MPC Live Overview & Demo

AKAI Pro shared this video overview & demo for the MPC Live – their new compact standalone music production workstation.

While the new MPC X is designed to be a flagship MPC, the MPC Live expands on the production workflow of the more compact MPC Touch by adding standalone functionality.

Here’s an overview of AKAI’s new MPC X & MPC Live platform from the 2017 NAMM Show:

At the heart of the new MPC Live is a full-color 7-inch multi-touch screen, 16 velocity- and pressure-sensitive RGB pads, and a large, clickable master encoder knob.

The MPC Live is designed to be both portable and powerful, packing 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage, but weighing in at just 5.5 lbs. It can even run battery-powered, via the internal, rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Details on the MPC Live are available at the AKAI Pro site.

53 thoughts on “MPC Live Overview & Demo

  1. I’ve had mine for about a week now, and I am quite pleased with it. It’s not perfect, but I think Akai FINALLY have another winner on their hands. It’s a compelling and thoughtful blend of Classic MPC / S-Series sampler, DAW, and iPad / touch device all rolled into one. I haven’t even loaded the software. I’m having too much fun in stand alone.

    I have been hoping for a hardware sampler with modern file management for many years now, and I think I have found it in the MPC Live. I’ve upgraded mine with a 250GB Samsung EVO SSD and 64 GB SD card, which is icing on the cake…

    1. Question. I’ve had mine for about a week as week as well. Same reaction, its great! I’ve installed a 450GB SSD (Sandisk) but im constantly getting errors. Its new so I am assuming its something in the software since the error is “disk not ejected properly” every time I try to save or access it. No problems with SD cards or USB flash or external SSD drives.

      Pretty much just trying to get confirmation from someone that has instanned a hard drive that they aernt experiencing the same issue. Akai support been in hiding. But if thats the biggest problem with the machine, screw it. The usb flash drive is good enough. But it’ll suck to get a whole new SSD drive to experience the same issues.

      Can you confirm?

      1. I watched an install video before installation, and I saw comments regarding disk errors like you have mentioned. In the video, the guy formatted the drive on a Mac with GUID Partition Map selected, which I thought was interesting considering exFat is the preferred format listed in the manual.

        Before preceding with formatting my SSD, I checked the current formatting of the SD card. Sure enough, it was formatted as exFat with Master Boot Record. So, I (also on a Mac) formatted the drive with exFat and Master Boot Record selected. I have not saved much on my drive, but I have been reading and writing to it for the past week without a single error or warning.

        Is it possible you formatted your drive with exFat and GUID Partition Map? If so, that might just be what is causing the problems. I’d definitely be interested to know…

  2. Had mine for a week as well. I love it. It has a few things to add but it is a solid lovely machine. I love it for midi sequencing my external gear and adding loops and vocals.
    Clip mode is cool but seems limited as I can’t play other tracks along with clips tracks. Or I am missing something. I couldn’t be happier and glad I went with this over the Octatrak.
    Nice job Akai. You’ve got a hit or sure.

      1. Two midi outs with 16 channels each…. 32 synths. Yep. That is theoretical not sure how exactly it will perform. MPCs are some of the best mid sequencers out there, for ages now.

  3. It looks pretty perfect to me (for the cost)- maybe the most powerful battery powered music making hardware ever made (other than a laptop!)

  4. Question: can you copy/paste and/or create new sequences while playing? This is a make or break feature for me. I’ve loved my MPC1000 but it kills my flow when I have to stop playback to create a new sequence. It led me to move to the Octatrak (about which I have very mixed feelings)

    1. All sequencer functions (cut, copy, paste, etc.) appear to be available during playback. In fact, switching to song mode might be the only thing that can’t be done during sequencer playback. Doing things like saving the project will cause the sequencer to hiccup, but otherwise, it’s pretty solid during edit commands and mode selection.

  5. There would be a post “Free Moog Sub 37’s for everyone in the world” and we’d still see a few condescending comments. Always amazed.
    We all wanted a standalone MPC with midi sequencing, additional hard drive support, massive amounts of internal Ram, battery is a plus, great file management and capable of mixing down in a DAW environment after arranging, USB thumb drive enables, SD enabled, 10 GB of great categorized samples, Scales and Chords, Touch screen as responsive as an iphone 10 (when they come out) phono and ground hookups alongside audio jacks and a price point that pretty dam reasonable. Anyone complaining probably doesnt even make music because if you do, you for sure know that this is a pretty extraordinary piece of hardware. And im only referring to the MPC Live.
    Add CV in the X for all those “Ohm Ohm Ohm OHm” beatmakers and cord fiddlers (no offense) and you have a powerhouse at the head of any setup.

