Akai Pro MPC Key 61 , the workstation keyboard of the future


Finally, Akai Pro has revealed the standalone MPC Key 61 synth keyboard.


You still get the pads, but now there are five octaves of keys, included as well.


Lately leaked, the instrument features 61-key velocity and aftertouch semi-weighted keyboard, 25 Plugin instruments, Fabric XL power synth – which is powered by a sample-based engine. And there’s also the OPx4 4-operator FM synth, and Stage Piano, Session Strings, Stage EP and Organ instruments.

Whereas, the plugin instruments cover everything from acoustic sounds to futuristic synths – making the keyboard suitable for a wide variety of music producers.

Other features include high-end mic preamps with phantom power to handle input signals, assignable touch strip controller and Q-Link knobs – giving you plenty of ways to sculpt your sounds, 16 RGB pads, transport controls – a seven-inch multi-gesture colour display and effects from AIR Music Tech.



MPC Key 61 can also be use as a standalone, you get a 128-track MIDI sequencer and eight audio tracks for recording – but there is also scope to plug in class-compliant audio interfaces MIDI controllers via USB. Eight CV/Gate output jacks enable easy modular integration, as well. The MPC2 desktop software, which runs on PC and Mac, is also included.


The MPC Key 61 is available from today priced at $1,899/£1,699.


Find out more on the Akai Pro website.


Backbone Drum Synth now enables you use Artificial Intelligence to create New Drum Sounds



Steinberg has announced the immediate availability of Backbone 1.5, an update to their drum re-synthesizer, that enables you create original drum sounds using artificial intelligence and Neural Audio Synthesis.


Backbone 1.5 features DrumGAN, a recent development by Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL), that uses Generative Adversarial Networks to generate original drum sounds. Available samples can also be analyzed to create similar versions.


A generative adversarial network (GAN) is a machine learning approach, in which two neural networks are used to improve the accuracy of artificially-generated output, with the goal of making the artificially-generated output indistinguishable from the source material that the model is trained on.


Well known examples of GANs can generate photorealistic portraits of people, cute cat pics and more.


“The cooperation between Sony CSL and Steinberg is a great example of how AI can be used in music production,” notes Steinberg’s Florian Haack. “The ability to generate new samples with DrumGAN for kicks, snare or cymbals, or analyze existing samples and further re-synthesize and reassemble the components, gives producers unprecedented flexibility to design new sounds.”


Take a look at the technology behind DrumGAN:


Backbone is now available for €149/ $149.99. With the release of version 1.5, Backbone is currently available at a 40% special offer discount until the end of June 2022. The update to version 1.5 is free for users who already purchased Backbone.


Find out more on Steinberg website.





Klevgrand Fosfat – “Transient Fertiliser” Plugin



Bring your beats out in bloom. Fosfat “transient fertiliser” plugin promises to nourish and add life to your drums.


Klevgrand has released the Fosfat – Transient Fertilizer, a new plugin for the green-fingered beatmaker. Fosfat can be used on any sound you like, but it is designed particularly for musical horticulturalists who want to cultivate their drums and make them bloom.


Fosfat works by following the dynamics of the incoming sound and adding tonal and noise textures to it. It is similar to an EQ, but instead of cutting or boosting, it ‘adds’.


Additionally, you can simply let Fosfat go to work on all your individual drum tracks, but the fact that you can specify its trigger points means that you can also target specific frequency areas or transients in whole drum kit recordings or drum loop samples. Therefore, it is easy to enhance specific parts.


You have controls for trigger frequency and width, while the Floor fader makes it possible to ignore unwanted weak signal. Other features include a sine wave oscillator with optional pitch drop, noise with adjustable stereo width, low/high-cut filters and more.


Fosfat is available now for PC/Mac (VST/AU/AAX) and iPad (AUv3/standalone) at the intro prices of $24 and $9 respectively, and will increase to $40 and $15 on 11 July.


Find out more and download a demo on the Klevgrand website.