Akai MPX16 Sampler Features 16 Pads, On-Board Sample-Processing, MIDI In/Out


Musikmesse 2014: Akai Professional has introduced the MPX16, an advanced sample player with onboard sound recording. Samples are saved to an SD card, and can be played back using either the unit’s MPC-style pads or via external MIDI device, via USB-MIDI and 3.5mm (1/4-inch) MIDI inputs.

Samples are captured at CD-quality, via dual 6.3mm (1/4-inch) inputs or the on-board stereo microphone. The user may assign audio clips to the pads and apply tuning, filters, envelopes and ‘choke’ grouping for creative, dynamic performances.

An LCD screen and illuminated trigger pads provide visual feedback during use, and the MPX16 may be powered from a USB port or the included power supply. You can load existing sound files onto an SD card or use the MPX16 as an SD card reader for drag-and-drop convenience on a Mac or PC. 


  • Plays and records stereo samples using SD cards
  • 16 velocity-sensitive, illuminated pads
  • Balanced 6.3mm (1/4-inch) inputs let you capture audio from a wide variety of sources
  • Built-in stereo microphone lets you capture sounds on-the-fly
  • USB-MIDI as well as MIDI Input and MIDI Output jacks for integration into virtually any MIDI setup for use as a pad controller, sample bank or both
  • Onboard sound processing – tune samples, adjust ADSR envelopes and filters
  • USB or wall powered (adapter included) for use virtually anywhere

The MPX16 will be available in Summer 2014 with a US $199.99 street price.

53 thoughts on “Akai MPX16 Sampler Features 16 Pads, On-Board Sample-Processing, MIDI In/Out

    1. Yeah I’m not falling for this trick again, I bought the mpx8, now they bring out the 16… I’ll wait for the step sequencer before I shell out again.

    2. it might not have a sequencer, but heck, you can purchase a big SD card for cheap then load ENTIRE
      sequenced tracks onto a single pad or across a set of pads.

      i might just use it as a one-shot drum machine for beats i make in Reason, with an array of pads to trigger various samples here and there.

      PLUS you can RECORD with it. i dunno, i think i’m in love. i just hope it doesn’t break.

      1. I think the point is…..there really isn’t a reason NOT to include at least BASIC sequencing capability. C’mon dude, its a sampler in a desktop case w/drum pads all over it and an lcd display….c’mon!

  1. Akai has taken a weird turn – first they kill the mpc product line, now this. Can’t quite understand why they would replace a hugely successful concept with something so limited?

  2. Akai has taken a weird turn – first they cancel the mpc product line, now this. Can’t quite understand why they would replace a hugely successful concept with something so limited?

    1. Because most people use computers, but still lust over stuff that looks fun. IMO the akai stuff seems a but too stripped down without much room to put your own style on stuff, but we’ll see.

  3. It comes on the heals of some of the releases of other sample-trigger units that were associated with drums. This has MIDI i/o, and ability to record & trigger samples, and has the akai onboard DSP, so it does seem quite useful.

    Does it read samples directly from SD or does it load them into RAM? If so, what is the RAM size? If it can map & layer sounds in a free way (key range & velocity range) then it will be a nice way to layer samples with synth sounds.

  4. I’d pick one up if they tossed a lofi effect that gave it some of their legendary grit. Some 12-bit punchy hip hop flavour.

  5. Its little brother the MPX8 is almost unusable because of incredibly slow load times from the SD card — having to wait 2-3 minutes for samples to load just doesn’t work in a live environment. Let’s hope they’ve fixed that issue.

  6. As someone pointed out elsewhere – A company that cannot spell Filter Attack correctly isn’t worthy of anyones attention…..you know just saying 😉

  7. I had the MPX8 for a week when it first came out. Horrible machine.
    This still isn’t for keyboard players, it’s just for sample jockeys.
    Truly wish they’d bring back something like the S1000 for us keyboard players, with updated RAM size and storage.

    1. For my own personal needs a mix of this and the arturia beatstep would be ideal.
      honestly just having Cv/gate out would be great

  8. Intriguing! Very low profile which is great for portability but its a bit concerning in regards to build quality. Those matrix knobs seem a bit shallow from the angle of the picture. I’m also wondering what 1/4″ MIDI In/Out looks like? Will they be precarious dongle adapters or a new cord entirely?

    1. 1/8″ to midi female ports, on cables. Dongles I suppose, if that’s what you call them. That’s what the MPX8 has

  9. Give this a metal shell, eight or ten outputs and a bigger screen.
    That would be a serious machine. Sequenced from cubase this would be the business

  10. separate outs for the choke groups would be killer
    outs per voice would be amazing but I think choke groups is a bit more double without being outlandishly priced

    1. I want you to take out a ruler and see for yourself if a 5-pin DIN connector is 3.5mm (or even 1/4″) across. Then I want you to put away your emoticons and reflect on your actions.

