Akai MPC X & Akai MPC Live

Akai has historically been one of the most formative brands for production workstations, specifically their MPC range. Recently, many of the units introduced in that line have been products that require a computer to use. Now Akai are going back to their root format, announcing 2 brand new standalone controllers, no computer required: the MPC X & MPC Live, the latter being a portable unit.

Akai MPC X

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Official Akai Professional product description:

The Beast, Unleashed.
The X is a standalone MPC featuring a beautiful, full color 10.1” multi-touch screen, 16 amazingly responsive, velocity and pressure sensitive RGB pads and packs 16 gigs of internal storage. To make it a truly untethered, computer-free experience, the X also features two USB slots that can be used for MIDI controller connectivity. Rounding out the controls are dedicated menu buttons, a large master encoder knob and 16 touch-sensitive 360º assignable pots (Q-Links) with OLED displays, perfect for precisely automating individual parameters and delivering expressively nuanced recordings.

To Plug or Not to Plug.
Powering the mighty X is MPC 2.0, Akai Professional’s new update to the MPC software. Capable of running natively on the MPC X in standalone mode, MPC 2.0 can also be run from a Mac or PC with the X tethered to a computer. A number of major workflow enhancements have been added to 2.0, including: audio track recording, an improved time warp algorithm, refined Q-Link control, audio and MIDI drag and drop – all appearing on a new graphical interface. Future versions will support Ableton Link.

Infinite Sounds, Unlimited Inspiration.
The MPC has a well-earned reputation for sounds that hit hard and sound great, right out of the box. The X is no exception. Pre-installed with 10 gigs of world-class sounds, The Vault 2.0 features samples and kits from top-notch sound design companies including Capsun Audio, MVP Loops, CR2 Records, as well as our own radio-ready kits. Want to incorporate your own samples without tethering to a computer? The X features a 2.5” SATA drive connector providing more storage via external hard drive – SSD or HDD. Additionally, sounds can be accessed and added to the library using the built-in SD Card slot or the USB thumb drive.

Above and Beyond.
The MPC X has a number of additional features that make it the most powerful standalone music production tool to date. Onboard CV/Gate outputs enable the analog control of modular gear such as classic synths and drum machines. For the vinyl junkies, two RCA phono inputs with RIAA preamp have been included to ensure the right levels are coming into the X directly from your turntable. The joy of sampling vinyl is at the core of what made the classic MPC workflow legendary. We’re staying true to our roots while simultaneously improving the sound and stability of the sampling process.

The MPC X is the pinnacle of lengthy research and development, detailed feedback from our passionate user base and the merging of the best technologies from across our product line.

“In creating the concept for the MPC X we wanted to preserve the classic MPC feel and workflow that people love,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “But we turned the idea on its head and incorporated the best of what a modern touch-screen interface can offer. What we have now is the most powerful MPC production experience ever.”

We proudly present the Music Production Center that embodies the past, present and future of beat-oriented production machines. The MPC X will be the centerpiece of studios worldwide for years to come.

Features:
Standalone MPC – no computer required
10.1″ high-resolution, adjustable, multi-touch display
Also acts as a control surface for MPC 2.0 software
Phono, instrument, mic and line inputs
8 Configurable CV/Gate outputs to integrate your modular setup
16 Q-Link knobs with graphical displays
2 MIDI Inputs and 4 MIDI Outputs
16GB of on-board storage (over 10GB of sound content included)
2GB of RAM
Full-size SD card slot
User-expandable 2.5” SATA drive connector (SSD or HDD)
2 USB-A 3.0 slots for thumb drives or MIDI controllers

Specs & Requirements:
Controller Mode: Windows 8.1 or newer
Controller Mode: Mac OS X 10.10.5 or newer
MPC 2.0: Minimum 2GB free disk space (20GB for all content), Minimum 4GB RAM (8GB recommended), Minimum Dual-core 2.5GHz CPU

Dimensions:
When display is flat: 87.3mm x 504.5mm x 424.4mm
When display is upright: 213.5mm x 504.5mm x 387.9mm
When display is flat: 3.4″ x 19.9″ x 16.7″
When display is upright: 8.4″ x 19.9″ x 15.3″
(Akai Professional)

Akai MPC Live

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Official Akai Professional product description:

Versatility is crucial for all producers. Being able to easily pivot from creator to performer means more people have the opportunity to see and hear your music. The new MPC Live makes the process of performing your studio inventions on stage incredibly seamless by combining the power of a production centerpiece with the portability and rugged design of an on stage workhorse.

At the heart of the new MPC Live is a beautiful, full color 7” multi-touch screen, four touch-capacitive Q-Link controls, a clickable master encoder knob and 16 amazingly responsive, velocity and pressure-sensitive RGB pads.

Weighing in at less than 6 pounds, the MPC Live ushers in a new era of ultra-portable production. Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and packing 16 gigs of on-board storage, the MPC Live features numerous ways to take your beloved sample library and MPC sessions anywhere. Files can be accessed and transferred to the built on-board storage via the built-in SD card slot and/or two-port USB hub. If that’s not enough storage, the MPC Live also features a 2.5” SATA drive connector providing additional storage via installation of a fixed hard drive – SSD or HDD (sold separately). The same USB hub can also be used for MIDI controller connectivity.

Standalone? Check. Battery powered? Check. Contains massive amounts of internal storage? Check. Your creative flow now knows no borders and bounds.

To Plug or Not to Plug:
Powering Live is MPC 2.0, Akai Professional’s new update to the MPC software. Capable of running natively on the MPC Live in standalone mode, MPC 2.0 can also be run from a Mac or PC with the Live tethered to a computer. A number of major workflow enhancements have been added to 2.0, including: audio track recording, an improved time warp algorithm, refined Q-Link control, audio and MIDI drag and drop – all appearing on a new graphical interface. Future versions will support Ableton Link.

Infinite Sounds, Unlimited Inspiration:
The MPC has a well-earned reputation for sounds that hit hard and sound great, right out of the box. MPC Live is no exception. Pre-installed with 10 gigs of world-class sounds, The Vault 2.0 features samples and kits from top-notch sound design companies including Capsun Audio, MVP Loops, CR2 Records, as well as our own radio-ready kits. Want to incorporate your own samples without tethering to a computer? MPC Live features a 2.5” SATA drive connector providing more storage via external hard drive – SSD or HDD. Additionally, sounds can be accessed and added to the library using the built-in SD Card slot or the USB thumb drive.

“The MPC Live is an absolute beast. It truly represents a huge step forward in the product category,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “MPC Live is the most powerful MPC we’ve made to date and yet it’s portable enough to take anywhere.”

Features:
Standalone MPC – no computer required
7” high-resolution multi-touch display
Internal, rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Also acts as a control surface for MPC 2.0 software
Phono, instrument, mic and line inputs
2 pairs of MIDI Inputs and Outputs
16GB of on-board storage (over 10 gigs of sound content included)
2GB of RAM
Full-size SD card slot
User-expandable 2.5” SATA drive connector (SSD or HDD)
2 USB-A 3.0 slots for thumb drives or MIDI controllers

Specs & Requirements:
Controller Mode: Windows 8.1 or newer
Controller Mode: Mac OS X 10.10.5 or newer
MPC 2.0: Minimum 2GB free disk space (20GB for all content), Minimum 4GB RAM (8GB recommended), Minimum Dual-core 2.5GHz CPU

Dimensions:
67.5mm x 410mm x 223mm
2.7″ x 16″ x 8.8″
(Akai Professional)

Both the MPC & MPC live will be available for purchase at some stage this year (2017).

Visit the official Akai Professional website here

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