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Windows 7: Akai MPK 61 - Keyboard MIDI Controller

06 Dec 2009   #1

Windos 7 x64
Akai MPK 61 - Keyboard MIDI Controller

Akai MPK 61

Is here anyone into playing keyboard ? I never had one, and now I'm thinking to get the one above.

Quite a few years ago I was in a music shop where they had many different keyboards on display, and I started playing around with one of them and got sucked in so much, that approx 3 hours later I was still fiddling about, lol.

Well, as I said, I need to learn from scratch really.
So I figured there is a difference between MPC and MPK keyboards.

MPC = a stand alone sampler / workstation
MPK = a MIDI Controller

Meaning, a MPC comes with a number of sounds while a MPK needs to be connected (via MIDI or USB) to a PC first.
Whith software like Cubase 5.1 Portable or FL Studio 9 & some good VSTIs the whole world of digital sound opens up.

By the way, the Akai MPK comes with either 25, 49, 61 or 88 keys.
Of course there are many other brands like Roland, Korg, Casio, Yamaha, etc ..

Got any experiences on that field ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #2

XP Pro SP3 x86/Vista SP2 x64/Win7 x64 Triple-boot

I've not got much experience in the MIDI to PC feild or even with new Keyboards but I'm pretty sure that MPC/MPK labels are specific to the Akai brand.
(A MIDI controller is just that in general.. A MIDI controller, as oppossed to a MIDI slave.. AFAIK...)

I bought a PC back in the early ninties just to make music with it, it was my sole reason to buy a PC after a good friend introduced me to Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge 3 (Nowadays it's under the Sony brand, Sonic Foundry vanished like most small music companys have).. the extras like being able to play games without a PS1 was just a added bonus to me back then

My main intrest with music with a PC is creating my own remixes of tunes, My main riff's are sadly done with manual MIDI mapping rather than playing it on a real keyboard and timecoding it. (funding is a bit tight with 3 children nowadays.. )

Ohh What I would give to own that keyboard pictured!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2009   #3

Windos 7 x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Generator View Post
Ohh What I would give to own that keyboard pictured!
Oh, I'm so sorry ... I tell you what ... come and visit me, so we can both compose together something !

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lowe View Post
Akai used to concentrate on samplers and workstations, however with the way that technology gravitated towards computers and DAWs they fell out of fashion, especially at their price point.
Hi, I learned something new:

A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is an electronic system designed to record, edit and play back digital audio. A key feature of DAWs is the ability to freely manipulate recorded sounds.
While almost any home computer with multitrack and editing software can function somewhat as a DAW, the term generally refers to computer systems which have high-quality external ADC (analog-to-digital) - DAC (digital-to-analog ) hardware, and some form of audio software; some of which is commercial proprietary software. Besides having high-end sound cards most DAWs also require a large amount of RAM, fast CPU(s) and sufficient free hard drive space.
Not sure why analog is still existing while everything is digital these days.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lowe View Post
What kind of keyboard is best depends on what style of music you're playing, and if your playing will be biased towards sequencing or performing.
I thought a keyboard is just a device with a number of keys.
Since the sound samples are software based anyway (DAW), features like modulation wheel, semi-weighted keys, aftertouch, faders are already standard, no ?
I'm personally interested in learning to play the classic piano and of course compose my own style of music like electronic, synthpop, ambient, etc

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
I use some of these for live visuals and I found the Novation Automap series to be fantastic. I myself bought one without a keyboard (Novation Remote Zero S) which has now been updated.
I think the follow up version is called ZeRO SL Mk II ?
But it has no keys, hmm ... excuse my ignorance, but I don't quite get the purpose of these devices without any keys.
See, the keyboards I used to know had soundsamples on board (ROM) already ... just switch on and away you go.

I understand that Controller based keyboards have great advantages over the old system, like
  • unlimited number of sound samples,
  • user friendly interface (PC monitor) for complex functions rather than a small LCD display on the keyboard,
  • huge recording space on HDD, etc etc ..
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
I would highly recomend the hardware its very very well built and can take a bit of a beating aswell as being brilliantly functional and easy to work with.
Looks good !
On their website they say: The Nocturn Keyboard feels like playing an instrument rather than a computer peripheral.
I realize that I should not decide for any product without trying it out in real life first.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Konan555 View Post
I still use an aged Yamaha PSR as my master keyboard which gives 5 octaves and midi out for under 50.
OK, you don't have the assignable dials and faders, but you do have a mouse and these can be added for under 100.
Just a budget concious thought
Haha, nice one ! ... and very budget concious indeed :mrgreen:
Just checked with google but they seem to be many different PSR versions existing.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by abaxas View Post
Any instrument player will tell you that what you buy is often a matter of personal preference. [...] You really need to have a play about with this before you buy.
You're absolutely right !
I almost decided to order the Akai without actually knowing what it's like.
I'm gonna take my time and visit an instrument store.
That kind of reminds me when I was interesed in getting a camcorder recently.
After researching on the internet about what's available, I was so confident in the Canon series, like either the Legria HF20 or the HF S10.
But after I was in a shop where I could try out many different brands of camcorders, I was so disappointed about how cheap Canon camcorders feel when you hold them in your hands.
I then discovered a camcorder which I never looked into .. the Sony CX505 (32GB) / Sony CX520 (64GB).
That one not only feels high quality, it has touch screen display and 2 x increase in sensivity (high picture quality in low light conditions) and a very effective 3-way shake cancelling.
Sorry about getting off topic now, maybe I should start a new thread for that.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by greenalien View Post
Music creation software and hardware has come a long way in the last few years.
I'd recommend starting with Ableton Live ..
Ableton Live is about making music; for composition, songwriting, recording, production, remixing and live performance. Live's nonlinear, intuitive flow, alongside powerful real-time editing and flexible performance options, make it a unique studio tool and a favorite with live performers. If you'd rather be "making music" than just "using music software," Ableton Live is for you.
I can guarantee that you'll never exhaust the possibilities offered by these amazing combinations of software and hardware ..
WOW. just wow ! ... looks like a lot of fun.
I wanna thank all of you who replied, appreciate it a lot !

My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Dec 2009   #4

Windos 7 x64

Here is another keyboard that tickles my fancy.

FATAR Studiologic VMK 88 Plus

A Virtual Music Keyboard with fully programmable knobs, buttons, sliders and pedals

88 keys - TP9PIANO keybed with weighted keys for a piano feel
LCD Display
Data Entry Dial
Modulation Wheel
3 Software Presets Native Instrument B4 and PRO53, and Steinberg Cubase
27 User Programmable Presets
8 Programmable Knobs
9 Programmable Sliders
8 Programmable Buttons
5 Programmable Sequencer Buttons Section
3 Programmable Pedal Inputs
Midi connectors: Out, USB
Dimensions: in. 52.3 x 13.8 x 4.7 (cm. 138,8 x 35 x 58,5)
Weight: lb. 17 (kg. 7,7)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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