Akai MPC (Live / One / X) Review
Are you in the market looking for a Music Production Center or what is commonly known as an MPC? If so, then you have stumbled upon just the right article!
Akai is known for producing top-quality MPCs throughout the years. MPCs are workstations that combine sequencing and sampling functions. An MPC has a matric of touchpads, which are usually backlit by neon lights.
An MPC is mostly used to produce Hip hop music, but recently, people have started using it to create unique and innovative music pieces. The best thing about MPCs is that most of them are standalone units that have all the essential features you might need for music production.
In addition to this, most of them are small enough to be transported from one place to another; thus, it is ideal for aspiring DJs and producers who have to travel to different cities to pursue their dreams!
Akai is the first company ever to produce MPCs. It constructed its first MPC in 1988, and since then, it has produced an array of MPCs –all of which have their own unique characteristics that set them apart from each other.
The AKAI Music Production Center has been an essential part of the music industry for over 30 years. Check out this cool article with the history and impact of this machine in the music scene.
In this article, we will give you a very detailed output on the MPC X, MPC One, and MPC Live. A lot of fuss surrounds them regarding their features. Each seems to have a lot of similar features, yet some noteworthy features set them apart. To know these differences and choose the one that serves you the best, let’s dig in!
At the bottom of our review, you take an in-depth visual look at the Akai Professional MPC One and a comparison of the three models.
1. Akai MPC X Review
Akai MPC X is a standalone unit that has a 10.1-inch high-definition multi-touch screen, the exclusive MPC Software 2, 16 touch pods, Q-link knobs, OLED Display, and much more.
AKAI MPC X Specs
Akai MPC X has a very High-definition and radiant display. The center stage is vibrant with a user-friendly interface. Different colored lights light up the entire 10.1 inches multi-touch OLED display. Furthermore, it offers 8 marvelous lockable positions.
This AKAI sampler has 16 thick yet smooth rubber pads which are sensitive to velocity as well as pressure. The pads have neon backlights, which make the entire music experience an exciting one. Not only do the lights look spectacular, but they also help to inform you of the velocity levels and the placement of events within the beats played.
In addition to this, it contains 16 Q-link knobs that are sensitive to touch. Each of these Q-Link knobs has OLED scribble strips on top of them. It also adorns full monitoring controls as well as transport controls.
Furthermore, it has 4 analog ins and 8 analog outs, which will help you attach a microphone or any other device conveniently and easily without hindrance. Like its predecessor MPC 5000, MPC X contains 4 MIDI ports on the X, 4 MIDI outs, and 2 MIDI ins.
Akai MPC X is loaded with an array of features that you might find interesting. Let us dive into it!
The unit has excellent storage. It comes with an internal micro SD card with a storage capacity of 16 GB.
The unit has a 2.5 inches SATA drive connector, which helps to expand the storage of your device through SSD or HDD hard drives. Furthermore, a built-in SD card slot and a USB thumb drive are present on the unit, allowing you to access sound and music and add it to the library within seconds!
- An array of sound lists
Akai MPC X has a pr-installed 10GB worth of top-class content available. The vault 2.0 presents you with several samples and kits made by renowned sound design companies like MVP Loops, TOOLROOM, CAPSUN ProAudio, Loop masters, etc so that you can easily practice and enhance your DJ-ing skills.
The unit is a standalone and a controlled mode. The software it possesses contains a top-notch, professional production suite that has approximately 128-track sequencing abilities, Sampling function, audio recording, and editing feature. As well, clip-launch functioning, real-time time-stretching, VST compatibility (Only in controller mode), smooth DAW integration, MIDI editing ability, redesigned GUI and operates as standalone software on Android or Apple computers.
- Built-in Synthesizers
The unit is exceptional when it comes to production and performance features. IT embraces three synthesizers, which are by the AIR Music Technology. These multi-faceted and expressive synthesizers help to elevate the unit to an optimal musical powerhouse.
- AIR Creative FX Collection
AIR Creative FX Collection is a part of the Pro Tools since the 8th version. Many reputable audio professions deem it as the reference FX suite.
