Since the arrival of the first MPC 60 drum machine in 1988, Akai’s MPCs has played a pivotal role in contemporary music production.
Despite the arrival of the computer based software DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) the hardware MPC range is still as popular as ever but which MPC should you opt for today?
List of Akai MPCs currently in production (cheapest to most expensive):
- MPC One Retro: $799.00
- MPC One Retro: $899.00
- MPC Live II: $1,2990.00
- MPC X: $2,299.00
*US dollar prices correct at time of writing.
Which MPC respresents the best value for money?
At the time of writing the MPC One can be bought for less than half the price of the MPC X ($799 vs $2299) and while cutting costs inevitably means some compromises have to be made, the MPC One still delivers a deep, capable and portable beat making powerhouse for a fantastic price.
If you’re an absolute beginner or on a tight budget there’s no need to lust after the higher specced and more expensive MPC X – the MPC One has all the key features you need to start sampling sounds, sequencing beats and making tracks.
8 reasons the MPC One rocks:
- The MPC One is powered by the same powerful multicore processing system as seen on the MPC Live and MPC X.
- The MPC One contains everything you need to start making beats and tracks, all packed into a well built and fully portable device.
- Forget working with a computer and mouse and get hands-on with16 velocity sensitive pads, Q-Link rotary knobs and touch keys plus a 7″ touch screen display.
- Beat programming, sequencing, sample trimming, mixing FX and instruments plus more – MPC One gives you most of the core features of the flagship MPC X.
- The MPC One plays nicely with all your studio gear thanks to USB, MIDI DIN, CV/Gate, and 1/4” line-level audio input.
- With USB and SD card slots support you can easily save, transfer and share your music.
- Auto-sample feature makes sampling a breeze.
- Comes with full version of MPC2 Desktop Software.
See the Akia website for a complete overview of all the MPC One’s features.
What are the MPC One’s dimensions?
The MPC One is 5.9″ x 3.7″ / 151 x 94 mm (width x height).
How much does an MPC One weigh?
The MPC One weighs 4.7 lbs (2.1 kg). In comparison the MPC X weighs a hefty 12.57 lbs. (5.66 kg). If studio space and portability are an issue, the MPC One is a good choice.
How much memory does the MPC One have?
The MPC One has 2 GB RAM. The MPC has 2 GB user storage and comes with 2 GB pre-installed content.
Does the MPC One require a computer?
The MPC One is a complete, stand-alone music production centre (M.P.C). You do not need a PC or Mac to create beats and music with the MPC.
Does the MPC One run on batteries?
The MPC One is not battery operated. The MPC is supplied with a 19 V, 3.42 A power adaptor.
Difference between MPC One Retro and MPC One
The MPC One Retro is a limited edition version of the MPC One. The MPC One Retro is styled to look like the iconic MPC 60, MPC 3000 and MPC 2000.
What the press say about the MPC One:
Whichever way you look at it, the MPC One is an incredibly capable workstation for the money.– Sound on Sound, May 2020.
Essential resources for new MPC owners:
Just getting started with your new MPC? Be sure to check out the essential resources below:
- Make sure you subscribe to the AkaiProVideo Youtube channel. This official Akai channel – featuring the MPC Beats academy – is an essential source of tutorials for MPC beginners and their videos will walk you through everything you need to need about making beats and complete tracks with your MPC and the MPC Beats software.
- Purchase a copy of the MPC Bible. This comprehensive – 827 pages! – guide from the MPC-Tutor (Andy Avgousti) is excellent value and contains everything you need to know about the latest generation of MPC. The MPC Bible will guide you from first steps with your MPC to complete song creation and export.
The MPC Bible for MPC Live, MPC Live II, MPC X and MPC One is excellent value at £/$29.99. Get your copy from the MPC-Samples website. (Even if you do not purchase the MPC Bible do make sure you check out the MPC Tutor website – it’s an invaluable source of useful tips and tutorials.
- Check out MPC Forums.com the world’s largest MPC user forum. If you ever get stuck with an MPC related issue then hopefully one of the 50,000+ members on this forum will be able to help.
- Lost your MPC manual? The latest – and legacy – MPC manuals can allbe downloaded here
- Looking to learn how to install MPC Expansions? The official Akai guide can be seen here