MPC X & MPC Live Forum: Support and discussion for the MPC X & MPC Live, Akai's current generation of standalone MPCs.
By Frisbi Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:51 am
Since I am an fx addicted and I've been waiting a year for some good fx on Live and finally Akai gave us, I make a review of these great Air fx.

1 I start from modulations which were the weakest part of Live until now.
Phaser is brilliant, especially the Tron and Stone ones which I guess are emulations of mutron and mxr glorious phase stone.
Well they are not the same as the originals but they sound really pleasant, you can go up with feedback and down with rate until they sing.
Flanger is also very useable and thick and it is what you expect from a good pro flanger.
Ensemble and multichorus are ok, not the top of the line but I admit I never had so much love for Chorus.

2 Filtergate is pure beauty, it can chop in many different ways, it can be an autopan, a pumper and so on. Very well thought, very deep and good sounding. I like trance gates a lot and random pan.
The normal filter is also very good, all the filter options you need, it can get very harsh at high resonance settings and has a beautiful rectify option on it.

3 Lo-fi rules. Just a perfect tool with rectify, noise and a antialias which works like a sort of digital filter.

4 Channel strip is magic, it makes every material sound just good.
Its nice finally to work with a GR meter on compressor and the compressor just does its job greatly.
Same for stereo width, transient, enhancer, fast easy tools that gives a perfect control on any sound.

5 Distortions are good, a bit digital maybe, and I still prefer Akai distortions especially the grim one. But Tube drive can become a new favourite one, good to keep the sound untouched and then open the drive with the right headroom.

6 Delays and Reverbs are ok, useable, clinical I could say. I still prefer the character of Akai analog and tape delays, they sound more organic and interesting for me. But anyway if you prefer a less intrusive digital delay, they just have what you need and more.
Diffuse delay is ok, not very flexible, I couldn't get something very special with it but let's see.
The Reverb is surprisingly good at the end, a huge leap forward for sure. As delays, its also not very flexible but it definitely sounds good in the overall mix. Not the best reverb of the world for sure but for that you need hardware and money.
Spring reverb and nonlinear one didn't caught my attention so much.

7 All the eq are really powerful, especially to put down frequencies they work like a charm. Kill eq makes what it says, it really kills a frequency range, very interesting.

8 Freq shift and pitch shift are surely better then the Akai ones. Freq shift can work also as a pleasant autopan while Pitch shift works better going down, you can obtain very very interesting loops going down to 24 notes in texture mode.

9 then we have a pumper, I think Air most famous effect. It really pumps it up. A very powerful Noise gate, good with any material and with a denoiser which can make wonders.
Talk box is crazy, if you mess up with Lfo, formant and vowels you can get some sort of mongolian throat singing like effect.

10 Last I put two fx I didn't like much, the Fuzz wah with a not good fuzz nor a good wah and a maximizer that just squash your sound immediately. But who is going to use a Maximizer on Mpc?

The overall impression is very positive.
These Air fx fill the gap we had with Mpc until today, because its true we have been playing for more then a year with ordinary effects, not even at the level of an fx box of the 90s.
Now the level has increased a lot, these Air fx are really professional tools that cover almost everything.
Compared to Akai ones, they sound more clinical and digital in a way, but that is what we needed, easy small professional tools to mix better.
I still prefer Akai distortions and delays, as I said before, which are my favourite Akai effects together with filters.

As for CPU, I didn't notice any difference between Air and Akai effects. I opened a project filled with Akai fx that was around 16% of cpu, I replaced all fx with Air ones and added Air reverb on send plus many new Air ones here and there and at the end my Cpu was at 18%.

So thanks Akai and Air, that was a very very clever and good move.
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By toodee Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:13 am
Thanks Frisbi for the review <3

It's night & day with the previous FX collection, very glad to see those effects showing up on the Live :-D
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By bredal187 Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:40 am
The reverbs all lack hp / lp filters which, to me, is kinda big deal
By Frisbi Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:41 pm
bredal187 wrote:The reverbs all lack hp / lp filters which, to me, is kinda big deal

Come on. Put a filter before or after reverb.
Not so complicated
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By J.O.BEATS Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:57 pm
For somebody, like me, who doesn't like to **** with computers and stay strictly within the MPC these FXs are pretty powerful. I guess I can see why many wouldn't be too pumped on these if you have hard drives full of expensive vst plugin etc. But for existing in an MPC these are pretty dope!

Now just give me a rompler type instrument in this thing and I'm set :smoker:
By CharlesRandolph Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:03 pm
Frisbi wrote:Come on. Put a filter before or after reverb.
Not so complicated


In my experience, most people only use presets, they're not willing to tweak and stack effects to get what they want. That's why many complain about how bad, effects sounds.
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By Danoc Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:07 pm
Frisbi wrote:Come on. Put a filter before or after reverb.
Not so complicated

:worthy: I agree.

They never had hp/lp filters on them and Professionals never ever complain about that.
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By Danoc Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:12 pm
CharlesRandolph wrote:
In my experience, most people only use presets, they're not willing to tweak and stack effects to get what they want. That's why many complain about how bad, effects sounds.

And this is one of the reasons why stuff sound the same because they don't tweak, just a lil bit. :WTF: If you're going to be a producer in 2019 and beyond need to tweak and have the respect for yourself and music to tweak and not sound like the next producer. There's nothing wrong with learning and improving, being stagnated is wack and you won't last long. The more you know the more people will use you. I thought I would wear one hat and look at me know, I wear many, and people call on you and pay you. :-D :smoker:
By Frisbi Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:20 pm
CharlesRandolph wrote:
Frisbi wrote:Come on. Put a filter before or after reverb.
Not so complicated


In my experience, most people only use presets, they're not willing to tweak and stack effects to get what they want. That's why many complain about how bad, effects sounds.

Man, presets are for lazy people.
Serious people like tweaking and editing to reach the sound they're after.
Complaining about the lack of filters on reverb?
Come on.
I prefer the idea of combining fx to get your own sound.
By Frisbi Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:21 pm
Danoc wrote:
CharlesRandolph wrote:
In my experience, most people only use presets, they're not willing to tweak and stack effects to get what they want. That's why many complain about how bad, effects sounds.

And this is one of the reasons why stuff sound the same because they don't tweak, just a lil bit. :WTF: If you're going to be a producer in 2019 and beyond need to tweak and have the respect for yourself and music to tweak and not sound like the next producer. There's nothing wrong with learning and improving, being stagnated is wack and you won't last long. The more you know the more people will use you. I thought I would wear one hat and look at me know, I wear many, and people call on you and pay you. :-D :smoker:

Yes man, working with ready clips from downloaded lubraries and fx presets?
let's talk about serious stuff for producers, much better.