Akai update the MPD drum pad controller range

Akai MPD 590

The popular series of MPC-inspired digital interfaces have been remodelled with new features.

For a long time the MPD controllers have been one of the top choices for those looking for an intuitive, hands on way of controlling their electronic music production and performance. Modelled on the iconic MPC range, Akai’s premier MIDI interfaces maximized on the tactile appeal of the sizable drum pads while side-stepping the head-scratching work flow of the original machines to instead embrace computer based convenience. Since the MPD18, 26 and 32 came out the market has become ever fiercer, from the Native Instruments Kontrol series to Ableton’s Push, and so it seems like an apt time for Akai to revisit their successful design and bring it up to date.

Following six years of research and customer feedback, the Akai team have settled on a new design that features noticeably thicker pads with increased sensitivity. Across the three models, the 218, 226 and 232 respectively, there have been significant additions in the control department with expanded sets of knobs, faders and buttons, with the 232 in particular coming up trumps with a new 64-channel, 32-step sequencer. There is also now iOS compatibility included (providing you have the necessary Camera Connection kit), as well as reams of additional features from classic MPC touches to enhanced connectivity options.

Akai will release the MPD218, MPD226 and MPD232 this summer.