Akai iMPC Turns Your iPad Into An MPC

Akai iMPC iPad MPC

Akai Professional and Retronyms have introduced iMPC – a new Music Production Center app for the iPad.

Here’s what they have to say about iMPC:

Turn your iPad into an MPC. With more than 1,200 samples, 50 editable programs, 80 editable sequences, and iconic MPC workflow, iMPC is the first app to bring all the functionality of a classic Akai Pro MPC to your iPad.

iMPC includes everything you need to create a beat quickly and easily, including built-in effects, plus the ability to create new sequences and record and overdub beats. Time correction from 1/8 note to 1/32T with variable swing, and Note Repeat from 1/8 note to 1/32T with latch control are also built in.

The app’s built-in sampler can record samples three different ways: using the mic on the iPad, using the line input on the iPad, or using the multi-touch turntable interface in iMPC to record samples directly from iTunes or other music libraries.

Here are the details:

Akai iMPC


  • More than 1,200 samples, 50 editable programs, and 80 editable sequences
  • iMPC sound set and classic Akai Professional sound library
  • Sample from iPad mic, line-in, or music library using multi-touch turntable interface
  • Export tracks to MPC Software for use with MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio
  • In-app SoundCloud community, powered by CloudSeeder
  • Share on SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or export to your computer
  • 16 Levels mode: 16 levels of attack, velocity, length, and tuning
  • Note Variation slider: adjust attack, velocity, length, and tuning as you play
  • Trim and categorize samples, undo takes and erase samples
  • Create new sequences, record and overdub beats
  • Live Sequence queuing for real-time performance and playback
  • Simple drag and drop program creation
  • Built-in effects: delay, bit crusher, master compressor/limiter
  • Time correct: 1/8 note – 1/32T with variable swing
  • Note Repeat: 1/8 note – 1/32T timing, with latch
  • Supports WIST, wireless Sync Start protocol from Korg
  • AudioCopy beats and sequences to compatible apps
  • AudioPaste samples from compatible apps
  • Tabletop Ready iMPC is free for for iMPC owners
  • Route to and use with your favorite Tabletop Effects and devices
  • Line-in allows you to resample Tabletop devices
  • Use with Tabletop’s Timeline Editor

Here’s a demo of iMPC in action:

iMPC is the first Tabletop-Ready app. Tabletop Ready Apps are stand-alone apps that work within Tabletop. When users purchase a Tabletop-Ready App, a free version is automatically unlocked inside Tabletop.

Note: No mention is made of MIDI support.

iMPC is available now, for an introductory price of US $6.99.

If you’ve used iMPC, let us know what you think of it!

57 thoughts on “Akai iMPC Turns Your iPad Into An MPC

  1. All that and not even the most basic MIDI support…?!
    I’m not going to even mention lack of AudioBus…
    No coffee and donut money from me I’m afraid 🙁
    Hmmm, donut,…

  2. just played around with this for a second. it is by far the easiest way to sample a song. i’m no madeon, but within minutes i had chopped up two songs to mashup. i understand that this week is all about the coming of audio bus, but for someone with an ipad1 this is at least as exciting. you can already audio paste in samples easily enough, i’m sure audio bus is a short while away

  3. If it doesn’t load projects from the MPC1000/2500 and/or from the MPC2000/xl then it really is a piece of crap and they have SEVERELY dismissed the need for a graphic editor for MPC programs and sequences, now for the 15th? year in a row?

  4. A shiny looking app thanks to Retronyms, but the functionality leaves a bit to be desired. That’s unlikely Retronyms’ fault, since they probably just made what Akai asked for.

    BeatMaker 2 blows this away in terms of sample manipulation—never mind the rest of the functionality BM2 provides.

    Speaking of which, BM2 should be receiving Audiobus support in January.

    1. You just saved me $6.99. BM2 + Audiobus, mmmm. I hear Prince’s “Cream” in my head just thinking about it.

      But I do like Retronyms products. Tabletop is a very interesting workflow. And I must admit that I enjoy their native MPC-clone, so it makes sense that Akai would work with them to develop a more proper and genuine version.

      And don’t forget – software can always be updated. I have a feeling the iMPC will have it’s day.

  5. If they could add midi and allow this to map to an mpd32 (or any other mpd 16/24 etc) it would make for a pretty nice small setup, with a little more gusto than the mpcfly.
    I’ve read you can midi map anything through tabletop – so perhaps that’s a workaround…
    If anyone is in a position to confirm any of this – that would be very awesome of them!

