In your opinion

the mpc one


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Black box is nice?? Im interested but can’t get it in my city

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I need a OT’s robin u know not only sampler :):slight_smile: filter bank 2 is on my list too

Ooops, almost forgot to answer. The Blackbox is very nice. Sample length is only constrained by size of SD card, samples in stereo, sequences can be up to 256 steps, and the thing is tiny. I’m switching it out for a Digitakt because Blackbox’s sound mangling and sequencing options are a bit less robust than Digitakt and I want to try new things in those areas. Also while the controls on Blackbox are easy to navigate, I absolutely need a midi controller to perform with it and I think there are enough physical controls on Digitakt that I may be able to leave the midi controller behind.

But I’ll probably never sell my Blackbox. It is just so easy to transport/move about the studio, easy to sample with, the resulting files are easily dealt with, and it sounds really nice. And if Digitakt is not everything I’m hoping for Blackbox will be returned to my live rig in a heartbeat.


Any proper 90s rack sampler will do. E-MU, Akai etc.

Depending on your model you get 16 part multitimbrality, individual outs, loads of polyphony, keygroups, proper envelopes and filters etc.
The 8 MIDI tracks can either send program changes per part to switch instruments or you just switch to different MIDI channels and have everything pre-loaded.

There’s also no redundancy and basically no added complexity in a jam situation since you’ll operate the extra sampler entirely from the OT.

Only con is that you’ll need to do a lot of prep work to get your patches set up, those old rack samplers were simply not made for building patches from scratch.


Discontinued? Seems perfect for me…

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I use an MPC2000xl and Octatrack, they complement each other pretty well.

If I were starting from scratch I’d go with Octatrack and MPC1000 with full JJOS.

The 2000xl has nicer pads than the 1000 and a really characterful sound that the Octatrack doesn’t really do. AFAIK from internet chatter and talking to a few Akai employees that were working there at the time, the 2000/2000xl has a firmware bug that makes the minimum resonance setting on the filters still have a bit of resonance, and it gives everything you do on it a subtle but nice punchiness that’s really unique among MPCs, much less other samplers. But I’ve known a few people with 1000s and for live performance the 2000 doesn’t come close - there are too many things you need to stop the sequencer to do. So I think the 1000 would be a better companion for an Octatrack, and in general its one of the absolute best sampler/sequencer combos I’ve ever used (with JJOS, the stock firmware isn’t that great). Buries the Octatrack sequencer, and I haven’t seen anything about the newer MPCs that would make me pick one over a 1000.

I honestly wouldn’t recommend an MPC2000xl at today’s prices. If you could get one in good condition, maxed out with full memory, card reader, effects and 8 output board for under $800 that might be fair but it’s also unlikely. You can find a 1000 for $400-$800 depending on condition and whether it has the decent second generation pad snsorss or the terrible, original kind. $700-$800 for a nice 1000 with good sensors and full RAM is mor ethan I’d consider myself but also seems totally fair considering vintage gear prices since 2020.

As mucha s I love 90s rack samplers, the prices on those are WAY too high now and the Octatrack sequencer isn’t up to that kind of sampling anyway.


:wink: Yes, powerful combo. But I found the MPC 1000 a bit heavy, and the JJOS2XL not very user friendly.


That’s a nice combo right there. I sometimes wish I still had my MPC 1000. I loved how it felt. Much more robust than the latest MPCs.

I wish Akai made a revision to the 1000 that had a similar look and ui but with more ram and processing power, better effects, and a new oled screen. That’s an MPC that I would hold on to.

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How do you mean heavy? Weight wise? They’re only a few pounds, I sold one last year. TBH it was a little on the light side for an insturment with pads, that’s part of what I prefer about the 2000xl (and the 2000 and 3000 had even more bulk to them).

I had a very similar setup for a while, with the Octatrack mounted on the MFC-42 mounting kit. Worked well but it’s more practical for me to keep them arther apart, since I use them for different things. The MPC is near the master keyboard and is what I use for all my sequencing and routing the master keyboard to different channels more conveniently than changing its own channel setting. The Octatrack is the master clock and I have it sitting at the other end of the room on a little stand with a preamp and use it for live sampling and looping the things that AREN’T sequenced. The MIDIbox SEQ v4 I built a couple years ago does all the step sequencing.

If I start playing out again I’ll probably use the Octatrack’s sequencer with one or two little desktop synths and leave everything else home.

Yep. Added to OT + ST and more, would be too heavy for me in a compact setup…

MPC 1000 : 7.6 lbs (3.45kg)
MPC 500 : 2.9 lbs (1.3kg)
Octatrack : 2.4kg

I suppose, different standards for “heavy” I guess. That’s a fair bit lighter than most guitars, not including cases.

How are you getting on with the SP404Mk2 and OT together? Just thinking about how I might set these two up together as currently use either one or the other


Things I have done and enjoyed:

  • Using the SP-404 mk2 with a thru/flex machine to create improvised loops and one-shots.
  • Getting experimental with a mic (sm-57) and the FX to create ambient textures, again with. thru/flex machines.
  • Running the OT main outs through the SP-404 mk2 and having a wonderful time destroying sounds with FX

Things I have tried and not enjoyed (or rather I need to read the manual to master/realize what the limitations are):

  • Getting the OT to do interesting things with the midi on the SP, both FX and sequencing (especially the alluring possibility of polyphony)
  • Using the SP-404 as a live effects send using CUE outs returning to a THRU machine
  • Using a PICK UP machine to automatically match the tempo of the finger drumming on the SP-404

This is obviously an incomplete list as I am still pretty much in the honeymoon phase. But the SP-404 mk2 offers enough substantial workflow differences that I am glad I got it. I will also say that I am tending to start with the OT and then bring in the SP-404 still and haven’t really explored the possibilities of using the SP-404 as the ‘brain’ in the set-up.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:


Great info, many thanks!

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Possible to control fx with CCs ?
Wasn’t possible on SP555, and SP404 MKI afaik…

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C+G Organelle M/S could be a good option:
Lots of different sampler patches, including polyphonic/granular/loopers/weird
Can be used as USB midi host
Can send and receive CC
Can be used to process OT
Has quite a lot of synth patches too
Can be used as say a drum machine
Fully programmable using pd
Huge fun

Axoloti is good, too, if you can find one. I’ve got one I use for whatever I need that my other hardware can’t do at any given time, and a friend of mine has a main setup that was nothing but two Axoloti and a Polyend Tracker for a while (he added a Behringer Neutron recently and I gave him a rack and some Eurorack modulesI built a couple years ago before I realized I don’t like Eurorack at all as a modular format).

Before he got the Tracker he was doing all his sequencing on Axoloti, also.


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