Akai Professional MPK261 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

88 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ ratings and reviews.
Akai Professional

Gearank High Notes

Gearank Recommendation

The MPK261 was on our recommended list for 61 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards from when we published the first edition in March 2016 where it remained until it was out-ranked by other controllers in June 2020.


Created by Akai Professional, the company that pioneered the use of pads as controllers, it’s no surprise that the MPK261’s most notable feature is its expressive pads.

But its not just about that because it also features 61 semi-weighted synth style keys, a combination that caters to modern music styles. Guaranteed iOS compatibility is also a plus for added versatility.

Pitch bend and modulation wheels are also present, along with other keyboard related controls including, octave up and down. For triggering samples in realtime, the MPK261 is equipped with 16 RGB illuminated pads, with each one having 4 banks, allowing for a wide selection of samples to utilize for your recording or performance.

Other features include 8 encoder knobs, 8 faders, and transport controls.


  • Keys: 61 Full-Size Semi-Weighted Keys with Aftertouch
  • Pads: 16 RGB Lit
  • Controls: 8 Encoders, 8 Buttons, 8 Faders, Pitch Bend & Mod Wheels, Octave, Transport/DAW Control Buttons
  • Octave: 3 Octaves (+/-)
  • Zones: Dual
  • Automap: Yes
  • Connectivity: 5-Pin MIDI, USB
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, OSX 10.5 (Up), iOS
  • Power: USB Bus Powered
  • Dimensions: 35.63″ x 12.25″ x 3.38″
  • Weight: 15.1 lbs.
With its sleek appeal, extensive control set and reasonable price tag, the Akai Professional MPK261 is a reasonable option, however there have been many higher rated options released since this came onto the market and you can find them in our guide to The Best 61-Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.

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