NAMM 2012: Akai Max49 offers MIDI and CV control

Akai's Max49 looks to the past as well as the future.
Akai's Max49 looks to the past as well as the future.

NAMM 2012: In a world of oh-so-similar MIDI controller keyboards, Akai's new 49-note Max49 stands out for several reasons.

To begin with, it gives you CV and Gate outputs that enable you to use it to control analogue synths, and there are also eight backlit LED touch faders. These sit alongside 12 backlit MPC pads, a built-in step sequencer and an arpeggiator with latch and time division controls.

That's certainly enough to get us interested, and there's also the AkaiConnect software, which automatically maps the controls to VST plug-ins, to consider.

Oh, and we like the colour, too: you can't go wrong with a red keyboard.

Specs below and a preview video above - we'll have more on this one soon.

Akai Max49 specs

  • 49 semi-weighted keys with Aftertouch for complete musical expression
  • Built-in step sequencer for detailed track construction
  • Expanded arpeggiator with latch and time division controls
  • Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VST plug-ins
  • 12 backlit, real MPC pads with MPC Note Repeat and MPC swing
  • Eight backlit LED touch faders for gradual or instant parameter value changes
  • Four pad banks & four fader banks provide a total of 80 assignable pads & faders
  • CV & Gate outputs for use with vintage analog synths (1V/Oct)
  • Large, centrally-positioned transport controls & rubberized pitch and modulation wheels
  • Mackie Control & HUI modes provide instant compatibility with many DAWs
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.