Akai Professional's Advance Keyboards are like nothing else you've ever played. Along with the VIP software, the Advance series gives you unprecedented playability and unrestricted manipulation of any virtual instrument with an exclusive, interactive, full-color display, complemented by performance-friendly hardware controls. This article walks through integrating the Advance Keyboard with Presonus Studio One.




Adding the Advance keyboard as a MIDI Device

Studio One's External Devices menu allows you to implement MIDI controllers into your workflow in a variety of different ways. The steps below will add the Advance as a MIDI device to play VST instruments with the keyboard/pads, allow you to MIDI map the Advance's controls, and synchronize the the Advance's arpeggiator/NoteRepeat feature with Studio One's tempo. 

  1. Open Studio One's Options > External Devices menu. 
  2. Click Add.
  3. From the list of devices, select New Keyboard
  4. Change the Device Name if you wish. (not required)
  5. Set the Receive From to your ADVANCE USB PORT
  6. Check the box for Split Channels. If you wish the Advance to be the default keyboard for controlling VST Instruments, check the Default Instrument Input box.
  7. Click OK
  8. Back in the External Devices menu, click Add again. 
  9. Now select New Instrument
  10. Again, change the Device Name if you wish. This device will be specifically used to send MIDI Clock to the Advance to synchronize the tempo of the arpeggiator and NoteRepeat functions. 
  11. Set the Send To to the ADVANCE USB PORT
  12. Check the boxes for Send MIDI Clock and Use MIDI Clock Start
  13. Click OK
  14. Click OK to close the External Devices window. That's it! The Advance is now setup as a MIDI controller.
  15. On the Advance itself, on page 3 of the GLOBAL menu (SHIFT + BROWSER), set the Clock Source setting to External. This will set the Advance to wait for Studio One's MIDI Clock signal and synchronize the timing of the arpeggiator/NoteRepeat. 
  16. While in the GLOBAL menu, go to page 1 and change the Transport Format to CC. This will help for the next section about MIDI mappnig controls. 


Mapping the Advance's Knobs and Buttons to Studio One

Studio One allows you to create custom MIDI mappings for any MIDI controller. You can use this feature to map the Advance transport controls as well as the rotary knobs and buttons. While the VIP software will take care of mapping the knobs and buttons to your VST Instruments automatically, you can still program the Advance to controls to control Studio One for whatever you'd like (volume faders, pan, track zoom, etc...).  

When VIP is not open, the Advance will be controlling Studio One in what is called MIDI Mode. When the Advance is controlling an open instance of VIP, is it called Control Mode. While controlling VIP, you can quickly switch to MIDI Mode by pressing SHIFT+CONTROL on the Advance. This way you can quickly switch back and forth between VIP and Studio One control. 

Finally, individual knobs and buttons in the VIP software presets can be assigned to the VST Parameter (by default), or to a MIDI CC value by clicking the parameter below each control.


Here is a walkthrough of mapping MIDI controls in Studio One. Be sure you've followed the steps in the section above first.

  1. In Studio One, click the dropdown arrow in the Edit Device section to reveal the available MIDI devices and select your Advance (or whatever you had chosen for the Device Name from Step 4 in the previous section). 
  2. You'll now see a window like below:
  3. As noted in the first section, be sure the Advance's Transport Format is set to CC (in the Advance's GLOBAL menu). Also, make sure the Advance is currently on the Studio One preset. To do this, press the MAIN button, scroll to Studio One, and push the data dial to enter. 
  4. Back in Studio One, click the MIDI Learn button to it is highlighted blue. 
  5. On the Advance, press each Transport Control once (Play, Record, Stop, Loop). You will see each of the controls appear in the MIDI Learn window as you press them. 
  6. Right click each of these new controls and select Button (on/off)
  7. New controls will receive a default name (Control1, Control2, etc...). Double click each and re-name appropriately. 
  8. Right click the Play button and select Assign Command. You'll now be viewing a list of all the many commands in Studio One to which you can assign the Play button. All of the commands for Transport Controls will be found in the Transport section. You can get there quickly by simply typing "Start" in the Search field. 
  9. Repeat the same process for the remaining transport controls. Here are the recommended assignments:

