Akai’s New Pad Controllers: MPD218, MPD226, MPD232

Akai is has been a friend of producers and finger drummers since the release of their Music Production Centers (MPCs) in the eighties. Fast forward a couple of decades and the company gives the world a new, USB MIDI controller that changed the way artists perform. The MPD gave performers like Justice and The Glitch Mob a new way to play their sets live in front of the crowd versus mixing the tracks live on CDJs. The company discontinued the MPD series in 2007, but eight years later the company has revived the series with three new MPD controllers.

The MPD Resurrection

With the success of the original controllers, Akai recognized that producers enjoyed the layout and feel of the original MPD controllers. The 4 x 4 grid gave performers an easy way to play and the added faders gave them a way to manipulate the sound. That in mind, Akai decided to resurrect the controllers by using consumer research and user feedback to pinpoint the needs of the artists who would use the new MPDs. The new series comes in three different flavors with each unit incorporating a slimmer design, 16 thick MPC style pads, and iOS support via the use of a Camera Connection Kit (sold separately).

mpd218

MPD 218 – $199

  • 16 Thick Fat Backlit MPC pads (48 Assignable Pads via 3 Banks)
  • Increased Responsive Experience
  • Six Control Knobs
  • Three Banks of Parameters; Total of 18 Controls
  • USB Powered (No Additional Power Source Required)

mpd226

MPD 226 – $299

  • 16 Thick Fat RGB Illuminated MPC pads (64 Assignable Pads via 3 Banks)
  • Increased Responsive Experience
  • Four Q-link Control Knobs
  • Four Faders
  • Four Q-link Buttons
  • Three Banks of Parameters; Total of 36 Controls
  • A new 64 channel,  32-step performance sequencer
  • MIDI In/Out for External Gear

mpd232

MPD 232 – $399

  • 16 Thick Fat RGB Illuminated MPC pads  (64 Assignable Pads via 4 Banks)
  • Increased Responsive Experience
  • Eight Control Knobs
  • Eight Faders
  • Eight Buttons
  • Three Banks of Parameters; Total of 72 Controls
  • A new 64 channel,  32-step performance sequencer
  • MIDI In/Out for External Gear

The new MPD2 Series will also include $400 in free software such as Akai Pro MPC Essentials, Big Bang Drums and Big Bang Cinema from Sonivox, Ableton Live Lite, and Software Preset.

Akai is aiming to bridge the gap between technology and creativity with these new controllers. The MPDs have been begging to be updated and now a whole new era of artists can find ways to innovate their live setup with one of these drum pad controllers. The new MPD2 series will be available in summer 2015.

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