Akai MPC60

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The Akai MPC60 ("MIDI Production Center 60") was an electronic musical instrument produced in 1988, by the Japanese company Akai in collaboration with celebrated designer Roger Linn. It combined MIDI sequencing and audio sampling with a set of velocity/aftertouch-sensitive performance pads, to produce an instrument optimized for use as a drum machine. The MPC60 enjoyed great popularity, particularly among musicians producing Hip Hop and similar styles.


The MPC60's success and popularity can perhaps be best understood in the context of earlier drum machines.

Early machines in the 1970s tended to use analogue synthesis for their sounds (characterful, but not very realistic) and only provided pre-set rhythms. By the late 1970s, use of microprocessors and affordable RAM memory led to the development of machines which allowed musicians to program their own rhythm patterns (e.g. the Roland CR-78).

In 1979, Roger Linn produced the world's first drum machine to use digital audio samples as the sound source, the Linn LM-1. This was very popular as these sampled sounds were generally much more realistic and "punchy" than analogue ones. Another innovation of the LM-1 was its operating system optimized for real-time recording and playback of drumbeats, introducing useful features such as automatic timing correction (quantization) and variable degrees of swing timing.

In 1983, the MIDI protocol was launched, as a standard way to interconnect electronic...
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