Akai Professional has announced the MPD32 pad controller ($499). The controller connects to a computer via USB and can be used to control programs such as Propellerhead Reason, Ableton Live, and Apple GarageBand. According to Akai, the MPD32 is the only pad controller that has MPC Note Repeat with swing and gate time parameters, and can also work as a master clock for MIDI sequencers.
The unit has 16 Velocity- and pressure-sensitive MPC pads, 8 assignable faders, 8 assignable switches, and 8 assignable 360 degree knobs. It also has three selectable control banks that extend the number of available faders, buttons, and knobs to 24 each, for a total of 72 controllers. In addition, four pad banks allow for 64 pads altogether. The MPD32 also offers transport controls for interfacing with DAW and sequencing applications.
Other features include 2 assignable foot switches, 1 assignable foot pedal controller, a large LCD display, 30 user-definable presets, and MMC/MIDI Start/Stop transport buttons. The MPD32 comes bundled with Ableton Live Akai Edition software and BFD Lite software.
Expect the MPD32 to ship in the second quarter of 2008. Learn more at www.akaipro.com.