Akai Synthstation49 iPad Audio Controller - XLR8R

Akai Synthstation49 iPad Audio Controller

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While the iPad has many of us daydreaming about the possibilities that a multi-touch, WiFi-enabled tablet presents for music production and performance, we've yet to see much that gets us drooling. The Synthstation49 (MSRP: $199) isn't quite the revolution we're imagining, but it's still a nice little tool that does its part to bridge the gap between iPad fantasy and reality. The MPC pads and transport buttons are as expected, and the angle-adjustable iPad dock is cool. But a couple of features did actually get our hearts beating a couple ticks faster. Not only does the SynthStation49 sport a stereo set of quarter-inch jacks suitable for routing the output to a recording device or PA mixer, but it also allows players to record all MIDI information (and audio) directly to the iPad (cool, especially if you do a lot of improvisatory knob-twiddling), and it's fully CoreMIDI compliant, which means it is compatible with any other CoreMIDI iPad app right out of the box.