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I’m disappointed

MPX16, cheap but "cheap"

So I bought an MPX16 the other day.

I was looking for a small, battery operated sampler that would be easy to cart around in the bag I keep my on-the-go music tools in so I can make music in the wild untethered to a computer. First strike was the website (at the time of my purchase) was incorrect in stating the unit was battery powered. But, it does take power over USB and there are USB power battery packs for powering mobile devices so I guess it's not that big a problem.

The unit was cheap, but it's also "cheap" in you know what I mean. It just really feels like the unit was rushed out half finished and when I read through the forums and see people were complaining 5 years ago about things that still have yet to be addressed with an firmware update it really does not give me a lot of confidence in Akai as a company that cares about its products and its customers which is too bad because I've been eyeing the MPC Live as a future product purchase but I don't want to shell out that kind of money on a product from a company that takes more than 5 years to address simple problems with its gear. If you can't even get the small stuff right it just doesn't give me confidence in how well you handle the big stuff. This is a shame because Akai used to be one of the biggest names in music production gear and your samplers were untouched in the 80s.

What the MPX16 gets right:
Nice portable size.
Pads feel great and are responsive.
Full sized ports.
Feels like it's solidly constructed.
Very simple to use. Was up and running in less than 15 minutes of playing with it.

What the MPX16 gets wrong:
No battery.
The graphic display is wasted (Seriously. You have a graphic display on the unit and all it displays is alpha-numerics? We should have graphic editing of the envelopes as well as graphic editing of the samples themselves.)
No live looping
No sequencing
No internal resampling.
Microphone even on the lowest record gain is insanely hot.
File management is a mess.
Kits should only load when you confirm you want them loaded, not when you hover too long over the kit name.

It's such a shame to see a product with such potential end up being so thoroughly mediocre. Sure it's only $250 but there are other products in the price range new and used that do so much more. I'd have to say that I wouldn't recommend it. Any of the Korg Kaossilators, or if you can find one a Korg microSampler would be much more useful products and now that there's a sample loader available for Android devices even a Volca Sample would be a more useful tool.

I've never sold or traded a piece of music gear once in my long life. Even dead gear doesn't leave my hands, if I can't fix it I scavenge it for parts. But if the MPX16 doesn't see some serious upgrades it'll probably be the first piece of kit I part ways with.
Reply
  • Hey Ghastly,

    Thanks for posting!

    The implementation of sequencing, looping and resampling would certainly enhance the MPX16's workflow substantially. To be honest though, these are complicated updates that depend on what the internal processor can actually handle. The MPX series is not as suited for these features as the MPC X/Live and Force which are essentially standalone computers with built-in CPUs capable of processing large amounts of data and graphics. If you are looking for a truly standalone, battery-operated workstation, the Live would be more fitting to your needs.

    That said, I will certainly submit your feedback to the development team for future consideration! You can submit this as a feature request directly to the Akai team as well:

    MPC - Submit a Feature Request

    Thanks for your feedback! Let me know if you have any questions.
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