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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  • Brian

    It looks like a lot of fun. There’s something to be said for this kind of thing however even if I was only using a computer and no hardware I’m still more interested in their mpd232, at $300 that’s way more reasonable and even if I was only using mixxx it would be really useful to trigger sample banks on mixxx or trigger samples on traktor if I was a traktor user.

  • klubjunk

    $1000 for this? You would have to be on crack to spend that much on this.

    They completely gloss over any specs for the ‘soundcard’?

    Does it even have ASIO? can we run anything other than samples?

    Does it have ANY DSP onboard or do you just plan on eating the laptop cpu?

    Special midi in/out cables come with it?

    Nothing at all about this… and they want $1000??

    good luck with that AKAI – try $600 (CANADIAN) and I’ll bite, but no way at $1000
    that’s just too much for a midi controlled sampler/soundcard.

  • Scoox

    I don’t see what’s the problem with using the computer and the mouse. In fact, I’ve noticed some producers have their desks lined with controllers they never use because they are too far too reach, and eventually just use the mouse because it’s directly under the hand. Furthermore, having too many controllers tends to be problematic because it’s more stuff to go wrong, more stuff to maintain, more stuff to learn. Some of these controllers make it easier to record loops. True. The problem is that loop recording sucks ass in most DAWs (especially in Live and Bitwig which where each pass of the loop overwrites the previous one even if no MIDI input is received), which creates a niche market for controllers like this, until DAW developers address get their act together. Also, 16 pads is too little. Many Battery 4 kits require way more than 16 pads to give you access to the full kit. Something like the Launchpad Pro suits my production needs better. Definitely not buying this, but I am sure the hip-hop folks will be all over it because it looks good for a hip-hop producer to have a piece of gear with “MPC” written on it lying around in the studio.

    • Erty Ytre

      This is like the weirdest troll ever. Or are you honestly not aware of midi overdub? Or if you’re actually talking about audio, the fact that both Maschine and this is generally run standalone rewired or hosted as a VST. They’re samplers, you use them to take audio, cut it up and sequence it. It’s not like some kind of endlessly running cassette tape recorder.

  • maxwell brigenza

    i would like to see how robust their software is compare to the NI Machine 2.x.

  • Lu Ynoji

    big deal ( not sarcastic), the included interface is also very good thing..
    never understood why they didnt do that with the other hardware/software sets of gear

    you have the laptop doing all the hardwork., you have the controller giving you the human feel.; and straight out of that comes the sound.. should have always been like this.. no external card…

    but.; would have been even cooler not having the laptop 😉

  • Unreallystic

    I was interested until I read it needed a computer. I got software and controllers that can do all that. I’ve thought about getting a MPC recently just because I’m trying to cut down the weight I carry around (laptop, Push, QuNeo), and this looked ‘interesting’ – the build looks less ‘toy-like’ than the the new joint by NI, but needing a computer turns it to a 7″ touchscreen with pads…and ANOTHER production suite. What separates this from say a Maschine? The touchscreen? Is that it? I’ll give it some bump at a local Guitar Center when it comes out to see if its something to look into further, but at that price point…hell, why not just get a Push…

  • QCube

    It actually looks better than the Novation Circuit even if it’s not completely comparable, but both want to be your music production “center”. The circuit seem to be verry fiddly and you gonna have a hard time learning it it seems, whilst the akai seem to be more user friendly and open to expansions (due to sampling capabilitys). It doesnt have the analog sounds tho but it may be a better adition to most studios than the novation circuit. It’s priced higher but i think its worth the extra money, especialy if it could replace the sound interface i have right now. But i think djtt gonna test it and tell us more about it. Till then i’ll wait 🙂

  • Jacob Stadtfeld

    Love the look, glad they finally brought their design language over from Push.

  • killmedj

    The touch screen looks like it could be a vibe!

  • No Qualms

    I’m an MPC head from way back, I moved over to an MPC Studio when they went software based. I don’t need this but this is the first case of GAS I’ve felt in a while!
    But imagine this as a stand-alone hardware unit, jizz…

    • maxwell brigenza

      stand-alone can no longer provide the feature that a full OS PC and Controller can.
      1. its easier and cheaper for AKAI to create a software for PC or MAC then standalone app.

      2. AKAI has been slow realizing the path for each of their hardware. it like they have funds to trial and error each device.

      3. Thus, now they have plenty of controllers our there.. for all price range.