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At NAMM, AKAI stole the (beatmaker) show with its new, compact and standalone MPC One. This younger sibling of the MPC X and MPC Live inherits the software and hardware architecture of the most recent AKAI MPC units, with a much smaller footprint. It took 14 years (in 2006 AKAI introduced the MPC500, the smallest standalone MPC ever seen) to release something that packed the core concept of the MPC family in a portable form-factor, but it looks like it was worth the wait.
Unlike the MPC500 MPC One cannot run on batteries, but probably this decision helped to keep the costs down.
The unit has the same 7-inch multi-touch interface seen on the MPC Live, stereo inputs for sampling, Splice integration, MIDI, CV/gate connections, USB Flash and SD Card storage.
Software-wise, MPC One comes loaded with 2GB of new drum sample & loop collections, curated specifically for this new hardware. It also features the signature synth engines Electric, Tubesynth and Bassline as well as the AIR FX for mixing & mastering.
Additionally, MPC One incorporates control surface workflow for PC & Mac and includes a full version of MPC2 Desktop Software.
Here below you’ll find an extensive overview of the new MPC One, worth watching especially if you’re not familiar with its siblings:
The Digitakt Killer?
Is the MPC One a Digitakt killer? Well, the philosophy behind these machines is so different that it’s hard to put them on the same level. Sure, price wise they share the same market, and they are both compact and quite intuitive to use. Their approach to performing and sequencing is apples and oranges though, and in the end, it is really a subjective choice.
The Digitakt boasts the well-known Elektron nifty tricks, while the MPC One inherits the classic AKAI old school vibe. Personally, I’m not a fan of Elektron’s small screens (even though much improved in the latest models), but some might like that better than the ‘DAW-like’ feel of the recent AKAI interfaces.
Connectivity-wise, the MPC One wins hands down if you plan to use it with your modular system. Also, here we get proper stereo sampling, unlike the Digitakt.
While waiting to try one in the flesh, I think the MPC One is the machine we were waiting from AKAI for many years now (remember when the MPC Touch came out and everyone thought it would have been a standalone unit?), and I’m excited to see it on the market.
Pricing and Availability
MPC One will be available in February 2020 and will ship with a retail price of $699. For more information on MPC One, visit the official web page.
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.