Akai Professional MPC X: is it a flash to the future of computer free DJing?
Akai’s MPC's have long set the benchmark for what a music production centre can achieve. Over the years, Akai’s MPC has become increasingly reliant on the use of an external computer to function.
While this has brought fantastic features in its own right, we have always dreamed of a standalone music production centre that works alone.
Well, Akai appear to have answered our prayers with the MPC X. With the addition of the ‘X’ in the title, Akai has also crossed out the need for a computer by instead designing a music production centre that essentially works alone without the need of a computer.
Does this sound too good to be true? Let’s take a closer look.
Our favourite feature of the MPC X has to undoubtedly be its standalone, computer free functionality. Gone are the days of lugging around your laptop alongside your music centre or attaching yourself your immovable computer.
Instead, the standalone model achieves everything that you would expect from a computer.
Its standalone functionality does not mean that the model is not also ultra-connected thanks to its turntable connectors and two USB 3.0 ports.
It also provides CV/Gate outputs for controlling modular gear, plus four MIDI inputs and two MIDI outputs so that you can connect it to your computer if you so wish.
Tactile and Visual
Another feature we love has to be the multi-touch, full colour screen.
This addition, not normally seen on the brand’s music production centre, truly defines the model as a standalone, easy-to-use design. The screen utilises the easy functionality of a phone or tablet screen, so you can gently touch the screen in an instinctive, natural manner. Y
ou can launch a clip with real-time time-stretching; grab, pinch and edit waveforms and apply effects directly with the swipe of a finger.
This functionality really enhances the user experience and the 10 inch screen, larger than the MPC Live, gives the model a visually striking edge.
As you would expect from a standalone music production centre, the model is designed to offer the user complete and easy to use control.
Designed to be as simple to use as possible, the controls are easy to operate and seamlessly blend into the sleek aesthetic of the model. The controls on offer include menu buttons, a large master encoder knob and 16 touch-sensitive 360o assignable pots (Q-Links) with adaptive OLED displays. T
his allows you to easily view and edit individual parameters in order to create nuanced and detailed recordings.
Plug and Play
Whether you ride free and easy or link to a computer, there are times when you want to take full use of the many VST instruments and effects that are out there waiting to be enjoyed. In this case, the MPC X seamlessly converts from a high-calibre standalone to a formidable MIDI controller.
It is deliberately designed to run the feature-saturated MPC Software 2.0. MPC 2.0 Software is fully loaded with crucial in-demand production and performance capability.
You can connect the MPC X to your Mac or PC, load MPC software as a plugin into your DAW of choice - or as a standalone application - and harness the brilliant power and creative scope of VST-instruments and effects.
Whatever your preference, MPC X gives you total control, which accommodates the most niche of needs.
From recording to mixing, this model does everything and crucially, all without the need of a computer.
The standalone design of the model, which is accentuated by its visually striking screen, truly sets the MPC X apart from other music production centres.
Once you have used this brilliantly easy to use design, you’ll wonder why you ever needed a computer in the first place.