The Winter NAMM conference is traditionally a time for manufacturers to give us a glimpse at what they’re going to be putting to market during the year (with the occasional will-they-won’t-they early doors prototype), and this year there are some great announcements. Akai’s SynthStation49 is a MIDI controller specifically designed to work as a tactile surface for Akai’s popular SynthStation iPad/iPhone app, but at the same time fully compatible with both standard MIDI over USB and iOS Core MIDI, which will enable it to play nice with any other music app following spec.
one step at a time, we are moving into a situation whereby the tablet may become the de-facto home computing hub.
Following on from the SynthStation25, the 49 is a much more fully featured piece of kit, with a 49 key keyboard including pitch bend and modulation wheel, nine pads, transport and function buttons. I’ll have to wait until I get my hands on one to pass comment on the quality of the unit, but Akai’s MPK controller series have some of the best keys and general build on the keyboard-with-controls market, so there’s a definite precedent for something great here.
Remember Music on the PlayStation, and how many youths got their first taste of music production sat in front of their TV?
Naysayers may jeer at the pandering of manufacturers towards iPad devices in the DJ and production markets. The truth is that whilst, in general, the iPad may not be the current go to choice for versatile music production, it’s undeniably the trailblazer in a transition era – one step at a time, we are moving into a situation whereby the tablet may become the de-facto home computing hub. And when they’re ubiquitous in the modern home, the floodgates will open. Remember Music on the PlayStation, and how many youths got their first taste of music production sat in front of their TV?
What do you think?
Full details for the SynthStation49 can be found at Akai’s site