2009 Summer NAMM Show: Akai MPK61 Keyboard MIDI Controller


2009 Summer NAMM Show: Akai has announced the MPK61, the fourth model in the company’s line of keyboard/MPC performance controllers.


The MPK61 is a keyboard performance MIDI controller that expands the popular MPK line.

Each MPK controller combines a piano-style keybed with a bank of genuine Akai Professional MPC pads, assignable Q-Link controllers and some of the technologies from the icon MPC. The MPK61 offers a mix of 61 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 16 MPC pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity, 72 assignable Q-Link, MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing and an arpeggiator.

The MPK61’s size is ideal for performers who need a larger range than the original 49-key MPK49 offers, but also prefer the lighter weight and associated portability of a semi-weighted keyboard. The MPK61 retains the key split features from the MPK88, enabling the performer to divide the keyboard into two zones for performing with two different programs at once.

Like its 25, 49 and fully weighted 88-key siblings — the MPK25, MPK49 and MPK88, respectively, the MPK61 empowers musicians to create and manipulate melodic, harmonic and rhythmic content and manipulate quickly with its arpeggiator, MPC Swing and MPC Note Repeat technologies.

The MPK61 comes with Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition software, one of the most popular and powerful performance and production programs worldwide. Ableton Live Lite enables musicians to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise, and edit musical ideas in a seamless audio/MIDI environment.

The MPK61 is a MIDI controller that sends MIDI values over USB for plug-and-play performance with Mac and PC. Because they are MIDI compliant, the MPK series works with virtually all MIDI recording, sequencing, and performance software for musical performers from keyboard players to producers to DJs and VJs.

The MPK61 performance keyboard controller will be available from professional audio and musical instrument retailers Q3, 2009.

6 thoughts on “2009 Summer NAMM Show: Akai MPK61 Keyboard MIDI Controller

  1. The Novation keys (Fatar) are much better! Also, the control surface and joystick on the Novation make playing much more fun and smooth than the good ol' two wheel system. The SL61 does have a bit of a different setup with pads that seems like it would be inconvenient, but Akai for some reason keeps deciding that people are fine with these "near-Akai" pads that don't play the same and are rectangular rather than square. You definitely got the better of the two.

  2. I have had nothing but problems with Novation hardware in the past.. Especially the pitch/mod joystick is very prone to interference.

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