Akai built a “cheap” controller for their MPC 2 software (updated)

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Akai’s MPC hardware is normally an expensive investment – you’re considering $ 699 for the “entry-level” One production studio. However, this ecosystem has become much more affordable if you have a computer. The company introduced an MPC Studio controller designed only to connect to MPC 2 software on your Mac or PC. Plug it in and you can produce tracks with the 16 signature drum pads (with pressure, velocity, and aftertouch control) as well as an assignable touch strip that lets you tweak instruments and synths. A color LCD display helps you stay focused on the controller when chopping samples or fine-tuning effects.

Software, unsurprisingly, plays a key role. Akai has invested significantly more energy in its MPC 2 software, including a big update in July which added AIR plugins and a pitch correction on the device. You’ll have access to eight plug-in instrument engines as well as sampling, MIDI sequencing, arranging, and other parts of the MPC workflow. Think of MPC Studio as Akai’s answer to Ableton’s Push: it’s the hardware that brings out the full potential of the software.

The MPC Studio is available today for $ 269. Fortunately MPC 2 is included, so it’s a good deal as long as you have a production-ready computer. This could make the Akai universe considerably more accessible if you are new to this kind of musical creation.

Update 9/21/18:10 ET: Akai now says MPC 2 is included, not separate as we originally wrote. We have updated the room accordingly. Needless to say, this makes MPC Studio a more attractive offering for newcomers.

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