Could Akai’s MPC Live II be the new centrepiece of your live set-up?

It might be time to say goodbye to the laptop.

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Akai MPC Live II

Earlier this year, we caught a glimpse of Akai making its way into DAW-less territory with the release of MPC One at NAMM with CV/Gate connectivity. Now, hot off the heels of the MPC 2.8 software update – and after a video leak surfaced online – the iconic brand has made the MPC Live II available immediately.

MPC Live II packs an impressive amount of new features, including a speaker bar across the bottom panel, a component not found in any model prior. CV/Gate connectivity has also made its way into this MPC model, allowing you to hook up your favourite modular synths, as well as USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Akai MPC Live II

Going solo

Akai MPC Live II’s standalone capabilities follow that of the MPC X and MPC One, with the addition of an internal lithium-ion battery, offering five hours of on-the-go use – this is one hour less than Live II’s predecessor. Five new hardware buttons are onboard to enhance the editing workflow, including Mute, Time Correct and Mix, allowing you to tweak tracks without skipping a beat.

Powered by the MPC 2.8 software, you can sequence and automate all your sounds in Live II, be it an internal or external instrument. The seven-inch multi-touch display will let you zoom in and out of waveforms, navigate around your projects, adjust plug-in settings, tap in sequences and more. MIDI Multi capability will allow you to connect and route all your MIDI gear, including class-compliant USB Keyboards, MIDI interfaces and USB to CV modules. With deep MIDI routing capabilities across tracks, MIDI-compatible synths, drum machines and sound modules, Live II might just take centre stage in your production and live setups.

Akai MPC Live II

Built with eight CV/Gate outputs, in the form of four TRS jacks, you’ll have no issues fusing modular rigs to your MPC Live II setup. Combine this with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and you’ll be able to sync up to Ableton Live in no time with Link – just in case you want a little more firepower.

Live sounds

Beloved vintage sounds come right out-of-the-box with Live II thanks to three plug-in instruments. Tubesynth emulates the tones of a classic analogue polysynth, with five effects, parameter controls and presets. Electric brings the smooth sound of the Fender Rhodes to your productions, with colour controls to boot. Bassline emulates a deep mono synth, ideal for all types of productions. Satisfy your acid needs with the sounds of a TB-303, groove on with a Moog bassline, or get low with deep sub-bass sounds.

Hundreds of mixing and mastering effects are included in Live II to get your track built from start to finish. Add space with reverb, shape sounds with filters and EQ, tighten up the mix with compressors or add punch with parallel compression and more. Vintage emulations of the MPC60, MPC3000 and SP1200 are included for those who still lust those classic effects. MPC Live II’s touch-sensitive Q-Link encoders will give you ample control over your instruments and parameters.

F9 Audio contributes to the MPC Live II with a sample library of pristine sounds and loops – all part of the 16GB sound library that comes with the device. If you require more access to sample content, your Splice account curations are just a few taps away, with direct access via the touchscreen and Wi-Fi connection.

A deeper look

“We are relentless in our pursuit of the most comprehensive standalone music production experience,” says Dan Gill, Senior Product Manager for Akai Professional. “With every workflow consideration, every feature-set and function, we purposefully set out to create devices that are effortless conduits of the creative process.

By incorporating stereo monitors, MPC Live II delivers every standalone tool producers and beatmakers need to capture inspiration wherever it strikes.”

Akai has provided a full video rundown of the MPC Live II below.

MPC Live II is available immediately with an MSRP of £1039.99. Find out more at

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