Top positive review
Fun and cheap, but with a learning curve.
February 11, 2017
This is a great piece of equipment for a beginner musician, but there IS a learning curve, so please be aware of that when buying. What you are purchasing is a MIDI controller (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Unlike a synthesizer, MIDI controllers do not produce sound without software. It's basically just a tool to control computer software. So after you've downloaded the software and plug it in, you will still not have any sound generated until you've set everything up properly and loaded sounds onto the pads. So I feel it is slightly inaccurate to call it a "plug-in and go", as some people do.
- Its easy to use AFTER you have learned how to set up and use it.
- Its fun.
- A good way to get into digital music making.
- Budget friendly.
- The software setup is kind of intimidating but luckily there are easy-to-find tutorials to help you.
- Akai itself doesn't seem to have much assistance in actually using the controller. Every useful tutorial I found was by someone else, not the company. It would be nice for them to take the time to make more tutorials. Unless I just didn't find them? Everything I found just had to do with setting up the software, nothing really about HOW to actually use it.
-The software that is included is limited. You can't use the knobs with MPC Essentials, you need Ableton or something similar for that. Or rather, I should say, you can't use the knobs for effects in your track. I believe you can use it for other things but I still don't quite understand that part.
I am still learning to use this but it has gotten significantly funner to use as I have learned more about it and found sounds I like.
Just as a tip:
- Make sure you know where all your files are saved when you setup the software. You will need to know where your VST stuff is so you can load it into MPC Essentials.
-Use Program 2 when you're finally ready to start loading sounds in. Program 2 has the pads laid out in order in the software, so everything correlates properly.
-Read the manual and do a lot of research if you are new to it. It's worth the time, trust me.