Akai MPC

chysn

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2023, 08:47:56 PM »
Ok, thanks!

Have you ever tried recording knob movements with your Prophet 10, NRPN or otherwise?
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LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2023, 04:44:57 AM »
Ok, thanks!

Have you ever tried recording knob movements with your Prophet 10, NRPN or otherwise?

I have not.  In the few months since I've had the MPC, it has mostly stayed in a separate room from the rest of my synths except to sample audio directly out of the other synths.  In fact even in my main setup, right now none of my Sequential synths are used to control other synths, the keyboards I have just control their own sounds and all desktop modules are controlled either by my main MIDI controller (Komplete Kontrol S61) or the Keystep Pro.  I've been bringing desktop modules into the room with the MPC and using a small controller (MPK mini plus) to control them.

Are you thinking of MPC as a complete replacement for a DAW / primary sequencer?  If so, I would definitely recommend deeply researching it from that aspect, because for me it couldn't replace what I do with a DAW any time soon -- my workflow is actually coming the other way.  I got it primary as a compact / travel setup and as an idea notepad where I could get some foundational elements of a track going, and export the stems into Cubase later if I really liked where it was going (and of course as a sampler which is the main reason to have one).

There are some limitations with the MPC when viewed as a replacement for a computer.  Some of those limitations would be addressable on the larger units (the MPC X and upcoming MPC XL), but for other limits, I'm not so sure.  For example to get more inputs, one would need to add a class compliant USB audio interface, but since the MPC is fundamentally a Linux computer, that audio interface would have to support the Linux implementation of class compliance, and even then I have heard others say there was noticable latency with some audio interfaces; vendors of audio interfaces are typically only going to test their devices with Windows and MacOS, so overcoming that one could prove a challenge.  And then there are other hurdles, for example being limited to the plugins available for the unit versus the vast library I have on the PC, the fact it doesn't really have any arrangement capability like the Akai Force, etc.



Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

chysn

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2023, 08:14:29 AM »
I have too much financial investment into Ableton, Finale, and VST instruments to abandon them, so Iím not looking at MPC as a replacement, but a supplement.

Iím about to radically change everything, and it might have a home in the new regime.

Do you know if it can play back sequenced MIDI to an external instrument while then SAMPLING the recorded audio from that instrument at the same time?

By the way, I really appreciate your time with these questions.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2023, 08:16:00 AM by chysn »
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LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2023, 11:54:12 AM »
Do you know if it can play back sequenced MIDI to an external instrument while then SAMPLING the recorded audio from that instrument at the same time?

Definitely, I do this all the time.  The one thing that throws some people (including me at first) was that there is a bounce to audio feature, and it appears to let you use it on a MIDI track, but leaves you wondering where the audio is.  Basically though you just arm the audio track, and hit Record and Play Start to record it in as an audio track.  It will record the correct number of bars and disengage record at the correct end time rather than just re-recording each loop etc.   The bounce to audio feature only applies to tracks where the sound source is in the MPC.  But its worth mentioning, you only have 8 audio tracks total to work with (unlimited MIDI).
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

chysn

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2023, 03:19:31 PM »
But its worth mentioning, you only have 8 audio tracks total to work with (unlimited MIDI).

That's not the limitation that worries me... You only get five minutes of audio per track, is that right?
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LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2023, 04:30:37 PM »
But its worth mentioning, you only have 8 audio tracks total to work with (unlimited MIDI).

That's not the limitation that worries me... You only get five minutes of audio per track, is that right?

I had to look that one up, because I personally don't come close to playing a single take that's 5 minutes long, but I can see how that's one of those tradeoffs where going from a full DAW to something like the MPC could be frustrating.  There's a thread here that mentions a possible workaround:  https://www.mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=197355

I will say that the MPC does what it does very well, but it definitely doesn't do everything.  Sometimes the limitations are actually fun and force creative workarounds or different directions.  If I did this for a living, it would probably frustrate me.   Actually even the workflow of the MPC will frustrate most that are used to a regular DAW, at first... but its limitations and charm kind of grow on you after a while.

