Hip-hop’s most influential sampler ‘Akai’ gets a 2017 reboot, introduces standalone models

The MPC series from Akai has introduced two new standalone music production models – MPC Live and the MPC X.

Over the years, Akai’s MPC series samplers have had a great impact on hip-hop music. The first model — the MPC60 — hit the market in the late 80s, at a time when hip-hop borrowed and reinvented classic beats and melodies. The MPC’s intuitive, pad-based design and relatively affordable pricing attracted several hip hop enthusiasts to music production.

For the last several years, Akai has been releasing a new MPC almost every couple of years. Somewhere along the way, Akai probably got distrated from it’s “all in the box” roots, and become tethered to a laptop (as was seen with several other products/brands).

However, the good news is that Akai has now released two models — the MPC Live and the MPC X — and you can see the iconic instrument return to its standalone roots, but packed with several modern features.

  • Akai MPC Live on zZounds: Build beats without a laptop. MPC-Touch-style 7″ touchscreen, battery-powered beat machine.
  • Akai MPC X on zZounds: Classic Akai workflow, no computer required. 16 pads, 10″ color touchscreen. 10 GB of sounds on board.

With competition from the likes of Native Instruments and DJ stalwart Pioneer, Akai has decided to come out fighting to maintain the MPC’s legacy.

Akai MPC Series Samplers for Beat-making, Sampling, and Sequencing

Akai MPC Series Samplers Akai MPCs (originally known as MIDI Production Center, but now they’re known as Music Production Controller) are popular electronic musical instruments that is kind of a drum machine, a powerful MIDI sequencer and a sampler ability to sample one’s own sounds) rolled into one.

Akai MPCs use square rubber pads that can be pushed, prodded, or even banged. The Akai MPC has been an industry-standard tool for beat-making, sampling, and sequencing for decades.

Recent Akai MPC models allow you to be more creative and feature increasingly powerful sampling, storage, interfacing and sound manipulation facilities, which broaden the use of instrument beyond just drum and rhythm tracks. They are easy to integrate with your Mac or PC, provides the experience of using a traditional MPC, with the advanced capabilities of a DAW.

Best Akai MPC Series Samplers

Akai Professional MPC Renaissance Music Production Controller

The Akai Professional MPC Renaissance Music Production Controller combines Akai Professional’s legendary MPC layout and workflow with the power of your computer, making it a fully integrated hardware/software system for music production. You can build beats with genuine MPC pads, sequence 128 tracks on your Mac or PC. It allows you to create music using classic hardware controls, and its exclusive MPC Software gives you expandable production capabilities on your Mac or PC.

Watch: MPC Renaissance Overview

Akai Professional MPX8 SD Sample Pad Controller with Sound Library and Sample Editor

The Akai Professional MPX8 is a MIDI pad controller with 8 Akai pads, features an SD card slot for your samples and 21 on-board sounds, With MPX8, you can load virtually any sound sample via standard SD or SDHC card (sold separately) and assign it to any of the eight pads. You may use it as a standalone instrument too.

Akai Professional MPC Headphones

Akai’s MPC headphones are designed to give an accurate, clean representation of your music. Suitable for working DJs, electronic music makers, or even studios needing a pair of headphones with a flat, true frequency response.

Watch: Getting Started With MPC Renaissance

Hard Drive for Akai MPC 2500/1000

If you get into full fledged music production, over a period of time, you will have lots of sounds and tracks to back up.

Storing those on your computer is one option, but over time, its not going to suffice.

Using a hard drive is another great option to expand your Akai MPC.

Watch: How to install your hard drive on Akai MPC 1000

Hard drives that you may use for your Akai MPC 2500/1000

80 GB

  • Seagate Momentus 5400.3 80GB UDMA/100 5400RPM 8MB 2.5″ IDE
  • Generic 80Gb 5400 RPM 2.5″ IDE

60 GB:

  • Fujitsu MHW2060AT 60GB 4200RPM 2MB 2.5″ IDE

I am trying to get my Casio ctk900 keyboard to work with the Akai mpc1000 sampler/sequencer, with Casio ctk900 being the slave and Akai mpc1000 the master.

I have got everything in the midi connection right so its got to be the Casio keyboard, and even when I turn the local off I get no sound from nowhere.

So is it anybody out there that knows what I’m trying to say? I can’t change my sound with the Casio ctk-900 without it changing my first sound.

I play the piano, it loops… touch the Casio to change the sound and my piano sound changes. I even change the midi channels on the mpc1000 and it still changes the sound.

Someone please help.


Akai MPC1000 midi to Casio ctk900
by: mike hunter (evansville,ind)
Akai mpc1000 to casio ctk900 midi connection.
I can’t change the sound on the keyboard. If i play piano, it won’t let me add strings to it without changing my piano.
Please help!

Akai MPC1000 to Yamaha PSR Keyboard Connection
by: Smith
Even I want to know what is the correct way of connecting my Yamaha PSR keyboard to the Akai MPC1000. How can I control the sounds of my Yamaha keyboard?

Akai MPC1000 to Keyboard/Synth Connection
by: Abhi
Here is what I found on Akai’s site on how to connect a keyboard/synth to MPC1000…Connect the MIDI Out of the keyboard to the MIDI In 1 of the MPC1000 and the MIDI Out A of the MPC1000 to the MIDI In of your keyboard.

Set your keyboard to LOCAL OFF.

On the MPC1000, Mode: MIDI/SYNC, MIDI tab, set “Active Track Receive Channel” to ALL and “Soft Thru” to AS TRACK. After that, your keyboard will play the same sounds as the pads, i.e. whatever is set on the selected Track. The MIDI field of the selected sequence Track, on the Main page, controls where you direct the MIDI output from that Track. You can use this in combination with the Program field, so one Track can control both the MPC1000 sampler and/or an external synth. To automatically select sounds on your synth, you can embed Program Changes in a sequence by recording them or using the Step Edit Insert command.

Of course, this only covers the MIDI data, not audio. To hear both the sound from the MPC1000 sampler and from your keyboard, the audio outputs of both units should be connected to a mixing board.

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