    1. I have currently no Midi Keyboard but the midi mapping function of tabletop shows the pads for Mapping. Its a blue color over everthing you can map. (Not the other buttons tougth)

    1. This is a high quality app, and it’s certainly only going to get better, with features you ask for added via updates. I’d say familiarize ( or re-familiarize! ) yourself with the workings now, because this is going to be another major player in iOS music. Also, if nobody has mentioned it, the “sampling with a scratchable turntable” from your iTunes library is really fun, and represents classic hip hop usage of this machine. ( Also note the large sample library. )
      Here is my video review : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVqNpgOLo68

  6. It looks pretty, but all that effort to have it intiigrate with tabletop when audiobus exists?
    I can see no reason curently to buy this over beatmaker 2, or to buy it it you have beatmaker 2 other than the sample set (I guess 1200 samples for 7 bucks is t bad!).

    I suspect if this had shipped with midi and audiobus put of the box it would have been a massive hit.

    1. All the features listed are available, it doesn’t have any in-app purchasing at this point. It would be nice if they did that for sample libraries, like iMaschine.

      The way sharing is done in iMPC is also excellent.

      Great app for the price!

      If they add MIDI In/Out, automatically chopping and mapping beats into 16 slices, and of course Audiobus, it would truly be a killer app.

  7. apparently, you can only trim samples that you recorded into the App – yes you can’t edit samples you already have!

    also, you can’t slice loops and apply them to the different Pads.

    1. Great app – but please add beat slicing and song mode in the next version!

      The soundcloud integration is killer, if you have not tried that yet.

      Sounds like MIDI is there but not documented. Anybody know for sure on that?

  8. Personally I bought this as a beat maker for Live and it does that pretty well. Nice setup and features for that. Midi would be nice but I wouldn’t use it much. The one thing I would LOVE to see is export via email. DM1 does this and I love the feature! Having to connect to iTunes just to get the beats out is a pain… Sure beats iMaschine for someone that doesn’t own Maschine…

  9. he showed it trimming a sample… you seriously think you have to record tracks in every time? i hope not. as for out of the box audiobus, they only released audiobus for a few apps so far. the developers of audiobus. it’d be nice but i don’t think the lorg and akai apps will support it, they have their own things. wist, hehe.

  10. Shouldn’t this be posted in the “Apple iPad” section?

    Now you got me wondering: what else have I missed by bookmarking the Apple iPad section?!

  11. come on 5,50 euro for a few really good sounds and an easy worklflow is cool
    but whats pretty U N C O O L is that the suckers needed almost 1 year. r they nuts?
    and behringer is even worse … anyone seen istudio?

  12. coming from using hardware mpc’s, i found this app to be pretty intuitive. it’s still hard for me to call this a mpc since it lacks any sort of chop shop and right now there is no song mode for the sequences you make. i’m looking forward to future updates, and all in all i find iMPC to be pretty fun.

  13. An honest question, from those that have used a real MPC, is there any satisfaction in using virtual pads? I have been wanting an MPC for a while so I can slice up samples and bang on the pads to play around. All Retronyms hating aside, it seems to me that you wouldn’t get that same tactile satisfaction from an iPad screen. I’d be afraid to crack the glass banging away on it like I would want to on a real one. Thoughts?

    1. A touch screen will never beat good mpc pads, but most of my satisfaction with iMPC comes from being able to use a mpc anywhere. I MIGHT consider switching from my hardware mp’s once the MPC fly is release and they add more features to the app, but only time will tell.

    2. There’s several things going on for a real MPC:

      1) Real pads, Velocity sensitive. You can also put your anger into them. They’re sturdy. 😀

      2) ready to go recorder and sampler that has a sound to it (the converters). To do this with an iPad you need to add an external sound card, which means you likely need battery for powered USB.

      3) it’s not an iPad so you’re focused on what you’re doing and not getting notifications or tempted w/ other stuff…

      I think some of these may or may not be as important for different people. I love the tactile feeling of pads, real knobs, etc. I also love how gritty the sound is.

      I think ideally it would be cool to have them implement what some apps use to “predict” how hard you hit the pad (accelerometer I guess) so it would be better than the current velocity-less BM2 option…

      1. Bruno

        Good points! I doubt that even the die hard IPad fans would say that this is better than a hardware MPC. And it would be nice to see Akai copy the velocity sensitivity that’s possible with Orphion.

