AKAI MPC 2.3 Update Adds Three Synths, Auto-Sampling & More

AKAI Pro today released MPC 2.3 Desktop Software and Firmware Update, adding three new software synths, auto-sampling and more.

Here’s a series of videos that cover what’s new in MPC 2.3:

AKAI Pro MPC 2.3 Update:

The standalone MPC Live / X and the desktop software now contain three plugin instruments, AIR TubeSynth, Bassline and Electric.


The TubeSynth emulates the sound of classic vintage analog poly-synths packaged with five integrated AIR effects.

Key Features:

  • Flexible 3 Oscillator architecture features noise, saw, square, pulse and triangle waveforms.
  • Two different unison engines offer extended possibilities for thickening the timbre of any patch. Doubling thickens any patch by creating a detuned copy of the original. Where as the Oscillator 1 Quad section is perfect for creating powerful Supersaw and other unison waveforms from a single oscillator.
  • Customize the harmonic content of Oscillator 2 using the voice-level EQ and Drive parameters. Go to Oscillator 2 and set it to Saw, Oscillator 2 Keytrack to 100 %, and Oscillator 2 EQ Frequency to around 88hz. Now increase the Oscillator 2 EQ Gain, this will boost the fundamental harmonic of each voice, thickening the sound. Decreasing the Oscillator 2 EQ Gain value will decrease the amplitude of the fundamental harmonic creating a thinner timbre. Experiment with different Oscillator 2 Frequency values to accentuate different harmonics.
  • Lowpass Filter with continuously variable slope with pre and post distortion.
  • Polyphonic Glide/Portamento for polyphonic pitch slides between chords.
  • Envelopes are included for Filter and Amp, with a third specialist ramp envelope that can be assigned to different modulation destinations.
  • Two LFOs have Sine, Square, Saw Up, Saw Down, Pump, Sample and Hold and Drift waveforms. The LFOs can be synchronized to the sequencer clock or free running, and a dedicated Fade parameter can set the LFOs to fade in or out.]
  • Explore a wide range of timbral possibilities with the Oscillator section’s Ring Modulation parameter. The amount of Ring Modulation can be modulated by LFO 2, which can be perfect for continuously evolving pad sounds. Ring Modulation can also be assigned to the Mod section as a Destination.
  • AIR Chorus, Delay, Reverb, Compressor and Hype EQ.
  • Almost 300 patches provide a wide selection of Synth, Lead, Pluck, Pad, Bass, Organ and FX presets.
  • Oscillator 1 and 2 Env Shape parameters allow you to modulate the shape of each oscillator with the Filter Envelope


The AIR Bassline emulates the sound of classic mono synths, with a contemporary twist.

Key Features:

  • Flexible oscillator with continuously variable waveshape including octave saw, saw, square and sine waveforms
  • Sub and fifth oscillators for thicker layered timbres.
  • Lowpass and Highpass filters.
  • Over 150 presets.


The AIR Electric emulates the sound of classic electric pianos.

Key Features:

  • Dedicated Pickup, Envelope, Bell and Noise parameter sections provide a huge amount of flexibility to configure the timbre of the electric piano sound.
  • Five AIR effects Tremolo, Tube distortion, Chorus, Delay and Spring Reverb.
  • Over 80 presets.

Q-Link navigation enhancements – In the Grid and Audio Editors when the Q-Links are in Screen mode, you can now use Q-Link 2 to move the playhead, Q-Link 3 to Scroll the viewport and Q-Link 4 to Zoom at the playhead position. Note the layout is slightly different between the desktop software and the standalone. In standalone the Q-Links for Zoom and Scroll are only present in Grid Edit or Audio Edit whereas in the desktop software they are present in Main Mode, Track View and Next Sequence.

Auto Sampler – Capture and convert any plugin preset or external instrument preset into a keygroup program. From the desktop software go to Tools > Auto Sampler.

Crossfade Looping – Realtime crossfade looping has now been added to sample playback.

Arpeggiator – MPC now includes a fully featured arpeggiator and phrase player for melodic program types.

The Arpeggiator has four modes of operation :

Arp – A conventional arpeggiator, hold down a chord and the arpeggiator will play a pattern based on the individual notes held. Go to the Arp Mode section and change the Pattern (Up, Down, Random etc) and Octave fields to access conventional arpeggiator results. Experiment with the Variation field to further customize the end result.
Note Repeat – Use this option to access the traditional MPC Note Repeat behavior.
Rhythm – Hold down a chord and the Arpeggiator will play the held notes in a rhythmic pattern. Use the Rhythm Pattern field to choose the pattern and the Spread field to spread the timing of the held notes creating a glissando effect.
Pattern – Hold down a single note to trigger a melodic phrase, as you change the held note the melodic phrase will be transposed.

Plugin instruments and plugin effects preset support – You can now save and load plugin presets.

Internal Akai Effects now have all new TUI Plugin Editors and factory presets.