This particular suite consists of 16 mixes transported to the MPC so that it can be used with standalone or desktop MPC software. Every effect has been designed to keep your convenience in mind so that you can easily play your art without any complications.
The addition of the TUI layout just makes the entire experience a whole lot wholesome.
When you look at MPC X, it is a sleek, smooth, and seamless device with barely any limitation when it comes to music production. The body is made up of metal with plastic sides and cushioned armrest on the front so that you can easily play the beats without having any arm or hand pain.
The switches of the unit feel rigid, yet they function smoothly. The metal jog wheel is durable, and the Q-Link knobs are easy to rotate and use without any wobble. The OLED display, which exists on top of each knob, shows the status and activity of the knobs and updates quickly when it is selected in controller mode or standalone mode.
You can also check to see if the Q-links are working efficiently or not by resting your finger on the knob. Furthermore, the backlit pads are touch and pressure-sensitive. Besides the background lights of the pad lets, you know about the beats as well as velocity levels.
The unit also embraces a feature called ‘note repeat’, which helps to enter multiple events. With the addition of 16-levels functions that map the sounds chromatically, the unit offers a worthwhile musical experience.
Many users of the unit were bummed about the fact that it does not have a rechargeable battery. Akai has pointed out that it has not included a rechargeable battery so that its weight and cost can be low to increase the influx of customers.
This AKAI drum machine is ideal for live performances as well as in-studio music production. It can easily replace your DAW, a Digital Audio Workstation that aids in editing, recording, and producing sounds and other audio.
The unit contains the MIDI ins and outs, which help to sequence MIDI hardware. Also, it helps to sequence samples that are installed within the unit.
It allows audio warping, clip launching, and beat matching. You can also record audio externally and then input it into the unit via the SD card or UBS connector.
2. Akai MPC One Review
Akai MPC One is a standalone unit that is versatile when it comes to its function. It has many features, including MIDI in/ Out, Synthesizers, a 7-inch vibrant multi-touch display, and CV/Gate outputs.
AKAI MPC One Specs
Akai MPC One has the signature Akai’s MPC series 16 touch and pressure-sensitive RGB pads with a backlit. In addition, it has a 7-inch multi-touch and HD display, MIDI input and output, and network connectivity for MIDI keyboard controllers.
It embraces a built-in USB audio interface, USB slots for thumb drives, and an SD card slot. Furthermore, it contains 16 transport and level controls. On the back, you will see 4 gate jacks, which are important for controlling the gear which is connected to the unit.
It also possesses four Q-link knobs that are sturdy yet rotate easily. Also, it contains 2 GB RAM and 4 GB ROM.
- Standalone Music Production Experience
Akai MPC One is the ideal standalone unit you need for the utmost fulfilling music experience. Whether it is hard-hitting drums, the softly strung guitar, or rich melodies and heavy bass, you will see very professional production results by using this unit.
- Knob and Touch Keys
The knobs and touch keys of the unit are sleek, smooth, and sturdy. They made the entire interface easy to use, and you do not have to scroll through drop-down menus to select particular features.
Everything you might need –Note repeat, 16 levels, Transport controls, is present of the interface, just a click or rotation away. The 4 knobs and 16 beat pads help to give you the best type of music output possible.
The unit will easily blend and work with your current studio equipment. You can connect a line-level ¼ inch instrument or a UBS MIDI keyboard. You can control all MIDI devices you have connected as well as Gate modules and racks.
The best thing is that there is no need for interconnectivity since the device adjusts perfectly with any kind of professional gear you might have in the studio.
Akai MPC One can work in controller and standalone mode flawlessly. It has 128-track sequencing ability, clip-launching, audio warping, MIDI editing, time-stretching, and many other features that help to enhance the output of sound you are getting from this particular unit.
MPC One vs. MPC X:
Akai MPC X and MPC One have the same operating system and software. The main difference between the two is price and weight.
MPC X costs a lot more than MPC One, so those people who cannot buy a Music Production Center can opt for this one.
MPC X weighs around 12.48 pounds, whereas the MPC One only weighs 7.44 pounds. This gives MPC One an advantage over MPC X since it is a 7-inch lightweight device with almost all the features as the rival yet can be transferred from one place to another easily and conveniently.
