Akai MPD218 Review

May 23, 2023
David Sunnyside

akai mpd218 review

Build upon the success of the MPD series, this new model delivers amazing creative musical ammo with a set of 16 Thick Fat backlit MPC pads and upgraded controls. It’s designed for producers, programmers, musicians and DJs who require the control feel of MPC in a compact, portable USB pad controller.

Sixteen ultra-sensitive backlit MPC pads are pressure- and velocity-sensitive to provide a responsive, intuitive experience. With a total of 48 assignable pads across 3 pad banks, you can create an expansive library of virtual sounds and use them for performance or seamless studio work in your DAW.

The software editor is a big improvement over the legacy MPD 18 editor. It tries to resemble the hardware device and offers an interesting "auto-populate" feature that allows changing multiple pads or knobs at the same time, which is a great time saver if you need to change several parameters quickly.

It is also worth mentioning the improved Note Repeat and Full Level modes, which will definitely speed up your drum programming workflow. This is something that was often missing from pad controllers in the past and it will save you a lot of clicks on your DAW piano roll.

This model is also bundled with more than PS200 in free software, including Ableton Live Lite and the aforementioned Big Bang Drums and Big Bang Cinema from Sonivox as well as the new MPC Beats software. Lastly, it is powered via USB Bus, so you can connect it to your computer or mobile device and make beats on the go.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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