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Review of Akai MPC Live II & Akai MPC One

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Akai MPC Live II & Akai MPC One Review

We covered in our MPC Live and MPC X by Akai Pro Review (2019) the previously released MPC machines. Both devices did already show back in March 2019 how far the non-computer or DAWless machines have developed these days. With an MPC Live or X, it is exceptionally agile and easy to produce songs without using a computer-based DAW.

These days you have the choice of performing with many instruments to perform DAW-less. Devices like the MPC Live II, which come with an included battery, have the edge during the pandemic where you may want to meet friends outside instead of sitting near in a cafe or studio with them.

Akai MPC Live II
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AKAI MPC Live II – The Perfect Mobile Studio

When I looked back in 2019, MPC Live was the smaller device used mobile to produce beats and works just fine in a studio or on a live stage. The new Akai MPC Live II replaces the now discontinued MPC Live. Akai’s current MPC lineup currently consists of three well-defined MPCs: the MPC One, the MPC Live II, and the MPC X.

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Soundbar Speaker

The noticeable update for the MPC Live II is the visible black built-in speaker. This speaker helps when you have no headphones with you when you are mobile. The included Live II’s speaker sounds good, giving average volume, a solid stereo image, and low-end ubiquity. The speakers are not an apparatus. They are ideal for an outside jam or with friends, and you all want to listen to the sound. You do not buy Live II for the speaker. You obtain it for the whole package.

MPC Live MK II Mobile Practice Machine – Convid-19

The new mobile music beat making machine help you always to improve your skills. Why not get better when you left your home and sit on the beach, or covid-19 conform somewhere on your outside. The new MPC Live II is your tool to work on your skillset everywhere. I did take the Live II with me when I did go to the lake, letting the dog have some fun in the water. It has driven to a location outside, taking the device out of my bag and get started. No setup is needed or an external power supply is required.

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When you meet with your clients, probably somewhere outside, you can share the project and get feedback while meeting the client and not being forced to a studio environment where your client may not want to visit you right now. It is a modern instrument you can take anywhere and use for 4-5 hours.

Akai Live II is one of the top mobile music production and performance devices in the market. A comprehensive upgrade from the legacy MPC Live. Akai Live II is unmatched in versatility and the ability to inspire you on the go. The MPC Live II is a fabulous mobile & DAWless MPC sequencer/sampler. The Akai Live II is an excellent entrance into the MPC range to leverage the MPC workflow.

Ableton Integration

MPC Live II is Ableton Integration ready. WiFi (only available on the Live II) brings you tightly synced Ableton Link integration. ALS export makes sharing your projects super simple. Ableton Control means seamless clip launching and parameter control right from MPC Live II.

Ableton Live Control Features

  • Matrix Tab – The Matrix tab displays an 8×8 section of Live’s Session View marked in the Live GUI by the colored session ring. Users have a complete overview of—and immediate access to—the scenes, clips, play status, recording status as well as control over playback, recording quantize functions, and scene/ clip management.
  • Mixer Tab – The Mixer Tab provides instant access to Live’s key mixing functions, divided into three views for control of Levels, Main mixer parameters, and Sends. Using Force’s touch interface, control any slider/knob or bring up a full-screen editor for precise adjustments.
  • Device Control Tab – The device tab controls the device on the current track at Ableton Live’s Blue Hand position, providing control and key visual feedback on Ableton Instruments and third-party plugins.
  • Control Bar – At the top of the touch user interface, users can customize the Control Bar to display preset displays for Session, Arrangement, and Performance modes including BPM, Phase Nudge Down/Up, Metronome, Follow, Overdub, Automation Arm, and more.

Akai MPC One

The Akai MPC One is the most petite and most straightforward of the current MPC range. As it does not come with a battery – it is not a mobile performance system. You need to supply power while you use the device. Looking at a competition like the Maschine+, this device is half the price of a Machine+ and still substantially less than a Synthstrom’s Deluge and is coming with a different UI and the MPC software experience. The main difference to Akai Live II and missing an internal speaker is getting smaller pads and no battery & no Wi-Fi/Bluetooth support. You get more interface buttons with the One as its layout allows for more real estate. The extra buttons are helpful. 

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Eurorack and Semi-Modular Connectivity (MPC One & Live II)

Akai included CV/gate ports that you can use with your Eurorack, AE Modular, or Semi-Modular gear. No need to add midi to the CV device on top. The four ports need to be split by a cable in CV and gate.  The Eurorack and Semi-Modular connectivity are essential when you want to use the device with your modular gear.

Touchscreen Akai MPC One & Live II

You can use the pad, knobs, and buttons, and in my experience, I used the touchscreen and pads at the same rate. The touchscreen helps when you want to make editing sequences, select notes/events, modify automation, enter parameter,s or enter a simple file name.  The touchscreen is identical on both devices, and I used it a lot on the typical MPC workflow.

Rating:  Five out of five stars

The MPC hardware Platform and the support software updates are getting better. With the new software updates, Akai is adding more helpful features to both devices. The Akai MPC One is a fantastic value for the price. The higher-priced Live II is your machine when you are mobile, especially in the current time where you want to meet outside. Both devices enable a whole new generation of beatmakers to produces beats and tracks. 

