Joined: 28 Jan 2005 Posts: 2394 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:58 am Post subject:
AKAI Professional MPC Key 61 – Demo (no talking)
For people who have a Kronos, Montage, Fantom, etc., that is probably a bit underwhelming. Some good sounds, for sure, but with 25 engines, I would rather hear some of their unique capabilities. My favorite sound was Awakening (Detune Fuzz).
As I said, I plan on making/loading/recording a lot of sounds from Kronos and a couple of other synths into my Force. Here is an EXAMPLE of the kind of soundscape I like doing.
Joined: 10 Jan 2002 Posts: 334 Location: Cornwall - U.K.
Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:43 pm Post subject:
Looking at another video it looks like third party VST's can only run in the computer 'DAW' supplied with it. Ie on a computer not the instrument. Thats a shame because you still need a computer. I think it would be great if a manufacturer designed a workstation where vsts could be run natively on the workstation. I think if Korg did this they would be leader of the pack. Oasys 2? Id be happy to pay extra. You could also run wavestate etc on it id also be happy to pay for the Oasys build quality. My favourite synth was my Oasys 76
Joined: 02 Jan 2002 Posts: 18132 Location: Ireland
Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:02 pm Post subject:
Does this keyboard allow you to load in any VST3 you want, to be used inside it?
No, it’s no different than any normal MPC. The Plug-ins are a closed format only AKAI seems to be able to integrate. They seem to be all included as standard on the Keys 61, where on an MPC module you have to buy most of them. Some are already on an existing MPC.
I’ve the MPC-X, and to be fair, what Plugins it came with preloaded are quite good. Hype is very good.
Looking at another video it looks like third party VST's can only run in the computer 'DAW' supplied with it. Ie on a computer not the instrument. Thats a shame because you still need a computer.
The MPC 2.0 Software is Akai's own Daw that's allows you to access the features on the hardware more a little bit more indepth. Akai has their own VST's and they're built into the hardware to use standalone and into the DAW. 3rd party stuff has to be used with the DAW on the computer as 3rd party stuff has it's own licensing and compatibility programming language etc. so it makes sense.
You're not limited to using the MPC products with just 2.0 Software though. It's supports use in Ableton, There's synchronization feature built into the MPC's.That they added them in a few updates ago. Seems like Akai is trying to make the MPC's smooth sailing to use in other software programs.
But what it's like is like being able to take The Kronos and run the entire thing as a Daw. Imagine the KRonos Sequencer,Sampler, all your patches, and all that jazz being able to be on a DAW that you can sync with the hardware and save and edit and makes songs and all that jazz.
That's what has me excited. That alone is a God send. Getting away from working with just a tiny screen and being able to use a dedicated program letting you further work on your music with a computer BUT keeping it in sync with your computer and being able to save your projects and dump them into Protools or Ableton.
You will be able to do that with the MPC Keys also.
On another note...
How many threads do we have asking about how to load the Kronos into a Daw and sync stuff. That's all a thing of the past with the MPC Keys. This is the future man and it's beautiful!
The MPC Keys does everything the Kronos does but it's more modern. Your automation, your effects, endless sound libraries, A DAW made just for it, Software integration my goodness just saying that makes the Kronos seem like a Model T Ford with its 32bit system.
This is the future. Embracing both Hardware and Software. You'll be playing the MPC keys with something like Omnisphere. It's over... it's just over for the day of the Kronos and you know what I'm Glad!
Korg, Roland, Yamaha, Nord and all those guys Need a Wake Up call. They charge us these ridiculous prices for their keyboards like $3,000-$4,000 and then they leave us stuck at the mercy of the manufacturer for updates, new sounds to keep it fresh, a way to make it interface with our Daws etc.
Akai is the only one that came out and said "You know what? Screw all of that. We're going to give you an amazing keyboard, we're going to throw a bunch of cool engines in it, and we're going to let you load it up with whatever sounds you want and we don't care who makes them, we're going to let you use whatever VST's you want we don't care who makes them, and we'll even make our software easy to integrate into all those programs you love to use. How does that sound to you?"
I'm just happy to see something like this on the market that's going to give us creative freedom and limit the restrictions we're all so used to playing under. VST's are the future, downloading (affordable) sound packs and sounds and stuff like Splice is the future. Those old EXB cards and $300 expansions for one piano should be over.
