Akai Professsional has introduced their Advance Keyboards, available in 25-, 49-, and 61-key sizes. They tell us that Advance Keyboards provide unprecedented playability and advanced manipulation of any virtual instrument via an interactive, 4.3 inch full-color display complemented by premium hardware controls. Here's the details in their own words...
Designed to fuse the capability of software instruments with the live playability of a keyboard workstation, the Advance Keyboard transforms computer-based plugins into an entirely hands-on playing experience. The keyboard surface features an integrated high-resolution full-color 4.3-inch display, providing real-time feedback of essential virtual instrument parameters. The screen instantly adapts itself to the selected plugin's controls, delivering immediate 1:1 access to the instrument and various editable functions. The Advance Keyboard series works with any VSTi, AU, or AAX virtual instrument in all major digital audio workstations (DAW) on both Mac and Windows operating systems.
Each Advance Keyboard comes with a 16GB download of over 10,000 sounds from industry-leading developers at AIR Music Technology, SONiVOX, and TOOLROOM RECORDS. This comprehensive collection of nine plugins provides you with an instant palette of contemporary, sought-after sounds for both live performance and studio production.
Advance Keyboards Highlights:
• Keyboards for advanced virtual instrument performance
• Integrated 4.3-inch high-resolution full-color screen with dedicated interface buttons
• Screen provides 1:1, real-time feedback of plugin parameters
• Includes Virtual Instrument Player software for unprecedented virtual instrument preset management, control mapping and multi patch creation
• Premium, semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keybed with aftertouch
• 8 large, endless and continuously variable control knobs
• 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive MPC pads with RGB illumination
• Dedicated pad bank, transport control, octave, and performance buttons
• Note repeat, time-division, pattern arpeggiator, and tap-tempo buttons
• Rubberized Pitch and Modulation wheels
• Expression pedal and footswitch inputs
• USB and 5-pin MIDI Input/Output for use with any MIDI capable software or hardware
• Functions as a standalone controller
• Available in 25-, 49-, and 61- key sizes
Virtual Instrument Player Software Highlights:
• Plays virtually every VSTi-compatible plugin
• Operates as a standalone virtual instrument player for your computer
• Also operates as a plugin within any AU, VST, or AAX compatible DAW
• Organizes your plugin collection with intuitive browsing by plugin, artist collection, instrument type, timbre, and more
• Access, edit, and mix up to 8 virtual instruments at one time
• Setlist feature lets live performers switch between patches from any plugin instantly from the keyboard
• Extensive key zone splitting, custom mapping, and instrument mixing options
• Pre-mapped to hundreds of industry-leading virtual instruments
• Unlimited instances of VIP may be run in a DAW
• Included sounds: Vacuum Pro, Loom, Hybrid 3, Xpand!2, Velvet and Transfuser by AIR Music Tech, Eighty Eight Ensemble by SONiVOX and exclusive artist launch packs from TOOLROOM RECORDS (downloads). Plus 100's of other VI's and sounds from a growing list of partners, available for purchase, downloadable from the VIP Store
Pricing and Availability:
Advance 25, Advance 49, and Advance 61 will be available in early 2015 at retail pricing of $399.99, $499.99, and $599.99, respectively.