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MPC Beats Is A FREE Beat-Making Platform By AKAI

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AKAI has released MPC Beats, a freeware beginner-friendly software for beat making with VST and AU plugin support.

I haven’t been outside in a while, is it Christmas already? It’s not every day that a new free DAW is released, let alone one by a company mostly associated with hardware, as is the case with AKAI.

AKAI has, of course, previously released its MPC software, which is steadily nearing its third version. The thing is, that was always a bit of a puzzling product, as it seemed more like a direct emulation of the OS running on their hardware devices.

If ever there was a way to throw your hat in the DAW ring, however, this is it.

MPC Beats is a pretty compelling offering. It features eight MIDI tracks, a fully-featured sequencer, 80 effect plugins designed by Air, MPC-style time-stretching, and preconfigured hardware integration with both AKAI and third-party products. You also get VST and AU plugin compatibility, and a massive 2 GB sound library to boot. It’s genuinely impressive what AKAI is giving away for the fair price of nothing.

Presenting MPC Beats, the fully-featured, beat-making software based on the legendary MPC workflow to quickly make great-sounding beats. From the moment you install MPC Beats, you’re ready to start creating. Remix one of the included songs, or start off with a genre template like Trap, Dance, Pop and more.

To double down on their approach, AKAI has also launched a series of videos introducing the software to would-be beatmakers and going through it in detail.

Oh, and MPC Beats can not only load third-party VST plugins but can be used as a plugin itself, which opens up a whole entire new world of possibilities when combined with your other DAW. Use it as a drum sequencer? Add 80 brand new plugins to your toolkit? None of these answers are wrong.

MPC Beats running as a VST plugin in PreSonus Studio One.

MPC Beats running as a VST plugin in PreSonus Studio One.

It’s an overall very refreshing and forward-thinking approach and AKAI really should be commended for pulling the trigger on this. If you’re just starting out or are mostly focused on producing hip-hop or EDM and don’t mind the track count, it’s really hard to, well, beat MPC Beats.

The platform provides plenty of functionality for beat making and music production in general. You get the classic MPC workflow which is simply perfect for making beats, along with some of the advantages of modern-day digital audio workstations. MPC Beats features a virtual mixer, effects, sample editing, and much more. If you’re a beginner, AKAI’s freeware DAW is a great place to start. And if you’re already an experienced beatmaker, this is the perfect app to convert your laptop into a portable music studio.

It’s worth noting that AKAI is also offering a range of sound expansions for the MPC Beats software. There’s a variety of sample packs to choose from, including releases by premier sound designers like F9 Instruments, Araab Muzik, and others. The starting price for the Beats Expansions is $9.99 per product.

To grab your free copy of the MPC Beats software, visit the product page on AKAI’s website and hit the download button. You will be asked to fill out your name, location, email address, and a couple of gear-related questions. The download link will be delivered to your email inbox. There seems to be a slight delay with emails at the moment.

MPC Beats is a 942 MB download, with two additional expansion kits available free of charge. The free expansion by F9 Instruments is a 1 GB download and the Producer Kits pack is 2 GB in size. That’s a ton of high-quality sounds to get you started. The free expansion kits cover a range of vintage and modern drum sounds, bass samples, vocals, instrument samples, and more.

MPC Beats by AKAI provides plenty of ways to edit the samples.

MPC Beats by AKAI provides plenty of ways to edit the samples.

What do you think, is MPC Beats a worthy competitor to currently existing freeware DAWs like Cakewalk by Bandlab and Tracktion Waveform? Or is it only worthy as the first DAW for beginner beatmakers?

UPDATE: There is a delay with some download requests. If you signed up for MPC Beats and the download link didn’t arrive, try signing up again. It worked for me on the second try (using the same email address).

More info: MPC Beats (942 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, available as a VSTi/AU plugin, as well as standalone, for Windows & macOS)

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About Author

Emanuil is a writer and Bedroom Producers Blog contributor with a keen interest in music production.

46 Comments

  1. Knowing how to program an MPC should be a right of passage for anybody who calls themself a beatmaker and the MPC software is a perfect introduction to the world of MPC.

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      IDK, a good beat is a good beat no matter what software/hardware was used. But yeah, the MPC is a legendary beat-making tool.

  2. As I understand it comes with the whole 80 effect plugin package by Air (which costs good money standalone)
    And it also comes with three exclusive synth instruments
    None of the other free DAWs at the moment has that kind of firepower AFAIK

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      Yeah, that’s a great package for a free DAW. I still haven’t tested it. If the workflow is good, then it’s a winner.

  3. A super use case: If one have Ableton Live Lite. Use MPC beats as a plugin in it. And overcome Live Lite’s 8 midi track limitation, making it up to 64.

    + Synth + 80 effects.

    Very impressive, if it really works this way.

    • as a vst you can only load one instance of mpc beats in your daw

      Live Lite 8 Audio/MIDI tracks + MPC Beats 8 MIDI/instrument tracks + 2 Audio tracks === 18 – 1 == 17 tracks

      1 represente mpc beats as vst

      • yeah, you could do for example all your drum and percussive programming in mpc beats on one channel of ableton (including mixing) and still have 7 channels left for melodies, chords, pads

  4. Haven’t downloaded it yet, but it seems just a slightly downgraded mpc 2.x software. The plugin function though I heard isn’t implemented yet. But it’s a yummy teaser for the real one (=Hardware)

  5. The most annoying thing about the download is that the add on packs include both Mac and PC versions. So you download 5GB and throw away half of it. Annoying if you are on a dial up connection

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      That’s weird, thanks for the info. I guess it’s also a silly thing for AKAI to do because it’s doubling their bandwidth costs.

