Akai Pro’s MPC Key 37 is a standalone synth and sampling keyboard that promises to blend portability with power

When Akai Pro added the number ‘61’ to the name of its first MPC Key standalone music production keyboard, it always seemed to imply that smaller and/or larger versions of it could be in the offing. And it turns out that it’s the former; following multiple leaks, the MPC Key 37 has been officially announced.

It won’t surprise you to learn that this drops the key count from 61 to 37, instantly making this MPC Key much lighter and more portable than its predecessor/sibling. The keys support aftertouch, and there are dedicated pitchbend and modulation wheels. Further control comes via the four assignable Q-Link knobs.

This being an MPC, you get a bank of velocity-sensitive pads, too. These sit alongside a 7-inch touchscreen that enables you to navigate the now well-established MPC standalone workflow, which includes both sampling and sequencing.

MPC Keys 37 contains more than 8GB of sounds and sample content, and new owners also get a voucher for one additional plugin from the available range. This includes classic synth and other keyboard emulations and the Flex Beat plugin, and you can also bolster your content selection via MPC Expansion packs. There’s a direct link to Splice over Wi-Fi, too, and support for the MPC Stems music separation feature is on the way.

Effects are also included, and MPC Key 37 ships with the MPC2 desktop software so that you can continue to work on projects on your computer, adding more tracks and using VST/AU plugins.

In terms of hardware specs, MPC Key 37 offers a quad-core ARM processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB of storage, 16GB of which is available as user storage. There’s audio and MIDI I/O, CV/Gate connectivity and an SD card slot. Sadly, it looks like there’s no battery power option, so portability is limited in that you’ll need to have access to a socket for the supplied mains adapter.

Find out more on the Akai Pro website. MPC Key 37  is expected to cost around $899/€899.

Akai Pro MPC Key 37

(Image credit: Akai Pro)
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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