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  • Akai Professional's new MPK Road 88 MIDI controller

    Click image for larger version  Name:	mpk-road-88-main-82ff7bca.jpg Views:	1 Size:	48.7 KB ID:	32512163


    This is a very interesting new weighted hammer action 88 key controller from Akai Professional. What did I think of it? For that, you'll have to check out the full review...

    https://www.harmonycentral.com/exper...ard-controller


    And as always, if you have questions about the review or comments about the MPK Road 88, feel free to post them here.

    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    It's a bit on the heavy side. Granted, it comes in its own case. But I think a 73 or 76 key version would hit the sweet spot for a portable. You would be able to fit it into a car and it would reduce the weight. Also with 88 keys, the wheels would be much better suited above the keys. Unless your arms are as long as a gorilla. Not much need for a pitch wheel on a hammer action, though I guess if your going to put a modulation wheel in why not.

    Comment


    • #3
      I commented about the placement of the wheels because it 1) does make it longer and 2) it might bother some folks. It will be interesting to see if Akai decides to release a 76 or 73 key version. I think that would be a popular option. Heck, a synth action keyboard in a similar styled case might be a big seller too - maybe they can do a whole series of Road controllers.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for this good review. I also ordered one on Feb. and I was stressed about the impossibility to configure the velocity curve and sensitivity. You bring me the good news. I still have a question regarding keybed. Initially the official announcement from AKAI says that is a graded hammer-action keybed, then I asked them to clarify the discrepancy between the specs. As a result they corrected the original announcement because is not "graded" hammer-action, just fully-weighter without grading. Can you confirm that?

        Comment


        • #5
          Another question. There is a terminology, such as 3 sensors, which meant to be able to repeat the note faster without releasing completely the key. What was your feeling, does it have this fast repeat feature?

          Comment


          • #6
            Another question. What is your impression, this keyboard could be satisfactory for dual purpose, such as for keyboardist and also for classical piano learner? With regard to piano action, I bet does not compete with Kawai MP11 or VPC1, but it could be a good compromise, without negative impact on the new piano student? In my situation I would use it mainly in home studio + gigging, but my son wants to learn classical piano. Since we have anyway very good piano sample libraries, which I prefer over the sound of some stage pianos, I think it could be a good compromise to not buy just another piano for a while and let see how the child is progressing. Otherwise, for master keyboard in my studio it has already a good position already.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Sysex message based keybed characteristic control is not a negative aspect at all. I am completely happy with it as it is now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by htk View Post
                Thank you for this good review. I also ordered one on Feb. and I was stressed about the impossibility to configure the velocity curve and sensitivity. You bring me the good news. I still have a question regarding keybed. Initially the official announcement from AKAI says that is a graded hammer-action keybed, then I asked them to clarify the discrepancy between the specs. As a result they corrected the original announcement because is not "graded" hammer-action, just fully-weighter without grading. Can you confirm that?
                I just spoke with the Product Manager at Akai Professional for the MPK Road 88, and this is what he said:

                "The keybed is indeed graded, not just fully weighted."


                **********

                "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                - George Carlin

                "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by htk View Post
                  Another question. There is a terminology, such as 3 sensors, which meant to be able to repeat the note faster without releasing completely the key. What was your feeling, does it have this fast repeat feature?
                  And here's the details on that, again, per Akai's Product Manager for the MPK Road 88:

                  "We use a 2 switch design, but the key doesn’t have to be fully released before it will trigger again. The key needs to be lifted about 3mm up once a note on is triggered to receive a note off. Then a second press will yield a second note on. The entire throw is the key is 12mm."

                  **********

                  "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                  - George Carlin

                  "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                  - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                  "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                  - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by htk View Post
                    Another question. What is your impression, this keyboard could be satisfactory for dual purpose, such as for keyboardist and also for classical piano learner?
                    That's a question that is probably best asked of your potential piano instructor; some classical piano instructors would probably prefer a "real" piano for their students to learn on as a matter of general principle. My personal opinion is that a first, second or even third year piano student isn't likely to develop bad habits by using a decent weighted hammer action keyboard for practice; a graded hammer action equipped keyboard is even better, so no, I don't think that using the MPK Road 88 for this purpose would be an impediment, although I'm sure some teachers might disagree with me on that.

                    After a few years, you should know how he's progressing and whether he's serious about learning to play or not, and at that point you can always re-evaluate and consider getting him an acoustic piano if you feel it's warranted.

