Akai Pro has announced that its MPC Software has been updated to v2.1. This major update for both LIVE/X Standalone Firmware OS and MPC Desktop Software introduces a number of new workflow enhancements and stability improvements.
Akai Pro MPC 2.1 New Features Summary
- Export Expansion Packs from MPC Desktop to Standalone MPCs.
- Visually Enhanced Expansion Library Browser.
- Pitch Quantize.
- Display Multiple Plugin GUIs at once.
- Snap to Relative or Absolute Grid.
- Step Sequence Q-Link Velocity Control.
- Faster Drum and Keygroup Amplifier Attack Envelopes.
This is a firmware and software update. Projects created and saved in MPC 2.1 desktop or standalone will not be compatible with earlier versions. Akai strongly recommends updating both the desktop software and the firmware.
Akai MPC 2.1 Desktop Software
The MPC 2.1 desktop software can be controlled by MPC X, MPC Live, MPC Touch, MPC Studio Black, MPC Studio, MPC Renaissance and MPC Element. Integration of pads, pad colours and bank switching for MPK225, MPK249 and MPK261 have now been added. Integration of pads for MPD218, MPD226 and MPD232 has now been added.
Akai MPC 2.1 New Features In Detail
Export expansion packs to standalone - You can now export any of the expansion packs installed on your MPC desktop software to the standalone MPC Live / X. Begin by connecting your MPC Live / X to your computer and switch it into controller mode. Now from the MPC desktop software go to File > Export > Expansion. From the Export Expansion to Standalone MPC popup, use the Drive field to select one of the devices connected to your MPC. Choose either the MPC internal SATA drive, SD card or USB Flash drive. Next, tick the expansions you want to export or use the Select All button to choose all of them. Click Ok and wait for your desktop MPC software to finish the export process. The expansion export process creates an Expansions folder at the root level of your drive and copies your expansions into it. To use your expansions, reboot your MPC Live / X into standalone mode and go to the Browser mode, you will find your expansions under the Expansion tab.
Browse expansions from the TUI - Go to the Browser mode and from the left-hand side of the TUI choose the Expansions tab. The Expansions tab displays a tiled picture list of all of the installed expansions, simply tap on an expansion to select it. You can then use the right-hand side of the Browser as normal to browse the contents of the expansion. If you would rather browse your expansions as a text list, then go to the Places tab, they will be listed underneath your storage devices and MPC Documents.
The standalone MPC Live or X will now load user progressions - To use your progressions in the standalone MPC X or Live, on your preferred storage device (MPC internal SATA drive, SD card or USB Flash drive) create a folder called Progressions at the root level. Next, on your desktop computer navigate to your user progressions directory Mac ~/Library/Application Support/Akai/MPC/Progressions, Windows C:\ProgramData\Akai\MPC\Progressions and copy your user progressions into the Progressions folder on your preferred storage device. Lastly, in standalone mode, connect your storage device to your MPC Live or X, when you go to Pad Perform > Progressions your MPC will read the user progressions in your Progressions folder and add them to the Progressions list.
In the Step Sequencer mode, you can now adjust the velocity of each step using the Q-Links when your Q-Link mode is set to Screen. Holding down shift and tapping a pad now selects the pad.
Snap: Relative or Absolute - Events on the audio and MIDI grids can now be moved or copied with Relative or Absolute snap. When the snap setting is set to Relative, events will move by the original time position of the event plus the current TC value, when set to Absolute events will move to the nearest TC time division. On the TUI go to either the Audio or MIDI grid and press the Settings icon in the top right-hand corner of the TUI to bring up the Settings popup. Now set the Snap Mode to either Absolute or Relative. In the GUI use the Snap button located on the toolbar above the MIDI and Audio Grid.
Pitch Quantize - You can now force the pitches of notes in a track to a scale of your choice. On the TUI from Main Mode, go to the Track section and press the Pencil icon to bring up the Track overlay and choose Pitch Quantize. From the MPC desktop software go to Edit > Pitch Quantize.
