Posted on Thu 07 October 2010 in entries

Anyone after a USB controller that feels as at home on stage as it does in the studio should look no further than Cakewalk's A-PRO series…

With hundreds of USB and MIDI controllers out there, with and without keys, there has to be a bloomin’ good reason to choose one over another these days. Thankfully this new series of A-PRO keyboards has the names (and technology) of two big-hitting brands behind them: Cakewalk and Roland. These add together to create plenty of reasons to choose one of this totally touchable trio…

Two worlds collide

When Cakewalk teamed up with Roland a year or so ago, we knew great things would happen and these three keyboards are testament to that. The A-300PRO, A-500PRO and A-800PRO all combine the utter playability and sound technology that Roland synths are best known for with the ease of use and backup software synonymous with Cakewalk.

Each controller has velocity-sensitive mid-size keys (choose 32, 49 or 61) with aftertouch that owe their existence to 30 years of keyboard development by the Roland boffins. Never before will you have felt this much response and comfort in a controller.

Carry on control

Above the keyboard is a host of intelligently laid out controls. The assignables include nine knobs, nine sliders, four buttons and a dedicated Transport section. You’ve also got a rubber-coated joystick that gives you control over your pitchbend and modulation, plus eight velocity-sensitive dynamic pads that can be used to trigger grooves, samples or one-shots on the fly within your DAW, sampler or virtual instrument.

Going soft on us

The Cakewalk know-how shows itself in the bundled Production Plus Pack software, a powerful suite of music creation programs. At the heart of the pack is Sonar 8.5 LE (for PC), a cutdown version of Cakewalk’s increasingly popular DAW. You’ve also got three versatile virtual instruments: Rapture LE, Cakewalk Sound Center and Studio Instruments Drums.

As that woman from the M&S ads would say, these aren’t just ordinary controllers…


Keyboard: 32, 49 or 61 velocity-sensitive keys

Controls: 45 assignable controls (knobs, sliders, buttons, etc), 8 dynamic pads, pitchbend/ modulation joystick
Power: USB bus-powered
Compatibility: Works with any DAW on Mac or PC (supports Snow Leopard & Windows 7)
Comes with: Production Plus Pack 3 software

[Purchase the Cakewalk A-300Pro 32 Key USB MIDI keyboard controller]

Purchase the Cakewalk A-500Pro 49 Key USB MIDI keyboard controller

Purchase the Cakewalk A-800Pro 61 Key USB MIDI keyboard controller