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AKAI PRO unveils MPC Live II

Now with built-in speakers and Multi MIDI

2020 May 19     
2 Bit Thugs

The portable production powerhouse is available now, priced £1,039

AKAI PRO has announced the latest addition to its MPC range, the MPC Live II. The unit is on sale now, with a retail price of £1,039/$1,199.

As the name suggests, the new machine is the updated version of the successful MPC Live, which launched back in 2017 (and which we reviewed after a firmware upgrade in 2019), with built-in speakers, enhanced studio connectivity and an OS overhaul the headline improvements.

Otherwise the basic story's the same: the MPC Live II is a portable, standalone music-maker with sampling, sequencing, recording and mixing all taken care of in the box, with 16 RGB-backlit performance pads and a full-colour, seven-inch touchscreen at the heart of the action. This means there's no need to hook it up to a computer and DAW at all – though if you do, it can also flip quite happily into controller mode.

Looking at the various enhancements a little more closely, the built-in speakers are enclosed in a grilled bar along the bottom of the unit. AKAI PRO is referring to these as "studio monitors", although no exact specifications are quoted. 

The top panel also features five new buttons – Mix, Mute, Step Sequence, Time Correct, and Next Sequence – to make for a smoother workflow, while round the back, four CV/gate jacks have been added to the I/O roster for those wanting to hook up modular hardware. The rest of the I/O line-up remains unchanged: 1/4-inch stereo master out, 2x 1/4-inch stereo outs, 1x 1/4-inch stereo in, 2x MIDI In, 2x MIDI Out, 2x RCA phono in and, on the digital front, 2x USB-A, 1x USB-B, Ethernet and an SD Card slot. The MPC Live II is also Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled.

Under the hood, the MPC Live II has the latest version of the MPC operating software onboard. MPC 2.8 (which is common to all of the MPC line-up, and available as a free download for existing owners) now offers full Multi MIDI capability, which again will please those wanting to hook up lots of outboard synths, drum machines and so on. You also now get 16GB of preloaded sounds onboard, compared to the 10GB supplied with the MPC Live.

If all that sounds enticing, watch the video below or hit up AKAI PRO's own website to find out more.






Tags: Akai, AKAI PRO, MPC Live II, studio, gear, musical equipment, sampler, sequencer, workstation