January 22, 2012

Akai MPC Fly Announced at NAMM 2012

One of the more frightening things about integrating iPad 2 technology into one’s musical rig is that knowledge that somewhere out there, Apple is scheming their way to the release of its inevitable replacement. The beautiful technological marvel of today is the well designed brick of tomorrow. With that knowledge, our new technology becomes this commodity that we either unload into the used market at that key juncture between total loss of value and our next upgrade. That or it becomes something that we eventually retire to our gadget pastures that eventually award us a place on some reality television show about hoarding and a family intervention.

The irony of all this is that the iPad is a powerful computer; especially when compared to the processors driving our synthesizers, our FX processors and even our MPC. Start thinking about that and before too long you’ll even get around to being annoyed that so many of the music apps out there lack the sophistication of hardware like an MPC. I like to think that some hardware think tank worked itself up into a tizzy thinking all of this right before they screamed “Eureka” and came racing out of the lab clutching their first concept drawing of the MPC Fly.

AKAI MPC Family at NAMM 2012 UniqueSquared

It appears as though a lot of things are still being perfected on the MPC Fly, but this cool mix of hardware extension and travel case have made me quite happy to let an iPad 3 come along and try to retire my iPad 2. The coolest thing about the fly is that it is designed to take advantage of the iPad 2′s capabilities to an extent that it improves upon the capabilities of the MPC and becomes portable in a way that even the downsized and battery powered MPC 500 is not. With AudioPaste being supported, as well as a turntable style application for sampling from your iPad’s music library, the slicing capabilities will become a newly flexible tool that can be accessed on the go. I think this is the kind of thoughtful integration of the classic features with the modern ones that will lead to inspiration in remote locations. Compatible with any CoreMIDI app, the Fly is prepared to become a very real bridge between those creations from your iPad app that live in a musical limbo right now as well.

While we are going to have to wait a bit  (  as soon as we know the official pricing and availability, we’ll tell you. ) for the app/hardware to make their way to market, this was one of the iPad related products on the floor that made the others look like toys for children. I am very excited for my iPad 2, which just got a lease on life that could see it kicking around my studio for years to come.

MPC FLY Hardware

  • The first MPC designed specifically for iPad 2
  • Fitted compartment for iPad 2 provides fully integrated portable MPC solution
  • 16 backlit genuine MPC pads with MPC Note Repeat & MPC Swing
  • Works seamlessly with the MPC App: sequence & sample editing, effects, EQ and more
  • Create beats on the go and transfer to a Mac or PC for further mastering
  • Double-hinged case sits upright, lies flat or closes for transport
  • Compatible with virtually any Core MIDI app
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Charges iPad when plugged into wall power

MPC Fly iPad App

  • Sequence four tracks simultaneously: four-track mixer built in
  • Built in sound library of samples and drum kits
  • Record and overdub sequences and create and edit your own Programs
  • 16-Levels mode: play one sample at 16 levels of attack, velocity, length, and tuning
  • Note variation slider allows you to manipulate attack, velocity, length, and tuning as you play
  • Built-in effects: delay, bit crusher, master compressor/limiter
  • Time correct: 1/8 note – 1/32T with variable Swing setting
  • Note Repeat: 1/8 note – 1/32T timing
  • Sample using internal mic or line-in and trim and categorize samples
  • Sample from your iPod library with turntable interface
  • Share on SoundCloud, Facebook or twitter
  • Supports WIST, Wireless Sync Start protocol from Korg
  • Supports AudioPaste


  1. EKY says:

    Awesome machine, but why are you talking to this joker when Roger Linn, the legend that built the tempest, hovering in the background?

    1. LonelyPaul says:

      Ha. I’m not going to lie, every time I walked past Dave Smith or Roger Linn without hassling them, a little part of me died inside… It’s not easy being a fanboy on the clock!