Split Events – You can now easily split note events, this is useful for creating intricate hi-hat parts or quintuplet/sextuplet motifs or drum beats.

Mode Selection shortcut – Holding Menu and pressing a pad can now be used as a shortcut to select a mode. The pads follow the 4 x 4 layout of the Mode Menu.

New XYFX algorithms – Tape Stop, Ring Mod and Wavefolder.

MPC 2.3 is a free download from the AKAI Pro site.

27 thoughts on “AKAI MPC 2.3 Update Adds Three Synths, Auto-Sampling & More

    1. Man, you said it! As an MPC Live owner, I would really like to see proper MIDI functionality, but this appears to be an outstanding update. I see some glorious MPC Live time coming up this weekend!

      1. An MPC X is on my purchase list in the next few months and its main purpose will be to sequence the MIDI for a Virus TI2, Peak, Analog 4 and TR-8S. What sort of MIDI functionality is it missing?

        1. Hey Mike,

          I haven’t personally used my MPC as a master to sequence external gear, but it should handle that pretty well. The sequencer is actually a s*** ton of fun for old school guys like me.

          Where it fails HARD is as a multitimbral sound module being sequenced externally. It lacks basic midi functionality that can be found on gear from 25 years ago, and forget about slaving to incoming midi sync. You will want to kick a hole in the wall.

          That, said, I love my MPC Live and am seriously considering upgrading to an X myself. Also, it does lock rock steady with Ableton Link. As a recent convert to Ableton, it has quelled my anger over the incoming midi sync issues.

        2. It is perfect for what you want. Some people are frustrated by how the MPC treats MIDI coming in, not out. Why anyone would want to sequence the MPC from another sequencer is beyond me.

          1. I’ve done some reading on it and it would definitely be a problem for me since I intend to use multiple controllers set to their own ranges of channels with the MPC X and need it to pass those independent channels through to the synths. Apparently it’s a highly requested feature and on AKAI’s radar for a future update so hopefully they can get it sorted soon so I can use it the way I originally intended.

  1. If anyone is wondering how good those synths are, they are fantastic. Standalone makes them even better with the nice interface and the effects now show the plugin UI and it the standard screen. Cross fade looping also a big one, was only in the mpc4000 I believe.

    1. No doubt, I just tried all three plugins in standalone and am impressed. I made 3 sweet sequences in seconds and then went back and tweek’d. It sounded really good, not to mention when i combined it with some drums!

      Lets pick one of the new plugins tubesynth for example. I discovered that if you have 3 different tracks for instance – and have the tubesynth on the same plugin program # (plugin 1 for example) – parameter tweeks effect the same tubesynth on 3 different tracks. You can only have one type of plugin on the same plugin program number. Adversely you can have tubesynth on different plugin program numbers which allows you to have and use/tweek different tubesynths independently across different tracks. Of course this goes for all 3 of the new plugins. I just find it fun that i can layer tracks that are utilizing the same synth. It’s like having several midi tracks coming out of ableton through a midi cable into 1 analog hardware polysynth like a juno 106.

  2. I really had no need for extra synths in the MPC software, since I’ve already got Komplete 12 Ultimate CE, all I was hoping for was sidechaining, and am disappointed. The arpeggiator addition is good though. For the MPC Software to work properly as a standalone production solution for me though, I need the sidechaining. Multi-output plugin support would be a huge plus too.

    1. Ya, im hoping for the sidechaining too. Gotta take it as it comes, they owe us nothing and entitlement is for the birds. Every track I explode and mix in another DAW (Reason) so I’ve been sidechaining there and it helps me focus on the sounds and arrangements and mix later. This box excels at that for sure. Went through a bit of the “too much everything” GAS addiction. “Gotta have more plugins”. Now I rinse repeat and meticulously mix and re-arrange later.

    2. Agreed its not a big deal in the software, but its huge in the hardware…..make sure you check out the autosampler, that is very good!

      1. not a huge deal in standalone either – just connect an external compressor and get creative with all the 6 outputs. Why use it like a laptop in standalone? Its hardware, it loves being connected to other gear!

  3. Yup- This is the best and most unexpected update ever for MPC owners, this takes the Live to another level and a truly portable DAW, I expect to see more VSTs that also run on the MPC now!!

  4. Wow Akai finally comes through???? It’s about damn time! Portable plugin synths-yes! Now I may actually grab a Live. Hoping they continue to expand this category with tons more presets etc. Very happy to see this though!

  5. It’s more in this update of real world tools for creativity for free compared to the update to Cubase 10 for $100 bucks or more even tho Cubase is a great DAW I feel the update price is a bit much . Well done Akai and thank you so much for the Arp been asking and waiting patiently for this for some time now .

  6. On what page does it describe how to load type 1 SMF midi file into the Akai Live ? I cannot find that info in the manual nor elsewhere. Other knowledgable guys here also have not been able to find that EXACT info.

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