For discussion about setting up your studio and advice on the gear and equipment within it.
By lilJollibee Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:32 pm
I am very new to all this music production stuff. I recently just bought an MPC2500, and have been enjoying it while just using it on it's own with the samples the person I bought it from had already included with it. I want to start using the MPC with my computer, but don't know where to start. I'm hoping you guys can point me in the right direction and give me some recommendations on what equipment I should get, preferably more towards the budget to mid-range side.

What I have right now:
Windows 10 Desktop PC
Akai MPC2500
Balanced Schiit Stack - Modius (DAC), Magnius (Amp)
Beyerdynamic DT 177x Go headphones with custom balanced 4-pin XLR cable
Rode NT-USB microphone

My PC and everything else is mainly used for live streaming and gaming right now, but now adding in music production to it. I'm looking to buy a mixer or audio interface, but not sure which one. I do plan on switching over to using an XLR microphone when I get a mixer or interface. I'm also planning on getting a turntable soon for sampling to the MPC2500, some studio monitors, and also using Ableton. Maybe adding in other instruments and gear later on in the future.

What equipment would you recommend I should get? I guess my main focus right now is getting my MPC2500 set up with my computer the best and cleanest way I can with a mixer or interface, while being able to add other things on later easily. Recommend me anything and everything.

Thank you!
By 6/8 Stanley Wed Aug 18, 2021 5:15 am
Sounds like you're doing things right, making programs with the samples in there and making some beats. Set up depends on what you want to do. If you don't know what you want that's OK too. It will come later. That box is a good teacher.
I got to have the mixer, mic, and hardware recorder. Others use an interface that takes 8 cables of audio and record in the computer. Just two possibilities out of many.

Sometimes I just want to make interesting beats. Maybe play some bongos or guitar along with the beats. Get in the groove. Don't always have to be recording or perfecting something. Until it's time to share the music.
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By Christov Wed Aug 18, 2021 11:54 am
I also have a 2500 and a pc. What I do is make loops in my mpc, record them into Reaper (DAW) and sequence everything in there. I use a M-Audio Eight and a USB-midi cable thingy for this.

Works pretty flawless, Reaper is cheap and that M-Audio interface wasn't that expensive either. That usb-midi cable thibgy was around 25 euro.
By lilJollibee Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:45 pm
6/8 Stanley wrote:Sounds like you're doing things right, making programs with the samples in there and making some beats. Set up depends on what you want to do. If you don't know what you want that's OK too. It will come later. That box is a good teacher.
I got to have the mixer, mic, and hardware recorder. Others use an interface that takes 8 cables of audio and record in the computer. Just two possibilities out of many.

Sometimes I just want to make interesting beats. Maybe play some bongos or guitar along with the beats. Get in the groove. Don't always have to be recording or perfecting something. Until it's time to share the music.


Do you have any hardware recommendations?

I guess my immediate goal I want to do right now is have my MPC2500 connected to my computer easily to pick up its sound so I can have all audio (computer and MPC) going to one source, which would be my headphones at the moment since I don't have studio monitors/speakers right now. I think that would be best to get the MPC set up into a DAW, if I'm not mistaken. I'm guessing I should get a mixer, MIDI cables, RCA cables, and quarter-inch jack cables to route everything to and from the mixer and computer?
By lilJollibee Wed Aug 18, 2021 11:09 pm
Christov wrote:I also have a 2500 and a pc. What I do is make loops in my mpc, record them into Reaper (DAW) and sequence everything in there. I use a M-Audio Eight and a USB-midi cable thingy for this.

Works pretty flawless, Reaper is cheap and that M-Audio interface wasn't that expensive either. That usb-midi cable thibgy was around 25 euro.


Yeah, that's what I plan on doing when I get everything connected with a DAW to create full songs. Been just experimenting around with loops and stuff on the MPC right now. Also trying to learn finger-drumming, wanting to play everything from the pads without having a pre-produced track in the back while drumming.

I'll look into the equipment you listed. Would you recommend an audio interface over a mixer, since you use an interface?

I do want to have a simple and clean set up with the ability to expand/add more things in the future such as a turntable for sampling and studio monitors. I want to be able to have all my audio routed to one source. Only having one pair of headphones and having to switch between computer and the MPC on its own sucks when the computer monitor speakers are horrible and wanting to be able to hear things from both the computer and MPC at the same time, haha.
By lilJollibee Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:57 am
I guess I should also put in the things I'm planning to put in the mixer now and in the near future.

Obviously my MPC2500 is first, and also connecting my headphone Schiit Modius DAC and Schiit Magnius Amp (both balanced) stack to the mixer. I plan on adding two (2) microphones, studio monitors, and a turntable. I know if I want to add a keyboard, Kaoss pad, etc. those would just go to the MIDI ports. I figure if I want to sample with the turntable, I would just connect that to the MPC, but would I need to route that through the mixer or get a separate mixer or could I just connect int directly into the MPC?

Hopefully this helps with some recommendations of what equipment I should get and a good configuration with everything.
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By Christov Thu Aug 19, 2021 4:13 am
lilJollibee wrote: Would you recommend an audio interface over a mixer, since you use an interface?

I do want to have a simple and clean set up with the ability to expand/add more things in the future such as a turntable for sampling and studio monitors. I want to be able to have all my audio routed to one source. Only having one pair of headphones and having to switch between computer and the MPC on its own sucks when the computer monitor speakers are horrible and wanting to be able to hear things from both the computer and MPC at the same time, haha.


