Akai iMPC Drum Machine For Your iPad
Akai’s famed MPC has never been more portable or affordable than it is now with the iMPC app. It just hit the App Store in late December, and since then, word has been spreading pretty fast amongst the mobile music community. Just how good is the iMPC compared to its hardware brethren, well that’s what I wanted to know.
Aight so if you want to read all of the detailed specs on the iMPC app you can get it all HERE. Personally, I rather just dive in and highlight what I think makes this app a great purchase and a valuable tool in your mobile music production inventory.
First, the iMPC’s layout is almost an identical copy of an actual MPC, so the learning curve for MPC users is little to none on this app. For people who have never toyed with an MPC, I found the iMPC user guide to be very well organized, easy to read and interpret, and most importantly, its conveniently housed within the app to make it easier to learn on the fly. All the pads, sliders, buttons, and knobs work as they should with little to no noticeable latency. The samples that come with the iMPC app all sound amazing! I can’t front, I am really impressed with the quality and selection of the stock samples that come with the app but what would an iMPC be if you couldn’t sample from external sources. The app allows you to record samples from the iPad mic, line-in, or music library using the multi-touch turntable interface.
The iMPC supports multi-touch gestures so triggering multiple samples is only limited by the amount of fingers you can use at one time. The app also comes with three very basic effects that honestly you can live without so I won’t go into detail here. Personally you’re better off exporting your beat into a desktop DAW like Protools to add any effects. The iMPC gives you a standard 4-track mixer that hopefully they add more to in a future release. I’d like to see things like Dropbox, AudioBus, and midi support added to allow the iMPC to play nicely with other mobile music apps and external controllers. Also needed is the ability to easily track out and export your finished beat so you can mix it down in Protools, or similar DAW.
My final thoughts…I think this app is a no-brainer purchase for 2 reasons:
1. It’s a fraction of the price you’d pay for an actual MPC workstation. Do you get ALL of the functionality out of the iMPC as you would a $3k MPC unit, of course not! But you also really can’t easily travel with your MPC either. Having the iMPC on your iPad is just convenient and allows you to create a beat whenever or wherever that inspiration hits you.
2. Right now the iMPC is pretty solid! With that said, I really believe it will only get better as more users give Akai feedback on what things need to be improved, added, and tweaked to make the app great in future releases.