3. Akai MPC Live Review
Akai MPC Live is a standalone unit that works as an MPC, Drum Machine, Sampler, and MIDI Controller. Possessing a MultiCore System, built-in stereo studio monitoring system, 16 PGB pads, and a 7 inch HD touch screen, it aims to provide an exceptional quality of music.
AKAI MPC Live Specs
Akai MPC Live is a vibrant and attractive unit that has a multi-touch screen with a 7-inch display, four sturdy Q-link knobs, 16 RGB pads that are sensitive to velocity and pressure, and last but not least it has a clickable master encoder knob.
The unit weighs less than 6 pounds, which makes it a convenient unit you can use while traveling. Furthermore, it has a rechargeable battery.
On the side, you will see 3 stereo ¼ inches TRS outputs (6 mono). Furthermore, you will notice phone inputs, USB connector, MIDI in and out, and 4 Gate outputs.
- An Optimal Workhorse
MPC Live has 3 stereo TRS outputs, which are ¼ inches in size, line-level inputs, MIDI< Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, Gate outputs, and so many other features that can help to produce music that you have in your mind entirely.
- Rechargeable Battery
The unit possesses a Lithium-ion battery that helps the unit to work for 5-hours without needing to charge again. This will help people that have to travel between places to produce music.
The unit possesses a 16GB internal storage, which can be further enhanced using an SD card or a USB.
You can connect an SSD or HDD drive to MPC Live y using its exceptional 2.5 inch SATA drive bay.
The unit possesses unique and one-of-a-kind synth engines. Bassline, Tubesynth, and Electric, which provide professional music production Quality.
- AIR FX Mixing
The device contains an AIR FX Mixing tool, which is necessary for mastering and mixing music.
- MIDI Multi Capability
The unit has MIDI multi capability, which allows you to connect, command, and route all of the MIDI gear, which is compatible with the unit.
- Built-in Stereo Monitoring System
MPC Live II is the first unit that adorns a built-in stereo monitoring system. This system helps you to hear and differentiate every detail in your sound so you can produce music that has the perfect composition.
MPC Live vs. MPC One:
The main difference between MPC One and MPC Live is that the former does not have a rechargeable battery. Thus, though it is lightweight and portable, it still needs constant power to operate.
MPC One does not have Aux outputs and allows only 4GV of online storage. In comparison, MPC Live has 16GB of memory. Furthermore, MPC One has built-in Gate Outputs.
Another noticeable difference between the two is that MPC One is less expensive as compared to MPC Live.
MPC ONE Video Review
Check out this cool and comprehensive review by Ollie Loops:
- What is the best MPC to buy? The new AKAI MPC X is probably the best drum controller you can get today. If you are on a tight budget, Studio One is the best MPC for beginners.
- What is the best alternative to an AKAI MPC? The Maschine MK3 by Native Instruments is a good sampler controller for live performances and studios.
- What’s the history of AKAI’s MPC? The first MPC ever released was in 1988. The name of it MPC60. The next two decades were a series of nearly dozens of samplers and drum machines such as the MPC3000, MPC2000, MPC2500, etc.
Akai has been producing high-end midi keyboards, Ableton controllers, drum machines, and softwares. The latest release of the three amazing MPC X, MPC One, and MPC Live is everything audiophiles expected. All three types of MPCs have the same operating system and features except a few. The main difference between the three remains the price as well as portability.
Another feature that sets each apart is the features regarding storage and also the battery. MPC Live has a rechargeable battery, whereas MPC X and MPC One lack one.
Other than that, all three devices are exceptional when it comes to producing quality music. They work as standalone units as well as with professional studio instruments and devices.
In the end, it depends upon the reason you want the unit. If portability is your key concern, then MPC One is the best for you, but if you want a unit that can work without any power source, you should opt for MPC Live. However, if you want a large unit with exceptional features and additional features, you can buy MPC X.
You can visit Akai’s website for the official overview of the MPC series.
We hope this article has helped you to differentiate between the three units much more distinctively.
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