This keyboard to me represents a revolution of musical freedom. The thing that bugs me the most about workstations is that all of them feel so restrictive. Doesn't matter who makes them you're stuck with them and what they choose to allow on their platform. That logic has caused people to stray away from keyboard workstations altogether and into DAW's where they have freedom over their sounds. Not having to feel "stuck" with something that doesn't even have the ability to be updated (when is the last time the Kronos had a ground breaking update?).
It's such a selfish slap in the face to all of us that use their products to know that Korg could have kept something like the Kronos alive by simply adding in updates to simplify it or new sounds free of charge (not the Hey! Here are some tired Triton sound packs for free!), a new sound engine, a new virtual interface, a Kronos DAW, it's all just programming they could have easily done that but instead they want us to spend another 3-4grand and buy a whole new keyboard. We all know it's lies now. We see how manufacturers like Akai and Roland have been updating their equipment for free with ground breaking updates and offering free expansions and stuff to their users.
They're not losing money. They're making their customers happy and it's resulting in more sales for them. Korg has such a loyal fan base but they honestly treat us all like crap and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of them always making new keyboards that I can't afford claiming to offer something new that they could have easily added to the old Keyboard they just painted Gold, or Silver, or Red or whatever can fell off of Krylon's paint shelf.
I've been loyal to Korg for 20+ years. I've had enough. People are happy about the MPC Keys because it offers so much that you can do with it. It was only made because Akai realized their users wanted a Keyboard version of the MPC so they made one. Meanwhile here we are at Korg with our decade old Kronos's and we can't even get a basic software update.
I know this is a long rant but it's all so true. Korg needs to evolve their keyboards and they need to stop charging half a bank vault for them. If Akai can offer a keyboard with all the bells and whistles the MPC Keys has with it's price point Korg should take note and follow in pursuit.
I don't know what the next Greek named Keyboard from Korg will be but if it does not have DAW integration, It's own Daw, 3rd party support for sound expansions,bluetooth (surprise the MPC's use blue tooth for wireless updates and Splice) and regular updates to fix bugs and add in new features they can keep it because I have no use for another overpriced workstation that's going to get old and sound old from a lack of updates and support. Then you're just stuck with an old expensive keyboard you have to use "work arounds" on because the manufacturer is too lazy to update them. They'd rather sell you a new $5,000 keyboard instead of just fixing a 5cent update.
This ain't 1992 Korg. It's time to get with it or get left behind! If you can't treat us better and listen to us (See that endless thread about what people wish the next Kronos had Aka what they really wanted you to fix on this one) it's time to move on to a brand that will for once.
Joined: 13 Sep 2006 Posts: 1283 Location: Perth, Australia
Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:51 am Post subject:
I had an MPC One, which is the same as the Keys but without some of the new plugins.
I sold it to buy a second Kronos.
The MPC isn’t bad, per se, but the plugins weren’t anything special. Hype perhaps was the best of the lot. But the synth engines are a pathetic joke compared to the Kronos (Hype can’t even be used to make your own patches from scratch). The sampler engine has one LFO, as another example.
From an architectural perspective, the MPC series runs an ARM processor less powerful than that found in a modern mobile phone. In order to get the degree of polyphony the MPC range has, combined with the sequencer and so forth, I suspect corners had to be cut on the quality of the effects and sound engines.
Another thing I noticed is the latency was worse in the MPC that the Kronos. Where Korg has gone to great lengths to minimise latency through heavy modification of the Linux kernel to incorporate the Kronos’ sound engine, the MPC software just runs as a user-space application.
There’s a few things I really, really liked about the MPC, but it wasn’t compelling enough for me to keep it. Some of the things I really liked about the MPC were the sampler, the looper (although it didn’t integrate well with the rest of the system), the pattern-based sequencer (although dreadful for making a complete song) and the integration with the MPC desktop software.
