When you think about Hip Hop music and sampling one of the first brands that comes to mind is Akai. The company has been synonymous with the drum machine since the MPC60 in the late 80's. It helped develop electronhttps://www.akaipro.com/ic music and hip hop throughout the 90's and it seems Akai aren't stopping any time soon. The MPD226 is one of the latest controllers from Akai so lets take a closer look.
The original MPC60 was a collaboration between Akai and an american engineer named Roger Linn
. Linn had created his own successful drum machines however his vision really came to fruition when he teamed up with Japanese Consumer Electronics Company Akai. The MPC range of drum machines has been used by countless producers and is behind some of the most genre defining sounds of the 80's and 90's. Producers such as Dr Dre and Kanye West have been avid users of MPC units, Kayne has even been seen recently performing live with one. So thats enough about the past.. What does Akai have planned for the future?
Beat Making for Everybody!
So the MPD226 comes in at just £159.00 so with this unit Akai is wanting to give as many people access to the rich musical heritage it has. With more and more people getting access to better quality equipment at lower costs its easier than ever to get started with making music. The MPD226 is aimed to give producers a glimpse into the Akai experience and even though there are limitations, you do definitely get a lot for your money.
The perfect companion to your DAW
The MPD226 is USB powered and doesn't need an external power supply. Its plug and play so you just need to plug into your laptop, open up your DAW and off you go. Akai claims to have done six years or research and getting user feedback to create these MPD devices so for existing users these should be great.
Extra Padded Comfort
Akai have included brand new extra sensitive thick pads for the most responsive experience. Add to this 4 knobs, 4 faders and 4 buttons to give you even more control over effects. You can also buy a camera connector kit to connect this up to your Ipad and expand your controls even further!
Lots of Software Bundled in!
The MPD226 comes with a heap of software to help you get going. Firstly, and maybe most notably is Akai MPC Essentials. This is a collection of Akai's famous samples and effects. The original MPC drum machines were a hit due to the superior sound quality of the built in samples and this doesn't go a miss with the MPD226. Along with the MPC Essentials you also get Big Bang Drums and Big Bang Cinema from Sonivox and Ableton Live Lite. That's more than enough to get you on your way with some really good tools to help creativity. Its also compatible with the MPC Software 2.0 upgrade which opens up even more tools for your disposal.
Classic MPC features
The MPD includes a few tricks which Akai MPC devices are known for and will be a welcome addition for producers who can't stretch to the pricier units. You get the classic MPC Note repeat function which lets you hold down a pad to make it repeat the note as opposed to a one shot sample. Adding a bit of swing to a beat is not uncommon but MPC's swing function is famed for having great timing and many after have tried to recreate the timing that the MPC creates. In Addition to this you get tap tempo setting and you get a tool called 16 levels which lets you really mess with your sample, enabling you to change the sound completely.
The Akai MPD226 is a great companion to your DAW and gives you an improved work flow by adding some key MPC features which helps creativity and gets you there quicker. The big pads feel great to the touch and have a nice amount of travel. They feel really responsive and with the included software it would be difficult to knock Akai off their perch, even at £159.00
The Akai MPD226 is available to order in store or online at DJtechdirect.com