Akai’s MPC hardware is usually an expensive investment – look for $ 699 for the ‘entry’ One production studio. However, the ecosystem has only become much more affordable if you have a computer. The company has introduced an MPC Studio controller built only to connect to MPC 2 software on your Mac or PC. Connect it and you can produce songs with the distinctive 16 drum blocks (with pressure, speed and reference), as well as an assignable touch strip with which you can rotate instruments and synths. A color LCD helps keep your focus on the controller when cutting samples or refining effects.
The software plays, surprisingly, a key role. Akai is pouring a lot more of its energy into its MPC 2 software, including a major update in July that added AIR plug-ins and add-ons to the device. You have access to eight plug-in instrument engines, as well as sampling, MIDI sequence, arrangement, and other parts of the MPC workflow. Think of MPC Studio as Akai’s answer to Ableton’s Push – it’s hardware that brings out the full potential of the software.
The MPC Studio is available today for $ 269. You still need MPC 2 (usually $ 200, currently $ 100), but it’s still a relative bargain, as long as you have a computer ready for production. It can make the universe of Akai significantly more accessible if you have not yet made this kind of music.
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