Akai’s MPC Beats is a free ‘beatmaking DAW’ that puts the classic MPC workflow on your PC or Mac

Akai’s MPC products have been inspiring electronic music and hip-hop producers since 1988, which saw the release of the iconic MPC60. Now Akai is marking another milestone with the release of MPC Beats - a free ‘beatmaking DAW’ for PC and Mac.

The release of MPC Beats means that everyone can now experience the legendary MPC workflow. The software features a classic 4x4 drum sample grid (that’s 16 pads), a piano roll, a sample library browser and a sample edit window. You can switch between these different views whenever you like.

If you’re new to the production game, beat templates will help you to get started and understand the process, and MPC Beats ships with a 2GB library that includes content from some of the most popular MPC Expansion Pack sound libraries.

As well as the obligatory drum kits, there are also three plugin instruments (Bassline, Tubesynth and Electric) and 80 FX plugins that are lifted from the Air Effects collection. So, you have everything you need to create, mix and master your tracks. MPC Beats Expansions will start at $9.99.

Of course, the MPC experience is all about hardware control, and this can come not only from one of Akai’s own MIDI Keyboards or pad controllers, but also any other suitable MIDI controller you might have to hand. MPC Beats will auto-map to many of them, but you should also be able to do it manually if you need to.

Other features of the software include two stereo audio tracks, eight MIDI/instrument tracks and support for VST/AU instruments and effects. You can also use MPC Beats as a plugin in your existing DAW.

MPC Beats is available from today, and can be downloaded from the Akai Pro website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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