Akai MPC Touch is a pivotal addition to Akai’s MPC family, for one crucial reason and one reason alone: its high resolution, exuberantly coloured, multi-touch screen.
The MPC Renaissance has seen an array of models such as the MPC Essentials range and the midrange MPC Studio.
These designs merged controllers with MPC software into one standalone unit. These models often felt like controllers rather than MPCs due to their small screens.
The MPC Touch avoids this problem in an ingenious way. It feels like a standalone unit because of its large touch screen, but it is in fact tethered to a computer as it relies on a PC/Mac to drive the MPC software.
Not a standalone but feels like a standalone… let’s take a closer look at this intriguing design.
The most striking and crucial feature of the MPC Touch has to be its 7 inch high-resolution, full-colour multi-touch screen. This is a new addition to the MPC family and cements the model as being fully integrated with MPC’s software.
The multi-touch screen has a similar feel to touch screens found in mobiles and tablets. This results in an intuitive, easy-to-use design, with the screen reacting instinctively to your touch.
You can swipe, drag, nudge and enter events, alongside the option to pinch to zoom in and out, tapping to select and double-tapping to access drop-down menus.
This all combines to make you forget that you are still connected to a computer, as the screen allows you to be fully immersed in the model, almost as if it is a standalone unit.
As a handy twist, you can even use the Touch’s screen as an extended version of your desktop if you need a second or third screen for your computer.
Many controllers do not offer touch screens, or if they do they are clunky and awkward to use. With the MPC Touch however, it seems that the designers have managed to combine the ease of a mobile touchscreen with MPC’s emblematic aesthetic and feel, coupled with the power of a computer.
Unlike other controllers with the screens, the MPC Touch goes out if its way to make the user experience natural and intuitive.
In terms of construction, the model is durably well-built. It is solid and resilient as well as being portable. Its vibrant design is enhanced by rubberised black plastic and a red metal base.
Brimming with sound
The Touch is brimming with a wide array of sounds, which allows you to immerse yourself in creating new sounds from the get-go. The model is stuffed with over 20,000 sounds from a series of high calibre content providers, covering all the genres you could ever want.
Sounds are sourced from AIR, CR2, Toolroom, MVP Loops, Sonivox and Prime Loops.
This model may require a bit of learning from newcomers, but once it’s mastered, the benefits are worth it.
The touch screen is a fantastic addition, while still allowing room and importance for the pads so that much-loved tactile element is not lost.
The screen is slick to use and is as responsive and intuitive as a mobile or tablet.
Overall the MPC Touch is one of the leading examples of touchscreen hardware, making it definitely worth investigating further.