Akai MPC Key 61 - FIRST LOOK!

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EnochLight
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Post 23 Jun 2022

Well, it's finally "official" - after the months and months of leaks. Here's Nick's first look with Andy from Akai:

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bxbrkrz
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Post 23 Jun 2022

I wish the look was more like the S1000 K
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DaveyG
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Post 23 Jun 2022

An interesting one. I think it will be a huge success.

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EnochLight
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Post 23 Jun 2022

Akai haven't done a workstation sampler in decades - it's nice to see them back in the game.
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QVprod
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Post 23 Jun 2022

This looks REALLY GOOD!!! I think I want one.. but probably more for live use. Don't think I'd get on with realtime sequencing for songs. Curious to see more though.

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Propellerhands
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Post 23 Jun 2022

bxbrkrz wrote:
23 Jun 2022
I wish the look was more like the S1000 K
same lol. Doesn't look premium at all. It has everything except premium looks. Again this ugly red/black combination then looking at a side irks me the most.
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EnochLight
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Post 23 Jun 2022

I disagree. I feel it looks fantastic and 100% premium. Very modern looking.
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bxbrkrz
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Post 23 Jun 2022

Propellerhands wrote:
23 Jun 2022
bxbrkrz wrote:
23 Jun 2022
I wish the look was more like the S1000 K
same lol. Doesn't look premium at all. It has everything except premium looks. Again this ugly red/black combination then looking at a side irks me the most.
At least you can get rid of the ugly red sides on the mpc-x.
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EnochLight
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Post 24 Jun 2022

Loopop has another fantastic video on the MPC Key 61:

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Heater
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Post 24 Jun 2022

EnochLight wrote:
23 Jun 2022
Well, it's finally "official" - after the months and months of leaks. Here's Nick's first look with Andy from Akai:

I didn't think it looked that good but that vid has changed my mind. Looks like it would be fairly straightforward to complete a full production on it.

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Mistro17
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Post 27 Jun 2022

This is on my wish list. One day hopefully I will have it. When I clear my Sweetwater bill lol. I have an Akai MPK249 which is my current favorite and an KK S88. This will fit the sweet spot right in the middle that I can also travel with since it don't require a Computer all the time.

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moalla
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Post 27 Jun 2022

I let a review at amazona about the MPC key and heard them nearby the sounds of the plugin suite, at all i must say nothing real spectacula more or less bread and butter sounds , and then in comments someone how played it live said https://www.amazona.de/test-akai-profes ... rkstation/

"yeah it´s sounds like 10 year old plugins with a non polyphonic aftertouch keys, at all a MPC One Motherboard with the pluginsuite and a big case with keyboard, for 2000 at the end to expensive, go for the mpc one and buy the Plugins for 500"

I know akai will bring updates for their plugins and this unit will become cheaper with the time, but at all i think it´s a good starting point for that kind of new dsp instrument era, NI´s pedant are still not out. So we will see, but when i would buy something like this, than a dsp hardware synth for arturias v collection ;) that would be a real gem :puf_bigsmile:





Personaly i´m now totaly happy with Spark2.5 and multiple outputs , and the chance to use Ispark on the ipad for scratch and being able to transfer presets between them ,
my GAS is served :lol:
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PhillipOrdonez
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Post 27 Jun 2022

Isn't this a live 2 with a keyboard attached?
The latest release:

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EnochLight
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Post 27 Jun 2022

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
27 Jun 2022
Isn't this a live 2 with a keyboard attached?
No.
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Post 28 Jun 2022

What does it have that the live doesn't have that isn't the keyboard and that touch strip thing?
The latest release:

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EnochLight
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Post 28 Jun 2022

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
28 Jun 2022
What does it have that the live doesn't have that isn't the keyboard and that touch strip thing?
4GB of RAM (versus Live’s 2GB), which changes the abilities of the MPC. More useful button layout. And it comes with a ton of new free plugins that vastly improved the MPC’s sound library. Currently if you want that on the Live, you’re spending another $500 for the plugins alone.

