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TRiP

MPC question...

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I've been looking to replace the ole' laptop (with ableton) in our set-up for ages now and keep hearing MPC's are the way to go

 

I can get a 2nd hand MPC 2500 for 450...needs some buttons replaced but I have a guy who'll fix it up for 50

 

Sound like a good investment?

 

Besides the offer, does anyone have any experience using an MPC as their 'brain' in an all hardware set-up? Any pros and cons?

 

What's the live workflow like, I think I recall someone telling me you can set it up to be quite similar to ableton in that you can launch seperate/independent clips etc.?

 

Many thanks for any thoughts !

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i don't have time to go into a lot of detail at the moment, but:

 

1. i'd be wary of buying a 2nd hand mpc in that bad of condition. if it's missing buttons, who knows how badly it was banged up & for how long. i'd recommend a 1000 instead because it's smaller and has essentially the same capabilities as the 2500.

 

2. don't even bother using the mpc until you put JJ OS 2XL on it.

 

3. once you do that, the mpc 1000/2500 is second only to the mpc 4000 as the best hardware sequencer of all time.

 

4. once you learn it, muscle memory takes over and you can just FLY on it. equally great for composing & live performance.

 

5. yes, you can have pads launch individual clips (called 'patterns') that can be sequences or even a pattern of midi cc data.

 

 

i used an mpc 1000 as my main kit for years. i'll always keep it. highly recommended.

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if only a few buttons are the problem i wouldn't worry about it. They're easy to replace and these things are tough. I've got a MPC 1000, love it. Had to replace my pads which costed a pretty penny but the 2500 comes with good pads as default Wuuld recommend the 1000 over 2500 if new to MPC world.. just to keep interface more simple. As Digit said def get JJOS. JJOS 2XL is excellent, pretty sure other JJOS's are decent as well (pay for versions). Akai software is shit.

 

What will you be using your MPC for mostly? Will you be sending Midi to external synths etc? Or do you have a mostly sample based workflow? I use mine to trigger a bunch of synths and its great fun.

 

For live recording i use track mute mode. Similar to the pattern mode i imagine (i wasn't even aware of that mode til i read Digit's post.. will need to check it out). Great thing is you can record the track mutes as well so can refine your live take later if you want

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Thanks for the speedy info filled responses!

 

The guy says it's just the data entry button + cursor need replacing, everything else is in good nick

 

As much as I'd love to get a 'new' one, don't think I'll have the hard cash anytime soon, this offer seems to be just about affordable right now. Recon it's a good price for it?

 

In terms of what I'll be doing most with it would be sending midi to synths/hardware, using it as the master brain to the set-up, the sampling and such would just be a bonus :)

 

Is the JJOS expensive? Easy to get ahold of?

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Looks like I can get it for 400 now :D

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I think the 2500 will work well for what you need.

 

I'm currently using the 4000 as a brain in my studio, and before that the 2000xl (which I still own). I also used JJOS2XL on the 1000 a couple of years back.

 

All MPC's have their ups and downs. The 2500 has 4 midi outs, lots of audio outputs and is still pretty portable. It also has a tilted screen, which IMO is a very nice feature to have if you're gonna be using it for hours straight.

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I use mpc2500 only time ive just it live was with presequenced songs and just tweaked my external hard wear...

 

You can easily have it as your brain for sequencing but its fx arnt amazing

 

get the ram maxed out or you'll run out quick if you loading big stereo samples in.

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I think the 2500 will work well for what you need.

 

I'm currently using the 4000 as a brain in my studio, and before that the 2000xl (which I still own). I also used JJOS2XL on the 1000 a couple of years back.

 

Whats your workflow like when starting a new song and using the MPC as the brain?

 

Would you step in individual MIDI notes for each synth/drum machine / play the notes in via a midi keyboard / or can you 'play' in notes with the pads like the ableton push or something to that effect?

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Guest WNS000

Downgrade from Live to MPC is going to be painful. MPC workflow is tedious, slow and very limited (people worshipping MPC for workflow are mainly oldschool hiphop producers). It strongly depends on the genre you do but if you want to do something a bit complex and refined then MPC is not the way to go (or prepare to be extremely patient and inventive to do simple basic stuff).

 

JS OS is a must but even that is nowhere close to possibilities and smoothness of Ableton Live.

 

Really depends.

 

Your best bet is to borrow an MPC and try it. I would not buy it blindly if I was you.

 

Source: my MPC 1000

 

EDIT: On the other hand the limitations of an MPC can lead you to somewhere interesting producer-wise but don't expect it to be an upgrade or even a mere transfer from Ableton Live. I would say the MPCs connected to a computer (or a Maschine) are much better choice. You get the best from both worlds.

Edited by WNS000

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Guest WNS000

If you want MPC to launch clips, it is going to be nowhere near Ableton Live. No odd timings for launching, no legato support for clips unless you have a certain JJ OS (not sure which now), you will have to stop the sequences all the time when you need to change something or small, etc. Editing is absolute pain. It takes ages and with complex arrangements you will have to find stuff you want to edit by trial and error. Prepare to look at the counter a lot. Not worth it IMO but it is a fun exercise machine when I get tired from my computer and want to relax a bit just for fun with no ambitions to create serious stuff so to speak.

