Exchange tips and tricks for the Akai MPC4000
By bob Fri Jul 15, 2022 8:06 am
So I've had the mpc4000 for nearly 20 years now. I've tried out a lot of daws (logic, ableton, bitwig, reason, studio one, reason and reaper) and I still can't walk away from using the mpc4000 as my main setup. It was hard to learn. It was the first thing I learnt on, and before any daw. Once I moved to daws I didn't think most of them could offer me a lot of the same things. I think the comparible daw is Reaper because of its depth. Neither one is particularly pretty but once you get your head around how they work there seems to be a way of doing almost anything.
For me the concept of routing to an internal channel an then in the multi page assigning various parts to the same channel opens up so many possibilities. As far as I can tell this still hasn't been implemented on modern mpcs. It seems you are still stuck with being able to layer 4 samples on top of each other with the same envelope settings. Maybe I'm wrong about this but if I'm not, that seems pretty limiting.
It looks like Akai went all out on the mpc4000 only to have a lot of beat makers scratching their heads and complaining that it had lost the mpc vibe and not seeing the extra benefits that it could offer once you spent the time to learn how to use it.
We know that Roger Linn was instrumental in designing the 60 and 3000 but does anyone know which people have been responsible for for the 4000? As I say, it seems kind of sad that from what I can see the modern mpcs seem like a watered down version of the 4000. That must be frustrating from an engineers point of view. Again, I have not tried a modern mpc but I have flicked through the manuals and it seems they can't do as much. Anyway massive respect to the engineers of the mpc4000! Not so much for the designers of the box. Man, I think it wins the award for the ugliest mpc.
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By MPC-Tutor Fri Jul 15, 2022 8:30 am
The 4000 was the mpc version of an Akai Z8 sampler. This was built by the old akai, who went bankrupt and sold all their ip on to various companies, eventually in the hands of inmusic. They hired the guy who worked on the more standard mpc2000xl and all the mpcs since then have been an evolution of that model

The mpc4000 was probably too much for many people, it was complicated, huge and expensive, hence the return to a more simplistic mpc.
By renegadebliss Sun Jul 17, 2022 6:57 am
I'm not sure but here's an interview with Stephen Howell who created the UI for the S5000/6000 series, that's an interesting perspective, sounds like it was a new team that did it.

But Akai’s fortunes changed for the worse around 2003/4 … they couldn’t compete with Kontakt and the like which, with faster computers, etc., were now more viable and so Akai were bought out by Numark (primarily for the technology and the MPC range). A few things killed the ‘old’ Akai off – they’d lost their founding visionaries (Mr. Toshio Tamaki and Jack Sugino) and without their guidance, made the ill-fated Z-series samplers rather than developing upon the successful S5/6000 – they made a sampler with a smaller screen, less outputs, and it was more expensive! Ermmmm. And then, to compound things, they decided to give their Z4 (the worst selling sampler in their history) a new paint job, give it a silly name (Boreas) and thought it would be a success. Errmmmm… not quite! Akai cocked up big time, but the MPC1000 kind of – almost – kept them going. But we weren’t getting paid some months. Difficult times. Which is where Numark stepped in.
By Sinius Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:11 am
bob wrote:---Not so much for the designers of the box. Man, I think it wins the award for the ugliest mpc.

I do love my white "Washing Machine" :-)
Do agree on everything else - after 8 years of use, i am still finding new things!