midiplus AK490 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller
Gearank High Notes
Taiwanese manufacturer Midiplus has surprised the synth community with the AK490.
Featuring a 5-pin DIN MIDI out, the AK490 can be used to control older analog synths in addition to being used with a computer using its USB MIDI connection.
- Keys: 49 Velocity Sensitive, Synth Action keys
- Pads: None
- Controls:Pitch, Mod, Octave
- Octaves: -4 to +4
- Bundled Software: None
- Power: USB bus power
- Connectivity: 1 x USB Type B, 1 x 5-pin MIDI out, 1 x Sustain Pedal Input
- Control Hardware Directly: Yes
- Compatibility: Windows and Mac (Version not Specified0
- Dimensions: 21.9" x 5.4" x 1.6"
- Weight: 3 lbs.
Although there are other MIDI Controllers at this price with a few more features, the AK490 has grown a cult following from analog synth enthusiasts because of the 5-Pin MIDI I/O. One user mentioned that he was able to use an old vintage synth with busted keys by plugging it into the AK490.
Key action leaves a lot to be desired and is described by users as "cheap" and "mushy".
At first glance, the AK490 may not offer much. Under the hood, it may seem underwhelming but what makes it great is an often forgotten option at this price-point which is the 5-Pin MIDI I/O. Get it if you want an affordable MIDI Controller for both your software and hardware synths.
Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in these guides: