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Music production for aspiring artists
Feb 12, 2005
Review by MC_Pucci
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:64 tracks, 16 pads, 128 mb, 16 bit cd quality
Cons:childish blue color,no timestretch
The Bottom Line: If you want to be an electronic musican this is start, it can sample, sequence, and be played like a drum machine. Why buy three when you can get one?
Often associated with Hip-Hop this machine seems like it is only limited to that, but it can do so much more. House, trance, rock, drum and bass, etc.; I have done it all within two months time. The only catch is you have to be willing to give it some time. Think of this machine as an instrument rather than a drum machine/sampler/sequencer. Its like a guitar; you arent going to be the next Satriani just because youve purchased the same gear he has. Im not saying this is a hard machine to learn, you just have to be ready to take a couple of flaws.
Recommend this product?
16 Velocity Pads
This is one of the features that make this groovebox so easy to use. The velocity pads are pressure sensitive for a more emotional approach to your compositions rather than just staring at a computer screen all day long with different levels for each riff. The pads are adjustable to how they react to your hit, so its like tuning keys on the piano, but you can throw in your sound. That means if you want to take Michael Jacksons voice along with some crazy bass line at the same time, you can program it much easier. Lets say youve written a beat and you want to change it up a little, you can play your beat and then add it live with these pads. There are 16 pads you can use at a time, but up to four banks for each set of sixteen to make your programming more diverse.
This is your best friend when it comes to making beats. Without this button you will be spending a lot of time using the toggle wheel to find your beats per minute. Use this button as a way to find a ballpark figure to where your sound should be and use the toggle wheel as a way to fine tune your music.
128mb expansion ram
The memory on this device has gone from 32mb (MPC 2000XL) all the way to 128mb. This means you can load a whole lot more vocal samples, drum hits, and whatever sounds you wish as long as it is a 16 bit 44 kHz wav file! The memory is sufficient enough to take your favorite acapella, write your beats, and then sequence it to play on your recording device. I would recommend getting a recording device of some sort whether it is fire wire or a multi-track machine. Sure, you can put your song together on this device, but having a recording device to send it to gives you more opportunity to expand your ideas and do some fine edits. It will end up costing you $100 for the memory, but when you get better at making beats the 16mb of stock memory is useless for you.
Akai got with the times a realized that zip disks are getting too obsolete and compact flash is the way to go. The good side is that loading your files are faster than reading from a zip drive, but it still is slow unless you have a USB compact flash reader/writer. If you are trying to load from the MPC directly, your files will load quickly. Once you hook up the PC to your MPC, it will take a long time before your file transfers go through. Dont worry you can snag that USB card reader/writer for less than $10. This device claims to accept type I and type II compact flash, but wherever you buy your flashcards make sure they have a good return policy. Depending on when your MPC is made they have different compatibility levels. Go to www.mpc-forums.com for more info on this topic.
No time stretch, No Sample Reverse, No MTC sync, No SCSI port
No time stretching and no sample reverse. Its not a big deal as the 2000XL owners are making it. Downloading a free program called audacity onto your computer that does time stretching much quicker than the MPC can plus you can edit your sounds much quicker and throw effects on it with this program because its free. Besides that there have been recent magazine articles discussing how Akai is reworking the operating system so less people will be complaining. However once they add those two features the MPC1000 will probably be slower when doing those functions. I forgot to explain what time stretch and sample reverse are; time stretch is a way to beat match loops and samples and reverse sampling is a way to play your sounds backwards.
I have never used MTC-sync so I dont really mind the lack of this feature. This will only affect your timing and such if you own a fantom, triton, or other midi device. SCSI ports are just ports you have so you can install a CD-ROM drive or a zip-drive, but dont let that get you down. The more the features
the more the loading times! Why worry about not being able to look through sample CDs when you can run a 2GB compact flash drive that has samples galore? Plus the size of those compact flash drives are just a little bigger than a normal flash card and for most part no one has really had any big issues with the compact flash drives. Why carry that big CDROM drive with a zip and all those cables to your gig when the answer is already there?
Think of these sliders as live effects you can take with you if you are going to have a gig. Im a bit indifferent with this feature because if I want my drums to sound dirty, Ill do it on a wav editor like audacity and mess with the waveform. When I first got the MPC, I would always mess with the two sliders to give a broken beat feel. So if you still dont want to mess with a computers effects features, you can use something like an effects box and plug your MPC to it and really go crazy with your live set.
64 track midi sequencer
64 tracks?!?!? Thats that first thing I said. The furthest I have ever gone was 12 tracks and that was basically two sets of six tracks which is 6 tracks stereo. One track is mono, two tracks are stereo
blah. The only way to really use a lot of those tracks is if your sequence is longer than 4 bars and linear based (not looped). Another way I can see a lot of tracks being used is if your sound is not minimal. Besides making crazy linear songs, you can also program patterns (loops) and play you own sequence to add that zip to your live set like many electronic musicians have done before (i.e. Chemical Brothers).
Dont think for one second your set with the MPC will destroy the DJs who use Technics
..think of this device just as you would as a drum or guitar. Has the guitar ever replaced the drums? No, they work hand in hand.
I could go on for days about the features of this machine, but these are just the main characteristics that I am constantly thinking about when I am not making beats on this machine. Any further questions just leave a comment or an email. So if youve always wanted to take your music production further this is a good start. You get that same good sound you would get out of the 2000xl, its portable and about $800 cheaper. This machine hasnt been proven as its 2000xl counterpart, but maybe you can prove yourself. If you just dont like what this machine can do for you, then you can just sell it off of eBay for 700 and have lost only 300 from the retail price. Dont worry there are people that would kill to have this machine and wouldnt mind taking it off of your hand. You cant lose.
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