Which MPC?

Hopefully the MPC Headz read this post (I feel a little guilty to Elektron, but I own 4 of there beauties).
I’m dawless, and I feel like an MPC will help me to complete songs, but which one is the question :question:
I have all the hardware synths, some effects, samplers, drum machines etc… So I want something like Cubase OG, with audio recording and editing, and MIDI sequencing. Fairly basic stuff but more emphasis on mastering effects.
I have S900, S3000xl and S2400(Isla) so it’s more stem recording then mastering.

probably some new model(s) dropping for NAMM next month so maybe hold off until then to see what they might have compared to the current features


Ooooh really, that’s awesome news.
I’ll wait for some new tech! Def.

As mention by Chris, NAMM is right around the corner, best to wait until then to see what Akai drops. However, any of the modern MPCs are powerhouses than can do a lot and you cant really go wrong with either, its more down to form factor and preference IMO.

Why not the Force?

Honestly im not sure if the MPC are good for stem recording as i find the audio recording can be a bit barebones. Its better as a sampler and midi sequencer. Usually people track out or export the stems into a DAW


Mpc Live ii or Force.

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Live2 gets my vote although I’d love the extra outputs and dedicated Q Link knobs if the X. I love the self contained nature of the Live with the battery and speakers. The Keys looks like an interesting concept but I wish they would have added those X extras like the knobs and outputs, that would tick all the boxes for me then.


Could be a surprise in store, but it seems like a flagship XL, a One MK2, and some stripped back One.

I think it is probably a fine time to buy a Live 2, but you might want to wait if considering flagship or One.

But - it all depends on what you want to do. You can still make beats in any old mpc… As long as they don’t release new firmware that doesn’t work on current models, it’s not going to stop any of the current ones being a great machine.

Infact - even my current Live 2 wasn’t going to get any further updates, I think I could be pragmatic about that and be happy with it.


Having more then one MPC I would recommend to consider your workflow in the first place.

For my studio work I use the X because it comes with much more knobs and buttons and interfaces compared to the other models.

I love the Live for its mobility and to take it to my couch … :wink:

For sequencing many synths and easy midi editing both are great.

Inside we have a decent digital mixing desk with many options and easy to get ones head around, if there is some experience with mixing.

Each pad sound can have up to 4 insert FX, each program can have up to 4 insert FX additionally, there are submixes, send/return channels and different main channels, also with 4 FX slots each and a very flexible routing system.

IMO the audio quality is excellent, but for some of us the 44.1 kHz sampling rate could be a limitation.

Now this I wouldn’t prefer to do with a MPC of today. There are only 8 audio tracks available, which IMO is a limitation compared to Cubase. IIRC those audio tracks have all a length, which is corresponding to the lenght of the sequence, which kept me away from using it at all. I like to jam, let the ideas flow, and later get the parts I like most.

With Cubase I tend to record some minutes of takes, playing a part over and over again, and then use the comping function to get the best out of a couple of takes.

I also wouldn’t like to edit audio on a MPC of today, if the audio is longer than an usual loop. It’s possible, but tedious. Long samples I tend to edit in Cubase or Ableton, because its easier and faster to locate and get to the spot, where I want to do the editing. Just a question of efficiency.

At the end it’s about the preferred workflow :wink:


I worked on mpc live and had previously the mpc1000 jjos.
The live is fully usable to record lots of stems.
But you are far away than cubase from an interface point of view.
Putting those stems in a timeline like cubase might be quite challenging.

The interface is more toward loops (sequence) that you add together in a song for making a bigger sequence.

At some point a big 27inch screen with a mouse and keyboard and daw make your life easier.

But that does not mean you can not achieve something on Live/X/One it is just the interface which will not show directly what’s going on. For example Volume FadeOut, doable but the visual feedback is quite hidden.

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You might want to stick with Cubase and invest in a specialized controller instead, a MIDI keyboard with Pads and something that handles the Mackie Control protocol, like the Novation Remote SL MKI or MKII. At some point refusing to use a computer just for the sake of being “DAWLESS” becomes just silly. use the best tool for the job.


Plus a powerful enough computer, monitor, etc.

Don’t seem that silly to me :wink:

MPC is arguably cheaper, less cluttered, more focussed, and a much more a turn-key solution.


Just to have it mentioned …

Today Roland released firmware vers. 3.0 for it’s SP404 MK II. There are some new functions, which match the needs for creating, editing, arranging stems.

Check this out … and maybe it comes closer to what you want as using a MPC.

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…all wannabe daw attempts of actual akai products are pretty much exacty that…wannabees.
just tryin’ to pick up tracktion for the no daw please community…
while still unable to provide proper streaming of any sort of stems like the ot does since ages…

if u want the mpc workflow, go for an older model…seriously…there u get a real centerpiece for controling and holding togehter any kind of external midi ballpark, have that one other great hardware sequencing and sample management/workflow concept at hand in truu timeless fashion…

all touch touch aproaches of the later/actual mpc’s do the real trick only half way, just pretending all the rest…

end of the day, even given the fact that producing music is big fun on hw only and mpc’s even can give u the option of truu final song arrangements, there’s no way around some proper final recording to a daw for final sonic treatments and real mixdowns/mastering, if u really want finished and polished results as the whole rest of the world is used to listen to…

creating music remains one thing, getting it finished properly remains the other…


Couldn’t have said it better myself. Embrace and push those limitations rather than the ‘jack of all trades/master of none’ latest MPC models with crude plugins and overly complex UIs.
2500/1000/2000XL/3000/4000 FTW


I’m sure the op will love zips and spending time watching loading bars…


Having used 1000 (& 2500 for a while) with JJOS in the past, you couldn’t pay me any amount of money to give up my ONE for one of those dinosaurs. Good at the time, but things have moved on in so many good ways. I think you had 28mb of usable sample ram & it took an age to load. It only had usb 1 so you’d have to leave it overnight copying to the hard disk if you had one in there. In the end I used it for midi only as it was better using a E-mu sampler.

The modern MPCs aren’t perfect but they are leagues ahead of any other hardware ‘DAW’ or groove box. For sample editing, chopping etc, it’s excellent, I don’t think anything hard or soft comes close in terms of well designed operation.

In terms of midi, compared to the 1000 which had 1 in/out & so 16 channels, you can plug up to 32 USB midi devices into the modern ones with 16 channels each. I think the most I’ve had is 12 midi devices & it handles it fine. It’s really quite something & no Midi cables.

I really don’t get harking after old gear when we are lucky to live in a time of affordable amazing music gear, & the mpc one has to be the best deal out there atm.


I agree, I’m faster on Force/One than using computer to edit samples. That said Octatrack audio editor is pretty great too once you get the muscle memory.


Totally share the feeling… a few years ago I grabbed two Akaï Z8 because “of course samplers were better when I was young !”. Well… no… turned out I was just idealizing my past.

There are great options these days. MPC One of course, but also Ipad + Beatmaker3.

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