AKAI Professional MPC One


Music Production Center

  • Operates in standalone (without computer) and with computer as a controller for MPC software (included)
  • Full-colour 7-inch multi-touch display
  • 16 Touch-sensitive RGB pads
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 4 GB onboard storage space (expandable via SD card)
  • 5 Encoders for data input
  • Classic MPC functions such as note repeat, 16 levels and full level
  • Integrated synth engines: Electric, Tubesynth and Bassline
  • Integrated AIR FX for mixing & mastering
  • 8 CV/Gate outputs for 3.5 mm TRS cables (compatible with Mono TS cables)
  • 2 USB 3.0 inputs for USB sticks or MIDI controllers (1x type A, 1x type B)
  • MIDI In/Out
  • 2 Inputs: 6.35 mm TRS
  • 2 Outputs: 6.35 mm TRS
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 272 x 272 x 53 mm
  • Weight: 2.1 kg
  • Includes power supply unit (19 V DC, 3.42 A), MPC software (download) for Mac & PC, 2 GB sample content
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Audio Examples

  • Demo 4
  • Demo 5
  • Demo 6
  • Demo 7
  • Demo 1
  • Demo 2
  • Demo 3
  • Demo 8
  • Demo 9
  • Show more

Further Information

Display Yes
Pads 16
Fader(s) 0
Effects Yes
Sampling Function Yes
Storage Medium Internal
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out
Number of analog outputs 2
Headphone Output Yes

Modern and versatile groovebox

The MPC One is the compact version of Akai’s MPC Live. It is a powerful and flexible sampler which can operate in stand-alone mode. The MPC One features sixteen illuminated and velocity-sensitive drum pads, four 360° touch-sensitive knobs, a large rotary encoder and a full-colour 7" multi-touch display. The included MPC software allows you to record audio tracks, sequence notes or chords - and also provides three integrated synth engines: Electric, Tubesynth and Bassline. Furthermore, mixing and mastering functions are available via the AIR FX section. In short, the MPC Live is the perfect toolbox for any DJ or music producer who favours a computer-free workflow when programming his or her beats.

Flexible sampling and sequencing

The MPC One has 64 stereo voices. A project consists of several sequences, here called scenes. Each sequence consists of a collection of different tracks (and therefore different instruments) such as synthesizers, drum kits, bass and vocals. There are six different types of MIDI tracks. Drum tracks allow different samples to be triggered via the pads. Plug-in tracks can be used to load one of the three internal instruments. Instrument tracks can play back samples melodically and have a multi-sample function. Clip tracks allow samples to be assigned to pads and triggered in this way. They can be looped and synchronized to the tempo via the time-stretching function. Another MIDI track type is available for programming ‘pure’ midi, i.e. control change values (96 virtual and assignable knobs can be automated in this way) as well as note sequences and other commands which can pilot external modules, or even your DAW, via midi. The CV track allows control voltages to be sent to external modular synthesizers.

Smooth workflow for music production

Operation via the touch-screen greatly simplifies the beat-making process - whether during home studio sessions or live performances. Thanks to the included MPC software, the MPC One can be integrated into a computer-based setup and used as a controller. This is especially handy for producers who want to control their favourite plugins via the MPC One. Stand-alone mode is also impressive. With 2 GB of RAM and 4 GB of onboard storage space (which can be expanded via an SD card), the MPC One comes well equipped for music production. In addition to the included 10 GB of free samples, users can also access their Splice account plugins and libraries via the Ethernet connection (LAN). Ableton Link is also accessible via this connection.

About Akai Professional

Akai Professional has its origins in the traditional Japanese company Akai, founded in 1929, which initially manufactured electric motors, soon to be followed by high quality tape recorders and hi-fi products. Since 1988, Akai has also become a household name like no other on the hip hop scene. With the development of its first MIDI Production Centre, or MPC for short, created in collaboration with Roger Linn, Akai wrote history by decisively influencing the sound of hip hop and electronic music to this very day. Famous exponents of the MPC include DJ Shadow, Eminem and Kanye West. Today, Akai is also well known for its robust and versatile USB Midi controllers, not least of which is the bulletproof APC range of Ableton controllers.

Straight to the point

The MPC One is designed to enable you to express your musical ideas as quickly as possible. Using Tap Tempo, the speed of a sequence can be set manually. The Q-Link function in the top right-hand corner allows you to assign individual parameters to the rotary encoders – which also enable automation via a read-write mode. If at any point the sequence isn’t to your taste, up to 512 steps can be ‘undone’. The phono inputs on the back of the MPC will allow you to record samples via your turntable if you so wish. The MPC One can also receive incoming MIDI data via its MIDI input. For extra flexibility, an additional USB-A port has been included to connect external MIDI controllers (for playing melodies for example) or accessing external storage with additional sound content.

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MPC ONE : how its like to use a 2020 made MPC
dudefromthe90s, 05.04.2021
I spent many many hours on the MPC 2000 and 2000 XL. It was a solid sequencer/drum machine/midi spaghetti master. Simple to use, It had only one lowpass filter which was very acid but somehow unique. Great memories. Probably the hardware i spent the most time on back in the days. Good old MPCs with zip drives.

SO after using pc DAWS and trackers for years, i decided to go back to hardware and grabbed that MPC ONE.

