Akai Pro MPC Live: No Laptop (Or Power Source) Required

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
Akai Pro MPC Live music production NAMM 2017 Pro
Last updated 4 April, 2018


Small and light (under 3kg), the powerful Akai Pro MPC Live can also run on batteries, and have a turntable attached to it – is it the ultimate composition tool for DJ/producers to both compose and perform on?

Just ahead of next week’s NAMM Show, Akai Pro has outed two new MPC-branded music production devices, the MPC Live and the bigger MPC X. Both eschew the need for a computer by running Akai Pro’s MPC software natively, and offer the flexibility of a large touchscreen plus the tactile fun of real controls.

We’re focusing on the MPC Live here as we feel it offers the most interest to our audience of DJs and DJ/producers. It is a relatively small unit, yet very flexible and powerful, with lots of RAM (2GB) and disk storage (16GB) plus an SD slot; two inputs for recording anything from a mic to a turntable (the twin RCAs have an earth pole) plus six configurable jack outputs; and full use being made of the touchscreen, which – for instance – can be used to drag and drop Midi for quickly filling out compositions.

The controls include proper pads plus a big encoder knob, and it has two Midi sockets for adding drum machines, keyboard and so on. As it can be battery powered via the built in rechargeable lithium power pack, it’s going to be just at home hiked into a DJ box with you or for composing on the go as it is as the centrepiece of a small home studio.

All that said, the unit can also be used as a control surface for the MPC 2.0 software when you run the software on your Mac or PC, too, so really you’ve got the best of both worlds here. And with Ableton Link and WiFi “coming soon”, it offers a thoroughly modern instrument, which ironically returns the MPC brand to its standalone roots.

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

If you’ve always eyed Native Instruments’ Maschine models but resisted because of the need to hike a laptop everywhere with you, then this (and possibly the bigger £1450 MPC X) should be on your list to check out.

• The MPC Live will cost $800, and is due Q1 2017.

Do you like the look of this? Can you see yourself using such a device as the heart of your mini DJ/production studio, and taking the same gear into the DJ box with you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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