MPK261 (as mentioned in my earlier post) as well as the Artturia Keylab 88 (the only one with a decent/quality FATAR keybed in the Keylab line) and I can say with 100% authority that the pads on the Akai are vasty superior to those on the Keylab.

Greg
Old 26th November 2017 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Nick Stedman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregkoNYC ➡️
^

I own the MPK261 (as mentioned in my earlier post) as well as the Artturia Keylab 88 (the only one with a decent/quality FATAR keybed in the Keylab line) and I can say with 100% authority that the pads on the Akai are vasty superior to those on the Keylab.

Greg
Different strokes for different folks.
Old 27th November 2017 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Accompianist's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregkoNYC ➡️
^

I own the MPK261 (as mentioned in my earlier post) as well as the Artturia Keylab 88 (the only one with a decent/quality FATAR keybed in the Keylab line) and I can say with 100% authority that the pads on the Akai are vasty superior to those on the Keylab.

Greg
Greg, what do you think of Akai's VIP software?
Old 27th November 2017 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
GregkoNYC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accompianist ➡️
Greg, what do you think of Akai's VIP software?
Good question and glad you asked. In my case, I found it to be pretty unusable for my needs. Almost none of the VI's I have that didn't come with the MPK didn't register so I ended up uninstalling it.

I think that it might be better-integrated with the Akai Advance, but using it on screen with so few instruments recognized made it worth exactly what I paid for it

In terms of the other bundled software - I'm not a huge fan of MPC essentials - I know that there are plenty of die-hard users, but for me the interface felt a bit like going back in time 10 years.

That said, I still think the controller itself is worth the $$ they're asking, and Akai's customer service is instantaneous!

Greg
Old 27th November 2017 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
JayTee4303's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal123 ➡️
After doing some more research, it seems like I really can't go wrong with the Akai MPK249. It has consistently good reviews.

Again, my only issue is the keyboard is a bit too deep for my liking. Does anyone know of a similar unit that is a less deep?
I took a look at the Novation Impulse 49 and it has a similar depth.
When you say "deep" do you mean front to back, or top to bottom?

Have you considered a sliding tray, under the desktop, for the controller?
Old 27th November 2017
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Accompianist's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
This is boring advice, Metal, but if dimensions are your primary concern, just measure the space on your desk then look up the controllers' dimensions on Amazon (or the manufacturer's website).

Also, don't let dimensions be your primary concern
Old 30th November 2017 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal123 ➡️
How do you find the quality of it? When did you purchase it and how long have you had it for? Reason I ask is because what's currently holding me back from getting it is that I've heard several cases where users were having some issues with it freezing/not being responsive and having to constantly restart the device.
I've had this M-Audio 49 unit for about a year with no issues. My last Keystation 49 lasted for over 10 years and the mod wheel eventually went.
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