Advance 49 DisplayAkai bundles their VIP (Virtual Instrument Player) application so that you can host and play all your software synths on a computer without the massive overhead of having to launch your DAW.

The Advance 49 features an integrated high-resolution full-color 4.3-inch display, providing real-time control and feedback of all virtual instruments. The screen instantly adapts itself to the selected plugin’s controls, giving you access to the instrument and various editable functions. 

Akai VIP

The keyboards (all 25, 49 and 61-key models) communicate with Akai’s Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) plugin, visible directly from the keyboards’ interface via a small colour screen. Once the VIP plugin is loaded in a DAW, it’s possible to host any other third-party plugin within the interface.

Overall, the VIP suit seems to be quite stable and intuitive. There’s a bit of menu-searching, but I could see getting used to the workflow and keycommands to make things go quickly once in use.

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I'm a film / TV composer based in Vancouver BC. Music has always been part of my life, but my first career was in the technology industry as a consultant and project manager. I helped to build and open the Experience Music Project – a rock and roll museum in Seattle. I hold a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Business Administration degree from McMaster University. I also hold a diploma in Audio Engineering from the University of Washington and I’m a graduate of Hummie Mann’s acclaimed Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program.