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Akai Pro unveil MPC X Special Edition

Most powerful MPC instrument ever

Akai MPC X Special Edition production sampler workstation drum machine

This year marks the 35th anniversary of Akai Pro’s legendary MPC system, and to celebrate, the company have announced the release of the MPC X Special Edition, the latest version of their flagship model which they say represents the most powerful MPC ever.

The standalone instrument is built around a quad-core processor and equipped with 4GB of RAM, the MPC X SE delivers more sampling power than ever before, boasting faster loading times for instruments, samples and projects, whilst 48GB of internal storage offers increased space for projects, sequences and drum programs. The unit also features a built-in 2in/4-out MIDI interface, allowing integration with external keyboards, synths and sound modules.

Hardware and GUI

Intuitive control and visual feedback is offered by 10-inch touchscreen display, and a wealth of additional hands-on control is provided by 16 Q Link rotary encoders that can be assigned to any of the instrument’s program, instrument or insert effects parameters. OLED screens are present above each of the encoders in order to display the name and status of the assigned controls.

The centre of the MPC X SE is of course populated by a grid of 16 drum pads. Despite sporting a grey finish that replicates the look of the original units, the pads are the company’s most recent design, offering a pressure-sensitive response and featuring RGB backlit edges. They offer the classic operation that the instrument has become known for, whilst allowing users to take advantage of more recent additions to the instrument’s software, such as the Notes and Chords modes, when controlling the huge range of built-in instruments.

Two audio inputs are provided on XLR/TRS combo sockets that are capable of delivering phantom power, with another two utilising quarter-inch TRS sockets, and an additional stereo input designed for use with a turntable is also present on a pair of RCA connectors. Eight independent line-level outputs are provided on quarter-inch TRS sockets, and eight CV outputs that utilise 3.5mm mini-jacks are also included.


Over 20 built-in instruments are present, as well as a collection of high-quality insert effects and audio processors. Softsynths such as the company’s OPx4 FM and award-winning Fabric XL are included, along with virtual instruments like Stage Piano. A variety of plug-in effects and processors are also available, including the Vocal Effects Suite courtesy of processing experts AIR Music Technology.

Users are able to expand the collection of onboard sounds and processors via the company’s MPC Store, which can be accessed directly from the device itself thanks to built-in WiFi connectivity.

The instrument also comes bundled with Akai Pro’s MPC 2 Desktop software, a fully featured DAW package that offers audio and MIDI recording and sequencing facilities, as well as providing tight integration with Akai hardware devices.

“The journey for MPC has been a labour of love. We strive every day to deliver the tools that will empower all music makers, from our life-long MPC users who trust and rely on their MPCs to keep up with their daily music grind, down to the newest members of the MPC community who look to the MPC legend as they foray into their nascent musical endeavours. MPC X Special Edition is a tribute to where we’ve come from, what we’ve accomplished, and marker of the next chapter of innovatory, ground-breaking music product development.” - Dan Gill, Senior Akai Professional Product Manager


The MPC X Special Edition is a standalone device and runs without the need for a host computer. The bundled MPC 2 Desktop software is supported on PCs running Windows 10 and 11, and Macs running macOS versions 10.15.7 up to 12.4.

Pricing & Availability

The MPC X Special Edition is available now, priced at $2499.

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