1. AKAI MPC LIVE REVIEW
The MPC Live is Akai’s best in years and has an inbuilt multicore processor with 2GB of RAM, rechargeable battery and 16GB of built-in memory.The sample pads are their best yet with a great range of velocity expressiveness.
2. MASCHINE MK3
Native Instruments’ flagship sampler controller changed the game in 2009 by bringing the MPC touch to the world of digital. The Mark III adds a 96 kHZ/24-bit audio interface plus audio ins and outs. The top deck has new buttons to improve the workflow and it ships with 8GB of samples.
3. ROLAND SP-404A
The new version of the SP-404 updates a classic with 29 effects and a pattern sequencer and, by connecting its output to Roland’s TR-8, you can use the TR-8 as a processor and all samples can be tweaked using the powerful TR-8 Scatter feature to achieve IDM-style effects.
4. ELEKTRON OCTATRACK MKII
The recently updated Octatrack is an eight-track sampler and sequencer that can time-stretch and pitch-shift samples in real time. And with its array of ins and outs, it aims to be the heartbeat of your set-up. The OLED screen adds a fresh, modern touch, too.
5. PIONEER TORAIZ SP-16
The Prophet mastermind adds his signature analogue filter to Pioneer’s 16-channel sampler with step sequencer, touchscreen, highly playable sample pads and 30-second sampling capability. Laying out beats is fast and intuitive, and the build quality is predictably good.