You gotta love the classic AKAI MPC 2000 (XL). It has been the foundation for many timeless hip-hop and R&B classics. If only we could bring back this same hands-on producing experience to this modern day and age. That’s what AKAI Pro must have thought when they came up with the MPC Fly. The Fly is, along with the MPC Studio and MPC Renaissance one of three new MPC models that AKAI wants to bring on the market this year (late summer/early fall).
Of these three models the Fly is the most portable one as it’s really not more than the classic MPC pads with a compartment to put your iPad in after which you can control the special iPad app with the pads and buttons.
MPC Fly App
The app, which is under development by Retronyms, famous for their Tabletop app for iPad, is modeled after the MPC2000 which is clear from the promo’s we’re seeing now. It’s not only modeled after a MPC2000, but also after the signature workflow of sampling a turntable into the MPC2000, chopping the sampled pieces up and placing them over the pads. The turntable is represented with a small visual where you can import your iTunes songs and use them as a virtual record, searching for that one loop or stab to be put into your composition.
The app is limited in the fact that you can only use up 4 tracks in your composition, but it does come with a delay, bitcrusher and compressor/limiter effects. Furthermore you’ll find all the sampling (line input, internal mic) and export options (Soundcloud, AudioPaste) you could wish for. When you haven’t got the loot for the hardware controller yet you can use the app standalone without the pads, but we think this will kill the experience, since there are many similar drum-pad and sampling apps available already.
MPC Fly Controller
The controller is the cool part about the MPC Fly. It features backlit MPC pads, buttons to easily access any function in the MPC app and it also serves as an iPad cover as you can let it sit upright, open it and close it for transport. The controller is powered by a chargeable lithium-on battery and also charges your iPad when plugged into an outlet. Don’t think the controller only works with the MPC app as it’s said to work with almost any CoreMIDI app.
MPC Fly Videos
What We Expect From The MPC Fly
The MPC Fly looks like tons of fun already. It shows the iPad is growing mature as a musician’s tool. We think the Fly is excellent to just put your music library full with sample-worthy music and take the iPad out wherever you go to make your musical ideas with. Let’s hope developer Retronyms makes a great app to go with the Fly and we’re sold on one.