already knew Akai was refreshing its legendary MPC range, but the newest member to the family -- the Fly -- has to be about the cutest. It kinda looks, initially, like a knock-off MPC novelty case, until you realize those pads are real, and that software on screen is legit. The case-and-device approach seems a smart idea, so it feels like one unit -- it even juices your slate when you charge its built-in battery. The trade-off is an extra two pounds of weight, and almost an inch of thickness. Somewhat lighter is the app which rocks effects, a sound library, sampling, supports WIST (Wireless Sync-Start Technology) and works on any iPad -- but you'll need a second-gen tab to use the hardware. Before you bemoan that this is some sort of cash-in, the whole idea is that you can lay down ideas on the (ahem) Fly, and pick them up later back in the studio. If you want to see more, drop some bass over the break for a video.