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Akai Advance 61

61 Key MIDI Keyboard

  • With AKAI Advanced Virtual Instrument Integration for software plug-ins
  • Integrated and high-resolution display with 10.9 cm diagonal
  • Real-time feedback of the software parameters
  • Including Virtual Player software for managing plugins and their pre-sets
  • Half-weighted keys with velocity response and aftertouch
  • 8 large rotary encoders
  • 8 touch-sensitive and pressure-sensitive MPC style pads with RGB lighting
  • Including note repeat, time division, pattern arpeggiator, and tap tempo buttons
  • Rubberized pitch and modulation wheels
  • Connections for expression and foot switches
  • USB MIDI and standard 5-pin MIDI input and output - thus also usable as a standalone controller
  • Including download license for instruments and loops from AIR Music Technology, SONiVOX and Prime Loops (about 16 GB)

Special features of Virtual Instrument Player software:

  • Standalone mode (plugin host) allows you to play almost any plugin without DAW
  • Can also be loaded as a plugin into any DAW with AU, VST or AAX support
  • Allows you to create and organise your own preset libraries with parameters such as instrument type, mood etc.
  • Up to 8 instruments can be combined and edited into one multi-instrument
  • Setlist function for live performance
  • Keyzone Splitting
  • Custom mapping assignments and instrument mix options
  • Pre-allocations for hundreds of third-party plug-ins

Further information

Aftertouch Yes
Split Zones 4
Layer function Yes
Pitch Bend / Modulation Yes
Rotary Encoder 8
Fader (Amount) 0
Pads 8
Display Yes
Pedal input Yes
USB-port Yes
Mains Operation Yes
Battery Operation No
Bus-Powered No

Come up with your own creative bundle and save

If you order this product together with others as part of a bundle, you can save up to 3 % additionally!
Akai Advance 61 + the sssnake SK366-1-BLK Midi + Millenium KS-1001 + Thomann Keyboard Bag 3 +
6 more
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starting from 579 €

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Akai Advance 61 49% bought this exact product
Akai Advance 61
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Our most popular Master Keyboards (up to 61 Keys)
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Ingenious idea, but bad bad software

When I saw the announcement of this keyboard, I was sure that the Advance is exactly what I was looking for years. Namely the possibility, especially during a tape test software to use without having to click around on the laptop and without the necessity to have a DAW running all the time, which is in no way designed for this situation. In particular the possibility to create multis, the extensive Setlist functions and last but not least the support for any VST plugins gave me the edge for the Advance and against Komplete Kontrol 61 by Native Instruments.

The hardware is as one in this price class can also expect from the finest. In particular, the 8 giant endless rotary encoders pleases me much better than the Komplete Kontrol. Only the underlying buttons could have fallen a good bit larger. The reduction on less controls as with some other Masterkeyboard I consider as an advantage, since one could not note the occupancy of even more controllers and faders anyway. The light-weighted keyboard provides a very good feel and allows you to play more virtuoso parts, only the length of the individual keys could have turned out a bit bigger. This would mainly make playing on the black buttons less strenuous, which are quite short.

Keyboard operation itself is quite comfortable. It is easy to load and edit patches and multis, and, above all, to display the controls and their values ??without having to look at the computer screen. Also the control of multis is very successful, in this case the endless controllers serve as fader and the drumpads as a mute button, whereby one can clearly see which parts are activated and which are not.
Akai also advertises, among other things, that you can map all controllers directly to the hardware and filter sounds. This is true, but you will not use it seriously. For this purpose, the VIP software supplied is better used.

At the same time, we are at the same time the greatest strength and the greatest weakness of Advance. Especially since the update on VIP 2.0, this has come very close to the functionality of Mainstage and not only allows you to load instruments, but also save effects and also entire effect chains to retrieve them quickly. In addition, there is a custom control mode which allows all control elements to be used over the entire multi in addition to the specific control of an effect or an instrument slot, so that you can program very complex live sets and still the most important functions When playing in direct access.
Also the caching of already loaded instruments as well as the multi-core support is outstandingly successful. It is even possible to change sounds between Korg Kronos without demolishing them. Furthermore, with the update to VIP 2.0, the loading times have been greatly shortened so that it is also possible to quickly switch over to large libraries like The Giant or Vintage Organs. Despite all, the loading times are unfortunately not comparable with those of a hardware workstation, the extremely fast switching ala Dream Theater one with the Advance rather not want to make.
The direct assignment of all parameters advertised by Akai is partly very successful, but it is also not usable at all, but this is not to be expected in the number of supported instruments. We also have the biggest weakness of the VIP software: I've been using it for a very long time to see the organization of VIP and to create my own mappings, especially for the individual contact libraries. For each plugin and each contact expansion, there is a .vip file which contains all assignments and patches to be imported into the VIP database. To create such files with their own assignments themselves, it is by far not done with simple changing and saving, but one must first determine what one where and how exported deleted and imported again, the documentation on this topic is simply not available. What you have done here at Akai programmatically has not been acceptable for a product of this price class, and has brought me more than once almost to sell this in itself great keyboard again. This is as I have seen so far with Native Instruments a lot better solved where according to logically meaningful banks (eg oscillator section, filter section etc.) is sorted. In addition, I had more than once stability problems, for example, the VIP crashed for initially puzzling reasons when I tried to select my ASIO driver. Such a thing may not happen at the price and especially at the targeted application area, namely live performance, simply.

Nevertheless, I will keep the keyboard as there is currently no alternative to this concept. At Korg it is advertised that the Kronos 9 would have synthetic gene. But I can install as many instruments and effects as I would like, whether bread and butter sounds or more exotic things like Izotope Iris, not to mention what you get for a sound when you use Omnisphere, u-he Diva and the like. Together with a good stage piano a dream combination.
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Promise just held.

Philippe6517, 07.07.2015
After discovering this nice keyboard well finished and used the VIP software, I am a bit mixed as to the end result.
Even if the use of the keyboard is pleasant, the overall ergonomics remains to be improved. Lacks a few knobs to meet the promise of a near total compatibility with the players in the sector. The central button remains impractical at the time of validation because of a very large number of uses. I prefer the use of mouse and screen. It is a pity for this keyboard that promised a remote use of the computer.
The VIP software has some bugs and does not answer quite as explained in the full record (in English only ...).
In short, a keyboard that benefits, despite everything, a lot of assets against the competition but Akai will quickly provide a software update to fully satisfy the users who trusted him.
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549 €
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