Akai Pro Ships Four New MPK MIDI Keyboard Controllers


Akai Professional is now shipping four new MPK keyboard MIDI Controllers:

  • The 25 ­key MPK225 (above)
  • the 49 ­key MPK249
  • the 61 ­key MPK261, and
  • the ultra­portable MPK mini mkII.

According to Akai Professional Product Manager Dan Gill, “The new MPK series is huge leap forward–improving on the previous series, with more capability, more features, and industry ­leading software.”

Here are the details:


Key Features:

  • Four -line backlit LCD screen
  • Deep software integration
  • Send QWERTY­ style commands from the full­-size MPK keyboards
  • Illuminated, velocity­-sensitive RGB trigger pads, with Note Repeat, MPC Swing, Full Level and 16 Levels.
  • Each full­-size MPK keyboard provides a semi­-weighted keybed with aftertouch, plus Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels.
  • Dedicated Octave buttons provide rapid access to an expanded note range.
  • Assignable pedal inputs for additional control.
  • USB MIDI + traditional 5-­pin MIDI inputs and outputs
  • A low­-power mode is ideal for use with iOS devices, via the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit.

For mobile use, Akai offers the MPK mini mkII.

The compact form factor features 25 synth­-action mini­keys, plus a new dual­-axis thumbstick for expressive control.

There are eight backlit MPC­style velocity­sensitive pads, and eight assignable knobs for hands on beat production and parameter control. A single USB cable brings power to the MPK mini mkII, and creates a two­-way data link with any computer.

MPK mini mkII includes Note Repeat, Octave extension buttons, an arpeggiator, and full­size USB and sustain pedal inputs.

Each keyboard comes with these apps:

  • Akai Professional’s MPC Essentials beat production software;
  • Ableton Live Lite composition/performance software; and
  • Hybrid 3 analog­ modeled synthesizer virtual instrument.

Full­size models include Twist 2.1 from SONiVOX, a spectral morphing synthesizer. The MPK261 also includes Eighty­Eight Ensemble, a piano instrument.

MPK mini mkII also ships with Wobble 2.1, an EDM­-centric synth.


MPK Series Details:

  • MPK225
    • 25 semi­weighted keys with aftertouch
    • 8 RGB pads; 4 banks
    • 8 knobs; 4 assignable buttons
    • 1 footswitch jack; 1 expression pedal input
    • $249.99 USD
  • MPK249
    • 49 semi­weighted keys with aftertouch
    • 16 RGB pads; 4 banks
    • 8 knobs; 8 assignable buttons, 8 faders
    • 1 footswitch jack; 1 expression pedal input
    • $399.99 USD
  • MPK261
    • 61 semi­weighted keys with aftertouch
    • 16 RGB pads; 4 banks
    • 8 knobs; 8 assignable buttons, 8 faders
    • 2 footswitch jacks; 1 expression pedal input
    • $499.99 USD
  • MPK mini mkII
    • 25 synth-­action mini keys
    • 8 illuminated pads
    • 8 assignable knobs
    • 1 assignable footswitch jack
    • $99.99 USD

See the Akai Pro site for details.

17 thoughts on “Akai Pro Ships Four New MPK MIDI Keyboard Controllers

  1. You Could Spend $400…. Or You Could Buy A 6 Yr Old Axiom 25 With The Same Features For $150. I Like Akai, But I Swear They Just Releasing Stuff With Light Up Drum Pads And They Call It New. I Guess The Color RespondiG To A Certain Sample Cell Is HelpfulCom. Maybe There Is More To It I Don’ See, Like An Arp. idk

      1. Yes I agree it looks ridiculous, my phone types weird on its browser.

        anyway, this is probably very solid feeling for the price and brand, but for home studio the MPK225 doesn’t compel me. Maybe if I used Live or mobile music apps I would think differently.

    1. They aren’t competing with what people were doing 6 years ago, though, they’ve got to be competitive with other company’s current gear. Nowadays, a lot more keyboardists are using Live, using mobile devices, doing beatmaking ‘in the box’ and so on, so having a keyboard controller tailored to that makes a lot of sense.

      For people that just want to play piano sounds with a keyboard controller, though, this obviously isn’t tailored to them.

  2. If the build is tough and the keyboard actually feels more like an instrument, I’d commit to one of these. Its more of a good central controller because of the MIDI means and expression pedal jacks, often notably missing on some popular devices. The prices may seem a bit dear, but if you really wring them out, its worth it for the dependability. Buying Up a notch is rarely a bad idea. Its still less than most hardware synths, so if you are at least half-softsynth or more like many of us, pro-rating for several years of use makes it look a lot more appealing. Its a pretty well-balanced package.

  3. MPK mini mkII and the new joystick works nicely with iPad Air especially with the new MIDI updates to KORG Gadget. Unlike the original MPK mini you’ll get a power consumption warning but that can be overridden by using a small non powered USB travel hub in the middle of your cabling to the CCK. No issues with mine, use it all the time for the last month.

    1. I was deeply disappointed to find out that I had to use a usb hub to fool my iPad into working with the mini mk2. I hope there is some way akai can fix this with a firmware update or something, especially considering the original mini worked in low power mode just fine.

      It is the best looking of the bunch though. Probably gonna keep it regardless.

  4. yay finally! i’ve been using the original since 2009. the drum pads on it were an epic fail, more like squishy buttons, so i disabled them and stuck a quneo on top with some velcro. will definitely upgrade if i don’t have do smash on the pads!

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