Official: MPC X and MPC Live Specs, Photos & Pricing

By MPC-Tutor | Last modified: Jan 13, 2017 | Leave a comment

The MPC world is buzzing this morning as details have now been official released for the two new standalone MPCs from Akai – MPC X and MPC Live.

MPC X

The MPC X is the new flagship MPC from Akai. It’s a fully standalone MPC with a huge 10.1″ touchscreen display.

  • A complete stand-alone DAW
  • 10.1″ multi-touch screen
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • 16 assignable OLED-labeled Q-Link encoders
  • Eight 3.5mm CV/Gate outputs for sequencing of analog synths
  • Dual USB ports for external drives & support for MIDI over USB
  • SD card slot
  • 2.5″ SATA for HDD or SSD drives
  • 2x MIDI IN, 4 X MIDI OUT
  • 4 recording inputs (2 x dedicated XLR Mic & switchable 2 x line inputs or 2 x phono (RCA) with ground)
  • 8 x 1/4″ analogue outputs
  • 10GB sample library
  • Shipping Weight: 14 lbs
  • (HxWxD in mm) when display is flat: 87.3 x 504.5 x 424.4, when display is upright: 213.5 x 504.5 x 387.9
  • (HxWxD in inches) when display is flat: 3.4 x 19.9 x 16.7, when display is upright: 8.4 x 19.9 x 15.3
  • Launch Price: $2,199 (US) & £1449 (UK)

 

As predicted, this will be a ‘hybrid’ MPC, so you can choose to run it completely standalone or connect it to your computer and use it as an MPC Software controller.  As you can see there’s lots of input and output options, with 8 1/4″ outputs, turntable connectors and mic inputs, 4 MIDI outs and the USB ports can also be used for MIDI over USB. We’ve even got CV/Gate outputs for analogue synth control.

When it comes to storage we’ve got a 2.5″ SATA port for HDD or SSD drives, SD card slot and USB ports for removable media and drives, on top of the 16GB built in, so pretty much all bases covered. Interestingly the original FCC leaks showed us that the main board being used in these MPCs supports wireless and bluetooth (and ultimately that is why the test reports needed to be submitted to the FCC in the first place), but so far there’s no mention of wireless support. Was this dropped, or just missing from the specs? It seems that wireless support and Ableton Link will be coming in a future update.

 

One of the interesting things that have been pointed out is that the MPC X, unlike the MPC Live and MPC Touch, has the traditional 4-cursor key pad for navigation, which will appeal to people who wish to use the touchscreen purely for viewing. On the Live and Touch, you are required to use the touchscreen to select certain parameters (i.e. the ones not assigned to a Q-Link).

As you can probably see, when flattened, the large 10.1″ screen does poke out of the back of the MPCX which has led to people wondering how easy it will be to break it during transport. It’s a shame the screen doesn’t either tuck itself away, or even detach for safe storage.

On the whole the features seem to be as the leaks predicted, however the whopping $2199 pricing is more than most expected. UK customers seem to have faired much better with GAK pre-order prices coming in at £1449.

But if you have the funds, the X certainly looks like it should tick most people’s boxes, especially when coupled with MPC Software 2.0 which will give it full DAW capabilities. Lots of inputs and outputs, huge array of controls (loving those OLED labels on the Q Links), huge screen, completely standalone. A true flagship.The best demo video I’ve seen so far is this one from my friends at Sound on Sound:

MPC Live

  • A complete stand-alone DAW
  • 7″ multi-touch screen
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • Internal Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • Dual USB ports for external drives & support for MIDI over USB
  • SD card slot
  • 2.5″ SATA for HDD or SSD drives
  • 2x MIDI IN, 2 X MIDI OUT
  • Switchable 2 x 1/4″ line inputs or 2 x phono (RCA) with ground
  • 6 x 1/4″ analogue outputs
  • 10GB sample library
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • (HxWxD in mm):67.5 x 410 x 223
  • (HxWxD in inches):2.7 x 16 x 8.8
  • Launch Price: $1,199 US, £799 UK.
The MPC Live is also a completely standalone ‘hybrid’, with the added benefit of portability with its smaller form factor and built in rechargeable lithium battery. The ins and outs aren’t quite as good as the MPC X, but I suspect that most bedroom and semi-pro producers will not miss the slightly reduced specifications on this front.
It seems when it comes to storage, the MPC Live has the same specs as the MPC X. However it’s the screen and control elements that might put folks off the MPC Live. Suddenly that 7″ touchscreen looks pretty cramped compared to the X’s 10.1″. And the X’s sixteen OLED labelled dials look pretty amazing compared to the Live’s basic offering.
 
 One of the Live’s most unique features is the internal lithium battery, which can allegedly give up to 5 hours playback, taking around an hour to recharge. This will make the Live very popular with producers who need an ‘on the go’ solution, giving you the opportunity to knock out production quality beats whenever the mood takes you. And as MPC Software 2.0 features audio tracks you can even use the Live as a portable multitrack recorder to capture live performances.
There’s no denying that when it comes to pricing, the MPC Live wins hands down, coming in a 45% cheaper than the MPC X. If portability, desk space and pricing are major factors for you, the MPC Live might be the standalone MPC you’ve been dreaming of. Here’s the Sound on Sound demo with Pete Goodliffe:

Are these both truly standalone?

Yes, these are standalone MPCs, in fact they are ‘hybrids’ as they can function standalone or as a controller for the computer based MPC Software. There are some restrictions in standalone mode, the main one is that you are limited to 8 stereo audio tracks at 44.1kHz/24 bit – while in controller mode, you can have 128 stereo audio tracks at (I believe) up to 96kHz/24 bit. Another limitation is that you cannot use third party plugins while in standalone mode, i.e. no VST/AU effects or instruments. Akai have yet to confirm whether Hybrid 3 and the other included ‘Akai’ plugins (the Bank, the Wub etc) can function in standalone mode, but I suspect the answer is currently ‘no’. Similarly, we are currently not sure what effects are available in standalone mode.

What About MPC Software 2.0?

Since writing this article, Akai released details of MPC Software 2.0 (except for upgrade and pricing details). This new update will include audio tracks, real time pitch shifting and time stretch, warping, the new clip program type, lots of new effects and instruments, improved browser with search, a complete overhaul of the GUI, and many more improvements. Check out my separate article detailing the MPC Software 2.0 Specs.

 

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