Well I've had my Akai MPD24 MIDI pad controller for a few days now, and had time to familiarize myself with many of its features and qualities, so I thought I'd better let you all know what my first impressions are! (As well as lots of photos from every angle!)
The MPD24 itself feels very sturdy, and solidly built, so I don't think it's likely to fall to pieces any time soon. It's also quite visually appealing, which is always nice, both for studio aesthetics, and for ease of use due to being clearly laid out in it's design.
In addition to the unit itself, the package also ships with a short USB cable (around an arms length), which I'm planning on replacing with a longer one for more flexibilty on where I use it.
That flexibility is also aided by the MMC transport controls, enabling remote control of your sequencer software - Play, Stop, FastFoward, Rewind, Record.
The most vital part of the MPD24 are of course the pads themselves, which are firm, slightly rubberized, and very satisfying to play. The pressure/velocity sensitivity seems like it captures a wide range of values, allowing for more expressive playing of your percussion and other samples.
The Navigation and Control buttons are very easy to pick up - within moments of opening the box, I had easily turned the dial to select the preset I wanted for the Battery Sampler software I was using, and within a couple of hours of using the MPD24 I had figured out what almost all the other navigation control buttons and dials were for.
The vivid blue LCD screen in the MPD24 unfortunately doesn't transfer well to photo (not helped by my extremely average digital camera), so it's hard to see how bright and clear the LCD actually is. You'll have to take my word for it, as this photo doesn't do it justice. The background of the LCD is bright blue, and the writing is all crisp bright white, which is easy to read even at a distance.
The faders I haven't yet worked with, as I've been concentrating on practicing playing the pads, and learning the navigation controls to some degree. They feel nice and smooth to move, and fairly strong, despite a little sideways movement to them.
As with the faders, I haven't spent much time using the assignable knobs. They feel very sturdy, and smooth moving also, and are of the type that can just keep turning round and round - they don't stop at a certain point forcing you to wind back the other way.
I've only needed to plug in the provided USB cable to be up and running - no drivers needed either. There are also optional plugs for DC power (if using the MIDI connections instead of USB), the MIDI-In and MIDI-out connections, and a kensington lock slot, for securing the MPD24 to a table or other surface.
The sturdiness of the MPD24 is certainly aided by the solid steel base, eliminating that cheap flexy plastic feel that some MIDI controllers have.
The 4 sizeable rubber feet on the base of the MPD24 help give it a secure non-slip stable feel, and I haven't noticed any movement even during vigorous bashing on the pads!
All in all, I'd have to say that I'm very pleased with the Akai MPD24 so far, and would recommend it to anyone wanting to physically create a percussive beat (or any other sample based interaction for that matter). I've had a great time bashing away on this thing, and I'm sure it will only get better as my percussion skills improve, meaning I can tap out any rhythm that comes to mind...
Check out the Akai MPD24 MIDI pad controller at Zzounds!
More information and details on the Akai MPD24 can be found discussed in the forum thread below.
Any comments on the Akai MPD24, or the review?
Have your say in the MPD24 forum thread
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