Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the system specs of the MPC Key 61?
- What operating systems will the MPC Key 61 be supported on?
- How big is the display? Is it a touch screen?
- How much storage is there? How big is the internal hard drive?
- Are the keys weighted?
- How do I use the touch strip?
- What does the Sounds button do?
- What is the AIR Vocal Suite?
- Does the MPC Key 61 include MPC Software version 2.11?
- Can I get the MPC Key 61 Synth Content on my computer?
- How do I authorize the new synth content?
- Can I record audio tracks on the MPC Key 61?
- Can I plug a USB MIDI controller into the USB ports of the MPC Key 61?
- Is the MPC Key 61 USB 3.0?
- Can I add additional storage space?
- Can I open my current MPC projects on the MPC Key 61?
- Are there any differences between running a project in standalone vs. with MPC 2.11?
- Are projects transferable between the MPC Key 61 and earlier MPCs?
- How many inputs and outputs are on the MPC Key 61?
- What is a CV/Gate output used for?
- What is the CV range? Can all outputs be used simultaneously?
- Can I transfer content directly to the internal storage?
- Can I change the location of the desktop synth content?
- Are there any cases or bags available?
- If I record a sample while the MPC Key 61 is in controller mode with MPC 2.0, is the sample recorded to my MPC Key 61 or my computer?
- Where can I download MPC 2.0?
- How many times can I authorize MPC 2.0?
- Where can I find the MPC 2.11 firmware update?
- Can I authorize my MPC 2.0 license to an iLok dongle?
- Can I use the included or additional plugins in other software?
- Does MPC 2.0 support audio recording?
- Is there a limit to the number of tracks I can use?
- Will MPC 2.0 run as a VST plugin in my DAW, just like the previous MPC software?
- Does MPC 2.0 support third-party plugins?
- Can I open my current MPC projects in MPC 2.0?
- How can I send a bug report to Akai?
The MPC Key 61 has its own embedded system which sports a quad-core ARM processor and 4GB of RAM. For internal storage, the MPC Key 61 has 32GB onboard. There are 10GB of studio-quality sounds pre-loaded and another 6GB for you to work with. You can use the 2 onboard USB ports to add more samples or to provide extra storage. There is also a compartment on the bottom of the MPC Key 61 which houses a SATA port for installing an optional HDD or SDD.
- Windows: Windows 10 and Windows 11
- Mac: Mac OS X 10.15 - Mac OS 12
The MPC Key 61 features a 7" full color, multi-touch display (16:10 resolution) for navigating and controlling the internal software. This means that not only is it touch-capable, but it can handle multi-touch gestures like pinching to zoom in/out and double-tap for advanced settings.
The MPC Key 61 has 34GB of internal storage. There are 10GB of studio-quality sounds pre-loaded and another 6GB for you to work with. You can use the 2 onboard USB ports to add more samples or to provide extra storage. There is also a compartment on the bottom of the MPC Key 61 which houses a SATA port for installing an optional HDD or SDD.
Are the keys weighted?
The 61 keys on the MPC Key 61 are semi-weighted.
How do I use the touch strip?
The touch strip can be used as an expressive control for playing and can be configured to control Note Repeat, Pitch Bend, Modulation, and more. Press the Touch Strip / Config button to cycle between control modes for the Touch Strip. Press and hold the button to quickly select one of the control modes. Press and hold Shift and press this button to view the Touch Strip Configuration window.
What does the Sounds button do?
Pressing the Sounds button allows you to view Sounds Mode, where you can browse MPC Key 61's built-in instruments and presets. These instruments are:
- Fabric XL : Advanced sample and synthesis plugin with 5.4 gigabytes of sample content and over 1000 presets
- Stage Piano : Advanced acoustic piano engine with sympathetic resonance
- Stage EP: Advanced electric piano engine with up to 12 velocity layers and 76 built-in AIR effects
- Organ : Additive drawbar organ model with AIR rotary speaker simulation
- OPX4 : 4 Operator FM synth with deep modulation routing and over 20 included AIR effects
- Odyssey : Circuit modelled classic analogue synth with built in tape delay effect
- Hype: Multi-synthesis engine wavetable, FM,, virtual analogue, multi-sample with over 1500 factory presets
- Studio Strings : Orchestra, Chamber, and Solo Strings instrument with dedicated Legato features
- Drumsynth : Drum synthesizer plugin instrument
- Mellotron : Faithful recreation of a legendary tape-based sampling keyboard
- Solina : Based on the classic string synthesizer
What is the AIR Vocal Suite?
