In a bizarre set of circumstances worthy of the plot of a John Grisham novel, Akai's plans to release a standalone MPC have been splashed on the front pages of the relevant interwebs. The story, broken by Ask.Audio,
outlines the strange details of a set of photos published accidentally (though still online) and now in the public domain, by the US Government FCC department - they handle the standards applying to interference emitted by electronic equipment - something that can really test the engineers' skill in cleaning up the power and CPU shielding. As well as the photos we've seen, the additional supporting documents include a copy of the NDA (oops!) and more interestingly the Quick Start manual - read on..
The good news is that the new MPC LIVE is a standalone unit and has a similar form factor of the MPC Touch - which of course requires a computer connection to run the MPC Software component. The MPC LIVE actually runs it's own copy of this OS making it able to operate in either standalone OR MPC controller mode.
If you dig a little harder on the FCC.io website, you can locate the Quick Start Manual - which indicates these features:
- Standalone MPC-no computer required
- 7" (18 cm) full-color multi-touch display Internal, rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Also acts as a control surface for MPC 2.0 software
- Phono inputs w/ground peg
- 2 pairs of full-size MIDI inputs and outputs
- 16 GB of on-board storage (over 10 GB of sound content included)
- 2 GB of RAM for sampling
- Full-size SD card slot
- User-expandable 2.5" SATA drive connector (SSD or HDD)
- 2 USB-A 3.0 slots for thumb drives or MIDI controllers
As you can see, the 2x USB 3.0 host slots are capable for both storage and external MIDI controllers - which would seem to imply that there must be some kind of OS on board that supports class compliancy - our guess is Windows 10 embedded.
It's a bit like a dedicated custom hardware laptop designed specifically for music production. An interesting concept. It has the Touchscreen, the USB ports, the audio interface and the storage. It's not clear as and when, or indeed how much the MPC Live is going to be, but we can presume that AKAI will be forced to let some details slip earlier than expected. The FCC document seems to indicate that the photos were only submitted on the 9th November 2016.