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Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller   

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The Akai MPD18 MIDI Pad Controller is an easy way to add genuine MPC pads to your setup. This MIDI-over-USB pad controller for DJs, programmers, prod...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The control feel of the MPC in a super-portable instrument with a compact footprint.

The Akai MPD18 MIDI Pad Controller is an easy way to add genuine MPC pads to your setup. This MIDI-over-USB pad controller for DJs, programmers, producers, and other musicians is built around the pads and controls from Akai Professional's industry-standard MPC series. The MPD18 is an expressive and intuitive instrument ideal for the studio and stage.

At the heart of the Akai MPD18 is its bank of 16 velocity and pressure-sensitive MPC pads, an Akai Pro exclusive. You can access 3 different banks of sounds from the MPC pads for a total of 48 sounds at your fingertips. The MPD18 also borrows the MPC series' assignable Q-Link controllers, enabling you to control nearly any parameter in your software in real time. You get an assignable Q-Link fader for natural, hands-on control of your most used parameters, and MPC Note Repeat enables you to quickly input patterns such as hi-hat parts or drum rolls. The MPD18 also has 16 configurable presets so you can program it for the way you work with different hardware and software.

The Akai MPD18 sends MIDI information over its plug-and-play USB interface so you can use it with your Mac or PC without installing any drivers. The USB connection even powers the MPD18 so the included USB cable is all you need for portable production. It can control nearly any MIDI software, as well as MIDI hardware, such as synths, sound modules, samplers, sequencers, drum machines, and more.

FEATURES
  • MPC pads: bank of 16, velocity and pressure sensitive
  • Three pad banks for a total of 48 sounds accessible from pads
  • Q-Link assignable fader control
  • MPC Note Repeat
  • MIDI-over-USB or MIDI operation
  • MPC 16-Level and Full Level
  • 16 configurable presets
  • USB powered, requires no AC adapter
  • Includes:
  • MPD18 portable performance controller
  • USB cable
SPECIFICATIONS

MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller

  • Dimensions: 13"W x 10"D x 3.4"H
    Weight: 3.4
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Akai ProfessionalMPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller
 
3.9

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good quality (4)
  • Easy to use (3)
  • Functional (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

ALMOST a great product

If you've read others reviews in which people mention the lack of sensitivity and the need to hit the pads HARD, well, it's pretty much the truth. It DOES work OK as it...Read complete review

If you've read others reviews in which people mention the lack of sensitivity and the need to hit the pads HARD, well, it's pretty much the truth. It DOES work OK as it is out of the box. If you're not interested in creating truly expressive percussion which realistic velocity then you might think the it's a great little unit as is. Personally, I want the expressiveness in the beats and it just doesn't cut it out of the box. As mentioned in another review, there is in fact a gap between the pad and the sensor inside the case. It's about 1mm -- that's 1mm too much. If you don't mind voiding your warranty then pop the cover and insert a thin shim behind the underside of each pad and close it back up. I used three pieces of duct tape to get the desired thickness with the adhesive side to the pad, not the sensor. It's so simple and makes a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE difference in the usability of this product. I was ready to return it and though for $99 it was worth trying the "fix." It did it and problem solved.The unit is well made in and out. I love the form factor and more compact size. It's a great tool overall. I'm sure there's just a slight manufacturing quality control issue somewhere that hopefully will be remedied at some point.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great Entry to Mid Level Midi Pad Controller

The MPD18 by Akai is the older brother of the MPD16.
Complete with an editing software, the MPD18 has 16 velocity sensitive pad you can use to trigger anything you need!Read complete review

The MPD18 by Akai is the older brother of the MPD16.
Complete with an editing software, the MPD18 has 16 velocity sensitive pad you can use to trigger anything you need!

The pads on the MPD18 are a great place to start. They feel great to the touch and to mash on but unfortunately that is about al they are good at. The mid to high level velocities are picked up very well but the when you try to hit it softer it bounces up and down when recording the midi data into software. It is great to use in its FULL LEVEL mode as well so everything you capture will be at maximum veolcity.

The fader is great and sturdy. I have used it as a filter control and a cross fader and it woks great. The fader addition makes this unit great for the portable dj as well.

