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The Press Desk 22nd January 2014 07:07 PM

Namm 2014: Akai Pro unveils MPK Mini, MPK225, MPK249, MPK261 Keyboard Controllers
 
4 Attachment(s)

Akai Professional announces four additions to its popular MPK USB keyboard/pad controller series— the 25-key MPK225, 49-key MPK249, 61- key MPK261 and an update to the ultra-portable MPK Mini.

Housed in a slimmer, all-new design, each full-size model features RGB backlit trigger pads lifted straight from the MPC Renaissance and a 20-character LCD screen with comprehensive parameter feedback. Designed to erase the line between hardware control and software performance, the new MPK family also includes the ability to send QWERTY-style commands using soft-controls, a low-power mode for iOS connectivity via the Camera Connection Kit and enhanced response from the refined keybed.

The latest members of the full-size MPK series also come with advanced music production software titles including Ableton™ Live Lite and MPC Essentials – a powerful sample-based groove production application – and spectral morphing synth Twist from SONiVOX. Owners of the MPK249 and MPK261 will also receive AIR Music Tech’s high-definition Hybrid 3 virtual synth, while MPK261 owners also receive SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble.

MPK Highlights (full-size models):
  • New full-size, semi-weighted keybed in 25-, 49- and 61-key models
  • Backlit, velocity-sensitive RGB trigger pads derived from the MPC Renaissance
  • Includes industry-leading music creation software from Ableton™, Akai Professional, AIR and SONiVOX
  • New layout with LCD screen for faster access to essential DAW-based functions
  • 8 assignable control knobs; 8 assignable faders on 49- and 61-key models
  • USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input & output; sustain and expression pedal inputs
  • Hyper-responsive pitch bend & modulation wheels; octave controls

The refreshed MPK Mini Laptop Production Keyboard remains true to its name as the ultimate portable keyboard controller. It’s comprised with an impressive array of controls in the small 25 mini-key frame including an all-new joystick control for pitch and modulation functionality, trigger pads ported from the MPC Renaissance, famed Note Repeat, a full-size USB connector, and an improved keybed.

MPK Mini Highlights:
  • Ultra-compact design lets you create anywhere; 25 synth-action mini keys
  • 8 backlit, velocity-sensitive trigger pads derived from the MPC Renaissance
  • New 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch/modulation control
  • 8 assignable control knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins and more
  • USB-powered; no power adapter required Akai Professional Product Manager

Dan Gill notes, “The MPK series has been a huge success for us, and these new models incorporate five years of customer feedback that deliver even more capability to keyboard players and music producers. By providing users with superior control capabilities and powerful music creation software, the latest additions to the MPK family are an instant upgrade to any studio or stage setup.”

The new range of MPK controllers will be available at the following street prices: MPK225 Performance Keyboard Controller ($249.99 USD), MPK249.99 USB/MIDI Performance Keyboard ($399.99 USD), MPK261 USB/MIDI Performance Keyboard ($499.99 USD), and MPK Mini Laptop Production Keyboard ($99.99 USD).


Akai Professional will unveil the MPK keyboard controllers at the 2014 NAMM Show in Hall A, Booth 6700, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

For more information, visit: Akai Professional - New Products for 2014

~ufo~ 22nd January 2014 10:23 PM

Hmm… I must say the old 25 key appeals to me more than the new one.
It had four more pads and four more rotaries.
I'm hoping for a sale on that one!.

Massika 22nd January 2014 10:59 PM

Nice..heh

St0RM53 23rd January 2014 12:05 AM

Guys i'm about to buy the Novation Impulse 61..should i wait or not??

skoolafish 23rd January 2014 03:35 PM

so basically a just a re-design...
the 49 with 16 pads now nice. if the keys aren't as stiff any more these should be totally worth it

thewhitecascade 23rd January 2014 09:02 PM

Doesnt look like much has changed. But I do like the backlight pads. I never liked the response of my MPK49 pads so I hope they fix that this time around.

vm113 24th January 2014 03:25 AM

Dude the Impulse is old school now. The thing is enormous and heavy as sh*t. 13 pounds for a 49 is crazy. New keyboards coming out are designed to be light and more compact. I had the 49 for a while, it's a great keyboard, maybe the best key action of all midi keyboards, so if you can handle the HUGE factor and if you don't need rotaries(the impulse's are useless), you would be satisfied. I'd suggest waiting to check out the newer models, the Behringer looks dope!!! The Mpk2 with 16 pads/4 banks is a powerhouse but i hear they have the same springy keys so that's a turn off. Alesis VI is not a bad option, a lot cheaper than the Impulse too. Me i can't wait to get my hands on that Behringer!

Graal 25th January 2014 03:30 PM

Why doesn't anybody put an "UNDO" button on their controllers?
Seriously!

vcs3_pt 25th January 2014 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vm113 (Post 9787315)
Dude the Impulse is old school now. The thing is enormous and heavy as sh*t. 13 pounds for a 49 is crazy. New keyboards coming out are designed to be light and more compact. I had the 49 for a while, it's a great keyboard, maybe the best key action of all midi keyboards, so if you can handle the HUGE factor and if you don't need rotaries(the impulse's are useless), you would be satisfied. I'd suggest waiting to check out the newer models, the Behringer looks dope!!! The Mpk2 with 16 pads/4 banks is a powerhouse but i hear they have the same springy keys so that's a turn off. Alesis VI is not a bad option, a lot cheaper than the Impulse too. Me i can't wait to get my hands on that Behringer!

I'm thinking of buying a keyboard controller and I between the Novation Impulse and Akai MPC, my main concern is the keyboard feel since I can't test it, I had a Novation SL MK1 and the keys feel great.

