Best Groovebox for Electric Piano Sounds?

Ha! I read that in his voice.


nevermind. someone will say its off topic. So here is, instead, the video of Jorb talking about the MPC Electric Piano plug-in.

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Demos of electric piano presets on the OP’s 3 grooveboxes are rare partly because hardcore EP enthusiasts tend to think they’re too good to stoop to using grooveboxes. However, I do know one “real player” who was very interested in an MPC Keys 61, but eventually gave up because of repeated delays of that product reaching his favorite store.

MC-101 electric piano sounds are all sample based but can be dressed up nicely if you dig into the EQ (including gain) and effects settings. Some of the factory presets are set to pretty low gain.

MPC One has more electric piano options: sample only, Fabric, AIR Electric, and Stage EP. The latter 2 use physical modeling with things like virtual pickups whose height, width, etc you can tweak.

the caveat with MPC One is there is an issue some people are reporting with paid plugins. The machine thinks it has to reauthorize the plugins. Dunno how much of the MPC user population is actually being affected. Supposedly Akai is working on a fix.

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I have never had an issue, but some people are really mad

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Totally this. It’s the same on the TR8S

Always check the gain.

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I would like to offer an alternative approach: Get a used PCM synth (e.g. Roland JV 1010 or 1080 / 2080) and sequence it with a modern drum machine. I usually use the Digitakt or Digitone for this.

Here is an example from me. On my channel there are some more tracks with the JV 1010.


If you have a Digitone, try this:


i got the impression that the OP was trying to keep it simple and not have to use external controllers etc… just wanting it to be something that could be contained within a groove box… could be mistaken

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From what I know, which isn’t much, I’m after the Rhodes sound which can sound mellow but also growl a bit.

I’d also like a funky clavinet, but to be fair that kind of staccato rhythmic sound/effect/part could be achieved with various other synth sounds.

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That second Roland sounds pretty nice. Thanks for sharing.

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OK those sound really nice. Really really nice. A lot of control too. MPC workflow seems to have changed a bit since I had my mpc2000xl :hushed:

@Kja yeah I think that beats the op-z engine!

@GovernorSilver I have heard about the outrage with MPCs phoning home. Hopefully that gets fixed. Very distasteful :face_vomiting:

Circuit is off the menu then.

I’m very keen on the SH-4D, aligns well to the 4 synth tracks on the op-z but I was hoping for more pcm sounds. Looks like it will be a very successful unit for them so hopefully Roland expand and improve it.

I posted on the SH-4D group to see if anyone has an example of the EPs to share.

Extra points for trying to tempt me with some DnB, I’m listening to a lot of LTJ Bukem at the moment, but I’m guessing an mc-101 would cover a fair bit of JV territory and I’m not after older modules.

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Yeah. This is vanilla with no change in parameters.

And I’m sure I’m not giving it justice, but I like it more than Spitfire

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Nailed it. For context…

I want a minimal number of boxes, ideally just two (but realistically need more), and grooveboxes appeal because they just work by themselves or in tandem.

For classic sounds I want minimal amount of work to get a good sound. I want a box that comes with a decent EP, not spend time going deep into synthesis when a good model probably already exists.

So although a Reface CP, a soft synth on an old laptop, or a digitakt might all sound great and be fun, I just don’t have the money or space for a standalone unit, or time for workarounds and complexity.

I currently have an op-z with a maybe ok EP engine, a MicroMonsta and I wasn’t that taken with the EP on it but should double check, and Lemondrop which isn’t right for this task. So I’m looking for a second groovebox with high quality synths that could potentially replace MM2 and/or lemondrop.

Looks like both Roland and Akai can do that so I’ll keep hunting for demos and see which might be the best fit and if a new MPC is about to drop…

Thanks all for so many responses. This has been really helpful.

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Check the EP and pluck presets in the Soundsauca soundpack linked in the MM2 thread. There are individual demos on the product page. Try Crystal Keys, Red Mick, Friday Luv, FFS Stop, Okinawa Pluck. I don’t think EP-like sounds are MM2’s strength but these might tide you over. MC-101 will have a lot more choices but the groovebox side of it (that is, the actual sequencing) seems kind of infuriating. I’ve had my eye on it for quite a while but I’ll only jump on a very good deal and would use it primarily as a sound module, sequenced externally.

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I personally dislike the tracks and how it requires a computer for sound editing. But you can get a piano sound out of its synth

I wouldn’t buy your second groovebox just based off of the ep… do you have a keyboard to play it? If not, this may be a bigger deal then you think it will if your planning to just sequence it… nothing comes close to actually playing it with a ep.
But my bigger point, I think I would get a roland or a akai, or machine+, but they all have very different workflows and limitations to consider, don’t just judge by the ep… You already have a ep (well really a fm preset that has different parameters) but even with just the opz and keys you could make something beautiful… it is not always how good it is, they are all good just different.
If you don’t have any keys, you should really consider getting like the new cheaper fantom 06 or whatever the new one is called… or the Korg, Yamaha equivalent… you get basically a workstation groovebox but more importantly, get keys to work with. Despite the size, it will be so much more musical then a keystep… two octaves is just not anything worth playing other then to put notes in.

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Thanks, that is a good thought. To myself, I’d need to prove that I can play even two octaves before getting a larger and better keyboard; walk before I run.

And you’re right, all gear can produce beautiful music. And the EP isn’t my only consideration in which groovebox to get next, I just want to make sure the next box does have a nice one.

Thanks for this list of patches I’ll check them when I next dig the MM2 out.

I had thought of buying the sound sauca patches too.