Will AKAI revolutionize the way you make music?


With so much new gear coming out each year it is sometimes hard to see the wood for all the trees, but every now and then some things come along that may tickle your inspiration or even a potential game changer. The new AKAI MPC Live may be just that and a potential opportunity to produce music laptop free. If it was a clever marketing stunt from the guys at AKAI or not, but the fact remains that yesterday specifications and photos went live on the Sweetwater website with complete specs, and now are also live on Akai’s site.

Akai has decided to go standalone with the brand new MPC Live. From what we can tell the control layout is very much the same as last year’s MPC Touch controller/interface, with a seven-inch full-color multi-touch display, 16 backlit pads, four rotary encoders and a master encoder knob.

What is new though is in the operation side of things that acts completely standalone, with 2GB of sampling RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. Music producers are also able to expand the MPC’s capacity by fitting a 2.5-inch SATA drive to the device, which also features its own built-in rechargeable li-ion battery, creating the potential for an incredibly powerful and portable music-making machine.

Other key features include RCA phono inputs and a ground peg for attaching a turntable, two pairs of MIDI inputs and outputs, an SD card slot and two USB 3.0 ports for thumb drives or MIDI controllers.

Note that you can dynamically get hands-on control of parameters via what Akai call “Q-Link,” and you can sample live right on the hardware. Both the two USB-A ports and SD card slot let you add storage, so you’ll have no lack of absence to samples – plus 10 GB of content are included.

With the MPC Live, seamless integration into production and live performance scenarios is a breeze thanks to a range of conveniently-located studio-grade inputs and outputs. A 2-in/2-out MIDI interface connects to controllers and MIDI compatible sound modules, drum machines and synthesizers – the perfect solution for unprecedented control of outboard equipment using MPCs unrivalled MIDI sequencing capability. Combining two selectable audio inputs (RCA and balanced 1⁄4-ich jack), plus 6 configurable 1⁄4-inch jack outputs, MPC Live connects to virtually all studio and live equipment providing core recording, monitoring and playback functionality. Powering Live is MPC Software 2.0TM, Akai Professional’s reimagined update of the critically acclaimed MPC software. Capable of running natively on the MPC Live in standalone mode, MPC Software 2.0 can also be run from a Mac or PC as a plugin in all popular DAWs, or as a full-featured standalone application.

In the video above AKAI shows how the new MPC Live handles audio tracks. Using a vocal a cappella, one can tweak the pitch and tempo of the audio using our new powerful real-time timestretch and pitch-shift algorithm. Editing audio in every way imaginable is quick, intuitive and easy using Live.

And as tradition has it Akai has also give the new hardware to producers including Zaytoven and Bryan-Michael Cox to see what the studio professionals can do with them. Watch below as one of the main architects of the Trap sound, creates a track from scratch using only the MPC Live and an MPK249 plugged directly into the Live. No computers were used in the making of this beat.

The MPC X is without a doubt the new flagship of the range. With a 10.1-inch multi-touch screen, 16 pads, a host of dedicated function buttons and 16 rotary encoders with their own individual mini OLED displays, the MPC X looks fully equipped to give new meaning to the acronym ‘Music Production Centre’.

The Akai MPC Live is expected to cost $1,199, with the larger Akai MPC X $2,199. The larger model also features CV and gate outputs along with lots of MIDI connections – ideal for those with lots of synths and other hardware.

Full specifications:

The next generation of MPC is here. Introducing the MPC X and MPC Live, brand new standalone Music Production Centers powered by MPC 2.0 software. Separate from the Pack. Standalone.

MPC X Features:
• Standalone MPC – no computer required
• 10.1” full-color multi-touch display
• Also acts as a control surface for MPC 2.0 software
• 16 Touch-capacitive Q-Link controls with OLED displays
• Turntable (RCA) inputs with ground peg
• 16GB of on-board storage (over 10GB of sound content included)
• User-expandable 2.5” SATA drive connector (SSD or HDD)
• 2 MIDI inputs, 4 MIDI Outputs
• 8 configurable CV/Gate outputs for the analog control of modular gear, such as classic synths
• 2 USB-A 3.0 slots for thumb drives or MIDI controllers
• Ableton Link and WiFi will be supported in future updates

MPC Live Features:
• Standalone MPC – no computer required
• 7-inch full-color multi-touch display
• Also acts as a control surface for MPC 2.0 software
• Internal, rechargeable lithium-ion battery
• Turntable (RCA) inputs with ground peg
• 16GB of on-board storage (over 10GB of sound content included)
• User-expandable 2.5” SATA drive connector (SSD or HDD)
• 2 pairs of MIDI inputs and outputs
• 2GB of RAM
• SD Card slot
• 2 USB-A 3.0 slots for thumb drives or MIDI controllers
• Ableton Link and WiFi will be supported in future updates

MPC 2.0 Software Features
• New graphical interface
• Audio track recording
• Real-time time-stretching and pitch-shifting
• Clip Program mode for clip launching workflow
• Reimagined mixer layout – resizable faders, an adaptive channel strip, a dedicated audio track
editing window, resizable waveform view
• Advanced signal routing capability – submixes, FX returns, multi-output plugin support
• More efficient and streamlined MPC workflow
• Audio and MIDI drag and drop
• Enhanced QLink Control