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NAMM 2014: New Akai MPK USB Keyboard/Pad Controllers
Four new models announced 23/01/14
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Akai has announced 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 features 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, told us, "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."
Pricing and Availability:
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).