The MPC forums are a great resource, those guys are way more knowledgeable than I.  I'm just thrilled to be able to drop the Live 2 onto my lap when I'm a hotel waiting for an hour for my girlfriend to do her hair and makeup just to go to dinner... lol.  It's that portable moment that makes me go "how the hell did I ever live without this?".  All of the other stuff it can do is kind of like a treasure trove of amazement.  But yeah, a replacement for a full DAW as a production studio it is not.
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2023, 04:53:07 AM »
** Focus **

I want to talk a bit about instrument focus this time around.

One of the hidden benefits of the MPC (or any device that allows you to fully replace the computer with regard to connecting external gear) is that the reduction in complexity enables (or even coerces) you to focus more squarely on a smaller number of things.

My studio is a small spare bedroom, where things are tightly packed in.  Lots of cables, lots of very specific placement of things, and if I want to change something, often I find myself having to carry gear out of that room into another just to provide enough elbow room to make the changes.  Then I have the complexity of the computer itself, all of the channel setup and routings of the DAW, templates I have in place to make workflow faster, etc.   

While it is great to have many tools at my disposal, keeping them all working properly can be a distraction from the instrument at hand and the music making process itself at times.

Whenever I grab a desktop module, bring it into the "other room" with my compact setup (connect to the MPC) where it is the only synth, it encourages me to learn how to do more with that single synth, and to explore that synth in more depth.  This means when I take the synth back into the studio room, I know it in greater detail and I'm prone to utilize it more fully.

It's the simple difference between juggling lots of things versus going deep on a single thing.  It seems like a small difference, but it completely changes how I make music, and that variation is a very valuable part of the creative process. 

Limiting myself to a single synth with no mouse or keyboard or DAW complexity to become distracted by also helps me break out of patterns of repetitive habits, such that when I do go back into the studio with lots of outboard gear, it all feels somewhat new again and leads to new creative paths.

When I have nothing but a synth and the MPC, I almost forget the MPC can be a DAW momentarily, and come at it all from the perspective of "okay, I have one synth and a drum machine in front of me, where do I want to go with that?" and then I worry about sequencing and other production matters later on.  Constrast that with going into the studio room and "power up the mothership"..... it's a few minutes of warm up time, then a sound check on various instruments to be sure they are all doing what they should, and so on.   Sometimes the simplicity of one synth + a drum machine feels empowering.
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

chysn

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2023, 06:01:16 PM »
You certainly make the MPC tempting. I love the idea of it. I came really close to pulling the trigger on a retro-style One. But, you know, I just bought this Prophet 5 and I think I need to learn one thing at a time.

I'm going to spend some time figuring out whether I want to stick with Ableton, or move to DAWless. I don't think anybody really makes what I want yet, which is basically a sequencer grafted onto a digital recorder, with effects. But MPC seems to be the closest thing.
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LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2023, 06:24:15 PM »
You certainly make the MPC tempting. I love the idea of it. I came really close to pulling the trigger on a retro-style One. But, you know, I just bought this Prophet 5 and I think I need to learn one thing at a time.

I'm going to spend some time figuring out whether I want to stick with Ableton, or move to DAWless. I don't think anybody really makes what I want yet, which is basically a sequencer grafted onto a digital recorder, with effects. But MPC seems to be the closest thing.

This is a super interesting topic for me, because I recently I've been trying out Ableton after being a Cubase user for years.  I bought Ableton Live 11 prior to my last month-long travel trip, because Cubase is not super laptop-friendly, or at least I'm not used to working with it on a small screen, whereas Ableton was really designed for that.  Interestingly I ended up not even loading Ableton once when I was traveling, and instead grabbing the MPC because it is so "on your lap" and instant.