The built in presets make this a great tool for the artist just getting into music production. There are 16 stock presets, 12 of which allow each pad to take a note in a specific key. This is a great way to jam out some interesting melodies really quick.

All in all I believe the MPD18 controller is great for the Entry or Mid Level buyer. It is a little stripped down then the M Audio Trigger Finger but feels much more professional (especially the fader). Other than the problems with the low velocity on the pads, the MPD18 by AKAI is a great buy
The controller has been stripped down to the bare essentials needed in a midi pad controller. Knobs and multiple faders would have been nice but I would not expect the same price point with those features.
Like most of Akai products this unit feels professional. It is sturdy and can take a decent beating, especially if you are hard on the pads.
The built in software and the editor cd are an amazing addition. The scale modes being built in are great and the FULL LEVEL options give you plenty of bang for your buck with this controller.

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

nice buy

By Maxim Piz

from Undisclosed

Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

I had luck, this thing came without flaws ...

its doing its job very well. Only the note repeat could have been implemented better.

Had a Padkontrol before and found it uncontrollable, because oversensitive, and at
low volumes, the Padkontrol was unreliable. The MP18 is unreliable at low
pressure too, but this is only for the lowest velocity.
But this thing is right: you have to hit hard to get a loud sound, thats how it should be!
Everybody who thinks the pads suck, doesn't understand that in order to realize
5 different velocity levels, you need that!

(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

16yo and loving it

By furby garza

from yucca valley CA,

Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

overall i give this product a big fat 10 NO REGRETS on this product at ALL!hope my review helped you,
i rate this a 10 out otf 10, do to the fact when you actually get in n your mind its only a controller so as long as your used to your software, you most deffinitely gunna love this product, has faders note repeat full levels and 3 banks, i always use the full levels and note repeat at times, greaat features!
as they say akai is great, yes it is a wonderful company, im a 16 yo producer and i use these mpc style pads to the max, for hip hop/soul beats, everything on this product is stable and efficient to alll needs!
fantastic product, the values of it go to further extents, stripped down to what you need, i had no problem with this.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Great Entry to Mid Level Midi Pad Controller

By Brent Watters

from North Bay, CA

Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

The MPD18 by Akai is the older brother of the MPD16.
Complete with an editing software, the MPD18 has 16 velocity sensitive pad you can use to trigger anything you need!

The pads on the MPD18 are a great place to start. They feel great to the touch and to mash on but unfortunately that is about al they are good at. The mid to high level velocities are picked up very well but the when you try to hit it softer it bounces up and down when recording the midi data into software. It is great to use in its FULL LEVEL mode as well so everything you capture will be at maximum veolcity.

The fader is great and sturdy. I have used it as a filter control and a cross fader and it woks great. The fader addition makes this unit great for the portable dj as well.

The built in presets make this a great tool for the artist just getting into music production. There are 16 stock presets, 12 of which allow each pad to take a note in a specific key. This is a great way to jam out some interesting melodies really quick.

All in all I believe the MPD18 controller is great for the Entry or Mid Level buyer. It is a little stripped down then the M Audio Trigger Finger but feels much more professional (especially the fader). Other than the problems with the low velocity on the pads, the MPD18 by AKAI is a great buy
The controller has been stripped down to the bare essentials needed in a midi pad controller. Knobs and multiple faders would have been nice but I would not expect the same price point with those features.
Like most of Akai products this unit feels professional. It is sturdy and can take a decent beating, especially if you are hard on the pads.
The built in software and the editor cd are an amazing addition. The scale modes being built in are great and the FULL LEVEL options give you plenty of bang for your buck with this controller.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

ALMOST a great product

By steve167

from D.C.

See all my reviews

Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

If you've read others reviews in which people mention the lack of sensitivity and the need to hit the pads HARD, well, it's pretty much the truth. It DOES work OK as it is out of the box. If you're not interested in creating truly expressive percussion which realistic velocity then you might think the it's a great little unit as is. Personally, I want the expressiveness in the beats and it just doesn't cut it out of the box. As mentioned in another review, there is in fact a gap between the pad and the sensor inside the case. It's about 1mm -- that's 1mm too much. If you don't mind voiding your warranty then pop the cover and insert a thin shim behind the underside of each pad and close it back up. I used three pieces of duct tape to get the desired thickness with the adhesive side to the pad, not the sensor. It's so simple and makes a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE difference in the usability of this product. I was ready to return it and though for $99 it was worth trying the "fix." It did it and problem solved.The unit is well made in and out. I love the form factor and more compact size. It's a great tool overall. I'm sure there's just a slight manufacturing quality control issue somewhere that hopefully will be remedied at some point.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Not bad for the price!

By Jimmy Webb

from Florida

See all my reviews

Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

Overall I'll give it a 7 out of 10. Mostly very good value, but not a high end product.
The feature set is slim, but this is a bare bones device. If you want a set of pads to input MIDI - you got it. It will not substitute as a chromatic instrument controller, or as a DAW control surface. One major feature missing is the MIDI DIN jacks. The only MIDI is USB, which means it can only connect to a computer. I had thought to control a drum module with it on stage - can't do it. That said, my computer programs recognized it with no glitches and the pads are fairly sensistive (7 on a scale of 1 to 10 for sensitivity). The software to program the pads is simple and effective and works. I did suffer some frustrating hours figuring out that I had to save new pre-sets over the existing ones in order for the machine to recognize them on upload - but once past that hurdle it was simple and reliable.
The build quality is ... light. It is plastic and has very little mass. It is not built like a tank, as they say. That said, all the parts work (for now) and I have no particular complaints because no part of it has broken for failed to work.
Tremendous value. It works. If you want a MIDI input device, and are buying new, this works and you probably can't beat it for the price.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Very Solid

By ideaman

from OKC,OK

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

      For what it is, you won't find anything better. If you want pads to trigger your sounds and plus a note repeat, then that is what you will get. The one slider has come in handy as well! Not having a screen on it can make changing certain parameters more time consuming; requiring the use of the MPD software. Again, if all you want are pads then get this! It's really a good buy for that purpose. The reason for 3 stars and not 5 is because there are other MPD versions that have a lot more functionality. But for what it is, I haven't found one better.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      It's Good With Edits

      By JM3797

      from Mesa, AZ

      About Me Novice

      See all my reviews

      Pros

      • Good Quality

      Cons

      • Not Functional

      Best Uses

      • Backup
      • Practicing

      Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

      This was my first Midi controller, it's compact, and it does what it's supposed to if you buy extra stuff.

      When it came, I was depressed to find that it was incredibly insensitive, so it is useless for fingerdrumming, but it'll work if you want to use it just for triggering samples.

      My best recommendation would be to buy some thicker, more sensitive pads from mpcstuff, and replace the original pads with those. They are pretty cheap, so I think it's worth it.

      Therefore, if you want a VERY cheap midi controller, then buy this, and some better pads.

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Cheap, great, and fun

      By Gaige DeSpain Music

      from Lehi, UT

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • EASY TO SET UP
      • Fun
      • Functional
      • Good Quality
      • Portable
      • Useful
      • Works With Ableton
      • Works With Fl Studio

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Carrying Around
        • Djing
        • Portable
        • Producing

        Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

        This MIDI Pad Controller is awesome! It's small and easy to move around or put in a backpack. It works really easily with Ableton and FL Studio. I love it. It's very cheap and it's the best it can be for it's price. I love my Akai MPD18! I would recommend one for anybody.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Poor Design From Akai

        By Smitty-c3F2p

        from Nashville TN

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

        I purchased this to use with Superior Drummer. I needed a device that focused on being trigger pads and not a controller. This fit the bill. So, what is the problem. You have to hit the pads HARD. There is very little sensitivity, which is very important when you are using it for Superior Drummer. This is due to a gap between the sensor and the pad hammer, which is poor design. You can easily mod it by placing 4 layers of electrical tape under the pad, but that requires opening the unit and thus voiding your warranty.

         
        5.0

        Well worth the money

        By Creal

        from Harrisburg PA

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Functional
        • Good Quality

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Akai Professional MPD18 USB MIDI Pad Controller:

            I was pretty skeptical cuz of the price point, but this was exactly what I was after: Solid build quality, responsive pads, basic features, and easy to integrate into my current set up.

            Great purchase at a great price!!

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