It’s an “all-in-one” proper workstation. Can’t discount that fact. Selling it as “just a Live with a keyboard” is selling it short in a massive way.
Win 10 | Ableton Live 11 Suite |  Reason 12 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | RME Babyface Pro | Akai MPC Live 2 & Akai Force | Roland System 8, MX1, TB3 | Dreadbox Typhon | Korg Minilogue XD

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 28 Jun 2022

Right so it is a live with a keyboard and double the ram and a bunch of plugins. Got it!
The latest release:

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EnochLight
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Post 28 Jun 2022

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
28 Jun 2022
Right so it is a live with a keyboard and double the ram and a bunch of plugins. Got it!
Sure, ok! :thumbup:
Win 10 | Ableton Live 11 Suite |  Reason 12 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | RME Babyface Pro | Akai MPC Live 2 & Akai Force | Roland System 8, MX1, TB3 | Dreadbox Typhon | Korg Minilogue XD

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EnochLight
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Post 28 Jun 2022

moalla wrote:
27 Jun 2022
I let a review at amazona about the MPC key and heard them nearby the sounds of the plugin suite, at all i must say nothing real spectacula more or less bread and butter sounds , and then in comments someone how played it live said https://www.amazona.de/test-akai-profes ... rkstation/

"yeah it´s sounds like 10 year old plugins with a non polyphonic aftertouch keys, at all a MPC One Motherboard with the pluginsuite and a big case with keyboard, for 2000 at the end to expensive, go for the mpc one and buy the Plugins for 500"

I know akai will bring updates for their plugins and this unit will become cheaper with the time, but at all i think it´s a good starting point for that kind of new dsp instrument era, NI´s pedant are still not out. So we will see, but when i would buy something like this, than a dsp hardware synth for arturias v collection ;) that would be a real gem :puf_bigsmile:

Personaly i´m now totaly happy with Spark2.5 and multiple outputs , and the chance to use Ispark on the ipad for scratch and being able to transfer presets between them ,
my GAS is served :lol:
Your GAS being served will certainly save you money! :lol: But for those who would like a traditional workstation instead of a groovebox, the choices are limited: Akai's new MPC Key 61, the Roland Fantom stuff, Yamaha's MODX. None of them hold a candle to MPC's sequencer, song building, and sampling. So the new MPC Key 61 is certainly a good option to consider if that's the route you want to go.

Me, I've already got a Force and an MPC Live II, so I'm good to go. If I didn't have an MPC currently, I'd absolutely consider the Key 61 instead of getting the Live II and having to cart around a separate 61 key controller. Especially if I was performing at a gig and needed to transport it. But that's just me. YMMV. Also, the new plugins sound fantastic for a standalone workstation.
Win 10 | Ableton Live 11 Suite |  Reason 12 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | RME Babyface Pro | Akai MPC Live 2 & Akai Force | Roland System 8, MX1, TB3 | Dreadbox Typhon | Korg Minilogue XD

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avasopht
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Post 06 Jul 2022

I dunno ... I saw that the MPC One had something around 6 notes of polyphony for most Hype Synth patches (but it's better on the Force).

I'm guessing this will have more polyphony, but that was concerning to me as there's no mention of this in specs or reviews for the other devices, ... ... ... guessing it's the same thing here.

Otherwise, this could be an easy purchase for me right now as I'm looking for a more solid standalone setup.
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EnochLight
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Post 06 Jul 2022

avasopht wrote:
06 Jul 2022
I dunno ... I saw that the MPC One had something around 6 notes of polyphony for most Hype Synth patches (but it's better on the Force).

I'm guessing this will have more polyphony, but that was concerning to me as there's no mention of this in specs or reviews for the other devices, ... ... ... guessing it's the same thing here.

Otherwise, this could be an easy purchase for me right now as I'm looking for a more solid standalone setup.
Polyphony in the new plugins (Fabric XL and the FM synth, OPx-4) is between 6-8 voices, depending on the preset. And Hype can get up to 8 voices if just using 1 osc from the "init" group. KeyGroups (which are sample based), have 8 voices and up. I wouldn't stress about the limited polyphony for some of the sound sources, though. It's a magnificent production machine. Also, don't let anyone tell you MPC Key 61 is "just an MPC with a keyboard". :lol:
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avasopht
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Post 07 Jul 2022

EnochLight wrote:
06 Jul 2022
Polyphony in the new plugins (Fabric XL and the FM synth, OPx-4) is between 6-8 voices, depending on the preset. And Hype can get up to 8 voices if just using 1 osc from the "init" group. KeyGroups (which are sample based), have 8 voices and up. I wouldn't stress about the limited polyphony for some of the sound sources, though. It's a magnificent production machine. Also, don't let anyone tell you MPC Key 61 is "just an MPC with a keyboard". :lol:
I don't think it would be a problem if it was "just an MPC with a keyboard". But I'm curious what I'd miss if I just got an MPC One and plugged in my MIDI keyboard.

