Technology can take you places where you wouldn’t even have imagined. The 90s was an era of beautiful amalgamation. It was a transitional phase where you saw the evolution of technology and it progressed manifold times.
Now, Akai MPCs or Music Production Controllers came to light from 1988 onward. Since then, we have seen people checking the good MPC.
These MPCs are every audiophile’s dream. And why not? After all, they are a combination of MIDI sequencer, drum machine and sampler.
MPCs are not general pieces of instruments but designed along with the assortment of musicians and producers. While some may argue these musical instruments to be a thing of the past, but, as a matter of fact, they are still a delight to several music addicts.
MPCs offer a great transition of sound, which makes it a great music instrument on every audiophile’s bucket list.
Our Top Three Best MPC Selection
NO 1: Akai Professional LPD8 – Cheap & Simple
The manufacturers surely understand the importance of traveling and music together while designing this. For all those passionate about creating music and also travel much often, this is the best inexpensive drum machine you can opt for.
It is designed sophistically, is light in weight and also small sized. This professional drum pad empowers your laptop’s sound amazingly and easily connects with a lot of music software.
With its universal compatibility, the user can produce and edit music without any additional wire set-up. The reasons above suffice that this ultra mini portable drum pad gets the first place on our list. Read more about this product in the below section.
NO 2: Native Instruments Machine Mk3 – Fantastic BANG for Your BUCK
The mk3 drum controller works more than just a controller and is rather an instrument in itself. We personally loved the product design that includes 16 multicolor pads, 8 touch sensitive knobs, smart strips, and as many as 49 keys for performing multi-tasking functions.
The powerful sound and ultimate features allow a user to create beats, rhythms, mixing sounds or do sampling with much ease. It can be very well named as the best sampling drum machine as well.
The two high resolution displays on the keyboard help focusing on the machine without having to look at the running software on the computer’s screen much.
NO 3: Akai Professional MPD218 – Best MPC For Beginners
The third product on the list is again of Akai. The MPD218 drum pad controller has so less in common with its previous versions. The drum pads have never been so fat and big as in this one.
Perhaps to ensure the user hits the drum pads only each time he is drumming. It is also equipped with 6 rotary knobs and 6 keys. The major add-on to the product is the free software titles of majorly used music software.
These include Big Bang Universal drums, Akai Pro MPC essentials, and Ableton Live too. This one is one of the best affordable drum machines to suit a mini-budget.And no doubt it is the PERFECT MPC for the beginners.
Quick Video Review of Top-Rated MPC
Best MPC’s You Can Buy in 2018
Now we proceed with the specifications of the top nine MPCs you can buy this year. The information mentioned below has been specifically picked up for the readers to help understand which MPCs are worth spending money for. The underlying fact is that this information is not the mere summary of advice but is the experience we have had using these products. Let’s read on further.
The LPD8 drum pad MIDI controller by Akai has known for its space-saving mini size with complementary commendable features along. The product gets along well with Mac as well as PC via USB connection. The product has been featured as the great MPC for laptops so far.
The machine is equipped with about eight sensitive drum finger pads to help user experience effortless finger-drumming.
It is well complemented with eight rotary knobs which are placed correctly to have an uninterrupted drum beating rhythm. This can also be run in pro tools, Studio One, Cubase and much more software without actually having to install the drivers.
The LPD8 can very well be termed as the preferred choice for the ones who are into producing music both professionally as well as for hobby.
Easy connectivity with the most of the music programs and editing software is a sure gateway to love this product even more.
The working model, all the programming functions, and such other operations will take a bit of time and practice to be grasped well if you are just beginning with the product.
It is literally the best drum machine under 100a music lover can opt for.
The Native Instrument’s Maschine MK3 drum controller never required an introduction since its launch in 2017. This version of drum controller is a true delight to see. The machine’s body is very much sleek and painted as black with a sloppy low-profile design.
It is an all-in-one instrument that combines the hardware and software to work as an arranger, sequencer, producer, sampler, mixer and so much more.
Besides, it is so universally compatible that all these functionalities will get along in any production workflow for user’s effortless hold on the product.
