Akai MPD 226 Review

Akai Professional MPD226 | MIDI Drum Pad Controller with Software Download Package (16 pads/4 knobs/4 buttons/4 faders)
114 Reviews
Akai Professional MPD226 | MIDI Drum Pad Controller with Software Download Package (16 pads/4 knobs/4 buttons/4 faders)
  • Compact, feature-packed pad controller for finger drumming and music production
  • 16 Thick Fat backlit MPC drum pads (64 assignable pads accessible via 4 banks)
  • 4 faders, 4 control knobs, 4 switches (12 assignable controls each accessible via 3 banks)
  • USB-powered through computer connection with built in Note Repeat, Full Level, and 16 Level buttons
  • Includes free software titles Ableton Live Lite, Akai Pro MPC Essentials, SONiVOX Big Bang Cinematic Percussion and Big Bang Universal Drums

Akai Brings The Feel And Flow Of The MPC To The World Of Midi Controllers

If you are looking for a great MIDI-over-USB pad controller for your beat making fun, then you need to look no further than the Akai MPD 226.

This product has a blend of controls and special technologies that make it easy to mesh your USB connectivity to make your beat making the process easier than ever. In the Akai Mpd 226 review, we have given this midi pad controller a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.


  • headphones
    The sensitivity on the pads can be adjusted.
  • headphones
    Backlights on the pads can be changed according to your style.
  • headphones
      Affordable price and great value
  • headphones
     Get control over your DAW
  • headphones
    The controls are smaller than other models
  • headphones
    No standalone option 

4 STARS


Key Features

There are several key features that make this USB pad controller unique, and this Akai MPD 226 review has them all. It has a series of 64 assignable pads, which are all accessible through four different banks. There are four faders on the controller which is all assignable, and the controller has four different Q-link knobs and Q-link buttons all of which are assignable. The controls have 36 assignable areas, which are all accessed through three banks.

There are 16 MPC pads, brand new and made with a new technology, that are illuminated velocity and pressure sensitive. These pads are call Thick Fat pads, and they are made to add comfort and stability to your playing time. The MIDI in and out jacks are included for controlling any external gear. The controller is iOS compatible, and a Camera Connection Kit can be purchased separately to add to the technology. There is an MPC note repeat, MPC swing, Full level, and tap tempo options.

With thirty different presets, this pad controller has configurations for almost all the most popular DAWs technology. The controller even has a dedicated transport control. Perhaps the most exciting of the features is the included software: Akai Pro MPC Essentials, Big Bang Universal Drums, Big bang Cinematic Percussion, and Ableton Live Lite.

These features are not found in many of the other USB pad controllers on the market. In fact, Akai has made themselves stand out from the crowd with the multiple features they have added to their product. Later in this Akai MPD 226 review, we will discuss how other competitor’s products compare to the MPD 226 USB pad controller.



When you stop to look at this pad controller, you might be like me. I was amazed at the level of technology that this controller has. If you enjoy creating your beats and mixing music to create your spin on popular songs, then this is the pad controller for you.

The Overall Product

Overall, this product is a high-quality option for musicians, DJs, and others who enjoy playing around with beats and drums. It includes many special features that make it a great option for home or professional use.

It contains all the necessary equipment and software you need, but it also may expand should you decide to add to your collection. This pad controller also has many software options included, but you can purchase your own should you need it or want it.

​ you look a little closer at all the other things involved with this pad controller, you will see just how amazing it is in comparison to other products like it. We have given it a high rating for all of the incredible features and additional technologies that this products sports.

If you are ready to give the music producing fun shot, then this is the product to help you get those results you are seeking. Any music lover, DJ, or music producer will find this pad controller to be adequate and incredible.

Check Out The Complete Review Of The 

Akai Mpd 226's Bigger Brother 

The Akai MPD 232, Here On BpmsSkills.com


Check Out The Complete Review Of The 

Akai Mpd 226's Little Brother 

The Akai MPD 218, Here On BpmSkills.com

The Pads

The pad section of this controller is beyond comparison. It is, in fact, the most important part of the pad controller since this is how all the music is made. This particular product is made with rubber pads that are thick enough to be comfortable for long hours of use. They are also pressuring sensitive so you can get exactly the control you want. Another great thing about these pads is the ability to configure them to your personal touch. If you tend to have a heavy tap, then you can configure the pads to work with your touch. They can also be configured to work with the chosen software or hardware devices that you enjoy using.

