Akai Professional’s MPK controller keyboards have become standard equipment in many professional MIDI rigs. The latest MPK261 rocks improvements in every major area, from its new RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads to the superb action of its aftertouch-enabled 61-note keybed. The MPK261 gives you boatloads of workflow-enhancing features such as MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, and an arpeggiator for complex rhythmic and melodic manipulation. With its assignable faders, buttons, and encoders (eight each), 16 performance pads, transport controls, LCD screen, and USB/iOS modes, the MPK261 gives you absolute control over your software.
With the Akai Professional MPK261, you can juice your productions with authentic MPC workflows, using the familiar tools producers have relied upon for years. MPC Swing delivers that tight, organic groove that made MPC units instant classics. MPC Note Repeat and 16 Levels make it easy to build beats and construct short melodic sequences using the MPK261’s 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads. Also onboard is an arpeggiator that lets you easily explore more complex melodic ideas with its adjustable resolution, range, and patterns.
At Sweetwater, keyboard feel is a big deal. (We’re a picky bunch.) The MPK261’s semi-weighted action is an ideal middle ground, working well for piano parts as well as fast synth leads. Akai Professional has also equipped it with assignable aftertouch – perfect for adding tasty vibrato and other modulation without having to disengage your hands from the keyboard. In addition to its assignable faders, buttons, and rotary encoders, the MPK261 is also fitted with sustain/footswitch and expression pedal jacks, as well as the de rigueur pitch and mod wheels.
Seamlessly bridging the gap between hardware control and software performance, Akai Professional’s latest generation of MPK controllers gives you the enhanced response of a refined new keybed, new RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads, the ability to send QWERTY-style commands via soft-controls, and a low-power iOS mode. It all adds up to enhanced hardware control over your software – which translates to greater productivity for you. The MPK261 is plug-and-play with your Mac or Windows computer, and it also sports iOS compatibility via Apple’s optional iPad Camera Connection Kit. It even comes with free software, including Ableton Live Lite, Pro MPC Essentials, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Twist 2.0 and Eighty Eight Ensemble, a re-creation of the 9′ Steinway CD 327 grand, layered with orchestral and synthetic instruments for rich, cinematic textures.
The difference between a cool MIDI controller keyboard and a full hybrid keyboard workstation is Akai Professional VIP3. This third-generation version of Akai Professional’s Virtual Instrument Player software is a masterpiece of workflow management. It lets you load up just about any VST plug-in and combine up to eight virtual instruments plus effects into sophisticated arrangements with key zones, splits, and custom mappings — exactly what you’d expect from a standalone workstation. What’s more, there’s an ever-growing list of plug-ins that automatically map to your controller, but thanks to VIP3’s MIDI Learn function, you can map any plug-in with any controller in any way you like. Run it as a standalone platform or use it as a plug-in in your favorite DAW. Either way, VIP3 will revolutionize the way you approach virtual instruments.
- 61 semi-weighted, full-size keys with aftertouch
- 16 RGB-illuminated MPC pads derived from the MPC Renaissance (each with 4 banks)
- 24 assignable Q-Link controllers include knobs, faders, and switches (8 of each)
- New control layout with backlit LCD screen
- USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input and output
- Comprehensive transport and 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 for expressive recording and performing
- One sustain/footswitch jack, one expression pedal jack
- USB bus power for plug-and-play connectivity
- iOS compatibility via Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
- Production software package included: Ableton Live Lite and Pro MPC Essentials
- Virtual synths included: Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech and SONiVOX Twist 2.0
- Includes SONiVOX Eighty Eight Ensemble
- Includes Akai Professional VIP3 virtual instrument workstation software/plug
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