However, back at home and in the studio, I'm now experimenting with Ableton session mode because I think that this is one thing Cubase does not do as well.  And in many ways Ableton is much more instant in terms of grabbing ideas, and taking those short bursts of creativity and stitching them together in new ways.  I can do everything in one DAW that I can do in another, but its the workflow of how it's done that forces me to think differently and try different things, and that results in different musical output.

The MPC I absolutely adore, of course, or I wouldn't write about it here.  But, again it is just another way of doing things.  From a sheer "portable music studio" standpoint, the MPC Live II and its speaker and battery shattered all expectations.  But, you quickly realize its not great at everything.  It is a killer sampler/drum machine, has a great drum synth engine, plugins like Mini D and OPX4 will amaze for bass and FM.  But I don't think it will ever replace computer+DAW for me.  In a pinch and tight spaces?  The limitations it imposes on me could lead to interesting results, but also at the same time I would miss some of the power and freedom I get from a full PC and DAW. It is possible I would feel different about the MPC X (with lots of knobbery) or the supposedly upcoming MPC XL. 

Yes it is definitely possible to produce a full track on an MPC but I don't think it's ideal.  Even if I look at it as just a looper for jamming, I'd much rather a full PC (and Ableton in particular for clip juggling).  However, there is the Akai Force -- I don't know a lot about it, honestly, other than it's a very different product from the MPC.  As a looper and a replacement for Ableton, maybe it is a better fit?
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2023, 05:03:06 PM »
** String Machine **

Since the "B" string machine seems to be hitting the streets, it seems fair to visit alternatives?  ;)

I really like the AIR Solina plugin for the MPC -- I got it as part of a bundle, and like all things that I receive in a windfall I have not had enough time to spend with it yet, but overall I think highly of AIR Music plugins, particularly since they created one of the only bass soft synths that ever really impressed me (Mini D).   It's worth mentioning you can also get the plugin for PC/Mac and of course free trial).  Other alternatives to the "B" include Streichfett hardware, and plugin version (I have the plug-in which is great but have also considered the hardware).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qre2FUdw9fI
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2023, 05:18:47 PM »
** String Machine **

Since the "B" string machine seems to be hitting the streets, it seems fair to visit alternatives?  ;)

I really like the AIR Solina plugin for the MPC -- I got it as part of a bundle, and like all things that I receive in a windfall I have not had enough time to spend with it yet, but overall I think highly of AIR Music plugins, particularly since they created one of the only bass soft synths that ever really impressed me (Mini D).   It's worth mentioning you can also get the plugin for PC/Mac and of course free trial).  Other alternatives to the "B" include Streichfett hardware, and plugin version (I have the plug-in which is great but have also considered the hardware).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qre2FUdw9fI

GForce's String Machine is excellent. That said - the B Solina is the one machine of their's I knew would tempt me. I sold my VC340 not long ago - the guy buying it was very excited and I was relieved. He could get an undeniably great machine without directly supporting the company who shall not be named. I miss the vocoder on the VC340, but I got plenty of use out of it. The strings were fab, too, but not Solina w/Small Stone fab...

LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2023, 06:33:24 PM »
GForce's String Machine is excellent. That said - the B Solina is the one machine of their's I knew would tempt me. I sold my VC340 not long ago - the guy buying it was very excited and I was relieved. He could get an undeniably great machine without directly supporting the company who shall not be named. I miss the vocoder on the VC340, but I got plenty of use out of it. The strings were fab, too, but not Solina w/Small Stone fab...

I've heard a lot of good things about GForce's plug-ins, despite not having owned any.  I think the general nature of string machines is one that lends itself well to virtualization -- strings (especially synthesized ones) are a bit thin by default and well-represented digitally, as they don't need all of the additional harmonic fluctuations of analog, especially with some chorus and phaser involved.