Edited by WNS000

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Welp, you sure took the wind out my sails

I kid...but thanks for the reality check - part of me knows this wont be the silver bullet but we really want to step away from relying on laptops in live situations - think we'll be happy to keep 'writing' with ableton, and then exporting the MIDI to the MPC for live stuff, thats the plan anyway we shall see where it takes us!

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**accidental double-post**

Edited by TRiP

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Guest WNS000

I mean, you can probably use it as a midi player but that is quite an expensive midi player and there is not much you can change in the live conditions unless you program it really flexibly and cleverly (prepare for numbers)...

 

Why is it such a problem to use laptops live? I thought Windows 7 is pretty stable with Ableton on it. It is very rare for it to crash in my experience and I do some big projects with tons of FX all the time.

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That's complete bollocks you can do very detailed and complex stuff with an MPC obviously it's not like ableton cause its not a computer..

 

 

 

input wise you can use step edit or live on a keyboard or from pads...this includes notes and midi cc data etc...

 

with jjos2 you can assign a sequence to a pad and launch them much like ableton.

 

i think this was done on MPC

 

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Guest WNS000

That's complete bollocks you can do very detailed and complex stuff with an MPC obviously it's not like ableton cause its not a computer..

 

 

 

input wise you can use step edit or live on a keyboard or from pads...this includes notes and midi cc data etc...

 

with jjos2 you can assign a sequence to a pad and launch them much like ableton.

 

i think this was done on MPC

 

 

Read my posts again, you can do complicated stuff on MPC but it will take ages and it is going to be pain transitioning from Ableton. You are going to need to be very inventive with you MPC as I said.

 

Also, JJOS is nowhere near capabilities of Ableton Live even though it is an impressive piece of software for an MPC and you can do a lot with it. You can't say anything against MPC being pain to edit. You can not beat the mouse and a big screen when it comes to editing. You simply can not.

 

Also you think or you know it (the Autechre track, which sounds good btw and I haven't heard it before)?

 

Anyway, I suggest OP to borrow an MPC and try it for himself. It strongly depends on his particular needs.

Edited by WNS000

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I suppose depends how good/quick you are on mpc

 

Disagree with the mouse screen thing though, personally I think ableton is Bab for editing...

 

MPC step edit is well deep if you get into it..

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Guest WNS000

I don't want to be "that" guy but can you post some examples of your MPC tracks? I need to know the context you see the MPC with. Or you can post something that you know 100% was done with MPC as the only sequence/edit tool.

 

Ableton's editing is definitely worse than for example Reaper's editing but both are naturally far superior to hardware MPC. There is no question about it.

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All the tracks in my signature, all composed on MPC then tracked into cubase for mixing.

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Guest WNS000

Those are fairly simple hip hop tracks (not bad though, production is quite good, mate) with slow tempos which are much easier to edit and compose on MPC than intricate IDM tracks with faster tempos with tons of modulations and odd time signatures (which are also not present in your tracks). Not to mention it is almost impossible to effectively do grid-less stuff on MPC unless you are a skilled player and can play it manually.

​So yeah, OP, if you want to do hip hop stuff, then you can definitely do it on MPC as I said.

​EDIT:

​Pretty good tracks, mate. Good job. My points above still stand though.

Edited by WNS000

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Lolz you can do anything on an MPC if you apply yourself and any time Sig, all those tracks are double the tempo you think they are...

 

You're comparing ableton to a piece of hardware designed to do something ableton stole it's ideas from..

 

I don't make idmz since last decade.

 

Still hiphopy but not idmz

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2ua86674k31xgh/nexhap.mp3?dl=0

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Guest WNS000

I don't care what you do or don't with your MPC, I was just pointing out the limitations of MPC. You "can" do whatever you want on an MPC but there are limitations that are not present in a DAW.

 

I also don't care about the technical aspects of the tempo you have chosen for (presumably) bigger resolution. I am pointing out the fact that hip hop tracks are million times easier to edit and compose on MPC than gridless, ambient, IDM, drill-n-bass etc styles with brutal amounts of events and intricate compositions often with tens of tracks.

 

​Ableton got maybe inspired by MPC but is currently beyond this. It is more flexible, quicker and intuitive. It also has Max for Live...

MPC time sigs are limited, because they are destructible​-editing of sequences. AFAIK you also cannot quantize launching of clips to whatever time sig you need (which you can in Live). You can also play only two sequences at once with JJOS - the rest you have to do via track mutes which is again limiting. I could go on...

​You can do a lot with MPC but it is going to be pain and hassle with anything more complex and intricate. It will take much more time to do basic stuff than in a DAW. Not arguable.

Edited by WNS000

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Totally agree with most of your points

 

I'm almost tempted to make a gridless, ambient, IDM, drill-n-bass style track with brutal amounts of events and intricate composition with tens of tracks.

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Guest WNS000

It was just an example, mate. Do whatever you like ;-)

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jaypers, in the duration of this thread i've gone from off the fence to on the fence to inside the fence...

 

Think i'll do a lil' more research into this

 

See in this video around 4:35 where he starts jamming with the mutes // can you have multiple pages of these MIDI clips, or are you tied to just the 16 pads per song/track?

 


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Guest WNS000

I believe you have 4 banks of pads you can assign a clip.

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