Matt writes us to let us know he’s gotten his hands on Akai’s MPD24 MIDI pad controller, which just started shipping. (I know some of you have already purchased one and are still waiting to get it!) He’s got some first impressions up with a series of photos, to give you a better sense of the hardware:

Matt writes: “I’m absolutely LOVIN the MPD24 so far, had it almost a week now :)” and asks if we’re reading for some “gadget drooling.”

Akai MPD24 MIDI Pad Controller Review [MakeTunes]

The MPD24 looks terrific for someone wanting a real MPC-style experience from your controller, while still using your favorite software. I still like the Korg kontrolPAD for its X/Y touch controller, more compact design, and emphasis on drum performance, but the MPD24 looks good if you want additional controls. The big question for me, though, is how the pads compare to Akai’s MPD16, the Korg, and the M-Audio Trigger Finger. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on a unit soon.