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Rating and Reviews: Akai MPC Live

Lose the laptop and build beats on Akai's standalone MPC Live. With an MPC-Touch-style 7" touchscreen, this battery-powered beat machine was born to perform.

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The Wow Factor
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"BEST MPC EVER! " submitted September 30, 2017

By L S in Chicago, IL
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Overall: As a gear head- I've had many samplers including the MPC2000XL which I regretfully sold a very long time ago- the concept of having the MPC standalone again is amazing!! Especially in a time where I really wanted to get away from being tethered to a laptop or computer which has been the trend in the industry lately that I'm glad AKAI decided to step back from after the Touch and MPC Renaissance. The MPC is reborn-- the LIVE feels great!! Lightyears ahead of it's ancestors before it and IMO- even it's computer tethered counterparts today like maschine and push. Everything from the RGB pads to the super responsive touch screen/ with a ton of features literally at your fingertips just makes you want to play with it NONSTOP. Features like Pad Perform gets you making melodies right away without even having to plug in a Midi controller- definitely making it easy for you to get started on a song in no time. I've already sampled some my favorite drums machines and synths in my collection right to the unit- sounds fantastic!! It's been so refreshing to go standalone- I use it as my main sequencer to control my hardware synths. I couldn't be happier without the laptop. I'd also like to thank zZounds for helping finally get one- My customer service agent Fransico did an awesome job- thank you for all your help you are awesome!
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"2 Months with the MPC Live and my entire outlook on music has changed" submitted January 16, 2018

By A. J. D in Parker, CO
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Musical Background: DJ, Producer, Piano, Guitar, Trombone
Music Style: Including but not limited to: Dance, Hip-hop, Soundtrack, Symphonic, Pop, and electronic
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: Raw sounds tend to clip, so adding compression on every track and the master is a must in standalone mode. When working in controller mode, it is best to have some decent channel strip plugins or a solid preset of stock devices in your DAW of choice. When exporting songs in standalone mode at 320 kpbs, I have found the sound quality to be comparable to Ableton Live and FL Studio. Feature: Best features of the MPC Live are definitely the External Drive bay for expandability, the natural feel and color organization of the Pads, the amount of I/O on the Rear Panel, and of course, Q-Links. Ease of Use: As others have stated, there is definitely a steep learning curve with this product. I highly recommend a thorough manual read, in addition to watching as many videos about the MPC Live as possible. Once the initial concepts of Tracks, Keygroup Programs, and Sequences are learned, the songwriting process becomes easier. Quality: Extremely high build quality, solid as a rock. All metal chassis means this thing can take a beating, but obviously don't try to give it one. I have flown with mine, and after 2 months, the only real sign of wear is the matte finish rubbing off the corners from me not keeping it in a case. Value: Definitely worth the money, and to me the price tag was perfect. The Roland Fantom X6 that I mentioned as being the best music making tool I ever purchased was the exact same price at the time I purchased it, and I feel so much more confident about my investment this time around. Yes, it is a valuable product worth every penny you pay for it.. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to go to Akai for anything yet except initial download software and hopefully it stays that way. The Wow Factor: Every person I have shown it to is amazed by the portability, size, and form factor, in addition to how much it can do. I definitely feel awesome knowing that very few people chose the MPC Live when there are so many other similar products out there. I think the real WOW factor is the Lithium-Ion Battery, which is why I left that out of my best features. The 5-6 hour battery life is what sets the MPC Live apart from the Toraiz SP-16, the Octatrak, the Maschine, Novation Circuit and every other Drum Machine. The true standalone power of a 7 inch screen for midi sequencing, audio editing, and mixing makes the MPC Live the best and only choice for any Hip Hop, R&B, and Dance producers, beat makers, or any sort of live electronic musician looking for a product to integrate to a non-computer based, standalone hardware setup. Overall: Overall, the MPC Live is the best music making product I have purchased since my Roland Fantom X6 in 2001. As a Music Producer, it is important to have an easy way to create, organize and manipulate sounds in a mobile format. The MPC Live is the solution to the most common computer-based producer problems because of its flexibility. The MPC Live can adapt to virtually any style or genre, and there are many ways to enhance your music making experience.
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"This is amazing" submitted September 17, 2017

