AKAI Professional MPC Key 61

20

Standalone MPC Synthesizer Keyboard

  • 61 Semi-weighted keys
  • Velocity sensitive keys with aftertouch
  • More than 6000 preset sounds and 25 plug-in instruments
  • 100 Multi-effect algorithms
  • 16 Velocity-sensitive RGB pads (8 pad banks)
  • Assignable Touch Strip controller
  • 7" Colour multi-touch display with gesture control
  • 4 Q-Link encoders and push encoders
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB Internal memory, expandable via SATA connector for optional hard drive
  • MPC DAW with MIDI and audio recording
  • WLAN- and Bluetooth-enabled
  • 4 Line outputs: 6.3 mm jack
  • Stereo headphone output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 2 Mic/line inputs: XLR/TRS combo jack, 48 V phantom power
  • 8 CV/gate outputs: 3.5 mm jack
  • MIDI In / Out / Thru
  • 3 Inputs for pedals and footswitches: 6.3 mm jack
  • 2 USB-A 3.0 ports for USB mass storage or MIDI controller
  • USB host port
  • Ethernet link port
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 986 x 313 x 96.7 mm
  • Weight: 8.1 kg
  • Incl. USB cable, power cable, Quickstart Guide and MPC2 Desktop DAW for Mac and PC (download)
Available since June 2022
Item number 541332
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Number Of Keys 61
Touch-Sensitive Yes
Aftertouch Yes
Split Zones Yes
Modulation Wheel Yes
Number of simultaneous Voices 64
Sound Engine Digital
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out, 1x Thru
Storage Medium SSD, USB to Device
USB-port Yes
Effects Multieffect processor
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 4
Digital Output No
Display Yes
Amount Of Keys 61
Touch Sensitive 1
Number of Voices 64
Sampler 1
Number of analog outputs 4
Pedal Connections 3
Pedal Connectors 3
Dimensions 986 x 313 x 97 mm
Weight 8,1 kg
Optional Expansion Boards n/a
Dimensions in mm 986 x 313 x 97
Weight in kg 8,1 kg
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£1,129
All prices incl. VAT
In stock
In stock

This product is in stock and can be shipped immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
Delivery free of charge expected between Tuesday, 23.04. and Wednesday, 24.04.
1

MPC goes keyboard

Thanks to their groove-oriented and sample-based operating principle, Akai's MPC devices have built up a whole community of committed followers. The use of the now-legendary pads in their 4x4 layout for triggering drums and samples has created its own philosophy and aesthetics, which enjoy particular popularity in the Hip-Hop scene. Akai's new MPC workstation now expands on this concept by combining a keyboard with the installed plug-in instruments so that musicians who want to combine typical MPC grooves with their own melodies, harmonies, and diverse sounds as well as record vocals and instruments in the workstation will also be interested. Like all of the other MPC units, this keyboard version can also be used to control external devices and manage complex setups as the central component of a DAW-less studio.

Sampling workstation with plug-ins

The MPC Key 61 features a keyboard with 61 velocity-sensitive keys together with 16 dynamic sample pads, and the device also features aftertouch sensitivity (monophonic for the keyboard and polyphonic for the pads). With 4GB of RAM, a Quad ARM processor, WLAN/Bluetooth connectivity, and an SATA slot, it offers an even higher performance capability than the existing MPC devices. 25 plug-in engines have been integrated that place a wide range of acoustic instruments, electric pianos, synthesizers, and drums at the user's fingertips. The instruments and sample sets can be mixed internally on the device and edited using a selection of over 100 effects. The workstation is equipped with an audio interface that has two high-quality microphone preamps which can be used to record samples as well as complete vocal and instrumental parts. For (pre-)production purposes, these can be arranged in eight audio tracks alongside the 128 MIDI tracks provided by the sequencer. What is more, additional synthesizers and interfaces can be connected via the USB, MIDI, and CV/gate connections.

