Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

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Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

Postby Chenka » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:17 pm

I've been using an M-Audio Keystation controller for some time now.
I want to update to something better but but I'm racking my brain between another controller (MPK249) or a hardware synth (Roland Gaia).
I love the Hybrid 3 vst that comes with the MPK249, but I also love the option of creating my own sounds with the Gaia. The other dilemma is the 37 keys vs 49 keys.
The MPK249 and the Gaia are both in my price range.
Any suggestions that can help me decide would be appreciated big time.
Thanks to all.
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Re: Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

Postby meatballfulton » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:45 pm

Question #1: how are your keyboard chops? 49 keys is a lot better for two handed playing than 37 keys.

Question #2: do you own any other hardware synths? Gaia has very "hands on" programming. Even with the knobs of the MPK, working with softsynths is never as immediate. Gaia is a very basic instrument, great for learning subtractive synth programming if you are more of a preset user looking to learn how to create your own sounds. The actual sound of the Gaia is good but not mindblowing (not to me anyway!).

Question #3: how much need do you have for the controller features of the MPK (pads, sliders, knobs)? You can use Gaia's sliders and knobs to control software but it's clumsy compared to the MPK. Compared to the knobless Keystation, even the Gaia is a step up in terms of softsynth control ;)

Question #4: do you already own an audio interface for your computer? The Gaia can be used as a USB audio/MIDI interface.

Question #4: what's your DAW? MPK comes with templates to control most of the big name DAWs and I believe it ships with a copy of Ableton Live Lite.
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Re: Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

Postby Chenka » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:15 am

I usually use the whole keyboard, two handed.

I don't own any other hardware synths. I use NI Massive and Sylenth1 vst's. I tend to tweak the presets with a cutoff filter.

I think the sliders and knobs would be better to use than tweaking with the mouse. I usually midi learn the cut off filter to the volume slider on the keystation.

I own a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface.

My DAW is Ableton Live 9.

I'm actually leaning towards the MPK249, especially for the 49 keys and the Hybrid 3 vst.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Re: Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

Postby corndogssg » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:55 am

get the mpk 61 go for the 5 octave keyboard if you don't already have a midi controller for your vst's, it's not much more than the 49.

don't get a gaia, although the interface is great and all, it may scare you away from hardware synths and there are some excellent synths out there!!! and some not so much 8-)
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Re: Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

Postby meatballfulton » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:06 pm

Definitely the MPK based on your answer.

--You get full transport control for Live, no more reaching for the space bar or computer keyboard.

--You get templates to control Live in the box. You can then modify these to your own preferences if you like and save them as presets.

--The eight knobs map to the 8 knobs on a Live rack...you can drop instances of Massive or Sylenth into a rack and get real time control of any 8 parameters of your choice.

--The sliders and knobs give you real time mixer control in Live.

-- The pads map to Live drum racks and Impulse drum sampler.

corndogssg's comment to get the MPK61 if you can afford the extra $$$ is a good one. You might be amazed how much adding one more octave of keys changes the feeling of playing.
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Re: Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

Postby Chenka » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:47 pm

Thanks again guys. MPK is definitely the way to go. Store DJ sells the MPK49 for $499 and the MPK61 for 799. 300 difference is pushing my budget. I don't know if they are cheaper elsewhere in Australia.
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Re: Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

Postby meatballfulton » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:22 pm

$300...ouch. It's only $100 difference in USA.
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Re: Akai MPK249 vs Roland Gaia

Postby corndogssg » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:08 pm

wow! that's what I just said to myself!!!
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