Almost a decade after the introduction of the first MPC Studio, AKAI has announced that the hybrid controller/software solution is making a comeback. The new MPC Studio is a dedicated controller for the MPC 2 software, complete with all the pads, buttons and controls that define the MPC workflow.
Update: Check out our First Look Review!
AKAI MPC Studio
When AKAI replaced its line of stand-alone MPCs with the hybrid MPC Studio and MPC Renaissance almost 10 years ago, the controller/software combinations were met with mixed reactions. Some loved the flexibility of the hybrid setup, while others insisted that only a stand-alone MPC is a real MPC. AKAI changed course a few years later and brought the stand-alone models back, with the current line-up comprising the MPC X, MPC Live II and MPC One.
Now, AKAI has decided that it’s time for a comeback. As a dedicated controller for the company’s MPC 2 software, the new MPC Studio is an affordable gateway to the world of MPCs. In terms of looks, it ditches the old MPC Studio’s grey and replaces it with the sleek black paint of the current line-up. Coincidentally, that makes it look a bit like the MPC Touch, another one from the first wave of dedicated controllers, albeit without the touchscreen.
16 velocity-sensitive pads
The AKAI MPC Studio offers 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads with aftertouch, which are accompanied by an assignable touch strip. You also get buttons for note repeat and the indispensable 16 Level and Full Level modes, as well as a full set of transport and navigation buttons on the right. There’s also a data encoder and a small display, although the screen is so tiny that they might as well have ditched it altogether.
The idea is that the MPC Studio controller integrates with the MPC2 software for Mac and PC (which now includes most of the features of a full-blown DAW) and gives you the same workflow that the stand-alone MPCs are famous for. It connects to your computer via USB, but also offers a pair of 1/8” MIDI connectors.
The included MPC 2 software for macOS and Windows comes with a full set of virtual instruments, sound banks and effects, including the AIR Hype Plugin Synthesizer and the AIR Vocal Insert Effects plug-in suite. If you’re fine with the hybrid concept, this means that you get a nicely stocked production suite with a dedicated controller for under 300 bucks.
Price and availability
The AKAI MPC Studio is now available from Thomann.de* (affiliate) for €299.