Akai MPK261


The Akai MPK261 midi keyboard is the perfect tool for music production and performance, with its versatile and intuitive design.



Akai MPK261 is a compact MIDI keyboard and controller built for both professional and amateur musicians. This device is an incredible combination of excellent performance, quality musical instrument, and modern technology. It is a perfect addition to any studio setup, making it easier to produce music easily.

The MPK261 is a 61-key MIDI controller that comes in a robust and durable design. It has a sleek and professional finish, with backlit pads and knobs that are easy to navigate and use. The design is well thought out and aesthetically pleasing, making it a great addition to any studio or DJ setup.

With 61 semi-weighted keys, the Akai MPK261 is an excellent keyboard to play, particularly for those who are accustomed to a full 88-key digital piano. The keys are sensitive enough, allowing for great expression and control when playing. Furthermore, you get to enjoy the MPC-style pads with 16 RGB-backlit drum pads that are ideal for finger drumming or triggering samples and loops.

Additionally, the Akai MPK261 has eight assignable faders, which can be crucial when it comes to mixing and controlling levels. The device also has eight assignable knobs, which are ideal for tweaking effects, sound parameters, or even panning audio channels. There are also transport controls for navigating your DAW and a dedicated control for modulating pitch bend.

The Akai MPK261 is also equipped with a powerful arpeggiator and a chord feature. The arpeggiator function comes in handy when creating rhythmic patterns and beats, while the chord feature allows you to play complex chords with a single press of a button.

The device is also versatile, allowing it to connect to a computer via USB or to external hardware via the traditional MIDI DIN connectors. You can also connect an expression pedal and a sustain pedal, giving you extra control over your performances.

The package comes bundled with a comprehensive software suite that includes Ableton Live Lite, MPC Essentials, Hybrid 3, and various virtual instruments. These programs are ideal for music production, making the Akai MPK261 an excellent tool for creating a wide range of sounds.

In conclusion, the Akai MPK261 is a versatile, reliable, and feature-packed MIDI keyboard controller. It is an excellent choice for both professional and home studio use, providing an exceptional musical experience. The device comes with a sleek design and incredible build quality, making it a great addition to any studio setup. Overall, if you are looking for a reliable MIDI keyboard and controller that performs well, the Akai MPK261 is undoubtedly an excellent choice.

Akai MPK261 properties

Product name MPK261
Brand Akai
Type Keyboard Instruments
Keyboard Instrument MIDI Keyboard
Drawbars/Sliders Yes
Pads Yes
Rotary Controls Yes
Colour Black

Additional information


Product type

Keyboard Instrument



Rotary Controls



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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the process to update the firmware on my Akai MPK261 MIDI keyboard?

Updating the firmware on your Akai MPK261 MIDI keyboard is a simple process that requires a few steps:

1. Download the latest firmware from Akai's official website or your preferred download source. Save it to your computer in a location you can easily find.

2. Connect your MPK261 to your computer using the USB cable provided with the device. Make sure that your computer recognizes the MIDI keyboard. If necessary, install any required drivers for the MPK261.

3. Power on your Akai MPK261. You will need to hold down the "SHIFT" and "UP" arrow keys while simultaneously pressing the "SYSEX" button located on the lower-right side of the device. Continue holding these buttons until the LED next to the "SYSEX" button begins to blink. This indicates that your MPK261 is in firmware update mode.

4. Locate the downloaded firmware file (it should have an .syx extension) and launch it with a MIDI application or utility software capable of handling SYSEX messages, such as MidiOx or MIDI-Yoke.

5. In your chosen software, open the file containing the new firmware update. You may need to select "Send Sysex Dump" or an equivalent option within the program.

6. Once you have successfully opened the firmware file in your MIDI software, it will begin transmitting SYSEX messages to your Akai MPK261. The LED next to the "SYSEX" button on the device should remain lit during this process. Wait for the entire transmission to complete without interruption.

7. After the firmware update is finished, your MPK261 will automatically restart itself. You may remove the USB cable from the device and power cycle it if desired.

8. Test your Akai MPK261 MIDI keyboard by connecting it to your music software or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of choice. Make sure that all functions are working correctly and that you can successfully send and receive MIDI data from the device.

If everything appears to be functioning properly after updating the firmware, congratulations! Your Akai MPK261 is now running on the latest available software version.

How does the Akai MPK261 differ from traditional MIDI controllers in terms of functionality and connectivity?

The Akai MPK261 stands out from traditional MIDI controllers by offering an additional layer of functionality and connectivity. Unlike standard MIDI controllers that typically have a fixed number of physical knobs, faders, and buttons, the MPK261 has 16 fully-assignable Q-Link knobs that can be programmed to control multiple parameters simultaneously. This allows for more complex and nuanced performances, as well as greater flexibility during production. Furthermore, the MPK261 is one of the first MIDI controllers to feature USB-MIDI connectivity, in addition to traditional MIDI DIN ports. This means that users can connect it directly to their computer via a single USB cable, eliminating the need for additional power sources or dongles. This makes setup faster and more streamlined, especially when working with laptop-based DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations). In summary, the Akai MPK261's 16 Q-Link knobs and USB-MIDI connectivity provide enhanced functionality and ease of use compared to traditional MIDI controllers. These features make it an attractive option for producers, composers, and performers who demand greater flexibility and convenience from their MIDI controllers.

How does the Akai MPK261's MIDI compatibility differ from other keyboards on the market?

The Akai MPK261 standout feature in terms of MIDI compatibility is its ability to connect simultaneously to multiple devices via USB, MIDI In, and MIDI Out. This versatility allows for seamless integration with a wide range of software and hardware setups, making it an ideal choice for both studio and live performance environments. Unlike many other keyboards on the market that may require additional interfaces or adapters to achieve this level of connectivity, the MPK261 has everything you need built-in. This not only saves time and money but also ensures reliable, stable MIDI communication between all your devices.