Akai's venerable MPC series has just gained a new member. The MPC Studio is a hybrid software/hardware setup, comprising a familiar-looking 16-pad hardware controller, and Akai's MPC2 sampling and arranging software.
We'll start with the hardware. Those 16 trigger pads are all pressure- and velocity-sensitive, and are backlit with RGB lighting to aid navigation. Alongside them is an assignable touch strip, with which you can add expression, modulation and more to your effects and performances in real time.
Central to its operation is a profusion of buttons, a large scroll wheel/encoder, and a high-resolution colour display, which shows you which parameters you're adjusting.
On the software side is MPC2, the latest iteration of Akai's virtual MPC platform. This can run either as a standalone app or as a VST plug-in in any compatible DAW, and supports real-time sampling, plus a number of other stand-out MPC features such as groove and swing control, note repeat, and quantise. It boasts eight built-in instruments, including the acclaimed AIR Hype virtual synthesizer, plus emulations of classic analogue instruments like the Mellotron, the Solina string synth and the ARP Odyssey.
As well as providing you with a broad selection of instruments, a number of effects are also included, such as a vocal tuner, auto-harmoniser and doubler, granular and stutter effects, and many more besides.
The Akai MPC Studio hardware/software combo is available to buy now, and priced at just £229.99. We'll be putting it through its paces in a full SOS review very soon!