    I cant keep my hands off it.

  6. One of the promised features in future updates is the ability of the MPC Live to support Ableton Link through the on board WiFi. This is absolutely huge for me as it will be the perfect way to marry my software / hardware worlds without worrying about timing issues.

  7. So, this is a quadcore ARM Cortex A17 processor , 2gb ram and a touchscreen (running Akai skinned Linux , and an MPC .app) ?
    If not for the nice case, pads and 5 knobs, it’s easy to mistake this for a $150 Chromebook from 2015.

    1. Personal Attack, flagged. See what I did there? What chromebook in 2015 had midi inputs and outputs as well as awesome converters and 16 pads?

  8. So basically, it’s a computer with a touch screen cased in a pad controller, but you can’t check your e-mails and Facebook with it?

    1. Yes, though it has the power of a mid range phone or tablet, not the equivalent of a current laptop by any means. With very little effort i am sure you could check e-mail and social media with it, even play basic phone style games too.

    2. Yes so you actually don’t loose time on this shit!
      And the latency is way lower than anything you can get with a laptop well configured.

      1. Welcome to the internet. Where you dismantle products down to nothing, then make statements that suggest that’s all the equipment provides. If you take the guitar strings off… it’s just a coffee pot. If you take the knobs and keys off a synth, it’s just a motorcycle. Take the ram, video card, motherboard out of your tower and you have a
        shoe box. Good stuff.

        1. You win the Internet today, my friend. Makes me wonder why complainers the even click through the link, let alone bother to comment.

  9. Ooooh bother I better get a second job washing dishes.
    Live is da Bees Knees da Dogs Danglies.
    Take on the road hell’s angel.


    I was considering Windows Tablet (64GB/4GB/ 2x FULL size USBs) + Battery powered / USB powered audio card + Bigwig Studio + Akai kB controller :
    works out £200 less than the Live :
    Yet it sure ain’t as compelling as Live nor as Streamlined nor as immediate as Live. Let alone nowhere near as compact.

    Never mind Windows : cluttering hogging CPU, RAM, Processes; WiFi adapter causing glitches, Latency roundtrip.

    1. Roger Linn saying Numark (bought Akai) are Barstewards.
      Since the buyout Akai products haven’t exactly filled users with soaring confidence regarding durability, reliability.

      Yep gonna wait a year for others to road test Live ….
      Plenty of time save dishwashing job.

  10. Anyone coming to the immediate defense of Akai has apparently been asleep for the past 10 years of complete awfulness. Let’s give the product 6 months to 1 year to work out bugs and test long term durability before we hail it an instant classic.

    And be nice to the skeptics/complainers. They’re still upset they got burned on the rhythmwolf/timbrewolf/tomcat/mpk/mpx/ewi/insert product here.

    1. Who would buy any of those products? They all sucked from jump street. Pretty easy to see if you did any research. But bugs will be an issue. I mean FL studio 12 is still doing. If fixes. IOS 10 is still making updates to fix bugs. Bugs happened, if they fixed em all before releasing anything, everything would be about 5 years delayed. Like everything. I even found a. If in my sneakers:) reported it to support, patched right away.

      1. So you can openly acknowledge that Akai hasn’t made a useful product in 10+ years, but immediately brush off all skepticism about THIS product because you have owned it for an entire week (and are having issues with it).

        That is reasoned and logical.

      2. I got burned by the Akai MPK 49 (1st gen).

        Hardly used it, but it got multiple dead keys and I had to really slam down on the pads to get any effect, even with the velocity maxed.

        Hardware that gets maybe 50 hrs use and cost around $400 shouldn’t fail so quickly.

        In comparison, I still have a Roland JX-3P I bought in 1983 that I’ve taken around the freaking world in a hard case (US, Africa, Middle East and EU) that *still* works without any issues.

        So, yeah, let’s give this kit some time before we praise it so effusively… but personally, I’m not giving them my money.

        And in my opinion, comparing Operating System OS bugs (like iOS) to a device that is so limited in use case and scope (like the MPC) doesn’t make sense.

      1. Just out of legitimate curiosity, how is “MIDI as an IAP” Apple’s fault?

        I’m not defending them, preferring them, excusing them or anything like that. I’m just curious how that would be the case; as I’ve never seen Apple, Google or anyone else really force a developer to charge for a feature in their app.

        Perhaps I’m just misunderstanding your comment or out of the loop, etc.

