Music Production Controller

An AKAI MPC2000 sampler

Akai MPCs (originally MIDI Production Center, now Music Production Controller) are a popular series of electronic musical instruments originally designed by Roger Linn and produced by the Japanese company Akai from 1988 onward. Intended to function as a powerful kind of drum machine, the MPCs drew on design ideas from machines such as the Sequential Circuits Inc. Studio 440 and the Linn's own Linn 9000, combining a powerful MIDI sequencer with the ability to sample one's own sounds. A major influence to Roger Linn's design was his love of rubber pads and how they could be pushed, prodded, and banged; this can be seen clearly in his designs especially from the MPC-60 onwards. Linn also had a passion for squares: thus, no round pads on the MPC Series. Later models feature increasingly powerful sampling, storage, interfacing and sound manipulation facilities, which broaden the use of instrument beyond just drum and rhythm tracks.


The original MPC60 was the first result of an alliance between Roger Linn and Akai to design products similar to those of Linn Electronics.[1] He developed the functional design, including the panel layout and software/hardware specifications. He then created the software with a team of engineers. The hardware electronics were designed by English engineer David Cockerell and his team.[2] Cockerell was a founding member of the synthesizer firm EMS (co-creator of their famous VCS 3 along with Peter Zinovieff[3]), and then worked for effects manufacturers Electro-Harmonix.

Shortly after the MPC60's release, the MPC60-II was designed. Released in 1991, the MPC60-II offered most of the same features as the MPC60, with an added headphone output and a plastic housing replacing the original metal one.[4] In 1994, Akai released the MPC3000, which boasted 16-bit, 44 kHz sampling, 32-voice polyphony, and SCSI data transfer.[5] Akai tried to save money by dropping Roger Linn, the brainchild behind the MPC, to whom they would have to pay royalties on future models. The company developed and released the MPC2000 without Linn in 1997.[2] The MPC2000 came with 2 MB of RAM, an optional effects board, and a 100,000 note 64-track sequencer.[6] The MPC2000 was replaced by the MPC2000XL in 2000. The MPC2000XL added an improved 300,000 note sequencer, a 64-track mixer and time-stretch and resample features. Four limited edition models of the MPC2000XL were released.[6]

In 2002 Akai unveiled the MPC4000, the most powerful MPC ever made (higher bit depth and sample rate than the later 5000). The MPC4000 featured 8 assignable outputs, a hard drive and CD-ROM drive. The MPC4000's memory could be expanded to up to 512 MB of RAM, the largest amount on an MPC to date.[7] Only two years after the release of the MPC4000, Akai released the MPC1000, which was the smallest in the MPC product line at the time of its release. It was also the first MPC to utilize CompactFlash memory.[8] Both the MPC2500 and the MPC500 were added to the Akai MPC series in 2006. The MPC2500 is a mid-range MPC with 8 assignable outputs and CompactFlash storage.[9] Designed for portability, the MPC500 features 1 MIDI In/Out and CompactFlash storage, and can be powered by 6 AA batteries.[10]

At NAMM in 2012 Akai unveiled a line of controllers named the MPC Renaissance, and MPC Studio which work with MPC Renaissance software on Mac or Windows computers. Additionally they unveiled the MPCFly, an iPad 2 and iPad (3rd generation) controller which runs on the iPad MPCFly app, available from the Apple app store. [11]

September, 2012 - The MPC Renaissance was publicly released. The Renaissance is the first hybrid MPC combining the computer with MPC hardware.

MPC Models

The following MPC models are arranged in the order of their release date:


Akai MPC60 (1988)

The MPC60 is a 16 voice polyphonic 12-bit 40 kHz sampler / 99 track sequencer designed in large part by Roger Linn after Linn Electronics closed. It was similar to the Linn 9000. Akai released it in 1988. It had 750 kB memory standard, expandable to 1.5 MB. The sequencer is very flexible and powerful, famous both for its "swing" setting, and its easy to use step programming. It had 2 MIDI inputs / 4 MIDI outputs, allowing it to control up to 64 devices. The sequencer itself was offered as a separate product, known as the ASQ10, also released in 1988. The MPC60-II was nearly identical to the MPC60, but it featured a headphone output, and a plastic case, instead of the metal case of the original. It was released in 1991.