The added advantage is the inclusion of KOMPLETE 11 select library with a premium range of instruments for the user.
Verdict: It is a versatile product that practically doesn’t require any hardware attachment to enhance the performance.
Even if you begin with the phase of mere creating the sketch, you can do mixing and editing, browsing sound along with using note repeat, enhanced DAW integration and using the 16 drum PADs for sequencing.
You actually get the A-Z instrument in the form of this product for producing music creatively to be precise. We already fell in love with the product, at first sight, to be honest.
The mentioned features are just big thumbs up for the product purchase provided you step a little out of your budget.
This is one of the strong MPCs manufactured by Akai in this industry. The product has been designed with a modern and sleek touch. The look and feel of the device are nice and it is ultra-light in weight. It has somehow retained the conventional touch with the keys like note repeat and full level.
The basic functionalities are served right and smartly. The product has been built well with quality components. The MPC is compatible enough with Mac as well as latest windows operating systems.
One needs to sign up as the Akai Pro user to access the complimentary free download links to ultimate music software including SONiVOX Big Bang Cinematic Percussion, Akai Pro MPC Essentials and many more.
Verdict: Our overall verdict about this MPC is on a positive edge of the rating scale. Above pros and cons about the product are enough to justify this statement.
The simplicity of its design and usage purposes make the product fit to be called as the best simple drum machine.
There is no need to install any drivers in the instrument as it is compatible enough to do without them.
Though the device may not be an excellent escape for step sequencing, it does make sure the new musicians have the opportunity of basic music creation essentials.
USB power connection and compact makes the device a good travel companion too.
HOLD ON YOUR BREATHE AS WE GO AHEAD!
Well, that’s a lot to handle in one go! With years of passion in music instruments, I can bet that these days manufacturers focus on much of user-friendly interface products plus embedding the latest technology as much as possible in the teeny tiny devices.
So far, I have loved using the above picks on a personal note. How’d you liked the information above? Have you found the best MPC for yourself or not?
Or perhaps you are looking for something more! Go ahead, we have picked up the best information in our next sections.
Below here, are mentioned other MPCs to rely on along with their specifications to help you find the best drum machine for yourself.
Akai Professional MPK Mini Review – Portable MIDI Controller
While our research, we focused on instruments empowering the music producer in you. We incidentally got a chance to have our hands tried on this mini MK2 by Akai.
Well, the product is more or less than an MPC. The deeper explanation of it is that this is a combination music instrument that includes MPC features and can do more than that. The statement is sufficient in itself.
The plus points are the inclusion of the much-demanded music software like SONiVOX Wobble, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech and Akai Pro MPC Essentials too. What do I get?
25 mini keys keyboard, 8 backlit drum pads, all the features for editing and playing music. What do I pay? Peanuts!!
Yes. It is one of the best yet cheap mpc you can use on-the-go.
This product is far more than its appearance of a mini-laptop size keyboard. Our experience with Akai MPK Mini Mk2 truly was out of the box.
It is priced unbelievably low for the quality features has (Good for us!).
This is so far the best affordable drum machine with added exclusive advantages. The music platform it includes is one of the best in market viz., VIP3.0.
The 8-backlit touch-sensitive drum pads offer smooth, uninterrupted drumming experience. To wrap up, this product is one of the best instruments you can invest your time, money and efforts in.
Akai Professional MPC Studio – Best Akai MPC
Akai’s Professional MPC Studio represents the modular technology through its sleek design. The product looks like a simple rectangular smart music production piece. It has 16 back-lit drum pads which are large and sensitive enough to drum smoothly.
The center of attraction (which is not really in the center) is the aluminum dial on the right side that gives apparently a classic touch to the device. Most importantly it has gained the trust of Consumers and it is known as BEST AKAI MPC in the market.
The product has been on the list of favorites of many of us. This is the best drum machine under $500.
The user can be based on the requirements, decide the suitability of the product.
Overall, this small modular MPC device is sure to give you a professional feel while creating the music.
