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iZotope partners with Akai Professional to provide loop slicing and time stretching technology for next generation MPCs

iZotope Radius

iZotope has announced a new partnership with Akai Professional to provide iZotope’s acclaimed Radius time-stretching algorithm and Loop Slicing Engine for future products in the MPC line, including the new MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio.

Combining MPC hardware with new MPC software, these are the first MPCs designed to harness the processing power of a user’s Mac or PC.

“The MPC is a giant in music production history.” says Alex Westner, iZotope’s Director of Business Development, “iZotope is very excited that our technology can make the MPC a more powerful and flexible hybrid of hardware and software.”

“Top-notch audio is essential when updating a beloved product line like the MPC Series,” adds Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “iZotope’s loop-slicing and time-stretching technology were critical to making the new MPC products sound great.”

iZotope’s Loop Slicing Engine
The Loop Slicing Engine provides an extended suite of slicing tools, compatible with both Chop Shop and REX file formats. The engine’s unique algorithm maintains high quality audio throughout real-time loop manipulation while remaining lightweight in terms of processing power.

The MPC line takes advantage of additional features such as:

  • Manual and automatic loop slicing.
  • Slicing and stretching with per-slice stretching options.
  • Triggering of individual slices or the entire loop from beginning to end.
  • Transient detection.
  • Pitch shifting via cents or semitones.

Akai Professional will unveil MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio at booth #6400 at the 2012 NAMM Show from January 19—22 in Anaheim, California. Both will be available for purchase in Q3 2012. iZotope’s Loop Slicing Engine, Radius, and a host of other audio technologies are currently available for third-party licensing.

More information: iZotope


Akai Professional intros MAX49 MIDI/CV controller

Akai Professional has introduced the MAX49, a new controller which places revolutionary MIDI and CV control at your fingertips.

With an intuitive layout and included AkaiConnect automatic-mapping software, MAX49 offers an instant, fully immersive experience with your favorite music software and virtually all VST plugins.

From its 49 semi-weighted keys and 12 real MPC pads, to its groundbreaking LED touch faders and vintage CV & Gate outputs, MAX49 combines cutting-edge Akai Pro technology with classic capability to give you an unprecedented music-making experience.

Akai MAX49

MAX49 features

  • 49 semi-weighted keys with Aftertouch for complete musical expression.
  • Built-in step sequencer for detailed track construction.
  • Expanded arpeggiator with latch and time division controls.
  • Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VST plugins.
  • 12 backlit, real MPC pads with MPC Note Repeat and MPC swing.
  • Eight backlit LED touch faders for gradual or instant parameter value changes.
  • Four pad banks & four fader banks provide a total of 80 assignable pads & faders.
  • CV & Gate outputs for use with vintage analog synths (1V/Oct).
  • Large, centrally-positioned transport controls & rubberized pitch and modulation wheels.
  • Mackie Control & HUI modes provide instant compatibility with many DAWs.

More information: Akai Pro / MAX49


Akai Professional intros MPC Studio

Akai Professional MPC Studio

Akai Professional has introduced the MPC Studio, a music production controller.

MPC Studio offers the most streamlined MPC experience yet. At under one-inch thin, with low-profile controls and a brushed aluminum body, it’s made to move.

MPC Studio merges real MPC pads, iconic workflow, and the same MPC Software used by MPC Renaissance to give you a fully integrated portable production solution.

MPC Studio features

  • MPC Studio Hardware
    • Fuses legendary MPC production with the processing power of your computer.
    • Compact design is less than 1” thin and fits easily into a laptop bag.
    • MPC SOFTWARE for Mac & PC with 64-track sequencing capability.
    • 16 backlit genuine MPC pads, legendary MPC workflow & MPC Swing.
    • USB-powered with low-profile knobs and brushed aluminum body.
    • Large LCD screen allows you to make tracks without having to look at your computer.
    • Four touch-sensitive knobs provide enhanced MPC software control.
  • MPC Software
    • 64-track sequencing capability.
    • Massive 6GB+ sound library, including all of the sounds of the classic MPC3000.
    • Instant mapping and real-time adjustment of VST plug-ins.
    • Record each track as an MPC drum program, Keygroup program or VST plug-in.
    • Works alone as your main DAW or works seamlessly with your current studio as a VST/AU/RTAS plugin.
    • Supports WAV, MP3, AIFF, REX and SND.
    • Supports samples and sequences from any MPC ever madex
    • Mac and PC-compatible.

More information: Akai Pro


Akai intros MPC Renaissance Music Production Controller

Akai MPC Renaissance

Akai has introduced the MPC Renaissance, a new Music Production Controller.

Fusing Akai Professional’s legendary MPC layout and workflow with the power of your computer, MPC Renaissance is an unrivaled instrument for music production.

The new flagship is a fully integrated hardware/software system: MPC Renaissance allows you to create using classic hardware controls and an integrated pop-up display, while it’s exclusive MPC Software empowers you with unprecedented, expandable production capabilities on your Mac or PC.

MPC Renaissance features

  • MPC Renaissance Hardware
    • Fuses legendary MPC production with the processing power of your computer.
    • Vintage Mode changes output sound character to MPC3000, MPC60 and more.
    • 16 backlit genuine MPC pads, 16 Q-Link controls, and adjustable backlit LCD screen.
    • Classic MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing and MPC transport controls.
    • MPC SOFTWARE for Mac or PC with 64-track sequencing capability.
    • Two XLR-1/4” combo inputs and dedicated turntable input.
    • Four-channel US B 2.0 audio interface and two-port US B 2.0 hub built in.
    • Up to eight pad banks—more than any other MPC ever.
    • Two MIDI inputs and four MIDI outputs.
    • Stereo 1/4” out, stereo assignable mix 1/4” out & S/PDIF I/O.
  • MPC Software
    • 64-track sequencing capability.
    • Massive 6GB+ sound library, including all of the sounds of the classic MPC3000.
    • Instant mapping and real-time adjustment of VST plug-ins.
    • Record each track as an MPC drum program, Keygroup program or VST plug-in.
    • Runs standalone and as VST, AU or RTAS plug-in.
    • Supports WAV, MP3, AIFF, REX and SND.
    • Supports samples and sequences from any MPC ever made.
    • Mac and PC-compatible.

More information: Akai Professional


Grand Loops launches MPC 500 Winter Raffle

Related: , , , , , , Posted in news on Oct 24, 2011 - comment 0 comments
Grand Loops MPC 500 Winter Raffle

Grand Loops has announced the MPC 500 Winter Raffle, a chance to win the MPC 500 by Akai Professional.

GrandLoops come with a BIG Promotion for this winter!!!

We offer an AKAI MPC 500 in the first day of the new year – 01.01.2012 – for one lucky customer who downloaded products form

MPC 500 Winter Raffle rules:

  • You must buy at less one product from our store, between 01 Oct 2011 and 31 Dec 2011. (Free Downloads are not included)
  • You must be registered on the as a customer.
  • Use real data for registration.
  • The winner will be chosen by one of our partners.
  • The winner will be posted on the website and contacted via email.

More information: Grand Loops


Review: Akai LPD8 portable MIDI controller

Related: , , , , , , , Posted in reviews on Sep 12, 2011 - comment 4 comments

I recently had a need for an affordable, easy to use, portable MIDI controller. Not because I travel a lot, or that I’m short on space in my studio… I just wanted to allow my 2-year old boy to join me in making noise, without him having to use the more complicated and expensive controllers in my setup.

My first thought was the Akai MPD18, but some people recommended the LPD8 instead, a small controller with 8 pads and 8 encoders.

Akai LPD8

The LPD8 laptop pad controller is a USB-MIDI controller for musicians, producers, DJs and other music creators. It measures less than 13 inches across and weighs less than a pound to easily fit into a laptop case, backpack or messenger bag for extreme portability.

At around 30 by 8 centimeters in size, the LPD8 sure is portable. It weights a little over 300 grams, which is nice and lightweight, but not too flimsy. It feels rather solid and sturdy.

The pads are velocity sensitive, though I found it a bit hard to get low velocity hits. The pads require quite a bit of force to register a hit. No problem for my son who prefers bashing over tapping, but personally I would prefer a lighter touch similar to the pads on Native Instruments Maschine. I have found some information online on increasing sensitivity by putting some electric tape under the pads. I might have a go at that.

The knob response is quite smooth, and distance between individual knobs is good for me. Normally I don’t need that many knobs (typically just cutoff/freq) but having 8 can be a great thing. Take Turnado. Having 8 knobs & pads on the LPD – to turn the big knobs and (de)activate the fx slots – is just perfect for turning Turnado into a live performance instrument.

Of course you can use the LPD8 to control anything you want by using MIDI learn to assign parameters to controls, or by selecting one of the 4 user configurable presets. The editor software is pretty straightforward.

LPD8 editor software
LPD8 editor software

The pads can transmit MIDI note, Program Change, and MIDI CC data. The knobs send MIDI CC data; low and high data values can be set for each knob (270 degree rotation).

