The MPK 261 from Akai Professional is a performance pad and keyboard controller that combines software integration, enhanced workflow and core technologies from the MPC workstations, with a comprehensive interface for manipulating virtual instruments, effect plug-ins, DAWs, and more. The keyboard is optimized to interface directly with a Mac or PC computer with USB power and plug-and-play connectivity.
The controller features sixty-one semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch, eight assignable knobs, faders, and switches, sixteen MPC-style pads with RGB feedback, and onboard transport buttons. Three banks expand the number of knobs, faders, and switches (up to twenty-four each), and four pad banks expand the number of pads (up to sixty-four total). Onboard octave up and down controls allows players to access the entire melodic range.
Genuine MPC functionality includes Classic MPC Swing, MPC Note Repeat, MPC Full Level, and 16 Levels. An arpeggiator, with adjustable resolution, range, and patterns, enables users to explore complex melodic ideas, effortlessly. The music production suite of software includes Ableton Live Lite and MPC Essentials for out-of-the-box music creation. MPC Essentials can run standalone and extends the functionality of the controller by adding up to eight pad banks and four samples and insert effects per pad.
Two virtual synthesizers are available, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech and SONiVOX Twist. SONiVOX Eighty Eight Ensemble, a virtual piano instrument is a recreation of the Steinway 9-foot CD 327 grand piano, layered with additional orchestral and synthetic instruments.