The product is a mini DJ controller embedded with features meant for the hobbyist in you. The hardware is specially built to serve the basic DJying needs. It is exclusively equipped with a light show to create that powerful, instant Dj environment.
With the inclusion of sound card, beat matching sliders, rubber backlit trigger pads allow the user to have a perfect DJying experience.
Numark party mix device truly justifies the name. The built-in sound card, sound-based light show, ability to use the I-tunes sound collection (with just connecting and loading)makes using the product seamlessly and enjoy.
Another point observed while using this product is the hardware design. The device resembles the basic DJ equipment, especially with the two scratch platters and sliders.
Also, anyone looks like a professional DJ while using the product (trust us!). To put it simply, you are ready to rock-on the party anytime with Numark’s party mix.
Akai Professional MPD226 – Great Interface
Akai’s professional MPD2 series is yet another milestone product by Akai. The product has 16 backlit drum pads accessible via 4 pad banks. The user gets free software packages which include Akai Pro MPC Essentials, Ableton Live Lite, Big bang Universal Drums and such others. The drum pad controller can be easily connected via USB to get started.
The highlight of the product is the thick multi-colored drum pads. The pads are thicker than the majority of the drum pads of other products. Moreover, It has an EXCELLENT user interface.
Also, there is no need for any external power supply as the USB cable connection is enough for that matter.
Akai’s MPC X is so far the best drum machine under $200 you can look for.A user can make as many customizations as required, it provides that much flexibility.
There is no need to install any external drivers to make the product work. I, personally enjoyed a lot using this product.
However, you must remember that you get a proper hold on the product functionalities gradually.
This ultra-light product is specially designed for enhanced drumming experience. The hardware is so compact to save you an extra set up space. It has 16 drum pads and can be easily connected through USB. The product supports customized settings which can be done with the “KORG KONTROL Editor” software available free of cost on the website.
It is amazingly equipped with four pad banks which in turn increases the pad setup count to 64.
The travel-friendly nanoPAD2 is a little bundle of joy if you have just stepped into the music world. The product does well for the editing experiments considering the software support from Korg.
However, it lacks the features for some serious advanced level music creation. Users are thus advised to check other technical details of the product before making the final purchase.
Besides this, the product is a sure shot for enjoying drumming inexpensively.
Akai Professional MPC X Review – Excellent For Professional Purposes
The MPC X by Akai is a name known to every music producer. As the name suggests, it is highly recommended for professional usage. The MPC X comes with a large color touch display. The design is eye capturing with multi-functionalities with no need for any computer connection.
The product is equipped with 16 knobs for adjusting the parameters, 7 knobs for mix and level adjustments, 63 function buttons, 16 backlit pads, 8 pad banks and much more.
Controller modes include Mac OS X 10.5 or newer versions, Windows 8.1 or newer versions. It has 16 GB of storage which includes more than 50% of the sound content.
The MPC X simply made us aww struck at first glance. Needless to mention, the structure is bit complex (reasonably) to understand at once.
Honestly, producing sound from this MPC feels like a thrilling adventure. If you are passionate about producing music like me, you will love the experience too.
Choosing The Best MPC For You-Things We Consider
Most of the professional musicians of almost all genres can actually transition your songs into audio movements. Basically, all MPCs can take your audios or music to an altogether different level. So, we wanted to conduct a research on the MPCs to let you know which one to buy. But, before that, we wanted to tell you what made it to our list of good MPC.
Certainly, there are a few things that you should consider and explore before buying one. When you go shopping for the best drum machine, you should take following points into consideration-
- Budget-One of the major things that need to be considered is how much weight is there in your wallet. The high-quality MPC are actually available at an expensive price, but even at a cheaper rate, there can be a purchase that makes it a win-win for you.
- Purpose of Purchase- While researching for these musical instruments, we found that the purpose of the purchase is important to buy MPC. This is so because one can have it for either performances or studio or maybe for both the purposes. What exactly will you be buying it for? This is an important consideration.
- Look for the features you need- Whether you will need a warm or vintage sound machine or for something as simple as sample collection is your call. You just need to keep in mind that different MPCs have different features and some of these may have certain characteristics that may not be your cup of tea. So, consider the features specifically.