Multiple GUI plugin windows - You can now open multiple plugin windows at the same time.
Drum and Keygroup Amplifier Envelopes now have a faster attack. They have sped up the attack time of the amplifier envelopes in MPC Drum and Keygroup programs. Now an attack time of 0 will give a much faster response making your drum hits sound even punchier than before. Programs that were saved or created prior to this release will be loaded with an attack time of 1 to ensure backwards compatibility.
The Metronome can now access mono outputs across both the standalone and desktop versions.
In Grid Edit and Audio Edit, you can now Cut, Copy and Paste event selections. In either Grid Edit or Audio Edit hold down the hardware Shift button to reveal the shift f-keys on the TUI.
The Q-Link mode is now saved and recalled with the project.
Akai MPC Stability and Reliability Fixes in v2.1
- DisplayLink Driver Update - They have updated the DisplayLink driver to version 4.1. This affects MPC Touch users on MacOS only.
- Program and Audio Track File Name Change - To fix an issue with Program and Audio Track file loading, when the names across the two track types were identical, we have appended the ‘type’ of program to the file name when it is saved with the MPC project. The new file name composition is [Program-Name].[Program-Type].xpm. Projects from 2.0.8 and earlier will load correctly in MPC 2.1. When a project is saved in MPC 2.1, the program file names in the ‘Project Data’ folder will be saved again in the new format. Projects created and saved in MPC desktop or MPC standalone 2.1 will not be compatible with earlier versions of the software and standalone firmware. Manual program file exports and ‘legacy’ MPC program file exports are not affected.
- MIDI Sync Improvements - We have made significant improvements to the stability of the MPC MIDI i/o. Especially in regards to MIDI Clock. The clock ‘jitter’ (deviation from the mean latency) has been reduced from +/- 11 ms to +/- 5ms when MPC is receiving clock. We have also made improvements to the MIDI output transmission mechanism, to reduce potential ‘drift’ and timing issues when sending MIDI Clock, MTC and MIDI Note out to external devices.
- Audio Edit - Audio regions now maintain their 'no overlap' behaviour when using 'Warp', Minimum region print size is applied at all levels of zoom and the audio edit delete tool now remains functional after duplicating audio events.
- Audio Tracks - MPC now enforces unique program and audio track names in all cases
- Automation - Parameter are listed with correct labels in the GUI's automation lanes for plugin instruments
- Channel Mixer - Insert effects can now be copied and moved between channel strips without issue
- Crash - The stability of undo and redo after copying a plugin in the Channel Mixer has been improved
- Documentation - Explanation of event 'nudge' behaviour has been clarified
- Expansions - Expansion will now be installed when double-clicking the XPN in the file browser
- File Browser - Top file in Browser list no longer auto-plays when changing filter
- GUI - Checkboxes throughout the GUI have been restyled and Note Mapping preset labelling has been corrected
- Hardware - LCD Program Edit cursor behaviour has been improved
- Installer - MPC now supports MacOS 10.13 case-sensitive file systems
- MIDI Sync - MIDI Clock stability has been improved and MIDI Clock input jitter has been reduced.
- Mixer - Unique program naming is now enforced when renamed in the Channel Mixer
- Plug-in Hosting - Instruments - DB-33's embedded Program Edit UI has returned
- Program Edit Drum - Envelope ranges are now consistent between the TUI and GUI and LCD redraw behaviour in Program Edit has been improved
- Q-Links - Q-Link insert effect parameters on LCD screens now update correctly when the Q-Link bank is changed
- Sample Edit - Slice marker behaviour in the Wave View has been improved
- Saving and Loading - Importing of MIDI files has been improved, MPC no longer auto-saves to a drive which has been disconnected and the default Save As folder location has been corrected
- Sequence Edit - Sequence Edit 'Copy Events' now works correctly with audio events.