Akai finally brings vinyl simulation to MPC samplers

Probability and ratcheting rhythm features are also on the way.


Akai is bringing some notable features to the MPC series, which are among the most significant samplers in the music world. The updates could help the devices better compete with products from other companies and provide existing users with a batch of useful tools.

Given that MPC samplers are already widely used by hip-hop acts, the introduction of a plugin effect called AIR Flavor is significant. Akai says users will be able to add lo-fi vinyl simulation effects to any sound source. You'll be able to apply "flutter, tube saturation, distortion and more for rich, textured manipulation from 30 different timbers," according to the company.

A similar vinyl sim is a big draw for Roland's SP sampler. Novation's Circuit Rhythm has such a feature too. The addition of AIR Flavor could prompt some musicians to stick with or delve into the MPC ecosystem. It's a key feature that Akai perhaps should have had long before now.

The other plugin that's coming as part of MPC 2.11 is the AIR Amp Sim insert effect. It's designed to replicate the effect of a guitar amplifier and will allow users to add "sweet and crunchy distortion, EQ and tone color" to any sound source.

Elsewhere, Akai will roll out another feature that should bring the MPC closer into lockstep with other modern samplers. Most other devices already offer probability and ratcheting features, which enable users to bring rolls and unpredictability to melodies and rhythms. The idea is that you'll introduce some variance to repeated beats, rhythms and melody lines. This should help add more texture to your music.

The Sounds Mode brings all MPC instruments to the forefront in the browser. With the touchscreen, you'll be able to navigate and load plugin instruments and browse your presets and categories. You can save up to 256 of your favorite presets in a dedicated tab and there will be menu customization options.

Also new is a one-touch tuner that should help you keep stringed instruments and analog synthesizers and modules in tune. Meanwhile, WiFi-enabled devices will support Ableton Link 3.0 to help you keep your devices in sync.

MPC 2.11 will be available on June 23rd. It's free for all registered MPC hardware users.