What you mean by old school?

Behringer to expensive and I don't need motorized faders.

stgaudio 25th January 2014 06:51 PM

I just sold my impulse 61. The feel of the keys was really bad compared to the previous model.

I'm looking for something with a nice feel to the keys as well.

skoolafish 25th January 2014 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vm113 (Post 9787315)
but i hear they have the same springy keys so that's a turn off.

thats really too bad. those keys are the worst

skoolafish 25th January 2014 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Graal (Post 9792089)
Why doesn't anybody put an "UNDO" button on their controllers?
Seriously!

nektar's panoramas have undo. i could be mistaken but i thought i read their other models have it as well

skira 26th January 2014 12:09 AM

Numark, which owns Akai and Alesis, also announced at NAMM a remix of the Akai controllers under the Alesis label:

NAMM 2014: Alesis announces new V and VI keyboard controllers | Alesis VI25 | Tech News | MusicRadar



http://info.shimamura.co.jp/digital/.../V25_webLG.jpg
http://info.shimamura.co.jp/digital/.../V49_webLG.jpg
http://info.shimamura.co.jp/digital/...VI61_webLG.jpg

zulusound 26th January 2014 06:19 PM

I have an mpk49 and the keys need to be hit pretty hard to respond, even with sensitivity up all the way. I hope these new ones have a better touch. The drum pads look to have been improved.

pkwd 27th January 2014 05:40 AM

Can anyone confirm that these new MPKs still have aftertouch? I'm assuming they do, but the language in the press release and from the demonstrators
in all of the Youtube vids I've seen from NAMM just mention the "refined" semi-weighted keybed. It's just worrying me that the actual word "aftertouch" isn't being
said.

Seth81 29th January 2014 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skoolafish (Post 9784453)
so basically a just a re-design...
the 49 with 16 pads now nice. if the keys aren't as stiff any more these should be totally worth it

+1 on this .. I like the MPK concept but those keys are so stiff, and the pads don't have the "MPC feel" I'm used to.

RedRacer 29th January 2014 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pkwd (Post 9796880)
Can anyone confirm that these new MPKs still have aftertouch? I'm assuming they do, but the language in the press release and from the demonstrators
in all of the Youtube vids I've seen from NAMM just mention the "refined" semi-weighted keybed. It's just worrying me that the actual word "aftertouch" isn't being
said.

The product guide at http://www.akaipro.com/tradeshow/wna...2014_Web_4.pdf does mention the magic word "aftertouch" in the "Series Features" section.

zvenx 29th January 2014 06:47 PM

yep:

Quote:

•Semi-weighted keys with aftertouch deliver superb playability in the studio or on stage
•Hyper-responsive trigger pads with aftertouch and RGB feedback

thanks
rsp

login 29th January 2014 06:55 PM

The alesis ones seems way better in their design and disposition of controls.

zvenx 29th January 2014 07:01 PM

the proof will be in the playing.

I actually find the alesis ones (because of the pads) very garish.
rsp

kvmoore 2nd February 2014 05:44 AM

I hope Akai has fixed the "lifted keys" design flaw with these new MPK2 controllers. I've read posts on different forums from many users having issues with a plastic piece breaking on the keybed causing a key to be lifted up several inches. I've seen some of these older MPK49s on ebay like this too. Also, the keys on the older MPKs feel rather stiff, unlike the nice feel of my Alesis QS6.2. However, I could live with that if they fixed the "lifted keys" problem. I've spent over $200 on a midi controller before (another brand) that had a design flaw (rendering the keyboard completely useless, and they wouldn't fix it for free either) so I know what it feels like to be screwed.

Otherwise, these are excellent controllers. I'm currently borrowing my partner's MPK25 for live use with my MPC1000 and it works great. The pads aren't that great but I don't use them much anyway. I use the pads on the MPC instead. The 61 key version has all of the features I would want (MPC style note repeat/arpeggiator with time division) for studio use. I just hope they improved the quality of the keyboard in these newer models so I can finally get me one of my own for studio use and not have to worry about build quality issues. I imagined they probably improved the pads on the newer models. If so, I'd consider that a bonus.

UPDATE:

I just saw this NAMM interview:


The Akai rep in the interview said the new MPKs have an "all new keybed" I have a positive feeling they may have fixed the flaws and possibly improved the feel. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on them in the future and hopefully, I'll get a chance to try one out someday!!!

skira 2nd February 2014 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pkwd (Post 9796880)
Can anyone confirm that these new MPKs still have aftertouch? I'm assuming they do, but the language in the press release and from the demonstrators in all of the Youtube vids I've seen from NAMM just mention the "refined" semi-weighted keybed

Check it out carefully. The new Alesis line (also owned by Akai's parent company) offers aftertouch (and semi-weighting) only in the 61-key models, not the 49-key.

zulusound 13th February 2014 10:31 PM

Is there a release date on this line yet?

vcs3_pt 13th February 2014 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zulusound (Post 9852603)
Is there a release date on this line yet?

mid/end of March.

Polarelch 17th March 2014 12:36 PM

Has anyone demoed the keybed yet? Did they finally get rid of stiff keys?
How does it feeel? Highly interested in this and the new Alesis...

skira 17th March 2014 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Polarelch (Post 9949549)
Highly interested in this and the new Alesis...

Don't forget that inMusic owns M-Audio now in addition to Alesis and Akai.

Someone somewhere needs to compare all the inMusic controllers to see what's different, and what's better.

Disco Cubist 24th March 2014 01:27 AM

Still no ability to send Sysex commands?

Fail


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