Akai MPK261 Performance Keyboard Controller, 61-Key

Get creative with this USB MIDI controller's 61 semi-weighted keys, 16 MPC-style pads, great-feeling knobs and sliders, and transport controls for your DAW.
Turn any computer into a full music production powerhouse with the Akai MPK261. Computer-based production studios provide access to an infinite number of virtual instruments. From sampled strings to modeled analog synthesizers to fine-tuned, studio-recorded drum kits, a universe of voices and timbres can be controlled with the Akai MPK261.

Akai, makers of the legendary MPC Music Production Center sampler-sequencers, understand how important it is for electronic instruments to have the same feel and expressiveness as their acoustic counterparts. The MPK261 is a 61-key MIDI-over-USB controller keyboard that's equally adept as a keyboard instrument, a pad controller/sample sequencer, and a remote transport and mixing surface for digital audio workstations.

A Keyboard Controller

The full-sized keys on the MPK261 are semi-weighted, with pressure-sensitivity and aftertouch, for intimate control over otherwise cold virtual instruments, and have also been upgraded from the MPK61's keybed for a better playing feel. Solid, responsive pitch and mod wheels add to the MPK261's expressive capabilities, as do assignable inputs for expression and sustain pedals. MIDI in/out jacks allow control over hardware synths and modules as well. Hardware and software instruments alike will benefit from the advanced arpeggiator built right into the MPK -- a multi-phrase, programmable arpeggiator that's tempo-sync-able to DAW projects or external MIDI gear.

A Controller Keyboard

Supporting MIDI Machine Control protocol, read more the MPK261 can be used to trigger more than just notes. A whopping 76 assignable rotary knobs, sliders, and buttons grant hardware access to virtually any control parameter in any digital audio workstation. A dedicated transport section turns the MPK261 into the nerve center of any studio setup. Eight sliders, buttons and rotary encoders are arranged like a mixer for intuitive control over channel level, panning and arming. Alternately, they can be used to control various functions and effect parameters in plug-ins and virtual or rack-mount synthesizers. A big, backlit LCD screen clearly displays MIDI control presets and makes it easy to edit layouts as well. Like the keybed, the MPK261's LCD screen has been updated from the MPK61 model for better performance and readability.

Genuine MPC Pads and Functions

Sixteen genuine backlit MPC pads, velocity- and pressure-sensitive, sit at the top center of the MPK261. They're joined by familiar MPC functions like "full level," "16 level" and "note repeat" modes. A tap tempo control can be used to control both the note repeat and arpeggio functions in real time, and classic Akai "swing" can be applied as well.

The Akai MPK261 is a USB keyboard controller that utilizes tactile control functions, backlit MPC pads and a semi-weighted keybed to bring a level of musicality to the programming process unlike any traditional controller.

About Akai

As the makers of the legendary MPC series, Akai has been producing groundbreaking technology-based instruments for decades. They continue to build upon their reputation by designing professional-grade products for today's composers, DJs and performers.

Features:

- 61 semi-weighted, full-size keys with aftertouch
- 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads each with 4 banks for 64 pads
- 24 assignable Q-Link controllers include knobs, faders, and switches (8 of each)
- Revamped control layout with backlit LCD screen
- USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input and output
- iOS compatibility using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
- Comprehensive transport & parameter controls for hands-on DAW integration
- MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, and arpeggiator for advanced rhythmic and melodic manipulation
- MPC Full Level, 16 Levels, Tap Tempo, and Time Division assist with dynamics and tempo
- Pitch bend, modulation, and octave controls with split mode for expressive performances
- 2 assignable footswitch jacks and 1 expression jack
- USB power and plug-and-play connectivity
- Production software package included: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Twist 2.0, SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble and Akai Pro MPC Essentials (downloads)

Power Supply: USB Cable (Included) or Akai MP6 Power Supply (Not Included - only required if using Akai MPK-261 without a computer).
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.p65Warnings.ca.gov.
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- Number of Keys: 61 semi-weighted, full-size keys with aftertouch
- Pads: 16 pressure- and velocity-sensitive, light-up MPC-style pads x 4 banks
- Q-Link Controls: 8 control knobs, 8 faders, and 8 backlit switches
- Computer Interface: USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input & output
- Octaves: 10 with Octave Up and Down
- Arpeggiator: Yes
- Additional Controls: MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, MPC Full Level, 16 Levels, Tap Tempo, and Time Division
- Additional Inputs: (1) 1/4" (6.35mm) TRS expression pedal input and (2) 1/4" (6.35mm) TS sustain pedal or footswitch input
- Power: USB power; no power adapter required
- Dimensions: 35.63" x 12.25" x 3.38"
- Weight: 15.1 lbs.