But I still don’t see this as being a Kronos killer. _________________ Current Equipment:
Korg Kronos 61, Reface CS, Roland JV-1080, TE OP1, Moog Subsequent 37, Korg ARP Odyssey, Allen & Heath Zed 18, Adam F5, MOTU MIDI Express XT, Lexicon MX200 & MPX1, Yamaha QY700, Yamaha AW1600 Monotron, , Roland JV-80 & JV-1080 Kawai L1, Lexicon MX200,
Previous: Triton LE 61/Sampling/64MB/4GB SCSI, MS2000BR, Monotribe, NanoKontrol, NanoKeys, Kaossilator II, Casio HT3000, Roland VP-03, Reface DX, Novation Mininova
If I wanted the traditional keyboard workstation experience (beyond what I already have) my choice would still be the K2700, or if strapped for cash the PC4.
What I really wanted this whole time was a great studio master, and the Force from Akai does that like a champ.
Bringing this back around to KORG, they could make a killing by updating Gadget, putting it in a keyboard with plenty of controls and a nice touchscreen, making sure to have a few sets of inputs and outputs, and direct integration with Gadget on various Apple devices for the people who want it. Gadget gives you dozens of different sound sources, effects and a workable sequencer. Not the thing to compose an opera, but at least if they could price such a device at the cost of a Kross, folks would line up for it.
@blazerunner completely agrees with your opinion. Everything you have written about Korg and their ignorant attitude, what customers are looking for, is completely true. I have the impression that Korg not only raised his hands from Kronos, and any software improvements, but also raised his hands from the heirs.
The 11th year is too long period, and the last NAMM says little about. The fact that they did not find it necessary to rent a stand. The leader has collapsed, among other things, because there is no competition. Clavia, even raises the price of Nord Stage 3 to 4000 e., completely inappropriate. It is an instrument, if I am not mistaken, 5 years old. Similar things happen with other manufacturers. I have no experience with AKAI, so I can make a judgment only on the basis of video clips, but I see that it is something much more revolutionary, than keyboards from other manufacturers.
Thank you once again, for your honest, and very realistic portrayal of Korg, and the entire keyboard industry.
Haha well you're welcome. I'm just at a point musically where I'm tired of defending brands. I've spent so much money on keyboards too much over the years. I'm tired of the price point these manufacturers ask and then in return don't even bother to support or update their own products. My attitude now is "if you want me to spend thousands of dollars on your product you need to keep it up to date and you need to offer more than just what it's shipped with from the factory. Your updates should last the life cycle of the product not just year one or year two.
Mike: In my opinion, the Force doesn't quite match the Kronos as a synthesiser, but it's not at all bad. I can get very good results with a little patience. Its effects model and internal digital mixer are quite good. On both counts it is head and shoulders over my Krome.
In terms of sampling, the Force flat stomps anything from KORG. Whether you're recording and tweaking a single sample hit, or autosampling a keygroup, the only way in which you could squeeze out a win for KORG is that the Akai keygroup model isn't quite as sophisticated as KORG's rompler model.
Don't treat the Force as an MTR; it isn't one. If that's your intention, buy yourself a nice Tascam MTR instead, like a DP-24/32SD.
The Kronos is better than the Force for exactly one purpose that I have been able to identify: live performance. Not that the Force isn't good for live performance; you can prepare a whole set in the Force, then add a keyboard controller and a mic and jam over it. Inside the studio, it's another matter. The couple of quirks to the Force (some sounds take a bit to load, it doesn't support ritardando/accelerando/rubato or different time signatures) are easy to work around. On the other hand its ability to run a studio full of gear, including both manual and automated modulations, makes the Kronos just look small by comparison.
As a composer, I've made my choice. Don't get me wrong, I've composed serious production music on KORG workstations because I prefer hardware to software, but the Force turns it into much less of a chore. Use it for its strengths rather than its weaknesses, and you'll find yourself one happy camper.
Joined: 28 Jan 2005 Posts: 2394 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2022 6:55 am Post subject:
Use it for its strengths rather than its weaknesses, and you'll find yourself one happy camper.
Oh, I will. I'm excited to have it! I don't want you to think I was disappointed, quite the contrary. I ordered my 2 TB SSD, and can't wait to use the sampling and sequencer.
My other comments have to do with how great the Kronos is. I think a lot of people can't figure it out. The new workstation they are looking for, is the one that better automates the Kronos functions. I know it well enough that I have a workflow that is efficient. It's amazing.
I also think that what Akai is doing is pretty special, too! I'll be finding out about more of the Force's capabilities over time. I'm looking forward to shooting some videos about what I'll be doing with both the Force and the Kronos. It's going to be groovy!
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