Akai rewinds to the 90s with MPC One Retro, inspired by early MPC models

Ain’t no school like the old-school.

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Akai MPC One Retro

Fancy the new workflow of an MPC One but can’t peel away from the iconic design of the MPC2000XL and MPC3000? Akai has released the MPC One Retro for lovers of the classic models, combining the MPC One technology with aesthetics that hark back to the original era of the MPC.

The standalone sampler now sports retro-style beige housing and instantly recognisable grey drum pads. In addition, MPC One Retro’s function buttons are now contained in the signature blue box, while the other illuminated buttons, rotary knob and Q-Link dials are all the same as the original MPC One.

Classic Akai samplers that the MPC One Retro is inspired by seemingly include the MPC2000 and 2000XL, MPC60 and MPC3000. These machines were go-to choices for pioneering producers such as J Dilla, MF DOOM, DJ Shadow, and plenty more. You’ll still find these stalwart samplers in contemporary producers’ studios, too – NZCA Lines, They Hate Change, Cody Currie and Bicep are all known to have MPCs in their setup.

Aside from the stylistic design choices, the MPC One Retro is built with the same modern MPC functionality and software, including the MPC plug-in instruments and insert effect plug-ins from AIR Music Tech. The seven-inch capacitive multi-touch display is also still present for quick navigation and track arranging.

Connecting the MPC One Retro to your other gear is still easily done, thanks to ports for USB, MIDI DIN, Link, CV/Gate, quarter-inch line in, and an SD card to save and share your work. You can also hook it up to MPC2, the MPC One’s companion desktop DAW, to expand on your ideas.

This isn’t the first time Akai has reskinned a modern sampler in the style of its ancestors. The MPC Live II Retro was released in December 2020, with many of the same design quirks you’ll find in the MPC One Retro.

Akai’s MPC One Retro is available now for £640. Learn more at akaipro.com.


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