System Requirements:

- Macintosh: 1.25 GHz G4/G5 or faster (Intel Mac recommended), 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended), Mac OS X 10.4.11 (10.5 or later recommended)
- Windows: 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 or Celeron compatible CPU or faster (multicore CPU recommended), 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended), Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP, Windows compatible sound card (ASIO driver support recommended), QuickTime recommended
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 25 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 41 x 20 x 8 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AKA MPK261
For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 401-658-4032

Akai MPK261 Performance Keyboard

Engineered to be an all-in-one controller solution, the Akai Professional MPK261 is a performance pad and keyboard controller that combines deep software integration, enhanced workflow, and core technologies from the iconic line of MPC workstations. Each member of Akai Pro's MPK series comes fully loaded with a comprehensive interface for manipulating virtual instruments, effect plugins, DAWs, and more. MPK261 features 61 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 8 assignable knobs, faders, and switches, 16 MPC-style pads with RGB feedback, and onboard transport buttons. Three banks expand the number of knobs, faders, and switches (up to 24 each), and four pad banks expand the number of pads (up to 64 total). Plus, MPK261 is optimized to interface directly with your Mac or PC with USB power and plug-and-play connectivity.

Made To Play

MPK261 comes equipped with 61 semi-weighted, full-size keys and a premium piano-style keybed for unprecedented response and natural feel. Each key is velocity-sensitive and outfitted with aftertouch for dynamic, expressive performances and recordings. In addition, onboard Octave Up and Down controls allow players to access the entire melodic range. Bundled with MPK261 is SONiVOX's Eighty-Eight Ensemble, an authentic grand-piano virtual instrument, that lets you compose or perform with pristine, expertly voiced piano samples.

Genuine MPC Functionality

Classic MPC Swing, MPC Note Repeat, MPC Full Level, and 16 Levels are all onboard for further inspiration. With MPK261, musicians and composers can incorporate genuine MPC workflow into their productions and create with the tools that producers have relied on for years: MPC Swing lets MPK261 users obtain that tight, organic groove that made Akai Pro's groundbreaking MPC music-making machines so legendary. MPC Note Repeat and 16 Levels make it easy to build beats and construct short melodic sequences using the MPC-style pads. In addition, an arpeggiator, with adjustable resolution, range, and patterns, enables users to explore complex melodic ideas, effortlessly.

Production Software

MPK261 is armed with powerful production software--Ableton Live Lite and MPC Essentials--for out-of-the-box music creation. Ableton Live Lite is a fluid audio/MIDI environment that enables musicians and producers to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise, and edit musical ideas. MPC Essentials, a groove/beat production and sample-triggering software, can integrate directly into any DAW, such as Ableton Live Lite, or run standalone. In addition, it extends the power of MPK261 by adding up to 8 pad banks and 4 samples and insert effects per pad.

Virtual Instruments

A world-class piano instrument and two high-definition virtual synthesizers bring the best of sample-based and synthesis technology to MPK261 users. SONiVOX Eighty Eight Ensemble is a recreation of the Steinway 9-foot CD 327 grand piano layered with additional orchestral and synthetic instruments for rich, cinematic sounds. Hybrid 3, by AIR Music Tech, is a versatile virtual synthesizer that combines the warmth of legendary analog synths with a full range of futuristic, digital manipulation capabilities. SONiVOX Twist, a spectral morphing synthesis virtual instrument, makes it easy to create serious sounds using simple controls.

Features:

- 61 semi-weighted, full-size keys with aftertouch
- 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads each with 4 banks for 64 pads
- 24 assignable Q-Link controllers include knobs, faders, and switches (8 of each)
- Revamped control layout with backlit LCD screen
- USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input and output
- iOS compatibility using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
- Comprehensive transport & parameter controls for hands-on DAW integration
- MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, and arpeggiator for advanced rhythmic and melodic manipulation
- MPC Full Level, 16 Levels, Tap Tempo, and Time Division assist with dynamics and tempo
- Pitch bend, modulation, and octave controls with split mode for expressive performances
- 2 assignable footswitch jacks and 1 expression jack
- USB power and plug-and-play connectivity
- Production software package included: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Twist 2.0, SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble and Akai Pro MPC Essentials (downloads)
(4 ratings)
Submitted September 22, 2017 by Bradley Szyperski in Coon Rapids, MN
"Worth every penny."
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This controller is amazing. Plug it in, Turn knob to your favorite DAW and you're on your way! Having owned a original MPK49, the upgrades they have installed are excellent. The DAW Control button let's me click through pre-set's with out having to touch my mouse or even look at my computer screen. This is all out of box mapping on a wide range of popular VSTi's. My only suggestion to new buyer's is pay the $20 for the A/C Adapter. MPK's can only receive midi information if the A/C Adapter is plugged in. This will allow you to use the Arp and Note Repeat on External Midi clock's.
Musical Background:
12 Year Producer, Mix Engineer, and Song Writer.
Musical Style:
Rap, Hip Hop, Rock, Dubstep, Electro, RnB, Pop, etc etc.
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