A first-of-its-kind plugin collection for standalone music production devices, the new AIR Vocal Insert Effects Suite delivers advanced vocal processing to achieve innovative vocal textures, harmonies and more for an ultra-modern approach to songwriting, composition, performance and production. This 3-plugin suite includes versatile pitch correction, vocal doubling and layering, as well harmonizing tools, empowering composers and songwriters the ability to achieve virtually any kind of vocal sound right from the standalone MPC devices. You can learn more here!
MPC Key 61 includes the latest version of the MPC Software, version 2.11. You can use the MPC Key 61 entirely standalone or as a controller for MPC Software 2.11.
Can I get the MPC Key 61 Synth Content on my computer?
Yes! Once you have the MPC 2 Software installed, you can install this synth content on your Windows or macOS computer. This will unlock the synths in your MPC Software.
- Windows: Double click on the Install MPC Synth Content - Windows.exe, and follow the on-screen instructions that appear. Restart your MPC Software if it was already running during the installation
- macOS: Double click on the Install MPC Synth Content - Windows.pkg, and follow the on-screen instructions that appear. Restart your MPC Software if it was already running during the installation
How do I authorize the new synth content?
Before following the steps below, please ensure you are connected to the internet. This is required for all of these plugins in order to activate them.
- Open the MPC software.
- Open the Preferences menu and select Activate Plugins.
- Click Log In to sign in to your inMusic Brands Profile using your Internet browser. If you do not have an inMusic Brands Profile yet, you will be prompted to create one
- Once you have signed in, you can activate your plugins:
- To refresh the page with your latest purchases or activations, click Refresh.
- To activate a plugin on your device, click the Activate button next to its name. Click Deactivate to remove the plugin activation from your computer.
Can I record audio tracks on the MPC Key 61?
Yes! One of the great features on the MPC Key 61 and MPC 2.0 software is the addition of audio track recording. In the standalone mode, the MPC will capable of up to 8 full audio tracks, but the MPC 2.0 software can record as many tracks as your system can handle.
The USB ports on the MPC Key 61 have a variety of uses. They can be used to transfer files on and off of the MPC Key 61, as extra storage, and as input for USB MIDI controllers. If you have a class-compliant MIDI controller (one that does not require drivers), you will be able to plug it directly into an available USB port on the MPC Key 61 and control MIDI information in the embedded system software.
Yes! The MPC Key 61 will both ship with USB 3.0 cables and work at USB 3.0 speeds when connected to the computer as a controller. While USB 2.0 may work, we do recommend using 3.0 cables and ports whenever possible for the best results. If the MPC is in standalone mode, any connected thumb drives or storage devices will operate at USB 2.0.
Yes! The MPC Key 61 feature two (2) USB ports for connecting thumb drives and other USB storage devices, an SD card slot for standard SD/SDHC cards, as well as a port for adding an additional 2.5" SATA drive (either HDD or SSD). Virtually all drive sizes are supported, but we recommend formatting drives to exFAT, FAT32, or NTFS for the best results. SATA drives will be mounted to the compartment door with the included screws. Please make sure that the MPC Key 61 is turned off before connecting or disconnecting a SATA drive.
Yes! The MPC Key 61 will recognize MPC projects, programs, and sequences made with earlier versions of the software and even older MPC hardware project and program formats. The MPC will convert them to modern formats upon importing.
Yes, but not many. You may notice some differences depending on your work style, though the main difference will be with VST support. MPC 2.11 supports VST plugins when used on your computer, however, these will be disabled when using the projects on the MPC Key 61 in standalone.
Yes! Projects can be transferred and opened on any MPC considering all of the project's contents (samples, programs, sequences) are transferred as well. Considering there are differences in outputs and inputs on the MPC Key 61 versus other MPC units, you may notice that outputs or inputs are disabled if they are not available on the current controller.
The MPC Key 61 features 4 balanced TRS outputs and 2 combo inputs. The MPC Key 61 also features 8 TS Mono CV/Gate outputs.
Important: The RCA inputs are intended only for phono-level audio. Please be sure not to connect line-level audio sources to this input.
There are also 2 instrument inputs (1/4" TS) on the front of the unit that can be assigned as inputs 1/2 with the Rear/Front switch below the channel gain knobs on the top. On top of the audio i/o, the MPC Key 61 also has 1 full-size, 5-pin MIDI input, 1 full-size 5-pin MIDI output, and 1 full-size 5-pin MIDI thru-port.
