We’ve come a long way with virtual instruments. Now we’re on the bleeding edge with Akai Advance keyboard controllers.
There’s always been a hurdle when it comes to virtual instruments. Yes, they’ve made our lives exponentially easier and given us access to thousands of sounds at the click of the mouse but that’s exactly the hurdle – the click of the mouse. Virtual instruments in the form of plugins in your favourite DAW or as standalone players on your desktop inherently have a certain disconnection between the user and the interface. It’s a bit awkward tweaking a virtual knob with a mouse; I think we can all agree.
Just like a sound engineer feels more control with a real fader, the modern synth player feels more at home when he or she can manipulate an LFO or sweep a modulation frequency with a real knob under the fingertips. It just makes sound creation more fun and authentic. However, imagine being able to do that with your VSTis and at the same time catalogue, combine and manipulate up to eight of your virtual instruments at once, in mere seconds, from the convenience of one keyboard controller.
Enter the Akai Advance series from Akai Professional.
Combined with Akai’s custom-designed VIP (Virtual Instrument Player) software, the Akai Advance series becomes a powerful tool in accessing, combining and manipulating your favourite virtual instrument sounds time and time again. Aimed at bringing tactile control to your fingertips, the Akai Advance range of keyboard controllers bridges the gap between the virtual world and reality.
Available in 25-, 49- and 61-key sizes, all models include a 4.3” full-colour TFT display that instantly adapts itself to the selected virtual instrument’s parameters for a 1:1 access to the instrument and its editable controls. Used in conjunction with Akai’s VIP software, all of your virtual instruments – and we mean all – are controlled by one application in conjunction with your Advance controller, whether as a plugin within your favourite DAW or as a standalone application on your desktop. What’s more, VIP users can also create setlists that provide instant access to your custom instruments whether on-stage or in the studio. By merely pressing a button on the surface, you can adapt your performance on the fly without ever reaching for your computer.
Patch browsing and cataloguing has never been easier with VIP’s intuitive GUI while key zone splitting, layering of up to 8 instruments per VIP instance and custom mapping schemes brings a further level of versatility and tweakability to an already powerful platform. Plus, you can run as many instances of VIP as your computer’s resources will allow. VSTi, AU or AAX plugins versions are available for compatibility with virtually any DAW on the market.
Each keyboard in the Advance range comes with eight RGB-backlit pressure-sensitive pads, rubberised pitch and modulation wheels, eight continuously variable knobs and a semi-weighted, touch-sensitive keybed that supports aftertouch. Dedicated transport control, octave and performance buttons also round out the straight-forward, easy-to-use interface. Expression pedal and footswitch inputs are also included and the whole system connects to your computer/DAW via one USB cable.
The Akai Advance range of keyboard controllers is the next logical step in virtual instrument-based expression. Gone are the days of fiddling around for hours with a mouse trying to find a patch. Now, all of your instruments and sounds are right under your fingertips, accessible and malleable from one controller, effortless and efficiently.
The Akai Advance series is exclusively available through Audiosure, proud distributors of Akai Professional products in Southern Africa.