Akai MPCs, why so legendary ?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
lola
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Post by lola » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:12 am

They sound wayyyy phatter dynamically than software.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:13 am

lola wrote:They sound wayyyy phatter dynamically than software.
that's so wrong, let's just not start.
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lola
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Post by lola » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:16 am

Tone Deft wrote:
lola wrote:They sound wayyyy phatter dynamically than software.
that's so wrong, let's just not start.
I know, don't want to start a discussion between hard and soft, but... yea.....

people must find out for themselves i think.

thesmallisbeautiful
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Post by thesmallisbeautiful » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:20 am

I have just had my ass handed to me about midi guitars, but I'll still risk saying this.

What in the hell does "phat" mean when describing dynamics? It means the velocity curves are rounder or something?

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:21 am

lola wrote:
Tone Deft wrote:
lola wrote:They sound wayyyy phatter dynamically than software.
that's so wrong, let's just not start.
I know, don't want to start a discussion between hard and soft, but... yea.....

people must find out for themselves i think.
/sigh... goddamnit...

mpc is 16 bit, dynamic range = 20*log(2^16) = ~96dB

computers are at least 16 bit, usually 24 at the output.

you do the math.


does it matter? 16 bit sounds perfectly fine.

[/end n00b]
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glitchrock-buddha
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Post by glitchrock-buddha » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:25 am

Tone Deft wrote:
glitchrock-buddha wrote:
starving student wrote:this is why


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j42SdmiU0kg

Not to take away from the MPCs coolness, but that can all be done just as easy or easier with something like an akai MPD32 or padkontrol and Live.
not with ZERO latency.
Well fine. But I don't seriously take 5ms of latency into account when considering the disadvantages of computers.
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thesmallisbeautiful
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Post by thesmallisbeautiful » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:29 am

I also don't really buy the whole zero latency thing. With admittedly nothing concrete to go on, I don't see why there wouldn't be even a millisecond of latency on a computer (which the MPC is) just because it's in a box. Also, the MPC has a much lower resolution (PPQ). I moved from the MPC to live 100% only because I found live to be more accurate at recording my performances. I was always quantizing on the MPC because the timing was a bit off. I don't need to in live.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:31 am

glitchrock-buddha wrote:
Tone Deft wrote:
glitchrock-buddha wrote:
Not to take away from the MPCs coolness, but that can all be done just as easy or easier with something like an akai MPD32 or padkontrol and Live.
not with ZERO latency.
Well fine. But I don't seriously take 5ms of latency into account when considering the disadvantages of computers.
YMMV.

it's keeping the computer happy at 5mS latency ALL THE TIME. sets grow, CPU load increases, other bits of gear can upset the system (SL25!!, soundcard settings etc). it just takes maintenance to keep computers working perfectly smoothly all the time. with hardware, you turn it on and are making music in seconds.

I think most people wander back and forth between hardware and software (it can take years to go back and forth.)

YMMV it might not be worth $500-$1k for more gear for you, some of us took the plunge.
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navitus
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Post by navitus » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:45 am

Hardware is a lot of fun, especially if u have knobs and sliders and the ability to quickly lay down patterns. I think this is also a huge strength of the MPC's.

But if u weigh the pros and cons, i think the flexibility of software wins in my humble opinion.
F

starving student
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Post by starving student » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:28 am

condra wrote:For every person that posts a reply here about how cool MPCs are, there's ten others who don't give a shit about MPCs.

that post had zero value, if you're looking for the other 10 people who don't give a shit there in another thread talking about something else.

tone this isn't my thread I was posting some clips in repsonse to navitus

Navitus mpcs are alot of fun, and in combination with live they are an even more incredible set up, often i use live as a sound module and sequence on the mpc and there are many other ways. as for the feel, the mpc feels nothing like Live anybody telling you that an mpd32 and a laptop running live feels the same as an mpc is indulging in propaganda, cakewalks p5 has alot of similarities to Live but it doesn't feel anything like it either, the mpc and live are different instruments that work very well together, live/hardware sync issues aside.

if you tried to do what sos does in that video clip you'd break your mpd and your laptop :lol:


it would be nice if we could talk about music without getting our testicles in a bunch we all love and use live and some of us also love and use mpcs with live, we should be happy together.

blinkeye
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Post by blinkeye » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:42 am