CV/Gate signals are similar to a standard MIDI connection in that they are responsible for transferring pitch and sequence timing data to other gear, usually modular synths or sequencers. Unlike MIDI, CV and Gate signals use simple voltages in varying ranges and lengths to control the other devices which opens a lot of possibilities for implementation. For example, modular synths will often have a CV Pitch input (deciding the pitch of the synth at any given point), but they may also have filter input to control the filter instead. The gate would tell the synth when and how long to play a note, again just like the regions in a MIDI sequence. For more info, check out the article here.
The MPC Key 61 uses the 0-5v range. All outputs can be used simultaneously.
All content will need to be stored on a thumb drive or the internal SATA drive before transferring to the internal storage on the MPC Key 61. The Internal storage will not appear as an available drive when connected to your system.
Can I change the location of the desktop synth content?
The content is installed to a pre-determined system location that guarantees immediate access for the MPC software and cannot be moved.
There are no plans for official MPC Key 61 cases at the moment, but we’re glad to hear that there is interest! In the meantime, you may be able to find an alternative third-party case/bag that meets the size requirements:
- HxWxD in mm: 96.7 x 986 x313
- HxWxD in Inches: 3.8" x 38.8" x 12.3"
If I record a sample while the MPC Key 61 is in controller mode with MPC 2.0, is the sample recorded to my MPC Key 61 or my computer?
The sample will be recorded into your MPC 2.0 sample pool and saved to the hard drive once the project is saved. While connected in controller mode, the MPC Key 61 will act only as a controller/interface, similar to the MPC Renaissance. But once disconnected from controller mode, your project can be transferred to a USB drive, SD card or additional drive on the MPC Key 61 to open in standalone.
All MPC Key 61 users can find a download link and authorization code for MPC 2.0 in their inMusic Brands account once they have registered their product. For a complete walkthrough on downloading, installing, and activating the MPC 2.0 Software, see our video and guide below: Akai Pro MPC Software 2.0 - How to Download, Install, and Activate
The MPC 2.0 license can be authorized on two separate computers/iLok dongles simultaneously, so you can have two active versions at the same time. If another computer or iLok dongle needs to be authorized, the license can be deactivated and re-authorized to a different location using the iLok License Manager. This means that you are fully in control of your software authorizations! Check out our article here for a full walkthrough on activating and deactivating iLok licenses.
Where can I find the MPC 2.11 firmware update?
The MPC 2.11 firmware update is now available for all users under your device's software manager, as well as the product page for the MPC that you own. You may also locate the firmware under your software downloads for your MPC within your inMusic profile. For any additional information on how to update your MPC's firmware, please review the MPC Firmware update walkthrough.
Absolutely! Make sure your iLok is connected to the computer while authorizing the software and you will be able to choose it as a location to store the license during the authorization process.
Can I use the included or additional plugins in other software?
All new synth titles are exclusive to use in the MPC software and MPC OS devices (MPC Key 61, MPC X, MPC Live II, etc.)
Yes! one of the big new features with MPC 2.0 is the addition of full audio track recording! Audio tracks will playback over the course of an entire song while any sequences loop behind it, similar to recording in arrangement mode in Ableton.
MPC 2.0 and standalone MPC Key 61 will have a total track limit of 128. Keep in mind, this is still subject to each system's limitations and CPU constraints.
Yes! MPC 2.0 will come with VST, AU, and AAX versions to run as a plug-in in your favorite DAW, exactly like the older MPC software versions.
Of course! MPC 2.0 will support VST2 plugins, as well as AU plugins for Mac, just like the previous MPC software versions.
Absolutely! MPC 2.0 will be fully compatible with projects, programs and sequences from previous MPC versions and even legacy hardware MPC's like the MPC5000 and MPC2500. MPC 2.0 will support the following file types: .AKP, .ALL, .IPT, .PGM, .PRJ, .SND, .MID, .SEQ, .APS, .50k, and .50s.
How can I send a bug report to Akai?
Because this is a beta version of the software, we want to hear what you have to say; what features you like, dislike, and anywhere improvements can be made. In the MPC 2.0 Beta, you'll find a feedback module where you can send notes and crash reports to be reviewed by our team and considered for the next update. Click on the smiley face in the bottom right for feedback options: