Akai's MPC Live was celebrated upon release in 2017, with its touchscreen interface and intuitive workflow bringing a classic name back to the forefront of beat production. They've now doubled down and released the Live 2, taking the concept of a standalone controller to a whole new level.
Although the Live 2 retains most of the features and functionality of the original, there's some slight tweaks that make it a worthy addition to the hallowed MPC family. There's now a master volume on the front of the MPC, as well as shortcut buttons for features like Mute, Time Correct, Mix and more.
Like the new MPC One, the Live 2 also boasts eight assignable CV/Gate outputs on the rear panel, making it friendly with older pieces of gear and modular equipment. Perhaps most notably, however, is the addition of inbuilt stereo monitors, enabling you to create music without any cable connections whatsoever. This one's a bit of a gamechanger, and makes the MPC Live 2 a truly portable, all-in-one unit: it's standalone production at its absolute purest.
The MPC Live 2's functionality is also bolstered with Akai's new MPC 2.8 software update, which is also available for Live and One users. This adds in vital features like MIDI multi capability with connections to class compliant USB devices, MIDI interfaces and USB to CV modules, and even lets you route MIDI internally to control up to 32 devices from your controller. It's a massively powerful update, and in the right hands, it's literally all you need to create a fully integrated electronic studio setup.
Akai is distributed in Australia via Electric Factory.