AKAI are originally a Japanese company that formed in 1929, manufacturing consumer electronic equipment. In 1984 AKAI developed a new branch of the company called AKAI Professional. Early products from AKAI Professional, include the MG1212; a 12-track analog recorder that utilised the Mk-20 tape cartridges - similar to VHS video tape. AKAI also designed a range of analog synthesisers called the AX series. In 1985 they released the S-series hardware sampler. The AKAI S series hardware samplers were to film composers in the 1990’s what Kontakt is today. A-list Hollywood composers had racks upon racks of AKAI samplers, and used them to playback orchestral and instrumental CD-ROM based sample libraries.

However, probably the most iconic development, and one that has been recently redeveloped and still a current product, is the MPC. Short for Music Production centre, the original MPC60 was designed by Roger Linn, and released in 1988 by AKAI. Later models include the MPC2000, that incorporated a hardware sampler into the design with a whopping 2MB memory, expandable to 32! In 2012 AKAI released the MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio, both designed to integrate with current music-production styles and DAW systems, whilst maintaining a similar word-flow to the original models.

AKAI also have a huge range of computer music and DJ products, including controller keyboards and various MIDI controllers such as the APC and MPD product line. The MPD features highly sensitive MIDI percussion-pads. A combination of sliders, encoders and step sequencer can be found on the larger models. The APC is a control surface offering deep integration with Ableton Live. Also the unique EWI5000 electronic wind instrument, and hardware synth/drum machines such as the Rhythm Wolf.
Some of the most popular AKAI products include the Advance 25, 49 and 61 note controller keyboards featuring hi-res display, MPC style pads, and complete DAW integration via the AKAI AIR 2.0 software. In 2017, AKAI announced the MPC X. Years in development, the MPC X has added a gigantic 10-inch touch screen for manipulating audio, mic-preamps, 8 x CV outputs and a phono input, making it the most comprehensive MPC available.

AKAI Professionals' longstanding pedigree of innovative product development, and their ability to continue to create products that match current production tends, makes them one of the most trusted brands in professional audio today.