Akai MPC Live II Vs. N.I. Maschine Plus

By: The Gear Dude |  Date: 15th October 2020

We have stumbled upon the ongoing war between Akai Professional’s MPC Live II and Native Instruments’ MASCHINE+ of which one is the better music production system. When combined, these works of art are unbeatable without any doubt. However, you can only use one production center at a time. And the whole purpose of this review is to compare both systems and possibly make it easier for you to determine which system will win the trophy of being the best music production system and at the end of it all, you will be able to decide which system you should get. There might be one disclaimer though. You have a tough decision to make after this since they are both amazing and both worlds have so much to offer. So, buckle up and let us do this.

Native Instruments Maschine Plus

Standalone Production and Performance Instrument

The Native Instruments MASCHINE+ sets you free from the computer with a standalone design that is guaranteed to inspire you compositions and performances! MASCHINE+ is the most advanced standalone music production system available due to the creative tools and intuitive workflow that has made MASCHINE+ MK3 a favourite of electronic music producers around the world. It is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi for downloading sounds, effects, and upgrades without ever having to connect to a computer. And that is just the beginning of the awesome feature this masterpiece has to offer.

Since the 1980s, countless sample-bsed hits have been produced outside of the confines of a computer. The ability to create and perform anywhere while being forced to rely on your ears rather than your eyes makes these standalone systems special and drae we say refreshing. MASCHINE+ not only provides that creative freedom, but it can also serve as the core of a computer-based setup if need be. All you have to do is to compose a track offline, then pull it into your DAW for further fine-tuning. Is it not truly the best of both worlds!

MASCHINE+ is loaded with a host of powerful features. It allows you to cut high fidelity samples in real time and manipulate them with Native instrument’s vast selection of sound design effects as it is equipped with a huge amount of processing power and a built-in 96kHz/24-bit interface. You will have enough juice to invent sprawling chains of delays, reverbs, saturators, and so much more. What’s more, MASCHINE+’ deep feature set is simple to navigate with its outstanding high resolution full-color display. MASCHINE+ puts technology in service of creativity as it is designed for interaction. That way, you can pay less attention to the tech and more on the art.

MASCHINE+ has a pattern-oriented concept that liberates you from the limits of linear arrangement. You can compose songs by layering patterns into scenes you can rearrange on the fly. It offers onboard sampling via its built-in audio interface as well as internal re-sampling, precise editing and slicing, auto-mappin, effects, and ultra-convenient browser. Powerful sampling editing tools allow you to go beyond groove arrangement, turning MASCHINE+ into a full sample editing workstation as well as groove production tool. You will find that MASCHINE+ has amazing slicing tools that do everything classic groove production samplers and do much, much more!

MASCHINE+ comes loaded with over 8GB or production- ready sounds and patterns. With it, you get fat drum kits and top-notch synthesizer sounds, as well as vintage MPC 60 lits and classic synth samples for the MOOG Voyager, Korg MS 20, and Juno 60. In addition, you get pristine acoustic instrument loops that have been sliced and tagged for your convenience. MASCHINE+ also features studio quality effects that range from dynamic processors to beat-masters, plus a Grain Stretch effect. And in conjunction with all that, MASCHINE+ includes the Native Instruments Machine+ plug-in bundle, which includes 14 magnificent Komplete titles. This system is just full of wonders.

With MASCHINE+, you will experience the collaborative freedom of Ableton Link. you can lock multiple systems to a common timeline. You can change tempo globally across systems as well. With MASCHINE+, you can enjoy spontaneous jamming, collaborative creation, and synchronized performances. One more thing! MASCHINE+ haas controllers which include MASCHINE+ Selection which is a leading instrument and effect package in the music industry. MASCHINE+ also includes a Plus voucher for two additional expansions.

The MASCHINE+ Selection Software Bundle includes FM8 which is an advanced FM synthesizer, a massive powerhouse virtual analog synthesizer, an iconicMonark monosynth, a Reaktor Prism vibrant modal synth and effects, a Reaktor Factory Selection R2 400 presets plu Carbon2, Space Drone, Newscool, and Lazerbass instruments; a Kontakt Factory Selection of curated sounds from Konakt’s Band, World, Synth, Vintage and Urban Beats libraries; and a Retro Machines collection of 16 vintage synths and keyboards. It also includes a Raum transformative high-fidelity reverb, a phasis inspired by classic phasers with powerful new features, a deep matter that captures the authentis vibes of Berlin’s underground sound, a Lilac Glare that is a colorful palette of timeless and current sounds, a Solar Breeze evocative collection of indie-electronica sounds, a True School which fuses traditions of old- and new-school and last but not least, a Velvet Lounge which is a bridge between classic and soul music and 21st-century production techniques.