  6. Tried yesterday and today with a different email address but still not sent any download link, what gives

  7. shango sankara

    on

    Tried yesterday and today with different email addresses, still haven’t been sent any download link, what gives?

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      Try again today. There seems to be a bug with their system. Some users are reporting that they tried the download again after several hours and it worked. Mine also didn’t arrive instantly, so I tried again after an hour and received the link.

  8. i have tried 3 times seems like scam now, “sad”i think they will allow us to unzip mpk expansions, waiting for FREE DAW by Behringer

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      It’s not a scam, that’s for sure. But there’s definitely a delay with the download links. Just wait it out or try a different email.

  9. I tried twice last night with no luck. Then I tried again this morning and received 2 emails. Looking forward to trying this out to change up my workflow a bit.

  10. Disclaimer for anyone looking for the AIR lofi plugin (so famous from grammy engineers): its not included. The lo fi effect included is the other lofi from AIR (yes, there are two) and they are only internal fx. You can’t use them on your daw (not directly, at least)

    The software does seem very nice though. Will take it for a spin when I get the time

    Just thought I’d share that

  11. Can’t see how you get the vst version installed, no instructions at all. Also it will only install to the system drive which is not where I want it. Waiting for some info on how to move library files. Having said this it’s pretty fantastic for free.

    • The VST is installed by default, along with the standalone version. Check on the usual default VST paths… it’s probably somewhere in there!

  12. José Contreras Arriola

    on

    El enlace que me envían me aparece como “403 – prohibido” a alguien más le pasa?

  13. I have not tried yet. Will do after some days… when high inrush settles down.

    So, question to those who have successfully downloaded and tried: Do we have to be online to use it? Is completely offline usage possible, including activation?

    • I was served with an email with separate download links for Mac and PC, didn’t click anything Mac (Why would you do that, ew… :p). One zipfile containing MPC-Beats-2.8.1.12-Win.exe (stupid but, whatever) and three .exe for content: MPC Beats Edition of ‘Producer Kits’, ‘Demos and Templates’ and ‘F9 Instruments’ for a total of 3.12GB. Only installed the main program so far. Asked for nothing much but a desktop shortcut. A 64-bit VST2 was installed on the classic “C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins” and a ProTools AAX in the default place. While I’m sure it tries to connect to the Interwebs (there’s a ‘collect usage data’ you can turn off in the preferences), there’s no activation, no iLok/Dongle drivers installed afaik and it runs without an active connection so far. There’s a lot on the screen, it’s a full DAW in many respects, but you can turn off some elements if you don’t need them. Didn’t get a peep from it yet, so imma stop now and try to make it groove. TL;DR: It installs fine and isn’t evil (so far), so go ahead. ;-)

    • Interesting question. I was able to find a couple of free drumkits in various AKAI MPC formats.
      “Cut and Paste Mixology Demo Kit” it has a kit in MPC2000-XL-4000-3000-60 PGM format and another for the MPC5000-1000-2500-500-JJOS models in PGM/XPM/50S formats, all four formats were imported successfully.
      “THE FREE CYCLE KIT” in the more modern XPN format also imported fine, but it’s basically the native format of the software and their current lineup of hardware models, so no surprises there.
      Export in MPC1000/2500 PGM, MPC5000 50S and XPM is also possible.
      Just in case: XPM are programs/drumkits, XPN are expansion packs with thumbnails, etc…

  14. Akai MPC Beats (10 Tracks – 8 Midi / 2 Audio) plugin

    plus

    Reason Lite RAck Plugin (free with any purchase in Plugin Boutique).

    into

    Ableton Live Lite

    Is it the Best FREE Audio suite?

    Yes or Sure?
    :D

  15. I downloaded MPC Beats when it first came out. However, I’ve been having some difficulty opening it up. So my question is what Mac OS is this compatible with? I’m running Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite. I checked their website and couldn’t find any info on it.

  16. Sadly they’ve block my country IP… I can’t even have access to the download link. It’s 503 forbidden.. It would be nice if any kind soul could upload it for me somewhere.

  17. Wondering if anyone can identify how long it took to get the email with download link after signing up?
    I’ve been waiting over a week and a half, is this a standard waiting time in all of your experiences?

  18. Bruno de Souza Lino

    on

    I have tried it about 6-8 times for the last weeks and nothing happens. I also sent an email to AKAI complaining about it and the only emails I got were advertising ones. I’m starting to think this is literally a scam to get you to buy AKAI hardware, as people that own it have the MPC Beats software in their account as a download and don’t have to deal with this email BS.

    • I’ve downloaded three separate expansion packs on three separate days (17-20 Dec 2020) as part of their 12 days for Christmas offers, but had problems with links. I received the order confirmation emails with links (that did not work) and then about 30 minutes later I received a second email which enabled me to go to the account and download the files from there. I emailed support on each occasion and they responded within a few minutes after resetting my account details.

      Try again and see what happens

  19. I have MPC beats for a while and what a great software for real…but the thing is I want to invest in a small windows 10 tablet to have something really portable with a MPD218…so yeah anybody knows the PC specs for this ? They only say Win8/10 64 bits somewhere hidden deep in the FAQs ams the user manual say to check akaipro.com for the specs lol… so I am scared to get something at a good price to see once in my hands that it will not run at all !

  20. Lukáš Osmančík

    on

    Account registration email arrived immediately but download link for MPC BEATS not even with different email.

  21. Hello, considering that you ask about MPC Beats “….. is it only worthy as the first DAW for beginner beatmakers?…”
    Then could professional quality beats be made with MPC Beats?
    What are the drawbacks, obstacles or limitations that a professional producer would have to make serious music with it?
    Would there be any audible or quality difference between a final work produced with MPC Beats and a more “advanced” platform to the point that the audience could identify and tell that the music was made with MPC Beats and not with something “pro”?

    Thanks.

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