DAW-less music production

Whether you prefer to work on a computer or using hardware is simply a matter of personal preference, not a question of which is "better". Sampling grooveboxes like the MPC have carved a particularly prominent niche for themselves in Hip-Hop music. Thanks to its keyboard and instrument plug-ins, however, the MPC Key 61 is significantly more flexible for harmoniously structured musical styles that contain more melodious elements and makes "DAW-less" production more accessible for R&B, progressive Pop, vocal-oriented House, and powerful Drum & Bass music. With more “traditional” MPC devices, users rely on what they touch, hear, and feel. The same characteristics are found here, with the addition of a large touch screen at the centre of the user interface that provides direct access to all of the tools and options needed in modern musical production.

About Akai Professional

Akai Professional has its origins in the long-established Japanese company Akai, founded in 1929, which initially manufactured electric motors, soon to be followed by high-quality tape recorders and hi-fi products. Since 1988, Akai has also become a household name like no other on the Hip-Hop scene. With the development of its first MIDI Production Centre (MPC for short), created in collaboration with Roger Linn, Akai wrote history by decisively influencing the sound of Hip-Hop and electronic music, which it continues to do to this very day. Famous exponents of the MPC series include DJ Shadow, Eminem, and Kanye West. Today, Akai is also well known for its robust and versatile USB MIDI controllers, not least of which is the bulletproof APC range of Ableton controllers.

New studio control centre

Despite the fact that the MPC Key 61 is equipped with a sampler, sequencer, and plug-ins, external equipment can also be added to your studio control centre. Up to 32 MIDI devices can be controlled via USB and, accordingly, a class-compliant audio interface can be used to increase the number of available audio inputs. Additionally, analogue synthesizers and modular systems can be controlled using the eight configurable CV/gate connections, via which sounds and sequences can be recorded and further edited in the sampler. For more extensive projects, the MPC Key 61 can be connected to the MPC2 Desktop DAW included in the scope of delivery, which allows even more tracks as well as additional VST/AU plug-ins to be used and the keyboard to be integrated into the software. Alternatively, MPC2 can be used as a plug-in in other DAWs.

20 Customer ratings

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15 Reviews

M
Crème de la crème
M&Zproductions 27.10.2022
AKAI mpc keys. What to say and where to begin… it’s a whole sensory and satisfactory experience…
From the moment you start taking the AKAI box out of the fantastic “Thomann” box you can sense the perfection. Like a Christmas, really. That “wrapping” is maybe the best designed box we have ever seen. For a long time, at first we just sat and looked at the package. Screaming sexy Red color on the side, front picture of a synth and photo of plugins on the other side just inviting you in and making you drool like over some good cake or some perfect dish in a fancy restaurant.

Opening up, pulling out little poster printed on a nice high quality paper (that you don’t really get in these days) with the synth picture and basic information. And then a pure joy when you start taking out the keyboard itself. Felt like when our parents bought us our first synth. We have been using keyboards since forever. From Casio vz1 through Yamahas , Rolands, from Korgs T3,M1, 01wfd to Nautilus…Never had felt what we felt when unwrapping this peace of art, before even pressing the power button on. Pure beauty.

We’re not going to write here what the keyboard sounds like, everybody hears it daily on the radio. But being able to quickly get an idea down into the synth’s sequencer, (like in the old days on Korg 01Wfd where some careers have been made) play around, plus record vocals or guitars, mixing on the fly, without firing up the computer and a whole studio chain is absolutely amazing. We’re coming from the 90’s style of hybrid recording, and haven’t been using it much since the computers and daws came into this world, so it’s exciting to kind of a go back to the youth and the way we did it then (just on steroids).

You can finish the whole project right there in the machine or you can just hook it up with your main daw and continue working. It’s also good for my wife not to bother herself or me with getting the computers up and running when she gets an idea for a song or something. Now she can just press a button, and be on her way to creating. We love it.
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Next Step
d4duke 12.07.2022
Vielleicht nicht das Gerät für jedermann, aber jedenfalls genau das, auf das ich seit Jahren gewartet habe.

