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Akai Professional, the name synonymous with music production, announces the MPD26 USB/MIDI Pad Controller. Akai Pro introduced the MPD26 at the 2010 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, booth 6400, January 14-17. The MPD26 is a MIDI-over-USB pad controller with genuine MPC pads. Producers, programmers, musicians, and DJs will appreciate the MPD26's capabilities. Its blend of intuitive MPC controls and technologies meshes with USB connectivity to bring the feel of classic beatmaking to the world of computer music production. The heart of the MPD26 is its bank of 16 velocity and pressure-sensitive MPC pads, an Akai Professional exclusive. Producers can access four different sounds from each MPC pad for a total of 64 at a time. The MPD26 also features the MPC series' assignable Q-Link controllers, enabling musicians to control a wide range of parameters in their software in real time. The MPD26's six assignable Q-Link faders and six assignable Q-Link 360° knobs enable producers to spend less time with the mouse and more time making music. The MPD26 also has a dedicated set of transport controls for instant access to the most commonly used DAW or sequencing-software controls. While the MPC pads and Q-Links might be the heart of the MPD26, its brain is transplanted directly from the MPC. That's because it is not just a control surface; it contains a handful of the key MPC technologies that have made the MPC the de facto standard in professional beat production. MPC Note Repeat is a capability that enables the MPD26 to automatically play a rhythm pattern, such as 16th notes on a hi-hat, for accuracy and speed of entry. MPC Swing is sometimes referred to as "the heart and soul of hip hop" because it turns perfectly aligned sequences into human-feeling grooves. Users can specify exactly the degree and timing of swing they want to apply for the perfect feel. The MPD26 also has MPC Full Level and MPC 16-Level on its pads. The MPD26 sends MIDI information over its plug-and-play USB interface so producers can use it with their Mac or PC without installing any drivers. The USB connection even powers the MPD26 so only the included USB cable is needed. The MPD26 also has traditional MIDI jacks so musicians can use it with MIDI hardware such as synths and other sound modules. The MPD26 also comes with Ableton Live Lite and Editor Librarian software so users can start creating right out of the box. "The MPD26 is the perfect interface between your creativity and your studio's computer," said Adam Cohen, Director of Business Development, Akai Professional. "Its blend of intuitive MPC technology and USB computer connectivity makes one powerful device." The MPD26 will be available from pro audio and musical instrument retailers in January 2010. It has a U.S. Retail Price of $399.00 and an estimated street price of $199.00.
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