For discussion about setting up your studio and advice on the gear and equipment within it.
By Kriskov Mon May 27, 2019 11:37 am
Hi everyone.

So I've decided to step up my hip hop production game and work on my sound's tone and texture.
Before I got my MPC, I was mainly learning to create beats on ableton, but I just felt that I couldn't get that "feel", you know the story... 90's grit, analog warmth... I tried to play around with effects and plugins, but the science of mastering is just too much for me for now, I spent nights trying different methods but nothing really satisfying...

When I got to the point where I was really comfortable with chopping samples and sequencing, I decided I wanted to go old school and bought myself an MPC 2000xl. I love it so far, the workflow is just as good as I imagined and the sound of the A/D converter has a nice punchy/compressed quality to it, although also a little cold (in a good way), but still keeping the sound pretty close to the original.

So I made my first beat on the MPC, then tracked it out to my usb interface and daw... And then, I don't know why but it just didn't sound good at all, very flat no more punch. probably the A/D conversion again on the interface has something to do with that.. I spent a lot of time trying to mix it and EQ as best as I could, then a little mastering (not a expert, just did a little compression, limiting and saturation). But I couldn't make it sound right.

I then made another beat, recorded it to my cassette deck, letting it peak juste a little over 0db to get that sweet saturation and... TADA! I was blown away by the result, the natural beefiness and warmth it added was just what I was looking for. So I resampled it to the MPC, saved it in wav and exported it to my pc digitally with cf card. So that gave me an idea to what direction I should be heading at.

My question is, what are my best options to track out my beats from the MPC, apart from directly to ableton?
I read DJ shadow tracked his first album out to an Alesis ADAT. Or maybe a 4 track with metal could be an option ? I'm ok with mixing internally on the MPC although it's a little tedious, and I have no 8outs.. (expensive af, I'd rather spend my money on other pieces of gear). Basicly I'd like to go full hipster and have an almost dawless process.

Another question, I was thinking about getting a Boss sp303, would that help me in my endeavour? the effects are cool, how should I use it in the chain? The thing is my turntables/mixer aren't in the same room as my MPC setup, so rather than having to carry the machine around everytime I wanna sample I thought sampling to the 303 and then bringing it to the MPC would be alot simpler. I how should I process? How will it affect the sound?

I'm still an noobie with all this and it's easy to get confused...

I would be really thankful if you could help me out with all this.

By terry towelling Tue May 28, 2019 1:55 am
you said it yourself - when you recorded onto tape you got that TADA moment. so keep on doing that. buy up big on the tapes you like to use.

but if you want an alternative for tracking out and mixing and arranging (that does not use a PC)....try a roland VS series of hardisk recorder. you get a really good digital mixer, plus a DAW style interface and digital recorder. plus it synchs to your mpc, so you don't need multiple outs to tracks out everything individually. they sell really cheap --VS1680s are around $150-200. talk to ian canefire, he is the resident expert on the VS. They are really powerful, beautiful machines -- i try and talk all my friends into getting one.

but the one thing you need to do is have a turntable sitting right next to your mpc. no ifs or buts on that one.
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By tapedeck Tue May 28, 2019 2:54 am
it might be expensive but its for good reason, the 8-outs is a game changer.
grab one if you are doing anything analog like you are.
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By Lampdog Tue May 28, 2019 3:29 pm
Cosign VS series and 8outs for 2k/2kxl
By e-smile-z Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:07 am
Sp 303 resampling is a good idea. I only had a sp404 and now sp606. The effects are cool for resampling and the hardware has bigger influence on the sound then the mpc 2000xl. Vinyl compression is awesome :worthy: !!

Track and record into a daw. Learn how to use it. Propellerheads Reason is a simple daw. You can get "punch" also in software. Don t limit yourself...
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By Ill-Green Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:03 pm
Can't go wrong with Tascam multitrackers. I started on the 414mkII, then upgraded to the DP01 and now currently on the DP03CD. Never had an issue with recording sound. Well, maybe the 414 was a little hissy but the digital ones are quiet and uncompressed. Sounds identical to whatever you put in. I believe the MPC2k is 16 bit at 44.1kHz which is the same grade as the Tascam DP. So they would be a perfect pair without any loss in sound.

I have used 24 bit and 32 bit samplers with the Tascams and I can say there is slight loss fyi.
By stinktank Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:43 pm
A lot of good knowledge in this thread.

You'll also notice that different DAWs have slightly different sounds. You want to consider sound and workflow and find a good balance. Add one thing to your tried and true chain at a time, so it all has time to sink in. 20 years + on the same 2kxl, here, and still learnin.