Akai MPC Touch: A Touchscreen Groovebox

Native Instruments and Numark have led the pack on building out great-looking color displays on DJ controllers, but now Akai has introduced a touchscreen production MPC that allows manipulation of the on-screen sample chopping with just your fingertips. Read on for all the details:

The Akai MPC Touch takes the classic Akai velocity-sensitive pad grid controllers and puts a huge 7″ full-color, multi-touch display next to it. The workflow on the unit allows producers to “Literally grab and pinch waveforms, draw midi events, adjust envelopes, chop samples, add effects and precisely set your controls using your fingertips.”


There’s one big catch – this isn’t one of Akai’s standalone units, and requires a computer to use the unit. The computer runs Akai’s MPC software, and ostensibly you’ll be able to put the computer to the side as the demos we’ve seen have kept the focus entirely on the unit’s interface:

It’s clear that Akai is taking aim at Ableton and Maschine’s workflows with their own dedicated software/hardware pairings, but beyond a touchscreen, there’s a second feature that puts the MPC Touch with a bit of a lead over the other two: an audio interface. The dual 1/4 inputs and outputs mean sampling and output are easily covered, and there’s headphone out, and MIDI/IO on the rear of the unit as well.


MPC Touch Feature List

  • 7″ color multi-touch Display
  • 16 velocity-sensitive thick, fat MPC pads with RGB backlighting
  • 2-in/2-out audio interface
  • Step Sequencer with touch interface
  • XYFX control adds effects, adjusts sound dynamics in real time
  • Phrase Looper, enables connection of any instrument to create loops
  • Pad Mixer for setting levels, stereo panning and adding VST effects
  • Sample Edit control, for trimming, chopping and processing your samples
  • 4 new, performance-ready touch-sensitive controls
  • Data Encoder knob, for push-and-twist control of display parameters
  • Includes MPC software and over 20,000 sounds

The MPC Touch is due out November 2015 for £499 – about $770. Get more details on this setup here on Akai’s site.


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