Akai MPX8 – So Good I Bought Another One!

I’ve bought another Akai MPX8 sample player. Not because I need two of them, but because my old MPX8 finally died on me. Ahhh, R.I.P. my little friend!

However there’s no shame to it. I used that little machine at every gig for 7 years so it has lasted incredibly well considering what it cost.

No musical equipment lasts forever, especially when it’s being constantly gigged night after night year in year out. Eventually the Left & Right output jacks of the MPX8 cracked inside and broke. As it happens, this is actually repairable but the price of a new MPX8 is so cheap I really didn’t think it was worth it.

I managed to get many years of good reliable use out of this great little wav sample player so I had no hesitation in heading out to my local music store and replacing it with another brand new Akai MPX8. I simply popped the SD card from the old MPX8 in to the new MPX8 and I’m good to go again.

Some of the reviews over the years have been less than favourable to the Akai MPX8 but I think you have to bear in mind the price of this device before you jump to criticise too much. Load-in times of your wav files is a problematical issue that is often mentioned and criticised in most reviews, and for good reason. Fortunately I only use my Akai MPX8 to play very short drum samples so it works perfectly for my purposes. But if you use longer samples just be aware that the time it takes the Akai to load wav files from the SD card in to its internal memory is painfully slow.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend you use it to trigger songs or even short musical loops. You’ll easily be waiting a minute or two for your wav files to load in.

Similarly, the built-in reverb isn’t going to win any awards for quality any time soon. At a push, it’s kinda useable to give a bit of space to a dry sample, but only just.

Where this little machine really shines is when you use it for finger drumming (with very short drum samples loaded of course).

It can also be used quite successfully as a midi trigger device. You can assign midi note numbers to each pad and it will trigger external gear. Just remember that the MPX8 sends all its midi-out data on midi channel 10 only, so if you’re trying to control an external device which is set to receive any other midi channel it won’t work.

With a price of around £70/€80/$99 you really can’t go wrong with this sample player.

And if it breaks down after 7 years of constant gigging like mine did, just buy another one.