The Akai MPC is an iconic piece of machinery. It has been used on classic hip-hop songs from the 80’s all the way until today’s chart-toppers. What makes the MPC such a mainstay in contemporary music? And why is the Akai MPC X an essential tool for your workflow?
This article will cover the features of the Akai MPC X, its technical specifications, and its sound quality. So you can make an informed decision.
MPC X is incredibly effective standalone and as a controller, and it can easily replace your DAW, whether live or in the studio.
What are the main features of the Akai MPC X?
Unlike previous releases of the MPC that were MIDI controllers for the MPC DAW software, the Akai MPC X is a standalone production unit.
This is a throwback to the users of the unit that got used to having more of a hands-on approach to the unit. The result is a nice integration of a native use that uses the latest 2.0 MPC software or the ability to work with AKAI’s DAW.
This beauty that happens to be quite large (a throwback to the older MPC 3000) has a great feel to it. The knobs all have that quality feel with just the right amount of resistance, and the 16 pads are velocity and pressure-sensitive with colored backlights.
The MPC X build quality is second to none, with a metal jog wheel with a sensitive yet sturdy feel. The super sharp tiltable Q-Link OLED display has a dual functionality that shows the current active Q-Link display and also displays updates in real-time in standalone mode. Also, sporting touch screen capabilities that allow you to use the unit with gestures gives you the Smartphone feel that everyone has grown accustomed to.
You can record externally at 16/24 bit quality right onto the SD card or hard drive via a 4-in/8-out interface that sounds like heaven. Capturing audio is a snap, and the clear, crisp, and punchy output you get is versatile in that you can use it for any genre.
How does the software hold up?
There isn’t much difference between this and the MPC Live. You receive one more track type, the CV control track. Having 12 extra Q-link knobs also makes utilizing the MPC software easier than it was with the MPC Live. Automation is much easier, and viewing all of the information on the OLED strips is beneficial.
With the improved time-stretching algorithm that readily matches the computer DAW world, you still receive the same outstanding audio tracks feature.
What’s wonderful today is that you can record complete songs directly into the MPC using a condenser microphone, giving it a broader music creation instrument than some of its earlier predecessors. The days of the MPC being called the Hip-Hop beat machine are long gone.
A singer-songwriter will feel at ease with the MPC as a professional Hip-Hop producer. The effects area is fairly extensive, with my favorites being the guitar amp emulation effects.
What are the drawbacks of the Akai MPC X
The only drawback is that the editing leaves a little to be desired while in standalone mode. I suggest you use any other standard DAW for your editing and recording needs, but the X is a step above the competition for production workflow.
While not perfect, the Akai MPC X is a must-own in any home or professional studio. If you’re someone that needs quick and snappy midi/analog recording, go out and get one today!
If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called MPC X – Product Overview Video from the AkaiProVideo YouTube Channel.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the Akai MPC.
What musicians make use of MPC?
Mark Ronson, Kanye West, and DJ Shadow are just a few musicians that not only utilize but extensively rely on an Akai MPC in their music-making process.
What is the distinction between MPC Live and MPC X?
The MPC is 40% less expensive than the MPC Live II and over 70% less expensive than the MPC X. Don’t forget that the MPC One uses the same software, CPU, and RAM as the MPC One you’re getting a lot for your money.
Is the MPC X discontinued?
The MPC X is still readily available and has not been discontinued.
MPC X is extremely powerful, works as a standalone and controller, and is well on its way to replacing your DAW, whether live or in the studio.
This article covered the features of the Akai MPC X. Here are some key takeaways:
- MPC X is incredibly effective standalone and as a controller
- The MPC X build quality is second to none
- The MPC X is less expensive than the MPC Live
So, are you planning on getting this gear? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on home recording. Thanks for reading, and never stop making music.