I just limited my keyboard to 8 notes and it was playable, but throw in a sustain pedal and/or increase the release enough, and it might get a little contentious.

But it's such a strange limit to have in this day and age (unless they're CPU guzzling sounds).

I'm still up for at least trying out an MPC One. Maybe I can even have a go on one in store.
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EnochLight
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Post 07 Jul 2022

avasopht wrote:
07 Jul 2022
I don't think it would be a problem if it was "just an MPC with a keyboard". But I'm curious what I'd miss if I just got an MPC One and plugged in my MIDI keyboard.

I just limited my keyboard to 8 notes and it was playable, but throw in a sustain pedal and/or increase the release enough, and it might get a little contentious.

But it's such a strange limit to have in this day and age (unless they're CPU guzzling sounds).

I'm still up for at least trying out an MPC One. Maybe I can even have a go on one in store.
Honestly, with an MPC One (or Live II or X) and a MIDI keyboard, there are some advantages - the biggest being portability (well, at least with the One and Live II), and obviously choosing any keyboard you want. You can also customize skin content for the new plugins with the One, Live II, and X (this is not possible on the Key 61), though that's a bit into the "hacky" territory. The MPC Key 61 is really just a better "all-around-everything-in-one" package with specialized buttons that don't exist on the One/Live II/X, and of course the Touch Strip and larger 4 GB of RAM.

There are ways to get a lot more polyphony on any MPC - you just use key splits (new in the 2.11 firmware) and split up 2 or more instances of the plugins. Easy-peasy. While you are limited to 8 "instances" of the plugins, for Key Groups (these are sample-based instruments) you are only limited by your RAM as far as instances and polyphony, and the Key 61 comes with 4 GB versus the One/Live II/X having 2 GB of RAM. I'll note that I have the Live II and even with the 2 GB of RAM, I've never "ran out".

My advice is to "give it a try" (the One + MIDI keyboard)! Just buy from a reputable retailer new that has a liberal return policy, so if you don't like it or find yourself un-inspired, you can return it for a refund. If you do go the MPC One route, note that you cannot install an SSD and must use an SD Card or USB Stick/drive for the additional synth plugin content, Expansions (which are Akai's "Refills"), and song projects. Never - EVER - install or save anything to the built-in Factory Storage. Ever. It's limited and a one-way ticket to hell. Just treat the Factory Storage as a "read-only" drive.
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avasopht
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Post 17 Jul 2022

Cool, so I got an MPC One today.

There are a few issues with its feature omissions (like not supporting class-compliant Wifi dongles, or streamlining content loading), but I'm really enjoying it.

Hype Synth speaks my language and the device has a nice set of sound sources to work with.

In fact, just a minute ago I was messing around on the keyboard with a Hype synth patch, and immediately I found a really solid melody.

And by accident, as I didn't realize it was still recording while previewing a bass patch I ended up recording a bass arrangement I not only like, but most likely wouldn't have laid down intentionally.

I'm on the fence though because I'd still be very tempted to bring my micro desktop along with me for the option of my full sound set (but I could probably get by with samples of my sounds).
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EnochLight
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Post 18 Jul 2022

avasopht wrote:
17 Jul 2022
Cool, so I got an MPC One today.

There are a few issues with its feature omissions (like not supporting class-compliant Wifi dongles, or streamlining content loading), but I'm really enjoying it.

Hype Synth speaks my language and the device has a nice set of sound sources to work with.

In fact, just a minute ago I was messing around on the keyboard with a Hype synth patch, and immediately I found a really solid melody.

And by accident, as I didn't realize it was still recording while previewing a bass patch I ended up recording a bass arrangement I not only like, but most likely wouldn't have laid down intentionally.

I'm on the fence though because I'd still be very tempted to bring my micro desktop along with me for the option of my full sound set (but I could probably get by with samples of my sounds).
Congrats! Also keep in mind that retrospective MIDI record is running at all times, even with the transport stopped. To print any noodling you’ve been doing, just hold down shift + record. You’ve got tons to keep busy, so I’d personally not buy any of the new synths that just came out until they go on sale. Fabric XL and OPx-4 are awesome, the rest are “meh”. Hype was my goto before I got Fabric XL.
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