It’s the 35th anniversary of the Akai MPC this year. And buried in software scripts appears to be a reference to an unannounced MPC XL. Is Akai about to go extra large?
The MPC XL reference was brought to our attention via a video from SampleKings, who have their ear to the ground for these sorts of things. But the reference was actually unearthed by someone at the MPC Live X and Force hacking modding custom group and posted to GitHub.
The point is that within the installation scripts for the Air instruments that ship with MPC products, there’s a reference to an MPC XL as denoted by its AVC5S hardware ID. Akai refers to its MPC products using a AVC## naming convention. The MPC X has an ID of AVC5, and so the AVC5S for an MPC XL seems right on the money.
Anything else at this point is pure speculation.
Thoughts on features
The MPC X was released in 2017. Along with the MPC Live it marked a return to the behemoth machines of the classic MPCs of their heyday. It’s a fully standalone production studio, the likes of which we hadn’t seen since the 2008 MPC 5000. Since then, Akai has mixed between standalone machines and software-based controllers, but it does feel that the time is right for an upgrade to the MPC X.
Previous XL versions tended to focus on upgrading the internal memory. That would have been a big thing at the time when memory was at a bit more of a premium. But there was very little change to the hardware. So it’s unlikely that we’re going to be seeing some revolutionary new idea. It will probably be the MPC X with the odd extra bolted into the firmware. And let’s go for an optimistic 16GB of RAM and a whopping TB of internal storage.
The obvious window for launch would probably be around NAMM in April, but if we catch wind of anything else in the meantime, we’ll let you know.
- The script showing the MPC XL name: TheKikGen - Github