Presets are fetched from and stored on the LPD8 as well as on your computer, so you can create a library of presets larger than the 4 slots available on the LPD. The “program” button on the LPD allows you to change presets, “prog chng” and “cc” buttons put the pads in respective modes. The “pad” button switches the pads to send out MIDI notes. The MIDI channel to be used is also stored in the presets.

Furthermore, pads can be set to be momentary (only active when held) or toggle.

So what do I think?

Product: LPD8 by Akai Pro
Format: USB MIDI controller
Price: 49 EUR
Like: Portable, quality hardware, affordable
Don’t like: Pad sensitivity
Verdict: 8/10

Notwithstanding its size, the LPD8 is a respectable controller. I kind of expected it would have a bit of a rinky-dink toy-like feel to it, so I was surprised to find it actually has a decent build quality. I have not yet dropped it, but I think it could take a reasonable amount of abuse without breaking. I feel comfortable taking this thing on the road.

What else can I say? The controller delivers exactly what it says on the package. An ultra portable USB controller with 8 pads and 8 knobs, 4 user programs, and a software editor.

I quite like the design, and the orange backlit pads are lovely to my eye. I only wish they would be a little more responsive. YMMV.

In short, the LPD8 is a good quality, affordable portable controller. Suitable for children of 2+ years old (and their mums & dads).

More information: Akai Professional / LPD8


Akai announces EIE Pro audio interface

Related: , , , , , , , , Posted in news on Jul 21, 2011 - comment 1 comment

Akai Pro has announced the EIE Pro, a new digital audio interface and USB hub.

The EIE Pro is a tabletop audio/MIDI interface with USB hub in one convenient box to connect virtually any kind of music gear.

Akai EIE Pro

The USB audio interface on the EIE Pro is perfectly tailored for professional, project and portable studio setups.

This four-in, four-out (4×4) device enables professional recording at up to 24-bit resolution and sample rates of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz or 96 kHz into virtually any DAW, recording or performance software on a Mac or PC. The EIE Pro also houses three convenient USB inputs, in addition to its main USB port, enabling it to connect easily to controllers, hard drives or any other peripheral when native ports on a computer may be limited. The compact recording audio interface contains high-quality components including nickel-plated input jacks, analog-style VU meters and a rugged aluminum casing for a powerful, professional, portable audio solution.

EIE Pro features

  • USB audio interface with up to 24-bit recording resolution supporting all standard sample rates (44.1kHz/48kHz/88.2kHz/96kHz).
  • Four XLR-1/4″ combo jacks with phantom power and gain control.
  • Four nickel-plated 1/4″ outputs.
  • Two classic, high-quality VU level meters with switchable sources and RED peak LEDS.
  • Three additional USB ports for connecting other devices through to a computer.
  • 5 Pin DIN MIDI Interface.
  • Headphone output with switchable source and direct monitoring dial.
  • Table-top, solid construction with a great-looking, classic design.

Akai Professional will exhibit the EIE Pro at Booth #400 at the 2011 Summer NAMM show from July 21st – 23rd in Nashville, TN.

More information: Akai Professional / EIE Pro


Akai updates SynthStation app to v2.0

Related: , , , , , , , , , Posted in news on Jul 01, 2011 - comment 0 comments
Akai SynthStation

Akai Professional has released version 2.0 of SynthStation, a portable music production studio for mobile music creation.

Updated based upon user feedback, SynthStation v2.0 contains the most requested enhancements and capabilities from SynthStation enthusiasts everywhere and is now an even more powerful app for creating music on the go.

Featuring CoreMIDI support, real-time recording, a customizable metronome, the ability to preview sounds in the sounds page and numerous stability improvements and bug fixes, SynthStation v2.0 is ready to produce whether you’re using it directly on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, or using it in combination with the powerful SynthStation25 portable controller.

Changes in SynthStation v2.0

  • CoreMIDI Support: SynthStation v2.0 works with any CoreMIDI compatible device, meaning you can use it on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch as a synth module for your favorite controllers or integrate SynthStation v2.0 with your CoreMIDI compliant hardware and software sequencers.
  • Real-time Recording: Now you can record in real-time as you improvise and create tracks directly on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, or when using the versatile SynthStation25 portable controller.
  • Customizable Metronome: More than just a time-keeping click track, SynthStation v2.0′s all new metronome is now fully customizable, allowing you to set the volume and use any sound you desire.
  • Sound-Preview Ribbon: Find the right sound faster with SynthStation v2.0′s new sound-preview ribbon. This simple feature will streamline your portable music production and save you tons of time.

SynthStation for iOS is available to purchase for $1.99 USD.

More information: Akai Professional / SynthStation