By a customer from yahoo.com in San Antonio, TX
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Music Style: All types
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Overall: I got this unit in July and still learning how to use it. I have never used an MPC before. The mac pro video series has a tutorial that skims the basics, after watching that I started messing around with it. The MPC forums have a lot of valuable information to help you get started. If you buy this unit the only thing you MUST also buy is the MPC bible from the MPC forums. It dives in depth and will turn you into a master. Now to review this unit let me begin by putting out the most important gripe by many others, The software is still in Beta mode and some features are not yet available. Trust me the features in which are available will keep you busy for the next year at least. The Live has a battery and you can use it anywhere. The build quality reminds me of the Ableton Push very solid! It comes with a lot of sounds but you must remember that this is a sampler so the sounds are unlimited. The inputs on the back are 1/4 inch dual phono jacks unless you have a turntable and ONLY then can you use the RCA's via phono preamps. You will need a mic preamp if you want to use a mic. May I suggest buying a Tascam DR-40 or other mini recorder with a 1/8" stereo jack to dual 1/4 inch phono jacks to make a portable rig to get your mic sounds into the Live. without needing power. The wifi and blue tooth are not active yet but will be soon. The Live works very well and if you never have used MPC like me, you will be able to have a lot of fun learning it as you make music with it. This unit is deeper than you could imagine with all the onboard Fx and instruments. If you are reading this you should buy one for yourself only if you want a portable studio that rocks and you are willing to learn to use the Live.
11 of 12 people (91.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Awesome gear" submitted June 22, 2017

By a customer from gmail.com in Round Lake , IL
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Music Style: Hip hop
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Overall: This product is everything and some .. I'm loving it.... and I love zZounds so much for letting me upgrade my setup without all the money up front ... sampling is a breeze for me know ... before I was sampling through a program then dragging it over to Mpc software.. dnt have to do that anymore ..
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"Akai is back better than ever" submitted December 19, 2017

By Broderick B in Norwalk, CA
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Musical Background: I have been recording music for 18 years
Music Style: Hip Hop,R&B
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Overall: The mpc live is so good its one of the best mpc made i have been using the mpc since the 3000 this is a major improvement in workflow and the sound content is off the chain you will be able to make great music with just the sound and software that came with the mpc it has all the plugins you need to finish your song i recommend this if you want a standalone situation but if not needed you can get the mpc touch and be fine or if you don't need a touch screen the mpc studio will do the same thing as the other mpc akai products are great!!!!
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"So far so good" submitted June 9, 2018

By Thomas H in Palm Coast., FL
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Musical Background: 25+ Years Music Production
Music Style: Multiple Styles
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Overall: I had the mpc 500 and the 1000 and moving to this was fairly ez. I'd say the touch screen is better than the lcd line display I'm used to and the workflow is nice. Only things I'm not crazy about is it's a freaking dust magnet with it's rubber feel coating. Also when plugged in I get a noise so I have to unplug and go to battery to be able to work on it, not sure if there is something on my end to fix that but I'll be looking into it. Otherwise a very capable piece of gear.
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"Mpc live Has healing powers " submitted May 16, 2017

By Jeff Martin in Highlands , TX
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Musical Background: 17 years Sample based producer
Music Style: Hip hop
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Overall: Friend of mine was in a terrible accident while he was healing in the hospital his MPC LIve shipped.We had a fantastic experience learning this amazing piece of equipment together and it really allowed my buddy to take his mind off his pain. One day later after jamming out in the burn unit my homie was able to go home and enjoy his new MPC Live;special powers this thing possesses
17 of 21 people (80.95%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Its a beast! " submitted December 28, 2017

By Mike X in Sacramento, CA
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Musical Background: 15 years
Music Style: Hip hop pop rock trap
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Overall: Man oh man i tell ya this thing here i cant explain but the stuff this thing is capable of the videos on youtube dont even show the true power of the mpc live only thing im pretty mad about is i cant run vst instruments on standalone but i can live without it and use my vsts on the 2.0 software for now hopefully akai can put that into a future update but for now im fully satisfied with it this is way better then the mk3 maschine but dont get me wrong i tryed the mk3 its pretty dope too but mpc live is the champ for now
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"Its a beast! " submitted December 29, 2017

By Mike X in Sacramento, CA
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Musical Background: 15 years
Music Style: Hip hop pop rock trap
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Overall: Man oh man i tell ya this thing here i cant explain but the stuff this thing is capable of the videos on youtube dont even show the true power of the mpc live only thing im pretty mad about is i cant run vst instruments on standalone but i can live without it and use my vsts on the 2.0 software for now hopefully akai can put that into a future update but for now im fully satisfied with it this is way better then the mk3 maschine but dont get me wrong i tryed the mk3 its pretty dope too but mpc live is the champ for now
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"Do not buy yet wait for the new version " submitted September 23, 2017

By Freddie B in Sacramento, CA
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Musical Background: 27 years music production and engineer
Music Style: Rap hip hop pop
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Overall: Crash crash crash not able to save not useful at this piont untill akai fix all the bugs this thing is useless my bke beat thang works better then this and trust me the beat thang crashes alot too
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