Akai MPC Live Music Production Workstation

Akai MPC Live Music Production Workstation

Lose the laptop and build beats on Akai's standalone MPC Live. With 16 RGB pads and a 7" touchscreen, this battery-powered beat machine was born to perform.

Overall User Ratings (based on 12 ratings)
Overall:
5 out of 5 stars
Sound:
5 out of 5 stars
Features:
5 out of 5 stars
Ease of Use:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Quality:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Value:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Manufacturer Support:
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Wow Factor:
5 out of 5 stars
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(12) (see rating details)
Submitted August 5, 2019 by Alfred T in Roosevelt, NY
"A current take on this beauty."
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I realize that most of the reviews on this machine are 2+ years old, so I am going to talk about it now - post updates and such. I purchased this to accent the MPC-X for my travels and I have to say that this has actually taken more of my time than using the X. You see, while out in the world, its easy to be taken away by real life. Time is of the essence and the ability to chill at home and make beats can become sparse if studio work is not your full-time job. With that being said, the MPC Live has replaced my cell phone game playing time during my down times. Imagine this: You are in the waiting room of a doctors office or you have some down time in your work vehicle. You might pull out your cell phone and play Angry Birds or some sort of game to kill some time. Now, I reach into the same bag, pull out a fully functioning MPC-Live (No plug needed) with not only 10 GB of sounds pre-loaded, but a 500gb Micro-SD card with nothing but drums and other sounds that I literally swap out of my MPC-X and bang out. Fully featured effects, XY control, chopping up samples, the whole nine. My cell phone loaded with more music than a cell should have plugged in to sample. Youtube as well. Doesn't matter. The 1TB SSD that I put into the Live has 1000's of sounds loaded as well and make everything borderline instantaneous. If I don't get a chance to finish, Save the beat on to my Micro SD and voila, pop it into the X when I get home and continue where I left off. Track out my sounds and tether it to my computer to record into my Studio 4. No eight outs needed, simply explode the tracks during export and it saves each track as an individual wav file that you can drag over to Studio 4 or Pro-tools and they are automatically tracked out. Easy as pie. I love this machine!!
Musical Background:
Come on, what do you think?!?!? Turntablist supreme, and whatever else is needed.
Musical Style:
Hip Hop!!! R&B!! and recently, I dabbled into Modern Gospel.
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Submitted June 22, 2017 by a customer from gmail.com in Round Lake , IL
"Awesome gear"
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
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 ..
Musical Style:
Hip hop
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Submitted September 30, 2017 by L S in Chicago, IL
"BEST MPC EVER! "
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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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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Submitted September 17, 2017 by a customer from yahoo.com in San Antonio, TX
"This is amazing"
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
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.
Musical Style:
All types
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Submitted December 19, 2017 by Broderick B in Norwalk, CA
"Akai is back better than ever"
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
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!!!!
Musical Background:
I have been recording music for 18 years
Musical Style:
Hip Hop,R&B
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Submitted January 16, 2018 by A. J. D in Parker, CO
"2 Months with the MPC Live and my entire outlook on music has changed"
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
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.
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.
Features
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.
Musical Background:
DJ, Producer, Piano, Guitar, Trombone
Musical Style:
Including but not limited to: Dance, Hip-hop, Soundtrack, Symphonic, Pop, and electronic
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Submitted June 9, 2018 by Thomas H in Palm Coast., FL
"So far so good"
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
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.
Musical Background:
25+ Years Music Production
Musical Style:
Multiple Styles
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Submitted December 16, 2019 by Ivan D in Blacklick, OH
"The ultimate companion"
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
My first MPC..if you've never had one..you're missing out..I admit it was a little intimidating..but 1-hr of dedication..had me in the groove..2-days later, laying out 6 tracks, and sampling..Still havent sequenced a full song yet..and added effects..But im editing sounds and samples.I love the portability..the connection options...its darn near perfect.
Musical Background:
Crearing music over 30yrs..from Piano, sax, drums to dj'ing.
Musical Style:
Hip-hop, jazz, pop, rock, rnb, soul..
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Submitted May 16, 2017 by Jeff Martin in Highlands , TX
"Mpc live Has healing powers "
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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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
Musical Background:
17 years Sample based producer
Musical Style:
Hip hop
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Submitted December 28, 2017 by Mike X in Sacramento, CA
"Its a beast! "
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
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
Musical Background:
15 years
Musical Style:
Hip hop pop rock trap
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Submitted December 29, 2017 by Mike X in Sacramento, CA
"Its a beast! "
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
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
Musical Background:
15 years
Musical Style:
Hip hop pop rock trap
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Submitted September 23, 2017 by Freddie B in Sacramento, CA
"Do not buy yet wait for the new version "
Overall: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
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
Musical Background:
27 years music production and engineer
Musical Style:
Rap hip hop pop
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