A couple days ago Akai announced the so called “Native Instrument Killer”, the MPC Touch. While I don’t have an actual unit in my hands, the internet is going wild on both sides, so let me weigh in with some thoughts on the newest member of the MPC family.
First of all: It looks amazing! A dedicated hardware controller with tight software integration? Ableton did it with the Push, which sits on my desk right here. And while you are still tethered to the old laptop, it’s a godsend not having to click around in the settings to adjust your sound. For that alone I’m looking forward to the MPC Touch.
That leads to my biggest concern. The MPC software needs to be on point to actually make a difference in your workflow. I’ve used it a few times at my homie’s place and it was average at best. And don’t get me started on the iMPC apps. They look amazing, but man they suck at getting things done. Akai really needs to step up here!
My biggest gripe with Akai is really that the MPC Touch is not a standalone unit. I mean you can have an operating system run from a USB stick for under 100$ and you’re telling me Akai is not able to find a way to offer that on the MPC Touch? Hell, they can easily charge 1k for a standandalone unit. And hundreds of comment on Akai’s Facebook page confirm that this is a major fuck up.
It’s not that this new MPC is necessarily bad, but Akai is already late to game, so in order to gain any momentum, they need to go all out – Apple Style – and disrupt the industry.
Then again who knows… Maybe this is just the first tremor of an Akai earthquake and they will announce a standalone MPC Rennaisance type machine with the new touchscreen in the coming months?