  • Operates standalone or in a DAW-based production environment
  • Built-in 24-bit/96kHz audio interface allows you to capture patterns and sequences onboard and with your DAW
  • Powerful quad-core processor and a 4GB dual-channel RAM
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for downloading sounds, effects, and upgrades without connecting to a computer
  • 2 high-resolution full-color displays allow for precision sample slicing, sound tweaking, note editing, mixing, browsing, and more
  • Ultra-sensitive pads and touch-sensitive knobs make 2-handed drumming and tweaking parameters easy
  • 4-directional push encoder makes browsing, navigating, and adjusting levels and balance fast and intuitive
  • Locking power supply prevents unintentionally unplugging the system
  • Innovative software/hardware hybrid groove production and performance system
  • Combines intuitive sequencer, sampler and high-quality effects with comprehensive hands-on control
  • Dedicated controller with 16 multicolor pads, 47 buttons, and 9 rotary encoders for playing, recording, sequencing, automation and arrangement
  • Smart Strip for strumming notes, pitch bending sounds, performing with FX, and more
  • Includes all basic groove-production features such as step sequencing, real-time recording, note repeat, slicing, and auto-mapping
  • Hosts VST and AU plug-ins for adding even more production power to your rig
  • Easily find kits, instruments, samples, and effects with the tag-based browser
  • Intuitive automation recording and step automation editing lets you create complex sounds
  • Sample compatibility includes Akai MPC 500, 1000, 2000(XL), 2500, 3000, and 4000 program import
  • Threshold detection makes sampling from external and internal sources easy
  • Works as a plug-in in virtually any application that supports AAX, VST, AU, or RTAS formats
  • Extensive MIDI I/O allows you to sequence your external MIDI gear with MASCHINE+ and vice versa
  • Easy drag-and-drop pattern export lets you easily transfer MIDI and audio directly to your DAW's timeline
  • Group Macro Controls let you assign any parameter of the dedicated group to the controller's 8 knobs
  • Dedicated MIDI-mapping software makes using the MASCHINE+ controller with other applications and instruments easy
  • Built to withstand the rigors of live performance with robust anodized aluminum top and bottom panels


  • Type:  Standalone Sampler and Sequencer
  • Screen: 2 x 4.3" Color Displays
  • Pads:  16 x Velocity-sensitive Pads
  • Other Controllers: 1 x Smart Touch Strip
  • Sounds: 8GB Maschine Factory Library
  • Sequencer: 64 Scenes per Project, 64 Patterns (hardware), Unlimited Patterns (software)
  • Sampling: Unlimited
  • Effects: Maschine Factory Library Effects, Native Instruments Raum, Phasis
  • Analog Inputs: 2 x 1/4" TRS (line), 1 x 1/4" (mic)
  • Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4" TRS (line)
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/4"
  • MIDI I/O: In/Out/USB
  • Other I/O: Built-in Wi-Fi
  • USB: 2 x Type A, 1 x Type B
  • Pedal Inputs: 1 x 1/4"
  • Storage: 32GB Internal eMMC Flash (factory content), SD Card Slot (up to 1TB)
  • Format: Standalone, VST2, AU, AAX (64-bit)
  • Software: Maschine+ Selection
  • OS Requirements - Mac: Controller Mode: macOS 10.14 or later, Intel Core i5 or higher
  • OS Requirements - PC: Controller Mode: Windows 10 or later, Intel Core i5 or higher
  • Power Source: 15V DC power supply (included)
  • Height: 2.01"
  • Width: 12.68"
  • Depth: 11.85"
  • Weight: 5.51 lbs.

Akai Professional MPC Live II

Standalone Sampler and Sequencer

Being known to completely redesign the portable sampler workstation, Akai PRofessional has done it again. The MPC Live II  provides more than its predecessor did inclusive of more features such as the built-in stereo speaker system, CV/gate outputs, and a cache of user-requested features. Awesome, right? When all features are taken into consideration, the MPC Live II is Akai Professional’s most powerful portable music production center yet.

The MPC Live II weighs only 7.45lbs which is an advantage for you as an electronic music producer you never know when the inspiration might strike. It is small and lightweight and you can just toss it in a backpack  or messenger bag and be on your merry way. You won't even notice it is there until you actually need it. It has an internal Li-ion rechargeable battery that ensures that your majestic workstation runs for up to six hours. You can even work independent of whether you have an AC or not.

The MPC Live II has a built-in speaker system that delivers immersive sound wherever you are. This first-class dual twitter-woofer system provides a full-range picture of your production. You will hear all variations, from a thumping 808 to a  thunderous bass line to crisp sounding cymbals. In case you want to quietly, Akai has got you covered. Simply shut off the built-in speaker, plug in your headphones and get grooving. Your neighbours won’t need to file noise complaints against you even if you work during the wee hours.

The Akai Professional MPC Live II takes pride in having the same robust multi core processor as the MPC X, as well as having a bevy of features that have been requested by the users. You can jump between recursive and melodic instruments smoothly due to the sequence, edit, and chop sample on a bright 7-inch touchscreen, while 16 next-gen MPC pads respond dynamically and deliver full velocity and pressure sensitivity. Akai put all the important functions at your fingertips by integrating four capacitive touch knobs and an arsenal of dedicated buttons. In addition to that, there is a super intuitive UI that ensures a laser-focused workflow.

