Akai Professional MPC Live II
Overview by GAK
Akai’s MPC Live II is a refined and improved version of the original Live, which raised the bar for truly portable production workstations. Retaining its predecessor’s stylish looks and robust build-quality, the Live II expands upon it with an even smoother workflow, additional controls on the front panel, lighter form factor, CV connections and a punchy built-in stereo speaker - the Akai Live II is a more than worthy successor to its first iteration.
The Live II can be the centrepiece of any music production studio or hardware rig as well as a fully-equipped production station that enables you to create music wherever you take it, with up to five hours of on-the-go use thanks to its onboard rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. It’s also handy if you’re using it a gig and someone accidentally unplugs the power cable! Whenever inspiration strikes, the Live II can be there to realise your ideas.
The portability of the Live has been taken to another level as it weighs less than the original and boasts a built-in stereo monitoring system. Featuring a dual tweeter-woofer system, MPC Live II’s monitor is no slouch and can be used for anything from impromptu tabletop jams to a solid mixing platform. It’s a far cry from most built-in speakers that come included with hardware, with an impressive amount of depth and clarity. There’s also a switch on the rear if you want to turn them off and connect the Live II to external speakers.
Melding an incredibly intuitive user interface with plenty of power (it uses the same multi-core processor as its bigger brother the MPC X), the MPC Live is a perfect sonic playground for you to unleash your creativity. The sheer amount of possibilities is easily tamed with an array of hands-on control (including Akai Professional’s tried-and-tested 16 pad format, four capacitive touch-knobs and an assortment of dedicated buttons) and the crystal-clear 7 inch touch-screen display. Put simply, it’s a professional production workstation with the expressivity and intuitiveness of an instrument.
A huge advantage of the MPC Live II is it’s versatile connectivity, meaning it can seamlessly integrate into any rig, gig or studio setting. Featuring three stereo ¼ inch TRS outs (6 mono), phono/line level inputs, Bluetooth, MIDI, USB, Wi-Fi and four TRS CV/Gate outs, the MPC Live II gives you a vast amount of options and makes it simple to hook up to your studio gear.
Harnessing Akai’s innovative MPC 2 Software, the MPC Live II contains a fully-fledged production suite that merges real-time time-stretching, clip-launching, onboard synth engines, VST compatibility in controller mode, the ability to be used as a standalone app on Mac/PC and host of other powerful features. The flexibility on offer with the MPC Live II makes it a great solution for those wanting to break from the shackles of computer-centric music creation in standalone mode and, in controller mode, a fantastic control-surface for more DAW-focused producers.
On top of all this functionality, the MPC Live II features native support for Splice and tight integration with Ableton Live - it comes pre-mapped to Live and can also control the DAW wirelessly via Wi-Fi - in addition to expandable memory options (SD Card, USB thumb drive and a 2.5 inch SATA bay) that give you the ability upload your own sample libraries.
If you’re a fan of the vintage MPCs and want to combine a modern feature-set with an iconic look, check out the gorgeous MPC Live II Retro Edition - it’s only available as a limited-run so grab one before they go!
Overview by Akai
Standalone Music Production Centre With Built-In Monitors
Wherever Inspiration Strikes - For the music makers who never want to miss an inspirational moment, meet MPC Live II. This self-contained, battery powered production unit delivers the full MPC experience, anywhere.
Immerse into the Music Making Experience - MPC Live II is the first MPC with a built-in stereo monitoring system. Designed from the ground up, this dual tweeter-woofer system delivers impeccable clarity to keep your ideas flowing through the creative process. Hear every detail of your production - rumbling 808s, the unmistakable punch of kick drums, thunderous bass lines, and a crisp, silky high-end. Need a second perspective? Turn off the built-in monitors, hook up your studio speakers and you’re set.
Every Bit an MPC - Under the hood, MPC Live II includes the same multi-core processor as the MPC X, with every mainstay you demand from a modern MPC. Take complete command of your production with Akai Professional’s iconic 16-pad format. Sequence, edit and chop samples on the bright 7-inch touch screen colour display. Shape your ideas with four capacitive-touch knobs and dive into all critical functions with an arsenal of dedicated buttons meticulously arranged for the ultimate production workflow. Backed by a super-intuitive UI, and packed with everything you demand for professional production, MPC Live II singularly roots your focus on creativity
Mobile Workhorse - As a producer, you demand versatility. MPC Live II Retro primes you for any situation. With three stereo ¼-inch TRS outputs (6 mono), plus phono/line level inputs, USB, MIDI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and four TRS CV/Gate outputs, it’s simple to connect, control and get the best out of all your studio gear. Command your modular rig on stage and usher in a new direction to your performance; grab a patch cable and tap into any studio rack gear with ease; hook up your USB MIDI controllers, pick a synth engine and dive into a world of immersive, expressive performances; connect turntables and inject some old school sampling flavour into your production. Your day-to-day producer activities may mean you go from different studio spaces to stage and back - whatever your day demands, you can count on MPC Live II Retro to deliver the goods.