On the MPC, one of the things I enjoy about the Solina plugin is that for instruments designed for the MPC (like the AIR Music stuff), there is something about the combination of the touch screen and knobs that leads to a temporary suspension of disbelief that I am working with software, if that makes sense.  It pulls me out of the "DAW mode" and into the feeling that the MPC is a dedicated instrument (which could be a string machine, or a drum machine, or a number of other instruments... some of which I will post about here later)...  it's like with a given plugin (the one we're talking about here or others), it goes into character and makes me want to plug the outputs into the ins of my studio interface (which is not the reason I bought it at all).  So it is very good at transforming itself into a number of other specialized things and then doing that very well through the touch screen, integration with the knobs, and a sequencer that's (mostly) as powerful as a full DAW.

Dave Smith used to always talk about the importance of an instrument having its own personality.  Although an MPC is not comparable to a Sequential instrument in that regard (after all, part of "character" is never waivering on who one is, but rather finding space for ones own character and making the most of it).....   What it does do well is become a portable shape-shifter of personalities....  I guess the best descripition I could give is is that a PC/Mac solution is very good at changing personalities while not establishing itself at anything.  An analog synth is very good at establishing itself, shining brightly in its realm, and being the best at what it does.  The MPC somehow finds a middle ground between those two extremes that is unique.  The best news is that they are all tools at the end of the day, and what we find inspiration in is what will make the best tunes that day.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2023, 06:35:13 PM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2023, 04:39:38 PM »
With the announcement of the MPC XSE and some of the reaction. Thereís something that doesnít sit right with me when it comes to Akai and the MPCs. I think a lot of it has to do with my interactions with the die hard users and employees but also from my time spent with the MPCKey61 in the store.

The Fabric XL engine (which I was most looking forward to trying) came off like a rompler. The sample editing capabilities and just being able to create sounds from scratch is incredibly limited compared to other products out there. A lot of the presets sort of felt redundant (same Celeste, guitar samples and everything swamped in effects and ridiculous amounts of vibrato aftertouch) and it quickly exposed how limited the engine was.

OP-4 was easily my favorite engine. Not the best FM but it has a unique sound which I appreciated.

The other engines I could take or leave as Iíve heard much better out there (and in some cases own much better).

The drum sounds I found a bit flat after my experience with the Tempest and S2400. Not sure what it was but it just felt the drums didnít have any character to them.

The sequencing was fast which was great but I still prefer other workflows.

Oddly enough I found the Maschine+ to be more my liking in terms of sound. It felt like it was everything I wanted a modern Synclavier to be. The Prism, Kontakt and FM8 engines really sold me on it over the MPC. Sure some of the sound design functionality is buried but I think the on-board sounds as they are really have a unique quality and character to them which Akai didnít.

Overall, I think my experience with the MPC sort of reinforced my mindset towards workstations or ďdo it allĒ devices. Iíd rather have individual devices which specialize in specific abilities rather than a device which Iím either going to only use a portion of or has compromised features to accommodate the kitchen sink approach. Iíd rather just have dedicated drum machines and dedicated sequencers and dedicated synths for specific sounds.

Akai have an established following and are catering to a specific customer and genre. They arenít going to deviate from that or offer anything to anyone outside of that. Even with the MPCKey61. They promoted it like some type of ground breaking device ( on the SonicState demonstration it was like ďyou can sequence external gear and have all these awesome on-board sounds along with sampling...something thatís never been done before.Ē And Iím like....wait....what? Who are they trying to sell this to?). And any criticism of the available sounds on the Keys (being limited compared to Kurzweil, Roland, Yamaha etc) is met with ďWell you donít make beats, the product isnít for you.Ē The hell?

Iím not sure what people expect from a new Akai product at this point. They are essentially rehashing the exact same engine over and over again in different form factors (similar to Rolandís ZenCore). So the XSE is exactly whatís to be expected.

LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2023, 05:59:40 PM »
With the announcement of the MPC XSE and some of the reaction. Thereís something that doesnít sit right with me when it comes to Akai and the MPCs. I think a lot of it has to do with my interactions with the die hard users and employees but also from my time spent with the MPCKey61 in the store.

The Fabric XL engine (which I was most looking forward to trying) came off like a rompler. The sample editing capabilities and just being able to create sounds from scratch is incredibly limited compared to other products out there. A lot of the presets sort of felt redundant (same Celeste, guitar samples and everything swamped in effects and ridiculous amounts of vibrato aftertouch) and it quickly exposed how limited the engine was.

OP-4 was easily my favorite engine. Not the best FM but it has a unique sound which I appreciated.

The other engines I could take or leave as Iíve heard much better out there (and in some cases own much better).

The drum sounds I found a bit flat after my experience with the Tempest and S2400. Not sure what it was but it just felt the drums didnít have any character to them.

The sequencing was fast which was great but I still prefer other workflows.

Oddly enough I found the Maschine+ to be more my liking in terms of sound. It felt like it was everything I wanted a modern Synclavier to be. The Prism, Kontakt and FM8 engines really sold me on it over the MPC. Sure some of the sound design functionality is buried but I think the on-board sounds as they are really have a unique quality and character to them which Akai didnít.

Overall, I think my experience with the MPC sort of reinforced my mindset towards workstations or ďdo it allĒ devices. Iíd rather have individual devices which specialize in specific abilities rather than a device which Iím either going to only use a portion of or has compromised features to accommodate the kitchen sink approach. Iíd rather just have dedicated drum machines and dedicated sequencers and dedicated synths for specific sounds.

Akai have an established following and are catering to a specific customer and genre. They arenít going to deviate from that or offer anything to anyone outside of that. Even with the MPCKey61. They promoted it like some type of ground breaking device ( on the SonicState demonstration it was like ďyou can sequence external gear and have all these awesome on-board sounds along with sampling...something thatís never been done before.Ē And Iím like....wait....what? Who are they trying to sell this to?). And any criticism of the available sounds on the Keys (being limited compared to Kurzweil, Roland, Yamaha etc) is met with ďWell you donít make beats, the product isnít for you.Ē The hell?

Iím not sure what people expect from a new Akai product at this point. They are essentially rehashing the exact same engine over and over again in different form factors (similar to Rolandís ZenCore). So the XSE is exactly whatís to be expected.

I think Akai is addressing "different strokes for different folks".  A lot of producers (especially those of hiphop/trap) live and breathe by the Akai workflow, and I think maybe as a product, the MPCKey61 was in part making sure that their product line was more competitive with NI (Komplete Kontrol and Maschine). From a business standpoint I believe this makes sense for them.

Fabric XL is a rompler indeed.  I would never recommend an MPC if someone's main goal is to use it as a polyphonic synth -- I think the processors in these groove boxes aren't powerful enough to do polyphonic synths right.  This is one reason I bought the Roland SH-4d for my portable setup for those kinds of sounds.  That said, Mini D and the Odyssey plugin are really good.  I don't know that Mini D really sounds like a Model D, more like (to my ears) a better sounding punchy bass synth with great mid range.. I like the sound better than a Moog;  it's good enough that I've actually considered temporarily bring the MPC Live 2 into the studio and using it just as a dedicated bass synth.  And for my use (the MPC is more of an idea starter than a complete production box for me) it was really a worthwhile purchase.  OP-4, as you mentioned is also great -- it's not a DX7 emulation but its own thing.

But none of the shortcomings of it as a synth really matter for how I use it, as an idea springboard.

As far as the drums, I don't recommend anyone limit themselves to the drum kits that come with it.  Make your own kits, put together from aftermarket sample libraries.  Sample chopped drums from other tracks, that's one of the strengths of the MPC.

