Akai MPK88 now shipping

The MPK88 performance keyboard controller is now shipping to retailers. The MPK88 features a fully weighted, hammer-action keyboard with assignable keyboard split and after-touch.

The MPK88 gives the player 16 MPC pads that are velocity- and pressure-sensitive, and can access four banks of sounds each, for access to 64 sounds at any time. The MPK88 also puts the player in command of his/her software with assignable Q-Link faders, knobs and buttons. The user can assign any Q-Link to control nearly any parameter in the software for hands-on, mouse-free performance. The MPK88 also has two assignable footswitch inputs and an expression pedal input.

The MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing are also featured. MPC Note Repeat is a capability that enables the MPK to automatically play a rhythm pattern, such as 16th notes on a hi-hat, for accuracy and speed of entry. MPC Swing turns perfectly aligned sequences into human-feeling time alignments. Users can specify the degree and timing of swing they want to apply. The MPK88 also has an arpeggiator, which enables performers to build riffs instantly.

The MPK88 sends MIDI values over USB and a traditional MIDI jack. The controller works with most MIDI recording, sequencing and performance software, as well as sound modules, synthesizers and other MIDI-compliant hardware.

The MPK88 comes with Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition software. The MPK88 is available from pro audio and musical instrument retailers, with a U.S. retail price of $999 and an estimated street price of $799.

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