This versatile music production center allows you to tackle any project you have in mind. It comes loaded with three stereo ¼-inch TRS outputs, plus phono/line-level inputs, USB, MIDI interfaces, and USB-to-CV modules. The MPC Live II is the perfect centerpiece for your MIDI-based studio due to the deep internal MIDI routing across tracks, plus comprehensive MIDI routing. Integrate that with a multitrack recording capability and you will have all you need to turbocharge your next production.

Akai Professional’s announcement of a new DAW that thought like an MPC made the electronic world go nuts back in 2019. The instant success of the MPC Studio and the MPC Renaissance paved the way for the next generation of standalone MPCs and the MPC 2.0 platform. The thing that you will love about the MPC 2.0 is that you can finally record audio tracks right alongside your loops. This feature alone pushes the MPC software DAW out of the realm of beat production into the big leagues with other loop-based DAWs. Akai Professional also updated their time-warp algorithm and enhanced their Q-Link control system while they were at it. Moreover, the drag-and-drop MIDI and audio make the most of the MPC Live II’s touchscreen.

The MPC Live II offers you a bount of space for your sample collection as it sports 16GB on internal storage. In case you are a hoarder, then you will love being able to hook up any harddrive (both HDDs and SSDs) via the 2.5” SATA drive connector,or ot plug an SD card or USB flash drive directly into the MPC Live II and being able to load up only a few extra GB of samples.

Being your attention to the fact that Splice has been a major asset for producers by supplying millions of high quality, royalty-free samples, sounds, presets, and loop while covering the full gamut of genres, Akai Professional MPC LIve II includes onboard Splice integration to simplify sample browsing and auditioning. You will gain quick and easy Wi-Fi access to your Splice library directly from the MPC Live II’s touch user interface thanks to this baked-in Splice integration.

The Akai Professional MPC Live II was tailor-made for Ableton Live. therefore, it comes pre-mapped for the software right out of the box, providing you with the intuitive command over Live’s clip launching, mixer, and instrument macro controls wirelessly via Wi-Fi Ableton Link or by ethernet using a USB-to-ethernet adapter. The MPC Live II is in condition for cross-platform collaboration action.



  • A compact standalone DAW that lets you untether from your PC or AC
  • Classic sampling workstation with the flexibility of a modern DAW
  • Built-in stereo speaker system delivers immersive sound wherever you go
  • 7” high-resolution multitouch display complements streamlined controls
  • 16 of the best velocity-/pressure-sensitive pads you'll ever feel
  • Internal, rechargeable lithium-ion battery can run for up to 6 hours
  • MPC 2.0 adds audio track recording and upgraded time warp
  • MIDI Multi capability enables you to take command of all of your external MIDI gear
  • CV/gate outputs for analog control of synthesizers, drum machines, and similar equipment
  • 16GB of internal storage, external hard drive support, full-size SD card slot, and USB-A 3.0 slots for thumb drives
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled offers wireless connectivity
  • Splice integration for fast, easy access to your sample library
  • Ableton Link for cross-platform collaboration


  • Type:  Standalone Sampler and Sequencer with Built-in Speakers
  • Internal Sound Engine: Multicore system with plugin instruments, multi-sampled keygroup instruments, and drum expansion libraries
  • Screen: 7" Multi-touch display
  • Pads: 16 x Velocity-sensitive RGB Pads, Full-sized
  • Other Controllers: 4 x Encoder Q-Link Knobs
  • Sounds: 10GB pre-installed content including 3 MPC instrument plugins, multi sampled keygroup instruments and drum expansion libraries
  • Sequencer: 128-track MIDI, 8-track Audio
  • Looper: Yes
  • Sampling: Advanced Sampling & Audio Editing/Recording, Auto Sample
  • Analog Inputs: 2 x 1/4" TRS (L/R), 1 x Dual RCA Stereo
  • Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (master L/R), 4 x 1/4" TRS
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/4" TRS
  • MIDI I/O: 2 x In, 2 x Out, USB, Bluetooth
  • Other I/O: Ethernet (Link), 4 x 1/8" (stereo CV/Gate)
  • USB:   2 x Type A 3.0, 1 x Type B
  • Bluetooth: Yes (MIDI)
  • Storage: 2GB RAM, 16GB Onboard Storage, SD Card Slot, Expandable SSD 2.5" Bay
  • Software: MPC 2 software
  • Compatibility: VST compatible (controller mode)
  • OS Requirements - Mac: OS X 10.10.5 or later
  • OS Requirements - PC: Windows 8.1 or later
  • Power Source: 19V DC power supply (included) / Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery (up to 4 hours)
  • Height: 1.8"
  • Width: 16.2"
  • Depth: 9.6"
  • Weight: 7.45 lbs.

After that thorough review, we hope that you have been able to make the right decision on which standalone production system you should get. We have seen that both the Native Instrument’s MASCHINE+ and the Akai Professional’s MPC Live II are impeccable electronic music production systems. Each system brings something to the table. They have similarities and some of their features set them apart. But if we are being honest, you will be inclined to choose one over the other based on the features you are looking for. Keep in mind that there is no wrong choice and whichever one you go for will be the best choice for you. MPC Live II might be cheaper but the MASCHINE+ has more features and alot more to offer for a slightly higher price. Having the facts on your fingertips, it is now up to you. Go get your happiness today!

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