Akai MPC3000

The MPC3000 improved upon the MPC60 by adding 16-bit 44.1 kHz stereo sampling, increased memory, 32 voice polyphony, effects, filters, and SCSI. It was released by Akai in 1994. The MPC3000LE (Limited Edition) is identical to the MPC3000, except for its black custom design. It was released by Akai in 2000 and limited to 2000 units.[5]



Akai MPC2000

The MPC2000 is a 64-track sampler/sequencer introduced in 1997 and discontinued in 2000. It comes with 2 MB sample memory as standard, and can be expanded to 32 MB. It supports a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, in 16 bit stereo or mono.



Akai MPC2000XL
Akai MPC2000XL SE 2

The MPC2000XL is similar to the MPC2000 but with many newer features; including four independent pad-bank keys, number of samples stored doubled to 256 on the XL, altering sounds to a different bit depth or sampling rate could be accomplished by resampling, time stretch was added along with other features. In 2004 the 2000XL-MCD version was released, which features a CompactFlash card reader as standard in place of the floppy drive or Zip drives used in earlier models.[13] There were 4 limited editions 2000XL SE MPCs created between 2000 and 2003. There were two versions of the SE 1, one with an improved control surface, compatible with growing number of sound libraries and one with aesthetic changes. The Limited Edition SE 2 and SE 3 also had only aesthetic changes.[14]



Akai MPC4000

Released in 2002, the MPC4000 was intended by Akai as a "top-of-the-range" flagship product. Not only was it the most fully featured MPC product yet (building on the MPC60, 3000 and 2000XL), but it also incorporated the sampling engine from the latest model in Akai standalone sampler range, the Z8. At the end of 2003 Akai revealed the MPC4000BL Plus which substituted the original white model in 2004. The upgraded version featured some extra hardware extensions and came in a blue casing. It was discontinued between 2006 and 2007. The MPC4000 was replaced by the MPC5000 in spring 2008.



Akai MPC2500

The MPC2500 is the mid-range of the Akai line of MPCs. It has a 100,000 note, 64 track mixer with 64 assignable MIDI channels. It has 16 MB of RAM standard and can be upgraded up to 128 MB of RAM with the AKAI EXM128 stick of RAM. It contains a USB port for computer connectivity. It contains a CompactFlash slot for storage of samples, and can be upgraded with a variety of hard drives. The MPC2500 contains 2 MIDI inputs and 4 MIDI outputs. The MP2500 also has the Chop Shop feature, which can chop a sample into as many as 64 pieces. A CD-R/DVD drive can be added for burning and reading capabilities. Also comes with a 128 MB compact flash card with sound kits. MPC2500 was discontinued in 2009.



Akai MPC1000
Akai MPC1000BK

The MPC1000 is a 64-track sampler/sequencer. It comes with 16 MB sample memory as standard, and can be expanded to 128 MB. It supports a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, in stereo or mono. Its features include a USB port, an internal CompactFlash card reader, two MIDI inputs and outputs, and effects and multiple analog outputs as standard. Its sequencer's resolution is 96 ppq.

There have been many reported problems with the pad sensors in the 1000. In the original MPC1000 sensors, a thin square of carbon-impregnated rubber is glued at each corner above a copper coil. When a pad is depressed, this carbon-impregnated rubber is compressed against the copper coil, allowing current to pass through. This moving part can wear out, as the carbon-impregnated rubber sloughs away from the glue and eventually breaks loose.

In 2007, Akai offered a fix for this issue, retailing at 180 USD. The pad sensors design returned to the design of the pad sensors in previous models. This upgrade has been seen to be pre-installed on the MPC1000BK-N and some versions of the MPC1000BK, not the MPC1000 (blue outer casing). Before this change, a MPC1000 user designed, built and sold kits of a pad fix under the name "Nym." Nym's kit is no longer available. By comparison, the more recent Akai pad fix uses better sensor technology (Sensitronic FSRs).[16]


In the popular webcomic Homestuck the MPC1000 is the instrument of choice for character Dave Strider.


Akai MPC500

The MPC500 is the smallest MPC ever made and is the first truly portable MPC created. It can be run on 6 AA batteries but also can be run on a 12V DC plug. It combines a 48-track MIDI sequencer and a 32-voice stereo digital sampler. The MPC500 is the first MPC that only has 12 velocity-sensitive rubber pads. It comes with 16 MB RAM but can be upgraded up to 128 MB of RAM. It has a CompactFlash slot for storage of samples. One major appeal of the MPC500 is the fact that you can take a project created on the MPC500 and transfer it to any current MPC with a CompactFlash reader. The MPC500 has a USB port for computer connectivity. It has one stereo output, making it the only MPC currently in production that does not have assignable outputs.