  11. Since Akai Electric sold the Akai Professional Music division to Numark, the MPC has suffered major catastrophic technological downfalls. First, the new owners could not handle the architecture of the MPC-4000, the best MPC ever made. Then they turned the Music Production Center, formally know as the MIDI Production Center, into the MIDI Production Controller. This was the true beginning of the end of a technological era in Hip-Hop and other forms of music production. If I can find one, the last thing from the current owners of Akai I’d buy is the MPC-5000, the last true MPC in the world. May the MPC rest in peace.

  12. I wish this could actually play chords over midi input… Like a sampler. I know you can tune individual pads but it woul be great to play samples rather than trigger samples. Still love my MPC1000 with JJOS tho 😉

  13. could u pls suggest a drum machine like Roland R8 mk II…..? B cos my favourite brand is Roland…
    I don’t know much about AKAI….or something…..Even though R8 is an outdated one I like its Drum kit sounds…. I m searching for affordable one

  14. really?…………..how hard could it possibly be to integrate an internal sequencer alongside, um…drum pads, sampling,an lcd, midi i/o,……….so they killed the mpc and put out a not quite mpc? So its basically , at the end of the day a sampling drum machine that doesn’t, er, drum machine? it looks about the size of an old roland tr505 and I really can’t see the hardware for sequencing midi INCREASING in size or changing so drastically or becoming so prohibitively expensive that it simply would not be possible to integrate what is basically 30 year old technology into a modern sampler. And oh yeah, I’m sure the R&D on a midi sequencer would be so astronomically expensive and fraught with difficulties that the only possible solution would be a doubling of the cost of the unit, right? So when is the 200 dollar midi sequencer that looks like a sampler but doesn’t sample coming out?

  15. Actually….what’s the difference between Sampler & Sequencer….?…pls clarify with some brand name……Actually my intention is to use Electronic Drum machine (Sampler/Sequencer whatever it is ) along with my Roland SPD 30…
    What about BOSS DR- 880…?

    1. well, a sequencer basically, records/plays back a series of notes, parameters changes, etc in um..sequence, one of the simplest being your average drum machine which is a looping sequencer though there are also linear seqeuncers that do not repeat (loop). The sequencer sends all this data to a sound generator (vst,sampler,synth,etc.) which it triggers the corresponding data on.

      A sampler is really any device that can record/play back sound, particularly in a digital format (think of a little digital voice recorder app in a phone, for instance.) Generally speaking, nowadays most hardware samplers come with sequencers built in (mpc,sp404,etc.)so that on the same unit, one can record sounds and then trigger them as part of a midi sequence.

      So the sampler deals with the actual sounds you hear/record and the sequencer arranges them and why in the “h” would a company that built the most popular sequencer/sampler unit of all time put out a tabletop unit that samples but does not ……..forget it.

  16. I just ordered the product, since I already have 3 mpx-8’s, some (or all) of which I would like to replace with this mpx-16 because of at least one noticeable improvement. For there are two huge problems with the mpx-8:
    1) the kit-scroller button is placed less than half an inch away from the top-left pad, which can have horrifying consequences if you are a little unfocussed and accidentally touch the kit-scroller while playing – this happened one time for me during rehearsal, and one time in a live-situation. The loadingtime makes it, so that you can’t instantly switch back – you have to wait at least 1-3 min. before you can play the song, which is often over at time.
    2) the here-before-mentioned f***ing long loading-time (yes, 1-2 mins if there are long samples on the loading kit). That’s also why I have three – because you can’t just stand there in front of an audience and look cool for 2 minuttes until the the mpx-8 has finished loading the next song/kit. So I had three and made sure that an mpx-8 were switched to the next song in the set while playing another song on another.

    I can se that the mpx-16 has it’s scroller-knop far away from any pads, which is a HUGE improvement!!!
    I have yet to find out wether the loading-time has been improved on. If that is not the case, I have to go with the mpx16 + one mpx8 – so propper and quick switches between songs can occur in livesituations!

    I’ll get back to you on wether or not this mpx-16 is an instrument for serious livesutiations or just a crappy-christmaxpressent, home-playing/home-studie device!

  17. Mads, please let me know about them loading times!

    I need something like this gizmo for a live situation and i have to be able to go from one song to the next in a matter of 5/10 seconds, no 2 minutes!

    Thank you in advance

  18. hey, when they say ‘tune’, is it real pitch or pitchshift? I’m a big SP sampler user and fan and I just discovered this, It could be a good combo with an SP-404sx.

  19. Returned mine and bought a novation circuit….. So glad I it because the circuit is a great centrepiece…. It’s ace, I love it but I find myself wanting to add a sampler again… (Circuit can play samples but you cannot sample on it). If the mx16 had a sequencer I would buy one again right now… actually looking for a used one and a used beatstep….

    MPC’s are too expensive for a standalone version… I am sure that if akai added a step sequencer to the mpx16 (mk2) and sold it for the same price it would sell by the bucketloads… or a sampling TomCat …. Look how many volca samples are being sold!!!!!
    There are now loads of people having fun with inexpensive external boxes..
    Come on Akai you are supposed to be the sampling people….

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