It's been a few years since Akai's iconic MPC line has seen a significant new entry. But at NAMM 2020 the company is not only introducing a new model, but specifically going for the entry level... or at least what qualifies as entry level for an MPC. The MPC One in a $699 standalone production studio that basically takes all the essential parts of the series and skips the luxuries.
The One looks to be just as small as the MPC Live, though in a slightly different layout, which should make it easy to squeeze on to a desk crowded with other gear. And like the Live, the One has a 7-inch multitouch screen, 16 best-in-class pads plus a small selection of encoders and buttons on the front for controlling it.
To shave a few bucks off the price though, it ditches the rechargeable battery and cuts down on the storage and ports. There are only single MIDI in and out ports, but the One does add four CV (control voltage) jacks for talking to synths and drum machines. There's also just 4GB of storage on board, though you can expand it through a USB drive or SD card. And you'll probably be looking to do that sooner than later. It will ship with 2GB of drums and loops already loaded, plus integration with sample outlet Splice makes it way too easy to chew through the rest.
And if you want to do more than chop up soul samples or build house grooves from 909 hits, the MPC One also has built in soft-synths. You can even mix and master your tracks using the onboard AIR FX plug in.
If you've always dreamed of owning an MPC, but are afraid of picking up a potentially fickle vintage unit, the MPC One is now the easiest (read: most affordable) entry point.