Your Studio’s Central Command - When we say MPC Live II Retro commands all your external MIDI gear, we mean it thanks to its MIDI Multi capability. Now you can simultaneously connect and route all the MIDI gear in your studio, including class-compliant USB Keyboards, MIDI interfaces and USB to CV modules, supercharging your I/O capability. Fuse this with deep internal MIDI routing capability across tracks, comprehensive MIDI routing to any MIDI compatible synthesiser, drum machine or sound module, and even multitrack recording capability, and MPC Live II Retro forms the beating heart of any production setup, unleashing the true power of all your gear.
Creativity Unleashed - Create wherever and whenever you’re feeling creative. Don’t hang around waiting for that spark, empower yourself with
everything you need to find inspiration wherever it is. Fusing a robust, road-tested and compact build with an on-board rechargeable (up to) 5-hour Lithium-ION battery, MPC Live II Retro revolutionises the create anywhere philosophy.
MPC Software 2 - Akai Professional’s reimagined MPC 2 Software drives MPC Live II Retro in both standalone and controller modes. This is a
cutting-edge production suite combining real-time time-stretching, clip-launch functionality, on-board synth engines,
VST compatibility in controller mode, operation as a standalone application on Mac & PC, seamless DAW integration
and much more. Whether you’re seeking freedom from computer-based music production or searching for the perfect
controller for DAW-centric creative exploration, MPC 2 Software delivers the ultimate in adaptive creative versatility.
Splice Integration - Simplify your sample browsing and auditioning with on-board Splice integration in MPC Live II Retro. Splice Sounds fuels
the creativity of producers around the world with millions of high-quality, royalty-free samples, sounds, presets and
loops, covering every musical style. With Splice natively embedded in MPC Live II Retro, you will experience immediate
Wi-Fi access to your own Splice library directly from the touch user interface.
Ableton Live Integration - MPC Live II Retro comes pre-mapped to Ableton Live for an instant performance and production setup. Take complete
command over Live’s clip launching, mixer and instrument macro controls wirelessly via Wi-Fi network Ableton Link or by ethernet connection using a USB to ethernet adapter. Fusing MPC’s production prowess, critically acclaimed synth engines and a rapid, intuitive workflow with Ableton Live, any creative endeavour is literally a touch away.
Storage & Connectivity - Out the box MPC Live II Retro ships with 16GB of internal Micro SD storage. For producers looking to add a personal touch
to their production, MPC Live II Retro features a built-in SD Card slot, a user-expandable 2.5-inch SATA drive bay for
connecting SSD or HDD drives and USB thumb input for immediate
access to your own sample libraries.
- Standalone MPC – no computer required
- Built-in monitors
- 7-inch high-resolution multi-touch display
- 16 velocity sensitive RGB pads
- Internal, rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Also acts as a control surface for MPC 2 software
- Phono and line level inputs
- (3) Stereo outputs (6 Mono)
- (2) 5-pin MIDI In, (2) 5-pin MIDI Out
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB onboard storage
- Full-size SD card slot
- User-expandable 2.5-inch SATA drive connector (SSD or HDD)
- (2) USB-A 3.0 slots for thumb drives or MIDI controllers
- (4) TRS CV/Gate jacks, 8 outputs total
- Wi-Fi & Bluetooth enabled
- Ableton Link for cross-platform collaboration
- (16) velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads, RGB-backlit
- (8) banks accessible via Pad Bank buttons
- (4) 360° touch-sensitive Q-Link Knobs
- (4) Q-Link Knob columns accessible via Q-Link button
- (1) 360° encoder for display navigation and selection via push
- (27) dedicated function buttons; red-, amber-, or green-backlit
- 6.9” / 176mm (diagonal)
- 5.9” x 3.7” / 150 x 93mm (width x height)
- Full-colour LED-backlit display with touch interface
- Processor: Quad-core ARM® processor
- RAM: 2GB
- Storage: 16GB, expandable via SATA connections
- (2) ¼” (6.35mm) TRS inputs (1 stereo pair)
- (6) ¼” (6.35mm) TRS outputs (3 stereo pairs)
- (1) ¼” (6.35mm) stereo headphone output
- (2) RCA inputs (1 stereo pair)
- (2) 5-pin MIDI inputs
- (2) 5-pin MIDI outputs
- (4) Stereo CV/Gate outputs
- (1) Ethernet link port
- (2) USB Type-A ports
- (1) USB Type-B port
- (1) SD card slot
- (1) power adapter input
- via power adapter: 19 V, 3.42 A, centre-positive, included
- via battery: lithium-ion, rechargeable, up to 5 hours of battery life
- 16.2” x 9.6” x 1.8”
- 411.5 x 243.8 x 45.7mm
- 7.45 lbs.
No upgrades available
Early days as yet but quality and performance immediately evident. Rather disappointing that a longer printed manual not provided and that the full onine version covers 3 related products at once. Would take much to cut & paste out a manual soecific to this model and to include a fully coded link directly to it in the Start Guide provided.