I got both actually, the audio interface to record my mpc and other equipment in my pc and a small Mackie mixer to connect everything to my monitors and sampler-input. I got this one: https://www.bax-shop.nl/b-stock-aanbiedingen-f/product/799154/b-stock-mackie-1202vlz4-mixer, works fine for what I use it for, but I guess any mixer will work for that purpose. Just make sure that you buy one that has enough inputs for the forseeable future.
By 6/8 Stanley Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:19 pm
Maybe those small mixers with built in effects and or interface aren't that great. Never had one but from reviews I read the effects and interface are third rate. Also those things take up room on the mixer so additional mic and line inputs, inserts and aux sends that you really need are gone to make room for them.
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By Christov Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:44 pm
6/8 Stanley wrote:Maybe those small mixers with built in effects and or interface aren't that great. Never had one but from reviews I read the effects and interface are third rate. Also those things take up room on the mixer so additional mic and line inputs, inserts and aux sends that you really need are gone to make room for them.


Word, I'd definitly recommend a dedicated interface for recording.
By lilJollibee Fri Aug 20, 2021 11:28 pm
Christov wrote:
6/8 Stanley wrote:Maybe those small mixers with built in effects and or interface aren't that great. Never had one but from reviews I read the effects and interface are third rate. Also those things take up room on the mixer so additional mic and line inputs, inserts and aux sends that you really need are gone to make room for them.


Word, I'd definitly recommend a dedicated interface for recording.


Are those mixer/interface in one combos good? For now, I'd probably just get samples off my computer, but I do want to add in a turntable to sample off of that in the future. Would I need to get a separate DJ mixer for the turntable, or is it possible to have the turntable connected to the mixer I would use everything else for?
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By Christov Sat Aug 21, 2021 8:16 am
lilJollibee wrote:Are those mixer/interface in one combos good? For now, I'd probably just get samples off my computer, but I do want to add in a turntable to sample off of that in the future. Would I need to get a separate DJ mixer for the turntable, or is it possible to have the turntable connected to the mixer I would use everything else for?


Not really, I definitly get a separate interface for recording and a mixer for your levels while making music. 6/8 Stanley said it very well.

Regarding the turntable, if you have a turntable with line out you should be able to plug it in the kinda mixer I posted above. If you need to ground it you could use a dj mixer, but if you can do that on your preamp that'll work too.
By lilJollibee Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:46 pm
Christov wrote:Not really, I definitly get a separate interface for recording and a mixer for your levels while making music. 6/8 Stanley said it very well.

Regarding the turntable, if you have a turntable with line out you should be able to plug it in the kinda mixer I posted above. If you need to ground it you could use a dj mixer, but if you can do that on your preamp that'll work too.


Okay for example, let's say I get a Mackie mixer similar to yours or a Soundcraft or Behringer with a M-Audio or Focusrite interface. What is the best way to connect everything?

My Schiit Modius DAC has XLR and RCA outputs; AES, optical, coaxial, and micro-USB inputs. My Schiit Magnius Amp/Preamp has XLR and RCA inputs; XLR and RCA outputs; quarter-inch and XLR headphone outputs. Right now they are connected together with XLR and DAC is connected to my computer with micro-USB. I've been doing some research, but I'm still not quite sure where I would connect the DAC to the mixer. I believe I would connect the amp to the main output on the mixer. Wouldn't the audio interface also need to use the main output on the mixer as well? And since I plan on getting studio monitors, would I connect those to my amp or the the mixer?

I think connecting the MPC to mixer is pretty straight forward, as well as microphones and instruments. Just connecting lines ins and outs. And as long the turntable has a line out, I can connect that to a line in on the mixer. That should still allow me to sample from the turntable straight to the MPC right?
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By Christov Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:19 am
lilJollibee wrote:
Christov wrote:Not really, I definitly get a separate interface for recording and a mixer for your levels while making music. 6/8 Stanley said it very well.

Regarding the turntable, if you have a turntable with line out you should be able to plug it in the kinda mixer I posted above. If you need to ground it you could use a dj mixer, but if you can do that on your preamp that'll work too.


Okay for example, let's say I get a Mackie mixer similar to yours or a Soundcraft or Behringer with a M-Audio or Focusrite interface. What is the best way to connect everything?

My Schiit Modius DAC has XLR and RCA outputs; AES, optical, coaxial, and micro-USB inputs. My Schiit Magnius Amp/Preamp has XLR and RCA inputs; XLR and RCA outputs; quarter-inch and XLR headphone outputs. Right now they are connected together with XLR and DAC is connected to my computer with micro-USB. I've been doing some research, but I'm still not quite sure where I would connect the DAC to the mixer. I believe I would connect the amp to the main output on the mixer. Wouldn't the audio interface also need to use the main output on the mixer as well? And since I plan on getting studio monitors, would I connect those to my amp or the the mixer?

I think connecting the MPC to mixer is pretty straight forward, as well as microphones and instruments. Just connecting lines ins and outs. And as long the turntable has a line out, I can connect that to a line in on the mixer. That should still allow me to sample from the turntable straight to the MPC right?


I never used DAC when hooking up audio, but your amp and mpc probably both come with a diagram to figure it out.

Regarding the mackie and audio interface option, just think about what you exactly want to hook up and go to a local music store and ask them for advice.

In your case, what I would do mixerwise is hook up the mixer outouts to one of the inputs of your amp. Your mpc and pc (and other gear) should each have a individual input channel for them. If your amp has two outputs I'd hook one up to the mixer and one to the mpc, but you could also just hook the amp up to a separate channel on your mixer and make have of your mixer outputs routed into the mpc.

I hope this is a bit clear, it isnt really difficult, but it can be confusing and English isnt my first language... I basicly always write down what I have, what I want to do with it and then start wiring everything with the mixerdiagram nearby and **** around until it works.