Akai brings classic MPC looks to its One groovebox

1980s style meets 2020s technology.

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Jon Fingas
May 11th, 2021
In this article: news, gear, audio, sampler, MPC One, music, Akai
Akai MPC One Retro
Akai Professional

Do you like digital music production tools like the MPC One, but feel that modern look is out of place next to your vintage gear? You're in luck. Akai has introduced an MPC One Retro that offers the same functionality as the MPC One standalone production machine, but in a beige-gray color scheme with pads, buttons and even fonts that harken back to devices like the MPC 60, 2000 and 3000. It more closely resembles your grandparents' stereo than a digital creative tool.

The technology, of course, is thoroughly up to date. A seven-inch touchscreen lets you edit samples, and the 16 pressure- and velocity-sensitive pads help you program sounds and perform. You'll still have the paltry 4GB of built-in storage, but an SD card slot and a USB-A port will help you add files and save your creations. You can expect a host of instruments (including DrumSynth and TubeSynth), eight CV/Gate outputs, stereo line-level inputs and outputs and the virtually obligatory MIDI I/O to integrate your other equipment.

The MPC One Retro is available now as a limited edition for $899. That's a sizeable premium over the $699 for the regular model, but Akai is clearly betting that you'll pay extra to spice up the look of your live concerts — at least, once live gigs become a thing again.

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