By Jamon Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:02 am
JJOS has audio tracks, which makes the MPC a multitrack recorder, but you're limited to 128MB, which is 24 minutes, which is 8 straight tracks for a 3 minute song, or 4 tracks for a 6 minute song. If you just record the tracks for each segment, like verses and chorus, and repeat them, then you can make it work. But sometimes that sounds too repetitious. Plus sometimes it's just fun to hit record and play for as long as you want, being able to overdub on top of that without worrying about filling your RAM.
There used to be more current options available for multitrack recorders with MIDI sync capabilities. Akai even made one, the DPS24 MKII, which could record up to 24 mono tracks of 24-bit audio at 48 kHz, or 12 at 96 kHz. That was released in 2006, so you'd think by now we'd have 32-bit recorders at 192 kHz with 64 tracks or more, and we do, but they're on Windows and OSX. For people who want to record with dedicated devices, there's only one multitrack recorder released this year with MIDI.
The Tascam DP-24.
It records 24-bit at 48 kHz, but only 12 mono tracks, 6 stereo. In many ways it's a big step back from older gear. But it's new, and records to SD card, with a fresher looking interface. If you look at the online music stores, the only other multitrack recorder for sale new with MIDI is the Boss BR-1600. But that's only 16 tracks, 8 mono, and is from 2004, yet still costs $1,500. The DP-24 is $600--800.
I bought one. I'll be curious to see how it works with MPC2500 + JJOS. Unfortunately, although it has MIDI in and out, the firmware seems to be setup to only allow generating MTC or MIDI Clock, not following it. But it seems to be able to respond to incoming MMC commands, so maybe with the MPC set to follow MTC, and send MMC, then you can at least get the MTR to rewind and play from the MPC. But the DP-24 doesn't have varying tempo, so you're stuck at a fixed rate.
It doesn't seem very ideal, but it's this, or used discontinued gear that has fans and spinning motors. Hopefully the Tascam DP-24 doesn't have any moving parts, besides the CD-ROM drive, which I would've preferred they left out. We'll see. If it syncs well enough, at least it makes it easier for mixing in some longer straight audio tracks.
For people who "track out" from the MPC, it does record 8 tracks simultaneously, and then you can EQ / pan / level them, and there's an internal send effect, and you can route one or both sends out the back panel and into some external effects. Probably most people would prefer to record through audio interface to PC and mix there, or mix in the MPC and record the internal master, assuming they have enough RAM free.
I should get my hands on it tomorrow, so if anyone has any questions I can try to answer. Besides the MPC2500 + OSXL I have an MPC500 I could experiment with. Maybe someone else here has one and knows how well it works with syncing to MPC.