Akai Professional Advance – 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboard (Discontinued)

79 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.
Akai Professional

Gearank Recommendation

The Akai Professional Advance 49 appeared on our recommended list for 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards when we published the first edition back in February 2016 but was removed when we published the following edition in July 2017.


Akai’s Advance series of MIDI keyboards differs from the MPK series in that they have a strong emphasis on virtual instrument control – both for recording and live performance.

It comes with their Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) software which can run as a stand alone application, or as a plugin with any AU, VST, or AAX compatible DAW – this means you can control nearly all VSTi’s with or without a DAW running making it ideal for live use.

The VIP software lets you control, edit, and mix up to 8 VSTi’s in real time and the full color screen provides real time reporting on plugin parameters. When used as a plugin, you can run unlimited instances of VIP. For more information on the VIP software see this video demo.

It comes with templates for controlling Ableton, Cubase, Logic, Bitwig, FL studio and Reaper, and you can also set up custom templates for any other DAW you have.

Note: This had a Gearank score of 84 back in February 2016, however its ratings have dropped since then and it’s no longer on our main recommended list – for our current recommendations see our guide to The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.


  • Keys: 49 semi-weighted, velocity sensitive with aftertouch.
  • Pads: 8 MPC style which are velocity and pressure sensitive with RGB illumination.
  • Octaves: 10 by using Octave Up and Octave Down controls.
  • Arpeggiator: Yes.
  • Motorized Controls: No.
  • Bundled Software: No – but comes with 16GB of sounds.
  • Power: USB or an optional external power adapter.
  • Connectivity: USB, 5-pin MIDI in and out, 2 x TRS inputs for expression pedal and sustain pedal or footswitch input.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.8 or later + Windows 10, 8, and 7.
  • Dimensions: 29.52″ x 11.52″ x 3.48″
  • Weight 9.92 lbs


This video provides a good look at the Akai Professional Advance 49:

2 thoughts on “Akai Professional Advance – 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboard (Discontinued)”

  1. How do I run Midi In to it and what can it do? I am sitting here with one of these (akai advance) and I just can’t get any midi in to it via its midi in port. I would try to change the arp with a signal from another midi device but there don’t seem to be any settings or controls where there can be set a midi in or thru on it. Tried in the VIP still no settings that i can see. Tried just running midi to the 5 pin MIDI out of an interface with midi cable but no beans.

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