Akai MPC 2.10: What is it?
Akai’s 2.10 firmware update for its MPC range (MPC One, MPC Live II, MPCX and desktop) is one of the most significant updates to the platform yet with a slew of new features that promise to add even more value to the MPC hardware range.
Rather than the bug fixing, let’s focus on the headlining acts of which there are plenty to talk about.
What has Akai managed to cram in 2.10? Well, four new synth plugins have arrived: three are recreations of the classic Solina string synth, Mellotron and indomitable Odyssey and an entirely new instrument called Hype rounds off the list.
A new Vocal Suite includes three insert effects bringing you automatic tuning with the Vocal Tune, four-part harmonisation via Vocal Harmonizer and a doubling effect.
Alongside the Vocal Suite are four brand new and one updated insert effect, from Air Technology and two new insert effects from Akai.
The new offerings from Air are Half Speed, Stutter, Diode Splitter and Limiter, while Diffuser Delay gets updated to include Low Cut, Width, Sync and Pan parameters to an already useful effect. The new Akai effects are Granulator and Sample Delay.
Perhaps the biggest boon for owners of the MPC One, MPC Live II or MPCX is that 2.10 now offers the support to host any class-compliant USB audio interface, for a maximum of 32 inputs and outputs.
Akai MPC 2.10: Performance and verdict
As updates go, we’d have been content with just one plugin instrument, but having four is just plain spoiling us all. The choice of plugins is perfect for MPC users. We have three classic synths emulated that offer practically everything you need.
The Odyssey, being a particular favourite, is an absolute must for any rasping bass layers and this version improves on the old recipe by adding polyphony. The Solina and Mellotron both deliver strings and solo instruments which blend so well when dropping lo-fi and retro beats.
These aren’t just faithful recreations, but each one also adds in its own effects, vastly improving on the original. You can add extra grit to the Mellotron with tape-based effects, while the Solina comes equipped with delay, reverb and chorus.
It’s not all about the retro vibes as the biggest synth available in the update comes in the form of Hype, which features multiple synth engines: wavetable, FM, virtual analogue, and sampled. It has a wide array of effects and presets, enough to get you started before you even need to dig below the surface.
Hype is very much designed with the MPC macro controls in mind, so you’ll find tweaking much more hands-on, especially when compared to the three retro-synths, which have been designed, admirably, despite the small screen real estate.
Fistful of features
Adding four plugin instruments, the new Vocal Suite, plus other insert effects would be enough for some folks to stay in the MPC box without the need to reach for the nearest DAW. Throw in the USB audio interface support and it makes the latest iteration of MPC a must-have.
So does this free update to the platform improve the MPC hardware? In a nutshell, yes it does. As free updates go, MPC 2.10 is jam-packed with even more tools to keep you in MPC ecosystem.
MusicRadar verdict: 2.10 is a real gift for MPC owners, with lots of good stuff packed in, offering even more value to tempt new users to the platform.
Akai MPC 2.10: Hands-on demos
Akai MPC 2.10: Specifications
- Major update to the MPC ecosystem that includes new insert effects, plugin instruments, improved audio I/O and many workflow improvements.
- CONTACT: Akai