-Ok, the beast is powerful.
-It has so much more feature than oldschool MPC. You can route whatever you can think of whether its layer,pad,program, midi command, velocity, filters, adsr, sample, fx, cv.. Routing possibilities are endless.
-it has some synth, which will probably come handy there and there.
-It has so much effects. 4 fx per sample, 4fx per master track. thats clearly an evolution from the original MPC and its only lowpass filter.
-that chord generator !!
-it has touchscreen live performance mode for live filtering/looping.
-basically, if you come from the 90's, the audio treatment capabilites feel like a Yamaha A5000 sampler on steroïds, tons of filters and chainable FX, not even mentionning the sequencing part.

-Theres that one pad in that one bank which will always magically trigger an endless sound. Why Akai?
-As i said earlier, the sound design possibilities are endless, Thats 100% granted. But everything is so routable you lose yourself in menus, and submenus, and sub-submenus.

Most basic stuff is always hidden under 5 submenus and therefore overcomplicated. Remember the 90s where you turned on the MPC, loaded some samples and made a vibe under one minute? Well, i do. . It is much more complex than any DAW, until you are really, really used to it.

This represents only my user experience. Its clearly not a bad machine but the learning curve is gozilla. User manual is 400 pages, assuming you already understood modern MPC concepts.

Final rating:
As standalone MPC:
Sound design: 10/10
Routing: 10/10
Ways of tweaking samples you would never have thought of: 10/10
Almost unlimited FX chaining: 10/10
Interface: 6/10
User experience : 2/10
i'm always like "that feature is awesome! heeeh why did it route like this? am i tweakin a layer, a pad, a program,a bank, the original sample or its clone ??? damn where is that one menu screen that was just there 30 seconds ago? oh nice i broke everything, well done"

As controler for MPC software:
Has an online token auth for private use : 0/10
Needs WIN10: 0/10
will never use it.

I love this machine as much as i dislike it in some ways.
It has the downsides of its top-notch features. You can do whatever tweak you can think, and the price for this is submenus.

EDIT : i updated the system. no more crashes.
+ advice that will save you hours of head scratching : when you dont know what to do on the MPC, whatever menu you are in, press SHIFT !!!!
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Hard to work with, but extremely useful
NameOfNick, 08.12.2020
First off: I'm not yet that experienced with the MPC One, as find little free time to actually sit down and work with it. That being said, I have spent some weekends completely enveloped in it.
It's a great drum machine. Playing a set of drums or samples is as easy and intuitive as it can get. I don't have any previous experience with velocity and aftertouch sensitive pads, so I needed some time to "get" them, but once you're over that phase, it feels just like tapping on your table with your finger (which I like to do, play drums sometimes also).
If melodic instruments are more your thing, you probably don't want to use just the pads, even though the MPC has quite a few different note/cord/etc. presets for many many different genres of music, so sometimes you can get a great idea by just slamming random pads. Pair up a MIDI keyboard and you're done. If the "sample your own instruments" vibe doesn't suit you, that's not a problem. You can sample them, but when you're recording your finished project, you can just *boop* change the track from sample-based to MIDI and record the live instrument (if it connects to MIDI anyway). It has millions of features, truly making it a hardware DAW.
There are a lot more good things to say, but you've probably noticed I gave handling a 3/5. The entire workflow is pretty damn weird and unintuitive. Most functions cannot be found where you would expect them to be. Some functions you would expect would be accessible on buttons are hidden in menus. Speaking of menus, every menu where you have to choose between a lot of options opens on only a third of the screen. This makes working with a lot of samples almost impossible, as you can only see the first like 10 characters of the filename (this can be worked around by using certain filenaming conventions). They could just extend the menu to the entire screen, the extra space helps no one (they even blur it out). Akai is pumping out features lately, so maybe they could polish the existing features sometime, which they probably will.
Tl;dr: Feature packed, can do absolutely anything you want it to, but can be finnicky and unintuitive.
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Unbeatable for the price
SakisX, 05.09.2020
Standalone, compact ,many buttons plus touchscreen, responsive pads ,nice synth engine , sampler . superb integration with the software .
-Can’t record audio to clip and loop (like force, or push 2). As a workaround you can use the looper ,but can’t “explode” overdubs to separate clips
-No pitch envelope (for real?)
-No loop end point (it’s tied to sample’s end)
-No loop or sample’s start/end point modulation
-No portamento
-No disk streaming (forget long tracks)
-Bugs on current 2.8.1 firmware
-Terrible content browser
-SD card not showing on PC

Overall ,it’s great piece of gear ,already knew the current limitations (you can download the free MPC Beats software to get an idea, or demo the MPC Software but on hardware navigation is way easier) , hopefully the current bugs would be fixed soon.
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The best but still no xlr input and no battery inside
MrFab__, 15.02.2021
In terms of workflow and size/weight there's nothing on the market like this. And it's still the BEST.

But is crazy that it has no battery inside and still no xlr input for a microphone.
It could also be perfect with the 16 knobs always auto mapped (just like on his big brother mpc X ) so you can mix everything and modify all the parameters in every window of effects, programs settings etc without the useless q-links (that limits to 4 parameters at the same time your setting up).

About the audio recording : just like in the daws , when u record you can choose your best takes. I dont think is a big problem for akai to put this feature on the next firmwares.

when akai will release what i've described, it will be the best groove box ever. (and also the best all-in-one to make music in a funny /fast way in studio/on the go)

But , at now, no comparison with all the other groove boxes. the touch screen and the portability are the main differences.
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The single most important element in any style of dance music is the ‘groove’, a chemistry of rhythm for your song that can make or break its overall feel.
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