Akai MPC5000

With a listed MSRP of $3,500, the MPC5000 was launched at the 2008 winter NAMM trade show. Its main innovations were an 8-track streaming hard disk recorder, a 20-voice, 3-oscillator virtual analog synthesizer with arpeggiator, a new sequencing engine with 960 ppq resolution, pad and track muting and mixing, 64 continuous sample tracks. It also has a new effect (FX) engine with 4 FX buses where 2 FX are available per bus, and is considered by Akai to be its flagship MPC.[18]

In addition, the MPC5000 features a 64-voice drum/phrase sampler with 64MB memory, expandable up to 192MB. The display is 240x128, twice the size of the MPC2500 and MPC1000. Integrated Chop Shop 2.0 now supports stereo chops and Patched Phrases. It is also the first MPC to include Random and Cycle sample playback in addition to velocity Zone Play. As on the MPC4000, a turntable preamp is also included.

The MPC5000 lacks some of the sample editing capabilities of the older MPC4000, and also some of the hardware specs are lower than the MPC4000 (max. 192 MB RAM vs. the 4000's 512 MB, and slightly smaller screen), but with an updated and more stable operating system.[18] OS 2.0 added many new features including the ability to load an entire folder without MPC programs, and many navigation shortcuts to boast. The MPC5000 using OS 2.0 now has the most features of any previous MPC to date, just above the MPC4000.

MPC Renaissance

MPC Renaissance

From the advertising brochure: The MPC Renaissance uses a PC or a Mac's memory. The MPC Renaissance is the first MPC to take the power from an external computer (with the dedicated "MPC Software") and combine it with the regular tradition of the MPC. The memory limitation depends on the connecting computer. The Renaissance takes on the look of the 3000, sharing its transport buttons, jog wheel, and arm rest. Its LCD has the same look as the MPCs 1000, 2500 and 5000r. The Renaissance is the first MPC to include back lit pads which change colors for velocity levels, sound groups, step edit, etc.

MPC Renaissance setup by MIDIchlorian


MPC Renaissance Hardware

MPC Renaissance Software[20]

MPC Studio

MPC Studio

The MPC Studio Music Production Controller fuses legendary MPC production with the processing power of your computer. Its compact design is less than 1" thin and fits easily into a laptop bag or backpack. It's USB-powered with low-profile knobs and brushed aluminum body, and includes MPC Software for Mac and PC with 128-track sequencing capability. With 16 backlit genuine MPC pads, legendary MPC workflow, MPC Swing, plus four touch-sensitive knobs providing enhanced MPC software control, you'll be producing quality music in no time. A large LCD screen (360 x 96 dot graphic LCD) allows you to make tracks without having to look at your computer. [21]

MPC Studio Hardware

MPC Software


MPC Element (2014),
a successor of MPC Fly (2012)

The MPC Fly is a controller for Apple iPad 2 and iPad (3rd generation) tablets for use with the iMPC iPad app. Original MPC pioneer Roger Linn is thought to dislike the Touch Screen GUI, although this has never been verified, it is generally agreed that he wouldn't have liked not to feel the Soft Rubber Pads. [22]


The following table offers a side-by-side comparison of a variety of statistics across the MPC product-line. The specs for the MPC1000 and 2500 refer to the original AKAI operating system, unless mentioned otherwise.