- Your kind of setup- It will also depend upon on whether you want something that is hybrid or analogous or digital. It will again be your take whether what kind of studio system you want.
- Ancient or contemporary?- Some audiophiles are in awe of the vintage and classic collection. So, they will want something that is aged and old school. Also, there are some people who want something that is new. The MPC is available in both these categories.
- Now, last and most important factor; Sound- Of course, the single most important thing that needs to be considered is this one.
Now that you have known the basics, let’s get started with our next section- the top 3 picks. Depending on our aforementioned factors, we have listed down our best three MPCs of 2018. You may get your hands on the cheap MPC in these MPC reviews here.
MPC Beginners Tutorial
So, you have bought your new MPC and now sit there staring at nothing. How do you get started with it? Well, we have a beginner’s guide that will assist you on what, where, why, when and how. Here is your guide on some of the most needed solutions.
Without much ado, here is your complete video tutorial that will help you with the functioning of MPC.
If you are looking for something that comes in a handbook or manual format, you can purchase the latest books by AKAI or other experts that will give you a step by step approach on this. Now, here is what you may expect from the guides like these-
- Speed cutting workflow guide and chopping features
- Using the features of the program
- Sampling and re-sampling
- Sound design mechanism and creative editing of your sample
- Advanced drum layering
- Instrument samples and looping the breaks
- Smart and creative use of drum multi-samples
- Shortcuts, tips, tweaks, tricks and so much more that will assist your workflow
Depending on our research, you would have understood by now what it takes to make a good MPC. While our article on the MPC reviews here will help you in making your buying decision, but here are some of the aspects of questions that you should pay attention to-
What Kind of Sound Are You Paying Attention To? Warm or Vintage?
The quality of sound is important. Pay attention to what you need- advanced solid sound or just a thicker one?
Do not go for an instrument that is loaded with so many unwanted features. Look for the one that is capable of solving your purpose of professional music.
An easy user interface is another factor to be considered. Not everyone is comfortable with so many features and techniques. As a beginner, you need something that is easy to adjust with. Go for a good MPC that is compatible with the third-party OS. This will help you use it with comfort.
There are certain MPCs that are specifically designed for certain effects. For example, AKAI 500 or 1000 are the perfect MPC for creating subway or beach beats.
Then, there are other MPCs that come with a blend of technology and also the retro themes.
A few musicians may be looking for certain MPCs that can accompany the existing music setup. So, a standalone instrument may not be an ideal option. Go for a supportive one.
Other aspects to consider
- Do you want the latest MPCs or something that is a vintage, yet the best drum machine?
- Ask yourself, which MPCs can you use for the most time period? Check for the usability, basically.
- Are you considering selling the older MPC for a newer one? Consider upgrading or ask yourself if it is worth it?
- If you have managed to get the best deal on cheap MPC, be patient and check. Compare the prices, read some MPC reviews and follow your instincts before deciding.
- Was this buying guide any help to you? Let us know your comments below.
The only brand that has been dominating the MPC market is AKAI. Whether it is the best sounding drum machine or just the MPC, the music arena has seen AKAI as the monopolistic king of this reign. AKAI first made its entry into the music production industry in the year 1984 and since then, the brand’s roots in this market have been crushingly dominating. Our research over the past days has revealed that the best brand of MPC is none other than AKAI.
Some Basic Consumers Query
Over the time, we realized that our consumers may have certain queries that need to be answered right away. So, here are some of the most commonly asked questions. We have tried to answer your most common and frequently asked questions-
Take Your Decision:
Despite all odds and irrespective of everything else, one thing that stands clear is the fact that AKAI gear like this is a prestige in any audiophile’s wardrobe. AKAI has continued to rule the MPC market and it may be an honor to have this gear in your studio. For anyone who looks for something that is as awesome as this one, the best drum machine to buy is from AKAI itself. You may get yourself one for the studio just to test, but once you get used to it, there is no going back. That is for sure! What do you feel about our MPC reviews here? Let us know your views in the comments below.Related Reviews