Akai MPC 2000XL Review: Strengths, Weaknesses & Quality 2021

Read this indepth review of one of the most sophisticated drum samplers ever made. Let the MPC take your production to a whole new level.

Manufacturer: AkaiPro

Price: zZounds


It is quite straightforward. The manual is pretty short and to the point. The features I like are the BPM feature. It allows you to change the tempo of a sample without affecting the pitch. So, it’s magic. As if it is actually being played slower/faster. It also lets you know the BMP of the sample by calculating the length. You can create and save programs, which means all the parameters, mixer, and effects settings also the sounds, and the pads they are assigned to are saved. Note ( you would have to have a zip/cd rom or hard drive to save to. The Akai MPC 2000XL itself cant save). The Akai MPC 2000XL allows you to see the waveform of the sample you are working with, I mean you have to listen to it to make sure it is right, but seeing it helps. In the trim screen, it has the “before to” and “after to” options. Before to plays the sound before the set start point of the sample or after to would play the sound specified after the endpoint of the sample. This helps to make seamless loops. It has 4 pad banks A, B, C, D with a button right above the pads so you actually have 64 pads. You can specify mono or poly for each pad. With mono when you hit a pad twice in a row the first sound is cut off and starts over again. With poly, the sounds overlap. You can also set simultaneous so when you hit pad A1 it will also play up to two other pads at the same time. The Akai MPC 2000XL has a very tight sequencer. As opposed to using a computer as a sequencer especially for drums the Akai MPC 2000XL is much better. With the “Resample” function you can change the sample rate (the quality of the sample) and also lower the bit. The MPC 60 is 12 bit. With the 2000xl all you would have to do is change the bit of a sample from 16 to 12. So basically you can do anything the 60 or the 3000 would do or sound like. With the 2000xl you can combine bit rates for example you could lower the bit on your snare and kick to 12 bit. This will give it a rattling sound that will make it sound better, more like real drums. Then your high hats could stay at 16 bit. With the 60 or 3000, you cant adjust the bit or the sample rate.


You cant use the individual 8 outputs and the effects together with it’s one or the other. You can only use the effects through the main outputs. If you hook up just a controller keyboard via midi to the Akai MPC 2000XL you cant use the modulation wheel or pitch wheel it will make no effect on the sound. For example, I have a sound module that does not have a sequencer. Plus a controller keyboard. I cant use the MPC’s sequencer to make a piano, bass, or guitar sequence loop. The MPC might be able to do it? You would have to have a keyboard with the sounds and a sequencer in it and then you would just sync it up through midi to the MPC. Say you had 12 different drum sounds and made a sequence then you wanted to play that sequence from a pad. This is what I call “resample” the Asr 10 and Asr x has it. The Akai MPC 2000XL does not. For instance, you could set the pad to mono and then just keep pushing it over at the right times to make a new different sequence. Basically, it has some limitations. You should check into purchasing other equipment that you want to use in conjunction with the Akai MPC 2000XL for compatibility. They could add more functions for making seamless loops like a function that would normalize volume or make it louder in the middle of the loop and quieter where the start and end meet, so it would sound more smooth.

Quality Of Product

The unit is sturdy enough. You shouldn’t be abusing the pads hitting them as hard as you can. I mean there is a computer inside and it’s a $2000 machine be careful. It is made out of good durable materials. The cover plate is metal. Just be careful with the knobs sticking up, you would want to hit them into something while moving it. If you plan to play live with it or move it a lot you would need to buy a hard case or a padded bag. Just use common sense.


The Akai MPC 2000XL is fun because it is very easy to use and is really not all that complicated. However, it can be used to make some very complicated and dense music if you take the time. Also be aware of every detail in parameters, effects, bit rates, etc. Just remember it’s the user, not the equipment. This is a professional sampler it has a lot of cool functions that can be taken advantage of, but you have to have some idea of what you’re doing. Like you can’t just buy a guitar and expect to be good right away, the same goes with the Akai MPC 2000XL. The Akai MPC 2000XL comes with 1 cd with drum sounds that are all. You have to load them yourself it has no internal sounds. It will only play what you sample into it. Be aware you will need to buy 2 16MB or 1 32MB Simms memory chips plus a zip drive or cd ROM or flash ROM or have a computer that has SCSI so you can save samples. All this does not come with the Akai MPC 2000XL but is necessary for you to be able to use the MPC, otherwise, it will be a pain to use you will have to start over every time you turn off the MPC. I highly recommend the Studio Plus version which adds the 8 individual outputs and the EB 16 effects. You can always upgrade the lower ones though. The only other sampler I would get would be by EMU or ROLAND.

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