Model Release Date Price MIDI Inputs/Outputs Audio Outputs Sampling Rate Sampling Memory/Upgrade-able Sampling Time Storage Method Pad Banks Note Capacity Extra Features
MPC60 1988 $5,000[23] 2 in, 4 out 8 + L/R 12-bit 40 kHz 750 kB / 1.5 MB (13.1 sec) / (26.2 sec) Internal 3½" floppy drive 2 60,000
MPC60 MK2 1991 $5,000[23] 2 in, 4 out 8 + L/R 12-bit 40 kHz 750 kB / 1.5 MB (13.1 sec) / (26.2 sec) Internal 3½" floppy drive 2 60,000 Headphone jack, Plastic case
MPC3000 1993 $3,500[23] 2 in, 4 out 8 + L/R + Digital in 16-bit 44.1 kHz 2 MB / 32 MB (22 sec) / (6 min) Floppy/SCSI Interface 4 75,000 -LE in 2000 with black case
MPC2000 1997 $2,000[23] 2 in, 2 out Digital L/R + 8 (optional) 22 or 44.1 kHz 2 MB / 32 MB 6min mono/3min stereo Floppy/SCSI Interface 4 100,000
MPC2000XL 2000 $1,100[24] 2 in, 2 out Digital L/R + 8 (optional) 22 or 44.1 kHz 2 MB / 32 MB 6min mono/3min stereo Floppy/Zip Drive/CompactFlash/SCSI Interface 4 300,000 -Compact Flash drive, Internal SCSI connection, tilt screen
MPC4000 2002 $3,500[25] 2 in, 4 out L/R + 8 (optional) 96, 48 or 44.1 kHz, 16 or 24 bit 16 MB / 512 MB 96min / 64min (16/24 bit) Hard Drive/CD-ROM 6 300,000 IDE Bays
MPC1000 2005 $1,000[26] 2 in, 2 out 4 + L/R 44.1 kHz 16 MB / 128 MB 136 sec / 24m28sec CompactFlash/Hard Drive 4 100,000 / 300,000 (With JJ OS Ver. 4.9 or OS2 Ver. 0.x,1.x) optional HDD
MPC500 2006 $700[27] 1 in, 1 out L/R 44.1 kHz 16 MB / 128 MB 136 sec / 24m28sec CompactFlash 4 100,000 Smallest MPC

Portable/Can run on 6 AA Batteries

MPC2500 2005 $1,700[28] 2 in, 4 out 8 + L/R 44.1 kHz 16 MB / 128 MB 136 sec / 24m28sec CompactFlash/CD-Rom/DVD-Rom/Hard Drive 4 100,000 built in 10 analog outs, optional CD drive, optional HDD
MPC5000 2008 $3,500[29] 2 in, 4 out 8 + L/R 44.1 kHz 64 MB / 192 MB 12m48s/38m24s CompactFlash/CD-Rom/DVD-Rom/Hard Drive 4 100,000 VA Synth, 8 track direct-to-drive recording, 4 FX busses, Hard disk streaming of samples
MPC Renaissance 2012 $1,300[30] 2 in, 4 out 4 Audio Outputs: 1/4-inch phone x 4 balanced +11dBu, output impedance 1k Ohms up to 24 bit / 96 kHz Uses the RAM in your computer Varies depending on how much RAM your computer has Computer's Hard Drive 8 First MPC to use the power of your computer (Mac/PC), 2 USB hub to connect other devices such as midi keyboard, external hard drive, flash drive, etc.
MPC Touch 2015 $750 1 in, 1 out (1/8-inch) TRS 1 Audio Output: L/R, 1 Audio Inputs L/R up to 24 bit / 96 kHz Uses the RAM in your computer Varies depending on how much RAM your computer has Computer's Hard Drive 8 First MPC to have an LCD Touch Screen

See also

External links


  1. "Past Products Museum". Roger Linn Design.
  2. 1 2 "Industry Interview -Roger Linn". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
  3. "The EMS History". Electronic Music Studios (Cornwall). 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  4. 1 2 "Akai MPC-60". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  5. 1 2 3 "AKAI MPC-3000". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "AKAI MPC-2000 / MPC-2000XL". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  7. 1 2 "Akai MPC4000 Plus". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  8. 1 2 "MPC1000: The Power of an MPC with the Portability of a Laptop". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  9. 1 2 "MPC2500: Ultimate Production Power". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  10. 1 2 "MPC500 Production, Power and Next Level Portability". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  12. "Products for Akai MPC60 and MPC60-II". Roger Linn Design. Archived from the original on 2010-09-27. New version 3.10 software upgrade and Marion Systems SCSI hard disk interface kit for MPC60 I & II
  13. "MPC2000XL-MCD". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  14. "Akai MPC-2000 MIDI Production Center(XL, SE-1, SE-2, SE-3, XL with Zip)". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  15. "MPC2500 JJ OS".
  16. "The Pad Fix". 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
  17. "MPC1000 JJ OS".
  18. 1 2 "Akai MPC5000".
  19. "Akai MPC Renaissance Hardware".
  20. "Akai MPC software".
  23. 1 2 3 4 "Akai MPC1000 REVIEW". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  24. "Akai MPC2000XL-MCD Production Station". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  25. "Akai MPC4000 Plus Production Station with CDRW". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  26. "Akai MPC1000 Music Production Center". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  27. "Akai MPC500 Portable Music Production Center". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  28. "Akai MPC2500 Music Production Center". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  29. "Akai MPC5000 REVIEW". 2007.
  30. "Akai MPC Renaissance". Guitar Center.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.