Akai MPD218


The Akai MPD218 midi keyboard is the ultimate controller for creating music, offering 16 ultra-sensitive pads, 6 assignable knobs, and intuitive controls for seamless workflow.



Akai Professional is a renowned brand in the world of music production and live performance. The Akai MPD218 MIDI device is one of their most popular models that have been on the market for some time. This article will delve into the intricacies of the Akai MPD218 MIDI device and what it has to offer.

Design and Features

The Akai MPD218 MIDI device boasts a sleek and modern design that appeals to musicians and producers alike. The device comes in a compact size, making it easy to transport and store. It features 16 thick, velocity-sensitive pads that feel natural to the touch. The pads have RGB backlighting that comes in handy when performing in low-light conditions. The pad banks on the device allow you to switch between sounds and samples, making it easy to navigate through your tracks.

The device has six assignable knobs that enable you to tweak and manipulate sounds easily. These knobs have a smooth and responsive feel and are accurate. The MPD218 also has assignable faders that you can easily map to different functions within your DAW. Additionally, it comes with transport controls that allow you to start, stop, record, and loop your tracks.


The Akai MPD218 MIDI device can be easily connected to your computer via USB, and it is also compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. The device comes with an editor software that allows you to customize the pads and the controller’s functions according to your preferences. The editor software is easy to use, and it allows you to create custom banks and presets, thereby expanding your creative options.

The MPD218 also features a MIDI input and output that enable you to connect it to other MIDI devices such as synths, drum machines, and DJ controllers. The device draws power from the USB connection, eliminating the need for a separate power supply.


The Akai MPD218 MIDI device delivers a high-performance level and is ideal for both live performance and production. The pads are responsive and sensitive to velocity, allowing you to play with nuance and expression. The backlit pads are useful in low-light situations, and the transport controls make it easy to manipulate your tracks. The device’s USB connection ensures that there is minimal latency, and it delivers a seamless experience when working within your DAW. The device is also customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your workflow and preferences.


The Akai MPD218 MIDI device is an excellent choice for musicians and producers looking for a versatile and portable MIDI controller. It features a sleek and compact design, responsive pads, assignable knobs, and transport controls that allow for seamless integration with your DAW. The device’s connectivity options make it easy to connect with other MIDI devices, expanding your creative options. With its customizable features and high-performance level, the Akai MPD218 MIDI device delivers an exceptional experience that can take your music production and live performance to the next level.

Akai MPD218 properties

Product name MPD218
Brand Akai
Type Keyboard Instruments
Keyboard Instrument MIDI Keyboard
Pads Yes
Rotary Controls Yes

Additional information


Product type




Rotary Controls

Modulation Wheel

Pre-Programmed Songs




Power Supply


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Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do I connect my Akai MPD218 to my computer for use as a MIDI controller?

A: To connect your Akai MPD218 to your computer, follow these steps:

1. Plug the USB cable that came with your MPD218 into any available USB port on your computer.
2. Power up your MPD218 by turning it on using the power switch located at the top right corner of the device.
3. Download and install the latest version of AKAI Professional MIDI Control Center software from the official Akai Pro website if you haven't already done so. This software will allow you to configure your MPD218 as a MIDI controller.
4. Launch the AKAI Professional MIDI Control Center software on your computer.
5. Connect your MPD218 to the AKAI Professional MIDI Control Center by clicking "Connect" under the "Devices" tab in the software interface. Your device should appear in the list of available devices. Click on it to select it, then click "Connect."
6. Once connected, you can now use your MPD218 as a MIDI controller for any compatible music production software or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, FL Studio, or Cubase.

What is the process for setting up and configuring MIDI mapping on my Akai MPK249 controller for use with software such as Ableton Live or Logic Pro X?

To set up MIDI mapping on your Akai MPK249 controller for use with software like Ableton Live or Logic Pro X, follow these steps:

1. Connect your MPK249 to your computer using the included USB cable. Make sure it's properly recognized by your system.

2. Launch the MIDI mapping software that comes with your chosen DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This could be Ableton Live's "Midi Mapping" window or Logic Pro X's "Control Surface Assignments" panel.

3. In the DAW's MIDI mapping software, navigate to the section where you can assign controls on your MPK249 to various parameters in your project (e.g., transport controls, volume faders, instrument macros, etc.).

4. Locate the specific controller on your MPK249 that you want to map. For example, if you want to assign a knob to control the volume of an audio track, locate that particular knob on your hardware controller.

5. Within the DAW's MIDI mapping software, select the corresponding parameter in your project that you want to link with the MPK249 controller. In this case, it would be the "Volume" slider for an audio track.

6. Once both the hardware controller and software parameter are selected, establish the connection between them by assigning or mapping them together. This process varies slightly depending on which DAW you're using:

a. In Ableton Live, click on the "Learn" button next to the parameter you want to map in the Midi Map window. Then, move the corresponding knob on your MPK249, and the assignment should be made automatically.

b. In Logic Pro X, click and hold down the control surface assignment icon (it looks like a small gear) for the parameter you want to map. Move the corresponding knob or button on your MPK249, and the assignment should be made automatically.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 for any other controllers or parameters you wish to map within your project.

8. Save your MIDI mapping presets so that they can be recalled later when working with different projects or sessions. In Ableton Live, you can save your mappings as a custom set. In Logic Pro X, you can create a new control surface template by copying an existing one and making adjustments as needed.

9. Test your newly configured MIDI mapping by playing back your project in your chosen DAW and ensuring that all assigned controls function as expected.

By following these steps, you should be able to set up and configure effective MIDI mapping between your Akai MPK249 controller and popular digital audio workstations like Ableton Live or Logic Pro X.

How does the Akai MPD218's aftertouch functionality differ from its pitch bend and modulation wheels?

The Akai MPD218's aftertouch feature allows users to apply pressure to the pads after they have been triggered, resulting in a change in sound or parameter values. This differs from the pitch bend and modulation wheels, which are typically used to adjust the pitch or other parameters of a sound while it is being played. While both the pitch bend and modulation wheels can be used to introduce subtle variations into a performance, aftertouch provides a more dynamic and expressive way to shape sounds over time.