Akai Pro MPC Touch (3)

MPC Touch: The clue is in the name

As technology marches onwards, each wave brings a little something extra to the table. Drum machines migrated from simple LED numeric displays to actual screens with lines of text. Then came full colour screens with actual waveforms, offering more visual feedback than ever before. And now we move to tactile interaction with a groove box via a rather lush 7″ screen. The MPC Touch might sound like some iPad thingy, but this is about as far away from that as possible.

Some words:

Akai Pro MPC Touch (3)

AKAI PROFESSIONAL BREAKS THE WORKFLOW BARRIER WITH THE REVOLUTIONARY MPC TOUCH 

The newest addition to the legendary MPC series re-writes the rules with an intuitive controller featuring multi-touch display for an immersive production experience

Ash Vale, UK (October 7, 2015) — Akai Professional, a leading manufacturer of music production equipment today announces the introduction of the MPC Touch, the newest and most advanced member of their legendary MPC product line. The touch-screen controller is the result of painstaking engineering development, detailed customer research and user feedback. The result is the most capable and user-friendly music production controller Akai Professional has developed to date.

The Touch introduces a new approach to music production with an ultra fast and super intuitive workflow, powered by a radiant 7″ colour multi-touch display. Literally grab and pinch waveforms, draw midi events, adjust envelopes, chop samples, add effects and precisely set your controls using your fingertips. Combined with the classic MPC feel, sound and award-winning pads, the Touch embodies the best elements of our past while taking music production gear into the future.

Features:

  • 7″ colour multi-touch Display
  • 16 velocity-sensitive thick, fat MPC pads with RGB backlighting
  • 2-in/2-out audio interface
  • Step Sequencer with touch interface
  • XYFX control adds effects, adjusts sound dynamics in real time
  • Phrase Looper, enables connection of any instrument to create loops
  • Pad Mixer for setting levels, stereo panning and adding VST effects
  • Sample Edit control, for trimming, chopping and processing your samples
  • 4 new, performance-ready touch-sensitive controls
  • Data Encoder knob, for push-and-twist control of display parameters
  • Includes MPC software with over 20 GB of sound content

“Our new MPC Touch is an incredibly noteworthy event in the evolution of the Akai Professional product lineup. Years of research, customer feedback and cutting-edge engineering development has led directly to the most capable and innovative MPC we’ve ever offered,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “We’re known for the excellence and music-making capability of our MPC family. It’s the backbone of what we do. The MPC Touch breaks new ground in music production in terms of ease of use and on-board capability. We’re excited and proud to offer it to modern musicians everywhere.”

The Akai Professional MPC Touch will be available November 2015 at Akai Professional dealers and will ship with an MSRP of £499.99.

Akai Pro MPC Touch (6)

LESS BUTTONS — MORE SCREEN

It’s a multi-touch screen — worth differentiating that right now from a simple touch/slide control interface. So there are possibilities beyond pressing a button or tabbing screen to screen. Also, should they take customer feedback seriously, it means that they can change controls as they see fit too. Obviously I have no idea how hackable it is, but I’m sure some smart model can get to work on a JJOS style interface, if one is needed of course.

Sadly, and if I understand it correctly, you’re still tethered to a laptop. They’re no real brain inside this thing, and the screen is probably driven directly from your computer. That said, looking at the display, you can probably put your computer some distance away and work with the MPC Touch in isolation. The workflow implementation looks to be pretty complete.

I’ll be honest, when I read the press release for the first timeliest week, I was unimpressed. “Why can’t they just build something to take an iPad?” I thought, but having seen the pictures and watched the video, I can see the attraction of the MPC Touch. The screen allows a level of control not seen before, as well as visually having everything you need at hand.

“THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING”

I picked up on this parting shot from the promo video. This format is clearly the future of the MPC line, and is definitely far enough away from the originals to be considered as something else rather than paying homage. But what more can we expect? We definitely want to see a proper standalone device. Akai Pro needs to work on not requiring a laptop and having an embedded solution, as well as scaling down the MPC Touch into something akin to the MPC Studio, but not so damned shiny.

Summing up, the Akai Pro MPC Touch will be available in November with price tags of £499/$799 (probably cheaper on the street in the US). I’d say click here for more info, but the Akai Pro site is groaning under the strain. Good luck.

GALLERY