They won’t let poor Roger Linn rest. Thirty-two years after the launch of Linn’s iconic MPC that captured the zeitgeist and powered the quantized heartbeat of house and hip hop, Akai keeps adding to the line after (according to Linn) they cut him out of the royalties more than 20 years ago.
New MPCs have arrived with numerical designations that don’t seem to make a lot of linear sense, and this time Akai is rolling back the numbers all the way back to 1 — the Akai MPC One.
READ MORE: Magic Box: A History of the MPC
This MPC is designed as a stripped-down production studio with a touch screen and the 4×4 velocity-sensitive iconic MPC pad design. This is an entry-level machine: despite being a stand-alone box (“no computer required” it reads on the box), the MPC One feels deliberately crippled with only 4 gb of storage. It does have slots for a USB 2.0 drive or an SD card and if you’re actually using this as a production studio, you will probably need them.
The MPC One is priced at $699, which puts it in a strange category. It’s small size would seem to make it ideal for performance, but you can find cheaper pads out there. It’s also cheap for a “standalone studio” but who would use it as such? It’s still more expensive than the no-frills MASCHINE from Native Instruments, and only marginally cheaper than a license for Ableton Live 10 Suite, which can run on nearly any crappy laptop you have. Most people have a computer, despite the MPC One not requiring it.
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