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Foster The People Talk About Their Akai MPK61

Foster the People and The Akai MPK61

Foster the People are a Californian indie pop/rock band, well known for their 2010 hit ‘Pumped up Kicks. The band begin most of their tracks using Logic software, and the impression we get is, they allow their imagination to run away with them, throwing in awesome pads and synth samples and not necessarily taking into account how they will perform the songs live. But let’s face it; nobody wants to sacrifice a great record just because you have to work harder to translate it on the stage.

That’s what makes these guys so brilliant, besides their music being superb, they manage to replicate the same samples and effects from their recordings for their live shows, and that deserves recognition!

Talking about their No.1 track ‘Pumped up Kicks’, Mark Foster admits,

“One of the biggest challenges for us after we completed the record was to figure out how to play it live. There were a lot of sounds that we wanted to reproduce through analog keyboards but couldn’t, because they had a charm to them, they were soft synths to begin with so we had to integrate MainStage in with Logic and then [use] Ableton to trigger samples.”

Foster the People and Akai

Foster the People have a few friends on stage with them for performances, three Akai MPK62’s and an MPK25.

After experimenting with a few MIDI keyboards Foster the People decided on the Akai’s as the group found them “user friendly, intuitive and reliable.” They appreciated the capabilities of having the pads and faders separate from the keys.

The Akai MPK61

Akai MPK61 and Foster the People

The MPK61 is a keyboard performance MIDI controller that expands the popular MPK line. Each MPK controller combines a piano-style keybed with a bank of genuine Akai Professional MPC pads, assignable Q-Link controllers and key technologies from the iconic MPC family of music production workstations.

Akai MPK61 Key Features:

  • 61-key semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch for expressive melodic creativity
  • 16 genuine MPC pads with pressure and velocity sensitivity
  • MPC pads access four banks each for instant access to 48 samples
  • Control 72 software parameters with 24 assignable Q-Link controllers
  • Key Split enables two different sounds from the same keyboard
  • MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, and arpeggiator aid in creative process
  • Transport controls for use with sequencers and DAWs
  • MPC Full Level, MPC 16-Level, Tap Tempo, and Time Division assist with tempo and dynamics
  • MIDI output over USB, bus powered, class compliant: plug and play with one USB cable
  • Comes with Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition software
  • Works with virtually all MIDI recording, sequencing, and performance software
  • Includes MPK61 controller, USB cable, Software CD, Quick start guide
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