    • Play Button = Start
    • Record Button = Record
    • Stop Button = Stop
    • Loop Button = Loop Toggle
  10. The same process for the transport controls can be used for the eight buttons on the Advance. While still in MIDI Learn mode, press the eight buttons and you will see them appear. 
  11. Now, this is where your creativity comes in! You can map your buttons to virtually anything in Studio One. Since the VIP software takes care of mapping your VST Instruments, you're free to assign these buttons for Studio One functions.
    In this example, we'll cover how to map these to the MUTE buttons of the first eight tracks in Studio One. So, in this case, you'll want to change the buttons of the Advance preset to Toggle instead of Momentary (to be sure Studio One links up correctly). 

    • On the Advance, press CONTROL or SHIFT+CONTROL multiple times until you are on the button editing screen. 
    • Press the Advance data dial.
    • Press each button below the rotary knobs and change the Mode of each to Toggle
  12. After you've learned the eight buttons, make sure they're set to Toggle (on/off), and if you wish, renamed to Mute 1, Mute 2, etc... 
  13. Disable the MIDI Learn mode (so the button is no longer highlighted blue). 
  14. Click on the first Mute button (Mute 1). 
  15. Now, assuming you already have a least eight tracks added to Studio One, click on the Mute button of the first track (or whichever button you'd like to map). In the top left corner you can now see which Studio One control is currently selected (in the left box), and which MIDI control is selected (right box):
  16. Once these two boxes show what command you want to map and which button you want to map it to, cilck the link button in between the two boxes. You'll now see the Advance's button will now mute/unmute the track. That's it! 
  17. Follow the same steps for the remaning controls. Again, this same process can be used to MIDI anything Studio One makes available to map. So, using the same methods above you could map the eight rotary knobs to the volume faders for each Studio One channel. 
  18. That's it! Program away! 


Controlling Multiple Instances of VIP

You can open as many instances of VIP within Studio One that your computer processor and memory can handle. The Advance Keyboard will control one VIP instance at a time, but you can then quickly change which VIP instance the Advance Keyboard is controlling.

Note: DAW Control mode will change which VIP instance the Advance keyboard is focused on for preset browsing/organization, and controlling plugin parameters via the 8 rotary knobs and buttons. However, MIDI note messages from the keyboard and pads are still routed through Studio One, so you'll still select which VIP instance you'd like to perform on by highlighting or arming the track in Studio One.


  1. Press the MAIN button and then press the left or right directional arrow, just below the display, once. You will see the DAW Control menu come up with all of the VIP instances and their current presets listed, similar to the picture below:
  2. Use the Data Dial on the Advance Keyboard to scroll through the available VIP instances, and push in the Data Dial to select it.
  3. Alternatively, this can be done from the VIP software interface as well. Open the VIP instance you'd like to control and click the Highlight to Connect to Hardware icon, which is located at the top right corner of VIP as shown in the picture below:


Using Multi-Out VST Instruments with VIP

Many VST instruments can send multiple separate channels of audio to a DAW like Studio One. Consult your VST instrument's user guide for more information. VIP will recognize and open these multi-out plugin versions. Here are the steps to route these separate audio tracks within Studio One.

  1. Add an instance of VIP to your Studio One project. 
  2. Open the VIP user interface. 
  3. Click the CH button which is found in the area above the VIP user interface. 
  4. In the dropdown menu, check the boxes for all of the individual outputs. 
  5. As you check these boxes, you will see the individual outputs added to the Studio One mixer view.
  6. In VIP, any scanned VST Instruments that have multi-out versions will be listed separately. Load one of the multi-out versions.   
  7. Route the audio outputs within your VST Instrument as instructed in the program's user guide. The individual audio tracks in Studio One will receive these separated audio channels. That's it!


Further Support

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a Akai Professional product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Akai Professional technical support team is available to help!

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.

Several other helpful guides for the Advance keyboards and VIP software are available on the Akai Pro Knowledgebase as well.