There's a lot of misinformed opinion about the special swing or the "sound" of the MPC. What makes the MPC special is ultimately the simple yet powerful sequencer and the quick workflow it brings. Sure, you can do the same and more on a computer and a midi controller. But setting up your software and midi controller, figuring out the way you want to work, mapping the controls...etc. is enough of a deterrent for many people to impede their creative process. That may sound ridiculous for a lot of folks on this forum especially those who thrive on the challenge to design their own workflow environment but some people just do not want to have to worry about any of that before they can start making music.

sherman
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Post by sherman » Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:29 am

Although it's not the same, I have a korg EMX electribe which I love. Its fun to play with, I can get some amazing sounds out of it, and its easier to take to a mate's place than my PC and midi keyboard. That being said, live is still where I like to map things out, and where I make the majority of my music. It isn't because I've hit limitations with my electribe (if anything, forcing myself to cut things down to the available number of synths, effects, etc... sometimes helps me not to clutter things up), but because I prefer the workflow, layout and power of live. Its a preference thing. If you can make what you want using just an MPC (and many people can), go for it. If its not your thing, be happy there's a choice :)
--sherman

leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:56 am

Hardware typically has a small latency, usually around 3-4ms.

5ms latency (especially total round trip IN and OUT latency and remembering that Live needs an extra PLUGIN buffer for vsts etc) is not possible for many computer users for various reasons (older computers, poor audio cards or drivers, various potential glitches etc)
and even on super powered multi core computers is only possible if you go light on the plugins, many of which add latency (true latency is never 5ms, automatic delay compensation add the latency to the highest number, and many plugins impart significant latencies, especially reverbs or multiband compressors). Try dropping a couple of instances of Massive or Arturia's JP8V in non eco mode and an SIR convolution reverb on your track and tell me then if you're getting 5ms round trip latency !!!!!

I am not a big fan of MPC's myself, but I see their advantage, especially for people working with samples and loops, which is why Hip Hop producers love it. The new Roland MV8800 in some aspects kills an MPC for features, but the MPC is still selling bucketloads because a lot of the people using them don't need that functionality, they just want quick, simple access to sounds in a reliable manner.
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aqua_tek
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Post by aqua_tek » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:33 am

WGAF. Some people dig 'em, some don't. Can't deny the MPC line has been a staple throughout the past few decades.

I used to not care for them much but... I've been playing with my roommate's MPC 5000 the past couple days and it's fun like a motherfucker. I'm hooked now. Won a bid for a 2500 on ebay at $790.00 (STEAL!) and I'm excited to have it arrive soon. :P

last man on earth
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Post by last man on earth » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:12 am

Aqua started a thread about drum machines a day or so ago that I put some pretty good MPC links in (2nd page):

http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic. ... highlight=

The truth?

"Phatness" is bullshit, although D/A conversion out of the MPC is coming from better converters/parts than were in low end audio interfaces for quite some time.

So far as youtubes go, you can view 1000 of them and you'll see people doing the same thing that they can do in Live, but you'll get way better audio editing in live.

MIDI? I can say personally that using Live as the MIDI master in a performance isn't as reliable (yet) as using an MPC as the MIDI master. Other people will say other things, but I have my own experiences on this matter that bring me to favor the MPC for live performances.

Many people (hardware nuts) love a dedicated machine...some people like to use computers, some like hardware. Again, personally, I don't mind computers in performance use, but to have them be hub of operations (so to speak) is something that I don't care to trust yet.

As far as performance vs studio, an MPC is at home equally in either environment, you just won't be able to really do any audio editing on the fly. Latency is low enough to be practically unnoticeable, but is never nonexistent, in any situation. Hardware will typically have lower latency, but at some point (sooner rather than later, I imagine), that will change.

For why people love them, there are lots of artists out there who made their start on MPC's, and they have held up over time. Will software replace them? Yeah, eventually, as it will with all hardware. Will everyone let that stop them from using hardware? Hardly.

Regarding the older MPC's, (60, 60II, and 3000), I made this comment (something people should consider when looking to get these items):

"The two things that most people want out of the MPC60 is the 12bit lofi sound and the original Roger Linn swing - whether or not you can really hear the swing and prove a difference is subjective, but you're likely to have serious problems with the screens on 60's and 3000's anymore, and if you were to have the pads and the screen go out on either, you'd be looking at repair costs that would equal up to the price of the item, making your museum piece a paperweight."

As far as repair price goes, I'm probably off, but it would still be pricey.

All that said, if you like hardware, get one, if you don't like hardware, don't get one...the love of any gear is subjective.

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