Overall, with the MPC Live II, MPC One, and MPC X, you get your hands on a DAWless device without the need to run a computer while performing. The MPC lineup has you satisfied when it comes to sequencing your tracks and song, the fully grown sampler, recording, and editing abilities can be all used intuitively through the easy to use interface.

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Akai

MPC Live II Mobile Practice Machine – During Convid-19

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AKAI MPC Live II – The Perfect Mobile Studio

We are all facing difficult times, for many for several months. This is the new normal at least for industry-developed countries until the third quarter of 2021, in other places well into 2022. While the whole industry we are working in is changing we need to adapt to a new working together or on how we are collaborating on how we team with the client if we meet in person. I just want to highlight a key finding of mine when I did review the AKAI MPC Live II.

Akai MPC Live II
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The new mobile music beat making machine help you always to improve your skills. Why not get better when you left your home and sit on the beach, or covid-19 conform somewhere on your outside. The new AKAI MPC Live II is your tool to work on your skillset everywhere. I did take the AKAI MPC Live II with me when I did go to the lake, letting the dog have some fun in the water. It has driven to a location outside, taking the device out of my bag and get started. No setup is needed or an external power supply is required.

When you meet with your clients, probably somewhere outside, you can share the project and get feedback while meeting the client and not being forced to a studio environment where your client may not want to visit you right now. It is a modern instrument you can take anywhere and use for 4-5 hours.

Akai Live II is one of the top mobile music production and performance devices in the market. A comprehensive upgrade from the legacy MPC Live. AKAI MPC Live II is unmatched in versatility and the ability to inspire you on the go. The MPC Live II is a fabulous mobile & DAWless MPC sequencer/sampler. The Akai Live II is an excellent entrance into the MPC range to leverage the MPC workflow.

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Akai

Beat Making with the New AKAI MPK mini MK3

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Beat Making

Akai Professional released some weeks ago a new version of the best-selling MIDI controller, mini mk3 MIDI Controller.

For the beginner, MPK mini is a complete package with every tool needed to create hit songs from the start. For the working professional, MPK mini is the ultimate musical Swiss Army knife, packed with all the features to deliver on any musical task. From its inception, the MPK mini inspired a generation of producers, redefining how creators make music. MPK mini mk3 refines the tried and tested design of its predecessors with an updated feature spec that leaves any roadblocks by the wayside and places creativity firmly in the driver’s seat. Your hit song starts here!

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MIDI Controller

10 Best Midi Controller Keyboards

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10 Best Midi Controller Keyboards

This midi keyboards review is sorted by price, from the cheapest to the most expensive, ranging from $100 up to over a $1000, including brands such as AKAI, Native Instruments, Novation, M-Audio and many more.

Anything from best studio midi keyboard to professional midi keyboard for people who want durability during their tours and shows.

What makes a good midi will always be a topic of debate, but that’s why we tried to include as many different midis as possible. Hence, this list includes top midi controllers for any purpose.

As the price becomes a main aspect of the listings the midi keyboard keys become a significant aspect of identification. As some entries are 2 octave midi keyboards, they highlight an important difference in price and purpose.

While one of the 2 octave entries might be a good midi keyboard for production, other is a high end midi controller for a very specific use with 5D VSTs (the first being a popular option from AKAI – the MPK Mini MkII and the latter the inventive ROLI Seaboard Block).

When reaching the upper end of 8 octaves we start encountering the best midi keyboards for live performance, from AKAI Road 88 to M-Audio Hammer 88 which are not just great choices for musicians but are also the best midi synthesizer and the best touch sensitive midi keyboard that replicate a piano to the highest standard.

But that’s not all you’ll find on the list, as we also focus on the best small midi keyboard controllers, that allow you to travel with ease, not worrying about big, cluttered setups.

We end up with a mix of midis designed for comfort and midis design for the comfort of production.

From both the start and the end of the list, we have the best mini keyboard for music production and the best music production keyboards in general – reaching the high mark of over $1000.

We also didn’t forget about ease of access, some of these are desktop midi controller while others studio midi controller, showing a wide range of keyboards, guaranteeing you’ll find at least one that will grab your attention.

At the end of the video, we also include comprehensive charts that show that if you’re looking for the best midi controller keyboard with drum pads, you might not need to shell out that much money, as the price doesn’t always translate to the number of knobs or buttons you get, but if you look into all of them individually, you’ll quickly realise that they are the best midi keyboard for a reason.

We hope you enjoy our midi controllers reviews and find at least one keyboard you would like to grab for yourself.

We tried to include as many options as we could, looking at the top midi keyboard controllers from the most prestigious brands in the market.

Obviously, trying to cover everything in one list, might have lead us to not include a keyboard that you would regard as the best midi keyboard out there, but please understand that we are limited by only 10 slots, so we have to carefully choose what to include, to cover as much as we can.

But if you feel like you have a better entry for the best midi keyboard controller for live performance or the best midi keyboard with drum pads, we encourage you to share your opinion in the comment section below so we can see your opinions and see what else would be a good choice.

Also, don’t forget that all of these are great midi keyboards and even though some are more expensive than the rest, it doesn’t mean that a cheap option is worse.

Depending on your budget or skillset, a lower end midi might just be exactly what you’re looking for as midi controllers with aftertouch might be a just what you’re looking for or that sentence didn’t even make any sense.

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