Sorry but… groovebox help

Hi all.

Another “help me buy” thread. I’m looking for a hardware based thing that I can use/play whilst inside the house with the family. I get hardly any time for music now, and so I’ve sold all but my beloved hardware. Digitakt will never go.

I am only fussed about streaming/live setups. I don’t use a DAW and don’t like touchscreens.

When I have time to myself I play piano. I sample the piano, reverb it, reverse it and play over it. For hours. I love it.

When I don’t have time alone to do that I want to build my live set of percussion based stuff. If you mix Hyperballad with anything Thom Yorke does solo you get the idea.

I really like the idea of the clip/scene idea from Ableton but again - don’t want to use a DAW. This makes me think about the Machine+ or the Akai Force. But I like to use stuff other than 4/4 so think the Force is out. I like the idea that both these machines offer synths and sampling, and decent pads.

I really don’t know where to go. For the next year this thing will be used to build and stream live stuff whilst I get back into things properly. After that who knows.

Feel free to merge with an existing thread if one exists.


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Ask Deluge people for the non 4/4 signature, but owners usually are pretty happy with it :slight_smile:


Second hand

Yamaha Rs7000
RM1X (no sampling/playback but cracking seq with built in romper)


Akai MPC Live/One I’m sure it’ll support non 4/4 time signatures.

The live 2 is the complete groovebox imo especially with built in sound bar. Sampling/sequencing and built in VST’s. Most stuff can be done without needing to use the touchscreen.

I see a lot of folks criticising the MPC for being too much like a DAW. I don’t understand the argument? It’s got VST’s included but you needn’t use them. OT (as well as other Elektron boxes) have dynamics and FX on board. aren’t they just the same in terms of bundled extras? Maybe people like to use a device that’s more limited…but isn’t the idea of a groovebox that you can create full tracks on one box maybe on your lap with a pair of headphones? If giving you that level of features is seen as somehow bad well I’m lost.

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MC-707 works well for non-4/4 stuff.
not tried with MC-101 yet.

however, keep in mind that any groovebox UI uses 16-step physical layout, so you’ll have to deal with pages of 16 steps when working on your sequences.


sound quality is very meh by todays standards.
RS7000 sounds much better.

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As someone who’s been through a shed load of sequencers and grooveboxes in the last 18 months… if I had to have one, given your criteria:

MC-707 every time.


Mpc live sounds like your best choice. Has clip launcher, samples, plenty of fx and pads are great for finger drumming percussion etc.

Has a touch screen but you dont need to use it much.

It’s imo the machine thats the best daw alternative in hardware form, does pretty much everything


Agreed. And gets criticised for it! Never worked that one out?

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Indeed! Deluge was the first thing that came to mind when reading the OP. :slight_smile:


Not even a 1010 Blackbox?

I know. I too dislike touch screens, and that includes the Blackbox. But it’s the one box I can’t fault for anything besides that, and it’s so tiny and powerful.


Everything about the blackbox - I dunno it just seems a bit shoddy. I’m a UX/UI designer and when UI is done bad it makes me itchy :slight_smile:

Also it has no pads.


You being a designer, you tried the Blackbox, mate? Speaking from experience or assumption? I don’t mean to be provocative but I’m in product dev too and I checked with Boromir and he said one simply does not opiniate about interfaces until one has experienced them first hand :blush:


I know this is me being Mr Obvious, but if you want to focus on live (streaming) then it doesn’t get more immediate than the Octatrack.

If you really want pads to create a track, then MPC is hard to beat, but it won’t come close for live performance.

I’ve also been noodling on my piano (electric) and use the Octatrack setup with recorders on each track. I’ll noodle away on the piano, record a loop, reverse or stretch it out, change time signature of individual looping tracks, send things out through the effects chain on the que and build up a many layered studies this way, adding bits of broken beats. It’s really enjoyable, so I get what you say about your piano time.

Nothing can really touch the Octatrack for this, and you can do it all without stopping. Lots of happy accidents from this, and my keyboard skills are getting better quickly too!


Octatrack, plays free mode.


If non 4/4 time signatures is a major criteria then MPC is the way to go.

On the MPC you basically set the time signature you want to work in and the sequencer layout adjusts to that time signature.


Id recommend an Analogue Rhythm You can layer your piano samples and in the house you can get your percussion perfect. Such a great interface to use that means fun fun fun.


I must admit the sequencing screen is usually where I lose patience and put it away. But you can use the screen as pads. I’m not trying to talk you into it btw. But the way you describe sampling the piano and reversing, etc, fits nicely with the Blackbox.

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Yeah, OP’s a Blackbox kind of fellow. I’m gonna talk them into it. Just watch me :sunglasses:


So are you saying that the piano-based stuff is separate to what you want to do for your live set or that it involves adding lots of percussion to piano-based stuff you’ve already recorded/sampled? Also, could you clarify why you can’t achieve your goals on DT? What do you need that DT can’t already do, or be able to do with a bit of practice?


Sounds like streaming is critical here. Which, I believe, is a good opportunity for me to mention the Blackbox. And take my shirt off.


Yep. I don’t like it. For me and of course this is just personal opinion, it’s a screen focussed piece of kit but without the attention to detail I come to expect from a screen based UI.

The MPC Live suffered the same issue, I was hoping they’d updated it. Watching YouTube it seems they haven’t. I did have the V1 live and that interface was a mess.

Excellent hardware just not for me.