As a long time fan of Akai products, I was excited to be able to try out Akai's new iMPC app. I think it's great that Akai has jumped into the app market for their products, since there are now more producers than ever who want to make music whilst on the go. The iMPC gives you the ability to make music, anywhere; it's ideal for travelling, and for the musically adventurous.
The iMPC is a collaboration between Akai, and software developers Retronyms. From the minute I launched the app, I loved the classic MPC layout, and its light colored design. An application's appearance is always an important factor for me; I think the more you like the way the GUI looks, the more you'll want to use the app.
For those of you who are seasoned MPC users, making beats on the iMPC should be a breeze. For others who need a little help getting started, the iMPC comes with a very handy iMPC user's guide that will quickly show you the ropes.
Here are a few of my favorite features of this great app...
On the top left, you'll find the data screen. The data screen displays the Sequence, Track, and the Program. You can select one of the sequences, or re-order them to create your own. You can have up to four Tracks to work with, and each Track has its own Program. Each Program is a series of sixteen samples that are laid out across the iMPC's pads.
The iMPC comes loaded with a large sample library of classic Akai sounds, and new iMPC samples. All of these samples can be accessed through the Sound Library. You can also create your own samples, either by using the iPad's microphone, or its line in.
One really cool feature of the iMPC is its ability to record your own samples, using the multi-touch turntable interface that's included in the app. You simply load up a track from your iTunes library, move the needle on the record to where you'd like to begin recording, then press play and record. Both old school and new school producers will love this feature; it makes sampling so fun! After you record your sample, you can clean it up by trimming it, and testing it out on a pad.
Another unique feature of the sampler is the iMPC's ability to import samples from other apps, using the AudioPaste menu. There's a long list of compatible apps, including iElectribe, and iKaossilator. Being able to share samples from one app to another really is a useful feature.
The iMPC features the virtual version of the 16 pads Akai is famous for, which make creating patterns a breeze. I think one of the best things about the iMPC is it gives you the ability to create music using your hands; it provides you with an organic way of making beats.
Along the left-hand side of the iMPC, you'll find the Performance Controls, which are helpful for quantizing your beats, and adding Swing. One of my favorite features is the '