Akai has not only released a range of new stand-alone MPC hardware but now the music production titans have fully updated their production software.
Just in case you were thinking! no is not only compatible with the new MPC X and MPC Live, if you’re an owner of an MPC Touch or an MPC Studio Black the good news for you is that you’ll be able to copp it to.
Operating in both standalone and as a plugin (VST/AU), MPC 2.0 features a fresh GUI design that guarantees to improve your workflow (you’ll be making better beats quicker). Additionally (something we feel should have been introduced a long time ago) you can now use up to 8 audio tracks on the X and Live hardware and utilise up to 128 when operating with your computer.
Alongside the newly designed GUI and use of audio tracks Akai has developed a new range of audio editing tools, which you can use to automate any parameter, instrument or mixer. It’s possible to set up sub-mixes and FX returns, and there’s support for multi-output plugins.
It doesn’t end there.
MPC 2.0 is now capable of real-time time-stretching and pitch-shifting. as well as a new clip-launching workflow, supporting WAV, MP3, AIFF, REX and SND files you can also import samples and sequences from any other MPC hardware.
“MPC 2.0 is the next generation of Akai Professional music production software, perfected by over a year of intense R & D,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “This software suite really energises the creative process for performers and producers alike, and is an indispensable part of our MPC’s amazing capability.”
The MPC 2.0 software is set to ship with all compatible MPCs, while owners of existing hardware that supports it will be offered an upgrade soon (price to be confirmed). Find out more on the Akai Pro website.
Akai MPC 2.0 software features
- Completely new graphical interface
- Audio track recording
- Clip Program mode for clip launching workflow
- Real-time time-stretching and pitch-shifting
- Advanced signal routeing capability – sub-mixes, FX returns, multi-output plugin support (up to 16 stereo outputs) and more
- Reimagined mixer layout – resizable faders, an adaptive channel strip, a dedicated audio track editing window, resizable waveform view and more
- Audio and MIDI drag and drop
- Enhanced QLink Control
- More efficient and streamlined MPC workflow
Could it compete with NI Maschine 2.0?
The big question is could the new Akai MPC 2.0 software compete with Natives Instruments Maschine 2.0?
As Akai’s software has developed and added a more DAW style feature-set it’s all the more probable.
The two may not be distinctly the same but if you’re a sample based producer the diversity and simplicity of the software may convince you to switch.
But the real selling point for me is in fact not the software!
I’m a real traditionalist when it comes to production, I just have a thing about hardware and how they did it in the early days, having a great software to support the hardware is just an added bonus in my eyes.
The portability advantages of carrying just an MPC with you is excellent (the MPC X is a little bulky! so this doesn’t really apply to that) sometimes not having Logic open and just sitting with whatever instrument I’m playing takes a lot of distraction away and allows me to just concentrate on writing a nice chord structure or lead line.
The MPC X without a doubt looks like an excellent piece of equipment but at £1,849 not all of us have the money to be able to afford such a luxury.
But it’s not all bad news Gear4Music offer a finance plan starting at £39 a month over 36 months so if you do really want to add this to your gear list then at least there’s an alternate option.
The MPC Live is a little bit cheaper at only £969 it’s still a hefty price tag but a little bit more manageable, or again if you prefer there is a finance option starting at £26.82 over 36 months with Gear4Music.
Both are excellent options and if you have the funds I would recommend buying them! Akai has defiantly developed 2 great bits of equipment that can improve your workflow with ease.
But back to the software …
Maschine 2.0 has more than made an imprint for itself, but i believe that Akai who are widely considered a BIG innovator of MPC hardware are vastly under-credited for what they have created, Maschine 2.0 maybe a fully fledged DAW and MPC 2.0 is defiantly heading in the same direction, but if you’re a fan of simplicity MPC 2.0 takes a lot of complexity away and allows you to perform advanced functions easily and quickly.
So if your bank balance can handle the attack! give the new Akai range a try.