        Again, not being dickish or argumentative just naturally curious*

        * This is the internet, so one must clarify these things or face the wrath of some pre-pubescent teen with the mental capacity of a lug nut whose only skill in life consists of trolling internet comment sections to drone on about their arbitrary, ill informed, half-baked opinions with a pitiful, self indulgent, masturbatory air of superiority in order to fill the void of their vacant… oh.. I’m droning on, sorry. 🙂

        1. Charging for MIDI is a dick move to customers and anybody that supports standards.

          The beef between Linn and InMusic sounds like it was because of a dick move between business partners, which is a very different thing. We have no idea what their business deal was, if Linn just made a bad contract or what.

        2. Fair question(s). Yes, charging for MIDI sucks. But it’d be foolish to think makers don’t charge for incorporating standards. They have to pay for it somehow—they just don’t generally call it out as a line item (though skipping power supplies seem to becoming more common!).

          Thing is, the app in question is a fairly simple “geometric rhythm” MIDI sequencer. Because Apple does not allow for demo versions (time limited, noise burst every N seconds…) the developer is left with coming up with ‘creative’ ways to implement what people want: try before you buy without giving the whole thing away for free.

          In this case, since the app is pretty simple, the dev is left with very few options to add as IAP ‘upgrades’ (the standard try before you buy method on the app store). Limit the tracks? The whole value proposition behind the sequencer is the interplay between the tracks; making a two track version with MIDI output would be totally pointless.

          I think they did the best the could: make the app free with internal sounds. If you like the way the sequencer works, buy the real or ‘full’ app, which is a $5 MIDI sequencer app, via IAP. They could have released a free and a $5 ‘pro’ version (the other common app store try-first method), the pro version having MIDI but what’s the difference? I guess it doesn’t say “IAP” which rubs lots of people the wrong way. Me included at times.

          My editorial on the editorial was basically: (from my perspective) what Jack did to Roger is an order of magnitude shittier than charging $5 for MIDI, particularly in the case of that app. And when you consider the revenue of InMusic vs some guy who coded a little $5 geometric sequencer app. Yet Akai, Alesis, Numark and family get regular mention here without comment. Ok, perhaps it’s too far to make the comment on every InMusic related post but on MPC posts? On a site that does more than any other site I know to regularly recognize electronic music pioneers?

  11. I know why the people who are interested in this product are here, but I have no idea why the people who are not interested in this product are here.

  12. If anyone got burnt by Akai it was me, I had the mpc5000 and the lcd burnt twice on me. Even recorded a video of it happening and Akai still would not replace the machine, I was furious for years, still am. However I’ve had this machine for a week as well and YES, I am soooo happy they finally got it right. This machine is pretty wonderful so far and the OS is pretty stable and about 95% complete, only the wifi integration is missing.

    So yeah as a long time MPC user, This latets iteration feels like a home run.

    1. Stick right on the front of the box.
      Maybe take the sticker off for the first round.

  13. I’m optimistic about this product. It seems like a pro level sampling and sequencing workhorse with potential for HD expansion, computer integration if you want it, and not a large size. I think it would be great on stage.

    For me, as a keyboard player, I think it will be a great way to trigger loops and phrases, as well as run sequences and tracks if need be without having to bring a laptop.

    I’m excited about this product. I had an Advance 61 for a while and the hardware and software was good as long as you were using it primarily with the bundled software. I did end up trading it in and I’ll probably get a Native Instruments Kontrol S series keyboard, but that has to do with my use of NI software more than liking or not liking the Akai stuff. What I am trying to say is that it was a good product, just not right for me, but the experience with it gives me faith in this MPC.

    I look forward to more reviews as these hit the stores.

  14. Great job AKAI! I’m excited. Only missing a built-in synthesizer. The VA-synth in the MPC5000 is an unique, completely underrated gem: highly multi-timbral with a great special feeling by playing the pads. In combination with the sampling unit a laptop-free workstation without creative limits. For me a future cult device.

  15. Felt the need to re-nig on a few of my comments. I’ve returned my MPC Live to sweetwater. Either I got a busted unit or no one wants to say that they cant get a storage device because of…well, ego. To say you were an early adopter of a product that most assumed would have bugs, then it turns out to have said bugs, take some….whatever.

    So yes, I was unable to get a usb flash drive, internal SSD, external USB SSD or an SD card to not give me the “disk was not properly ejected” error, or even a “fatal Error” when accessing it. I know it has 16GB of onboard storage that pretty much leaves you with about 4 since they packed it with pro-audio garbage. I spent the first week and a half losing songs or just scared to open a program and lose my beat. Yup, could have saved it but may have lost it there too. So this is just a heads up. I’m sure someone else got it to work corectly, im one of the unlucky ones. And please dont tell me that I should have formatted to ExFAT. I did every single format possible. I’m a graphic designer, I have a ton of drives, SD Cards, CF cards, all different brands. Couldnt get it to work.

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