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Akai MPC Fly for iPad 2 hands-on

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iPad 2 case + MPC pads + app = Akai MPC in a clamshell case

Akai MPC Fly
Akai MPC Fly

The MPC Fly is probably the first break-out gadget at this year's NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim, and it highlights what seems to be the theme of the show so far: integrating the iPad with any- and everything.

It's a pretty elegant device: a clamshell iPad 2 dock — sorry, first gen iPad owners — that pairs an abbreviated MPC controller (with trigger pads, transport controls, and very little else) with an app that contains all the non-performance functions (including waveform editing and sequencing). It contains a lithium ion battery so that the device doesn't drain your iPad power, and when plugged in the thing charges your tablet as well as its own internal power supply. Unfortunately, the only audio out is your 3.5mm headphone jack, but it certainly does make for a compact unit that way. And when you're done writing beats on the bus or in study hall, the audio can be outputted in WAV format or transferred to the newly announced MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio. And after that? Profit. (From your music, that is.)