AKAI MX-1000 Midi Master Keyboard

Take a well-facilitated MIDI master keyboard and add a piano module and you have the basis of Akai’s MX1000 – a “dumb” controller with a voice. Simon Trask plays and listens.


MIDI controller keyboards promised much when they first appeared on the market back in the mid-’80s. Musicians, instead of being forced to add a new keyboard to their setups each time they wanted to add a new synth, could buy one keyboard instrument which itself made no sound but which was optimised for centralised control of other MIDI instruments. The principle was to build up a collection of MIDI sound modules around this controller.

Yet, while this MIDI modular concept has become the foundation of the modern MIDI setup both in the studio and on stage, dedicated MIDI controller keyboards have never really caught on in a big way.

The oft-quoted reason is simply that many musicians are unwilling to buy a keyboard instrument which has no sound-generating capability of its own – especially when they can get a sound-generating instrument for a similar price or less. No doubt the rise and rise of sequencer culture, and the corresponding decline of performance culture, has played its part in determining musicians’ response to what has from the outset been a performance-orientated instrument.



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