Akai Pro MPC Key 61, firmware 2.10 leaks new MPC keyboard sampler workstation

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MPC firmware 2.10 not only contains new synths, effects … but also hints that Akai Pro is working on an MPC Key 61 keyboard sampler workstation.

At the beginning of February, I already reported a leak on a possible Akai Pro MPC keyboard with the name Force 6. This picture was found in the firmware 2.9 code by an MPC & Force hacker/modifier group on Facebook. The picture gave us clues that Akai Pro is currently working on a keyboard version on which probably the MPC software runs. So a kind of keyboard workstation packed with synthesizers, drum engines, sampling, and more.

Last Tuesday, Akai Pro released the MPC 2.10 firmware. A huge update with great new features. The same FB group also found a render file in the firmware that let the keyboard sampler alarm sirens ring.

Akai Pro MPC Key 61

Akai MPC Key 61

The new render shows what this is about a little more clearly. The name has been changed. From Force 6 to MPC Key 61 which suggests that the keyboard is probably based on the matured MPC software. If you trust the render, it will have 61 keys, pitch & mod wheel, and probably velocity & aftertouch support.

Moving away from the keyboard to the upper part, you can see many shortcuts buttons, a touch strip (black), as well as an MPC-style 4×4 pad matrix. These will probably be of the same level as those from the rest of the MPC products.

The center of the keyboard occupies a display, probably a touch display with which you can swipe through the menus. Similar to the MPC One, MPC Live II … Right next to the display, there are four Q-Link controllers

Akai Pro MPC Key 61

Then there is a data encoder and other shortcuts. Classic transport buttons (record, play, pause, etc.) are on the right side. The upper labels on the interface indicate that the keyboard version of the MPC also has numerous inputs and outputs. Unfortunately, the rendering is still very unclear, which makes reading I/Os impossible.

A Keyboard MPC?

This new rendering from the firmware 2.10 code clearly shows that Akai Professional is working on a keyboard MPC. The step would be very logical. On one side, they have a sophisticated software environment that is out of its infancy. On the other, the MPC software got several exciting features and content level-ups in recent months that upgraded the devices for free. Including the new drum synth, Hype synth, Odyssey, Solina, Mellotron, new effects (granulator…), and more.

It will be interesting to see if Akai Pro will incorporate the MPC software into a fully-featured keyboard sampler workstation in the near future. The clues are there.

Source: Mpc live X and Force hacking modding custom

More information here: Akai Pro 

Hardware Sampler News

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9 Comments

  1. 2x phantom powered xlr
    8x CV
    Smart keyboard referred as IQKeys
    Adjustable velocities separately for black and white keys, aftertouch and a lots more

  2. “Mpc key” has a nice ring to it, though I don’t see who this is for: adding keys (such as keystep) to an mpc is already easy and cheap. Maybe the keys do something extra, like light up (similar to novation sl mkiii or NI kontrol) so you can visualise splits and use they keys as a clip or scene launcher. Add synthesia compatibility and you have a value add. Oh and what about speakers and a battery?

    • To be honest this is the keyboard I’ve been wanting all along because in one device I could have everything: multitrack playback (using usb class compliant), sampler to launch live, keyboard to play (with lots of amazing plugins), also I suspect I could use it as a vocal processor!

      Then it also will be amazing as the master controller in the studio.

  3. I agree with what’s already been said. It better be a damn good keybed to justify the space. I’m keen on having a good 88key for my master and I can already add that to my mpc live. Foot print of the one is even better imho. What would really be wild is a Yamaha qy sized mpc. A micro option for small setups with that amazing sequencer. I just don’t see the point in buying something like this of you’re not 100% in love with the quality of the keyboard.

  4. This new Mpc keyboard used to be called the ASR-10. That was the sampling workstation that Kanye used in conjunction with the Mpc 3000 (the greatest Mpc of all time.) this would in fact parallel what ensonique did with the asr-10 which today is still the greatest keyboard sampler made. The addition of the pads on the keyboard could be cool. But it’s have to stay independent of a computer which is what the ASR-10 was capable of doing. If I’m fact it’s maintains it’s stand alone ability, with all of these features, this could be the most amazing standalone workstation/sampler further distinguishing itself from the likes of all the other daws available. On the original ASR-10 a friend produced and recorded a full four song project. Vocals and all. Mixed and bounced backgrounds etc… within the asr-10. I could only imagine with built in AUTOTUNE, harmonizer, effects galore, etc…. What a project might sound like! I believe i might do a project based on that premise alone! @dwight_skrapp_reynolds across all media. Stay tuned

  5. There 61 key mpk controller was a great keyboard and bed.

    With a bit of tech incorporated it could be a winner.

    There software is maturing nicely.

    Cheers

  6. I would cop this in an instant if it was closer to the MPC X in features rather than the MPC One or Live.

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