About the workflow, you really have to own an MPC for a while to fully warm up to the workflow, learn the shortcuts and the way of doing things on that particular unit (there are differences between the various models, such that some who learn on a MPC Live 2 don't like certain things about the MPC One or vice versa).  Personally I like the MPC way of doing things, I've owned a Maschine since the original Mk1 came out, and just never really liked the workflow of the sequencer.  I still use it as a drum machine because I have lots of kits, but more so the plugin, controlling it with something else as I never really liked the hardware.  But that's a preferential thing, I've heard a lot of people say they prefer Maschine's workflow.

When you said the sample editing capabilities are limited, I think you're talking about modifying the sounds inside FabricXL, is that correct?  I do agree that plugin is limited.. but sample editing overall is fantastic on the MPC, it's really the reason the device exists at all.  Especially using it to autosample other instruments, import other audio sources and mangle them into something new, etc.  The relationship between the hardware and the sampling features is where it really shines I think.

In my case, the portability aspect (including the battery and the speaker) of the MPC Live 2 is a huge reason I own one of these at all, so the bigger units like the MPC X and SE don't particularly interest me.  Although, I'd be lying if I said I didn't sometimes wish for more inputs and knobs.  I'm in a happy place with using the touch screen + q-link knobs, but having all those knobs with LED labels on the larger units would really come in handy for folks who use the MPC as the primary brain of their system; and I've seen people do that.

One thing that doesn't get talked about enough is the fact that while some of the NI synths sound good, they really were designed to run on a more powerful PC, and thus the usability on Maschine suffers.  Also I hear a lot of people who use both Maschine+ and MPC say Maschine+ is far less reliable in terms of freezing/crashing.  MPCs are notorious for their stability, they don't let you down much which for folks in live situations is very important.  Part of this may be because Maschine+ is trying to run PC plugins on a more limited platform, where all of the Akai stuff is specifically designed with limitations to prevent the CPU from being overloaded.

In some cases those limitations might make it not the right choice for some.  Here in this thread, one thing I've tried to do is bring up some of the various points that are important to me and how I use it in my compact setup.  It's definitely a YMMV thing.  Back to the MPCKey61,  I was just never interested in workstations so I wouldn't be interested in one of those any more than a Fantom, ModX, etc.  but I do understand the appeal for some.
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2023, 08:13:53 PM »
Honestly after listening to a few more demos of OP-4 and Fabric XL....I can certainly see their use if you had other hardware synths playing alongside them. Their sounds are very early 90s which actually might be fun. There was a demo I heard today of OP-4 and it was very much early 90s Tangerine Dream.

I still think the synths in Maschine+ sound better and regardless of CPU power, I have been speaking to a Maschine+ user on YouTube who's done some really nice unique compositions with it and I can certainly see it handling all my "Synclavier style" themes and compositions.

LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2023, 04:39:09 AM »
Honestly after listening to a few more demos of OP-4 and Fabric XL....I can certainly see their use if you had other hardware synths playing alongside them. Their sounds are very early 90s which actually might be fun. There was a demo I heard today of OP-4 and it was very much early 90s Tangerine Dream.

Yes, while Fabric XL is a rompler, it is still a relatively flexible one (not compared to other synths but to other romplers) and depending on how one plans to use the MPC is a very nice addition. OPx-4 is great not only for it's sound but for the programmability that the touch screen provides.
Also, romplers shouldn't necessarily be overlooked.  Ever listened to Anders HagstrŲm's (Ashbury Heights) music?  I once heard him say he uses a lot of Nexus (rompler) presets because they're fast and don't get in the way of the workflow of making tracks -- he doesn't like to be bothered with hardware or lots of choices or decisions.  The old saying "it's not the sounds it's what you do with them" is very true in many music genres.

I still think the synths in Maschine+ sound better and regardless of CPU power, I have been speaking to a Maschine+ user on YouTube who's done some really nice unique compositions with it and I can certainly see it handling all my "Synclavier style" themes and compositions.