The pads on this controller are also back-lit. You may choose your colors for the lights, which gives you more personalization than any other type of pad controller on the market. You also have a special sensitivity settings on this controller called gain, curve, and threshold. Each has their sensitivity, and you can use these to adjust the pads to your personal preferences.

The Controls

Every USB pad controller has a section for controlling the music and sound on your board. On the Akai MPD 226, the controller section has been placed with the perfect spacing, so you don’t accidentally hit any buttons while using the pad section. The controls consist of encoders or knobs, buttons, and faders. Each of these allows you the freedom to create new sounds during performances.

The controls on this newer model have been made slightly smaller, which not only gives you movement freedom, but it doesn’t take up as much space as previous models. The knobs give you all the control you need without being too large. The buttons on the controller can be configured to your needs as well, and you can even save keyboard shortcuts as needed.

The Software

The MPD 226 comes with some pre-downloaded free software. What’s not to love about that right? The software comes with an average music product software for free. It is called Ableton Live Lite, and many people use this software with different hardware devices to help product music of all kinds. There are also two different software options for musical quality. One is for drums, the Big Bang Universal Drums, and the other is for percussion instruments, Big Bang Cinematic Percussion. These three software options come with the Akai MPD 226 USB pad controller, and you don’t have to pay an extra fee for the software either.


This pad controller even has an editor software attached, and it is amazing. It is intuitive, and it allows you to create mass changes as well as small changes. It has easy tasks, and many features that allow you to upload many different presets to the hardware without too much hassle. Overall, this editor software is like gold from a mine, and it is something that many music producers look for when starting to create their own sounds.



How Does it Compare?


When you put the Akai MPD 226 up against other competitive products, it just exceeds all comparison. Not every product has the same features as the Akai MPD 226 and not every product is for everyone. Luckily, we’ve done some of the work for you. Below, we’ve taken three different products and decided to compare them with the MPD 226. We will be looking at the difference in features, and we will discuss who would best benefit from these different products.

The Steinberg CMC-PD is a USB pad controller as well. It also contains sixteen different backlit pads on the surface, along with a rotary encoder and other controllers to help you get the music you want. What it doesn’t have compared to the MPD 226 is the additional software that Akai gives with the purchase of their pad controller. This product is ideal for beginners who are just learning how to create different sounds with a controller like this.

The Korg NanoPAD2 is a USB pad controller like the MPD 226, but it also doesn’t have the option to expand or use with the different software. However, you can use the Korg software which can be downloaded from their website. It connects to your computer through a USB cable. This controller is great for any beginner or someone who wants to save money while trying out this technology. The price of this pad controller is great as well.

The Alesis Control Pad USB is a percussion pad controller, which explains why it doesn’t compare with the Akai MPD 226. It does not have the options that the MPD 226 has. It has eight different pads and a limited number of controls. It also doesn’t come with all the added software, but it does come with a FXPansion’s BFD Lite software. You can use it with drum kit libraries, making this controller a great option for those who only want to use the drums to add intensity to


The Final Verdict 

Overall, the MPD 226 is a revolutionary USB pad controller. It is easy to adjust, easy to use, and the software that comes with it is second to none. If you are in the market for a pad controller, the Akai MPD 226 is the one to get. With all of its features and added benefits, who wouldn’t want to choose this product. It has everything you need whether you are a beginner or a professional, and the price just can’t be beat.

Akai Professional MPD226 | MIDI Drum Pad Controller with Software Download Package (16 pads/4 knobs/4 buttons/4 faders)
114 Reviews
Akai Professional MPD226 | MIDI Drum Pad Controller with Software Download Package (16 pads/4 knobs/4 buttons/4 faders)
  • Compact, feature-packed pad controller for finger drumming and music production
  • 16 Thick Fat backlit MPC drum pads (64 assignable pads accessible via 4 banks)
  • 4 faders, 4 control knobs, 4 switches (12 assignable controls each accessible via 3 banks)
  • USB-powered through computer connection with built in Note Repeat, Full Level, and 16 Level buttons
  • Includes free software titles Ableton Live Lite, Akai Pro MPC Essentials, SONiVOX Big Bang Cinematic Percussion and Big Bang Universal Drums

Last update on 2018-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API