Pros:
+Sampling at it´s best
+Sequenzer
+"Produktions-Studio" onbord
+Bearbeitungsmöglichkeiten (Sounds, Potis, Synth, Pianoroll, Samples und und und) schier unbegrenzt
+diverse Synth Engines aus denen man unglaubliche Sounds herauskitzeln kann (neben den über 6000 Top Presets, die auch nach Belieben editiert werden können)
+Anschlussmöglichkeit für 8 (!) externe Synths bzw. Modulare Synths
+trotz Kunststoff-Gehäuse sehr hochwertig und stabil verarbeitet.
+Keyboard-Tastatur muss natürlich getestet werden, aber ich war aufgrund meiner relativ schlechten Erfahrung mit der Haptik der Akai Keys positiv überrascht wie gut sich das Keyboard anfühlt und spielen lässt.

Cons:
-kein Phono-Eingang
-kein SD Card Reader
-bedingt Live tauglich für "Standardkeyboarder" (bei den High-End Samples etwas zu lange Ladezeiten und man muss ein wenig darauf achten, welche Sounds man fürs Layering verwendet (Stichwort: Speicher) - - man kann das, je nach Setup der einzelnen Sequenzen, im Großen und Ganzen aber gut umgehen, bzw. an die Bedürfnisse anpassen.

Meiner Meinung nach top für Studio und Live Einsatz geeignet
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AW
Kein Live-Keyboard?
Andreas W. aus Kaarst 23.01.2024
Live-Keyboard? Kommt drauf an. RTFM. Die Kiste stellt im Prinzip alles zur Verfügung, was man üblicherweise live braucht - mit der Einschränkung, dass man gut vorplanen sollte: Beim Laden neuer Sounds vom Speichermedium werden die bisherigen Sounds abgeschnitten und man wartet ein paar Sekunden auf die neuen. Um das zu vermeiden, kann man sich seine Song-Sets aber so organisieren, dass man praktisch gar nicht neu laden muss. Ich würde es so formulieren: Wer oft spontan mitten im Song neue Sound-Ideen ausprobieren möchte, für den gibt es andere Keyboards mit schnellerem Direktzugriff.

Weiterhin hat das AKAI keine (schnell zugänglichen) Masterkeyboard-Funktionen.

Und das war's auch schon mit den Einschränkungen! Ansonsten (und vor allem im Studio) ist die MPC Key 61 eine absolute Hammermaschine. Ich benutze sie am liebsten, um Klavierkompositionen auf MIDI-Tracks mitzuschneiden, und anschließend die besten Ideen weiter zu verarbeiten. So habe ich oft in weniger als einer Stunde das Gerüst für einen neuen Song fertig, und kann das Gerät mit zur Probe nehmen, wo Bass und Gitarre drüberspielen (Audio-Track-Aufnahme per DI-Box ins Keyboard).
Es ist ein sehr angenehmer und produktiver Workflow, weil der Sequencer so mächtig ist. Bisher ist mir sowas mit meinem Kurzweil Forte, der das ja eigentlich auch "kann", wegen der dort umständlichen Bedienung nicht gelungen.

Momentan sampel ich meine Toontrack-Lieblingsbibliotheken ins MPC, um zum Komponieren mehr Auswahl an "normalen" Drumkits zu haben. Habe dazu eine 2TB SDD eingebaut. Großartiges Ergebnis.

Was mir noch fehlt ist eine Suchfunktion, die über alle Soundsets geht. Wenn ich beispielsweise nach "Clav" suche, dann muss ich das im Prinzip in jeder Expansion und jedem Plugin wiederholen. Das ist wenig zielführend.

AKAI liefert übrigens fleißig neue Betriebssystem-Updates nach. Gerade, im Februar 2024, kommen die "MPC Stems" hinzu, googelt das mal...
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Quelle belle Machine ! Mais pourquoi ???
Schaub 08.12.2022
Ce synthé possède tout et même plus, mais oh! Grand malheur, j’ai rarement entendu un son aussi plat, à la limite de l’acceptable pour moi.
Comme cela est étrange ? J’ai vraiment du mal à comprendre qu’il soit possible en 2022 de devoir rendre un synthé pour cette raison, car le reste est vraiment au top niveau et à tous les niveaux…

Christian Bouchez
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