Akai MPC One Retro gives a modern music icon a classic color makeover

Akai's MPC is an iconic of electronic music, but while the sound might be achievable today, for the style you've had to step up to the plate with your own retro wardrobe as you hit its familiar pads. That all changes with the Akai MPC One Retro, combining modern MPC functionality with a classic retro colorway.

So, you get the classic theme that modern users have looked back on enviously as they price out ever-more-expensive classic hardware. That includes the gray pads – with their RGB illumination – and familiar chassis. In addition to the pads, there are four touch-sensitive Q-link knobs.

On the tech side, of course, this is a modern MPC. Based on the MPC One Standalone – so capable of operating independent of a computer, just like in the old days – it has a 7-inch touchscreen for sample editing and chopping, 16 pads that support velocity and pressure, and a full music production center with 4GB of onboard storage and a quad-core processor. You can load custom samples via SD or USB.

It comes with the same loops and samples as the regular MPC gets, along with an exclusive MPC Expansion Pack only for MPC One Retro owners. You can copy across any previous MPC project, program, or sequence files, too. Onboard instruments include DrymSynth, Electric, TubeSynth, and Bassline, and there are AIR FX mixing and mastering processors.

A USB controller input allows an external controller keyboard to be used. There's also MIDI I/O, and eight CV/gate outputs for controlling any modular synths you might have on hand. Stereo line-level inputs and outputs use 1/4-inch TRS connectors.

If you'd rather use the MPC One Retro with a computer, meanwhile, Akai includes MPC2, its DAW software for Mac and PC. It supports 128-track sequencing, real-time time stretching, MIDI editing, clip launching, Ableton Link support, and VST plugin support with other DAWs.

The Akai Professional MPC One Retro is available from today, priced at $899.