IMO CPU power is an issue with Maschine+ mostly because of the glitches and crashes that are regularly reported.  MPC is not without bugs but they tend to never be show stoppers.  I believe even the Maschine VST plugin (which is required for all but Maschine+) is only a single-threaded, unless they've released a major update I'm unaware of.

But yeah, synths like Massive and FM8 do sound good, it's just that most of us have already owned them in VST format for a long time.  The equivalent of Massive on MPC would probably be the Hype synth, which I haven't used much (to date).  Personally I think Mini-D is much better than Monark, and the big let down of Maschine+ is you can't load Kontakt libraries (presumably it's not powerful enough).  At least if you have the non-standalone Maschine you can take advantage of using other VST synths in your workflow.

Ben Correll is very knowledgeable about MPC.. when I watched the video below, I remembered being very underwhelmed by it's sampling capability.  That's where the MPC really shines, as a sampler; so maybe it's worth repeating - I would not recommend the MPC (or Maschine for that matter) if someone plans to use it solely as a synth.  If looking for a really good hands-on experience with the Native Instruments synths, I think the best bet there is to get one of the Komplete Kontrol keyboards since they automatically integrate/display controls on the screen.  Doing NI with my KKS61 is an impressive level of integration with the 2 screens and 8 knobs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJfF4K0pH54&ab_channel=BenCorrell
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2023, 05:49:45 AM »
I think with anything though it really depends on what a person needs out of a device and what they are doing to it.

I can totally picture incorporating something like this into my setup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCIUxju9aD8&lc=UgwoLEe4IKe4sW141uh4AaABAg

One thing I do hope is Native Instruments do a standalone keyboard workstation.

LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2023, 06:33:09 PM »
I think with anything though it really depends on what a person needs out of a device and what they are doing to it.

Absolutely.

I can totally picture incorporating something like this into my setup.

The gear that inspires you the most is the gear you'll get the most out of.

One thing I do hope is Native Instruments do a standalone keyboard workstation.

Personally I think it's inevitable.  Something like the KK S61, maybe bigger screens and more knobs and the guts from the Maschine+.   I wonder if they will have a bit of a quandry there, however.  Because it will need to do everything the KK series does with DAW integration, as well as a standalone mode -- but the standalone mode is going to feel limited by comparison (for example can run Kontakt libraries and Massive X when DAW integrated, but cannot when in standalone because of CPU limits).  But that's not too different from the System 8, where you can send a single cloud plugin to the synth (where it sounds better in many cases and has much better hands on control), or you can use it to control many different synths within the DAW.  So maybe it would still be a hit.

Ultimately Akai is a hardware company that's in the process of expanding into software, and Native Instruments is a software company that's expanding into hardware.  At some point (probably soon) they will meet category parity.
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

LPF83

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Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2023, 03:24:02 PM »
** Jura **

They just upped the game again with the release of Jura.  It sounds fantastic, I've tried all of the Juno emulations and this one is good enough that I am tempted to use the MPC as a desktop synth just for these sounds.  What's more, the UI works really well on the MPC touch screen, you can put multiple fingers on sliders and make subtle up/down movements just by barely tilting your hand forward for interesting realtime modulation, the end result turning out better actually in some ways than physical knobs/sliders.

Also of course happening at the same time is the release of the MPC One+.  If anyone is considering purchasing an MPC and is presented with choosing one free plug-in, for most folks I'd say Jura is probably the one to get.  It's definitely my favorite plugin on the MPC to date.

Here's a brief demo of a few instances of Jura on the MPC One +.

https://youtu.be/1kvvj5LaliQ?t=194

Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Akai MPC
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2023, 07:55:53 PM »
What are your thoughts on the Force LPF83? My girlfriend has actually just got into music production and is working with Ableton and just got the Arturia Minilab 3 and is getting really into it. I caught her watching some videos on the Force and I sat and watched it with her and she actually said she might be interested in it and the more I read up and watched videos on it the more I think that Iíd prefer it over an MPC.