                    With regard to piano action, I bet does not compete with Kawai MP11 or VPC1, but it could be a good compromise, without negative impact on the new piano student?
                    I've never tried either one of those Kawais, so I can't make any comparisons there. The piano I initially learned on was a Kawai 5' 2" baby grand that my parents purchased when I was in high school in the late 1970s. It was a fairly stiff and somewhat heavy action - in fact, the MPK Road 88 reminds me more of that piano in terms of "feel" than most of the other weighted hammer action keyboards I've tried (and I've played on several); the Kurzweil SP2X that I have in my studio is a bit lighter by comparison. IMO, the Akai feels much nicer than the Studiologic controller I used to have.... but "feel" is definitely subjective, which is why I always recommend that people try a keyboard they're considering if at all possible before purchasing it.

                    In my situation I would use it mainly in home studio + gigging, but my son wants to learn classical piano. Since we have anyway very good piano sample libraries, which I prefer over the sound of some stage pianos, I think it could be a good compromise to not buy just another piano for a while and let see how the child is progressing. Otherwise, for master keyboard in my studio it has already a good position already.
                    Again, I'd recommend you discuss the idea with your son's piano instructor. My opinion is that it's not likely to cause any problems or give him any bad habits, but it's their opinion that matters since they'll be the one teaching him.

                    For your intended uses - studio and stage gigs, it's very well-suited.
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                      I just spoke with the Product Manager at Akai Professional for the MPK Road 88, and this is what he said:

                      "The keybed is indeed graded, not just fully weighted."

                      That is a really good news! Here is the discussion I had with someone https://getsatisfaction.com/akai_pro...ai-mpk-road-88 But I will see soon once I get my ordered keyboard.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                        And here's the details on that, again, per Akai's Product Manager for the MPK Road 88:

                        "We use a 2 switch design, but the key doesn’t have to be fully released before it will trigger again. The key needs to be lifted about 3mm up once a note on is triggered to receive a note off. Then a second press will yield a second note on. The entire throw is the key is 12mm."
                        I also believe that with 2 sensors it can be implemented this feature. Cool!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                          That's a question that is probably best asked of your potential piano instructor; some classical piano instructors would probably prefer a "real" piano for their students to learn on as a matter of general principle. My personal opinion is that a first, second or even third year piano student isn't likely to develop bad habits by using a decent weighted hammer action keyboard for practice; a graded hammer action equipped keyboard is even better, so no, I don't think that using the MPK Road 88 for this purpose would be an impediment, although I'm sure some teachers might disagree with me on that.

                          After a few years, you should know how he's progressing and whether he's serious about learning to play or not, and at that point you can always re-evaluate and consider getting him an acoustic piano if you feel it's warranted.
                          That you for your opinion. The same I was thinking about, now at least I see others can reason the same way.
                          My son already has an upright piano, but that is in other continent and does not make sense to transport. Later we will see how we optimize our decisions.

                          Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                          I've never tried either one of those Kawais, so I can't make any comparisons there. The piano I initially learned on was a Kawai 5' 2" baby grand that my parents purchased when I was in high school in the late 1970s. It was a fairly stiff and somewhat heavy action - in fact, the MPK Road 88 reminds me more of that piano in terms of "feel" than most of the other weighted hammer action keyboards I've tried (and I've played on several); the Kurzweil SP2X that I have in my studio is a bit lighter by comparison. IMO, the Akai feels much nicer than the Studiologic controller I used to have.... but "feel" is definitely subjective, which is why I always recommend that people try a keyboard they're considering if at all possible before purchasing it.
                          The upright piano is also stiff, in addition I know that someone who learn to play in stiffer keybed, then eventually need to use a softer one is easier to get accustomed than vice-versa. In our case is not so important to check the feeling as much as we have not accustomed to piano keys yet. A stiffer keybed sound good for me as soon as the expressiveness still is ok. I have AKAI gears already and they meet my expectations.

                          Thank you for all the feedback!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by htk View Post

                            That is a really good news! Here is the discussion I had with someone https://getsatisfaction.com/akai_pro...ai-mpk-road-88 But I will see soon once I get my ordered keyboard.
                            He may have been mistaken. Again, the answer I got came straight from the Project Manager for that particular keyboard - if anyone should know for certain, it would be him.

                            **********

                            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                            - George Carlin

                            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by htk View Post
                              Thank you for all the feedback!
                              You're quite welcome. Enjoy your new keyboard.
                              **********

                              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                              - George Carlin

                              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                              Comment

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