Akai Professional MPC Live II
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 its 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.
Standalone Production Sweet
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!
- 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
This is best bit of studio kit Ive brought easy to setup brilliant for beat making and also the song process is a great tool shame the export wav file is only a stereo track
Great so far, recommend heading to YouTube for some useful tutorials if like me you’re new to this type of production.
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.