        But to get an MPC for $7 is fantastic. Kudos to Akai for making this and making it affordable.

  14. You can’t compensate for the feeling of playing on real pads with a touch screen. This iMPC doesn’t seem to be velocity sensitive either (vel controlled by a slider). In my opinion, this is a cool & fun toy that can also be used as serious application in the right circumstances.

    Some iOS apps use the X/Y location on square of the pad to determine velocity, and the iPad can take a fair knocking on its glass surface, but if you’re serious about playing music via pads, you should look at real built for purpose pads like the MPC.

  15. Hey guys,
    This does work with my djtechtools midifighter! Just plugged it in with the camera connection kit.
    The midifighter sends midi starting a C0, but the pads are all wacky
    Pad 1 mf = pad 2 impc
    Pad 3 mf = pad 7 impc
    So I think akai have intentionally mixed up the pads so standard drum machines won’t work with logical mapping lol.
    Mpd24/Maschine can be setup with custom midi mapping in their PC editing software so it just a matter of working out what buttons are what 🙂
    I might make a template for maschine sometime unless someone else beats me to it winkwinknudgenudge 😀

  16. This app is a joke plain and simple, I laughed when that dude earlier said he was chopping up samples and making mash ups in 2 minutes with this app hahaha since it has no chopping, timestretch, or real editing to speak of, if you want to put 16 samples on 16 pads then you have sample 16 times…… You can’t even edit your samples after you save them. Don’t believe all of these lies people are saying. It’s the greatest app ever, the thing is deliberately and severely handicapped!!! If you get excited by a sampler that does not allow you to edit samples properly then you don’t know how to use samplers, if you did you would be furious. I’m not even talking about the lack of chopshop, I’m telling your dumb ass that after you sample and save your sample you can no longer edit your sample. And you also cannot edit any of the samples that come with it. Buy at your own risk, you have been warned!

    1. This ‘joke app’ does most of what the original MPC’s (which it’s obviously modeled on) could do. Plus it’s cheap, mobile and makes sharing very easy.

      Like others have said, song mode, editing saved samples, MIDI and Audiobus would be nice. But, if you can’t make beats on this…..

    2. I find it comical that people complain over a $7 app. that has far more capable,easier to use, more flexible and fun than the $500 MPC 500:)

      1. Yea man its blowing my mind right now.. You can barely get a decent meal for $7 and people are complaining about 1 or 2 features they didnt get, out of hundreds of features. People should read reviews and if theres something they cant live without, save your $7 for a big mac meal!

  17. Its $6.99 people! lol I dont even have an ipad. My sister is giving me her ipad 2 for $100 in perfect condition, cause she wants to get a newer one. Im not a kid or anything, im 29 years old – and sure I could afford one, but I cannot justify buying an ipad for $500. Anyway, since im getting hers – I decided to check out some music apps, and have been doing so for about 20 minutes now. They run $6.99-$9.99 for the ones ive checked out (impc, ielectribe, gorrillaz, etc..) and without fail a bunch of people complain about it lacking something. They all look pretty fun and cool to me, especially for the cheap price. I even saw one guys review on the electribe saying “the real one is so much better, id rather have that”…Yea no Sh*t!!! $10 or $400? – it should be better! For $7, a virtual mpc app cannot be that bad, even though it lacks some features that would be a great addition. Just saying.

  18. By far the worst thing about this app is the constant flicking news ticker in the top bar – a constant distraction! It doesn’t even go after you have given into their nagging and actually read their ‘news’ which is just some guy with no musical taste going on about how talented all the people who have bought the app are because they have slopped a couple of samples together in their app! Quite unbelievable – I’d be embarrassed if that we’re my job – ugh!

    Do yourself a favour, buy the app, then rip out all the samples (which to be fair are pretty good) and use them in a proper drum machine/sampler – then it’s worth every penny!

    But until they remove the nag, or at least implement it properly so once you have read the updates the nag goes away (korg do this nicely in the iPolysix) I won’t be using it!

  19. Is this really the app that was supposed to “power” the MPC Fly? Who the hell would shell out $300 for a controller dedicated to this?

    Even at $7 for the app alone, it’s just… bleh.

    Scrounge up a couple of extra bucks, and get Beatmaker 2 instead. It’s everything the iMPC wishes it could be, and never will.

    And I’m saying this as someone who has been a long-time user of hardware MPCs.

    Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

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