Post your views and questions about the Akai MPC2500
By marceloasherq Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:59 am
Hello!

I met someone who is selling at MPC2000 for $300 and a MPC2500 for $475 (or $675 for both).

I have never used a sampler/beat machine before, so I have a few learning curves to climb. I've been doing a lot of research and trying to amalgamate information on what would be most suitable and what mods would be needed in order to make what I'm trying to do work.

Perhaps posting here would be a more efficient way to go about figuring this out, haha, since so far I just keep running into more questions and more time spent researching.

So, I was turned on to the MPC units after watching a video on Helado Negro — he uses the 2000XL.

I'm in an experimental project with one other person, but mainly by myself at the moment. I used to have a drummer but he lives elsewhere.

I play guitar (through a lot of effects and sometimes with an omnichord involved) and sing, but want to fill out my sound by creating backing rhythms (with added textural elements) that I can trigger live. At the moment I sometimes use the Omnichord as a rhythm section, putting it through my pedalboard and adding delay and harmonizing to make the beat more interesting, loop it, and then play/sing over that. But the Omnichord doesn't do 5/4, and is overall fairly limited for rhythm, even with the added effects.

Both of the units this individual is selling are maxed out on RAM, but the 2000 has the floppy drive. Am I right to assume that the 2000 would not be suitable for my purposes for this reason? I read somewhere that the floppy disks only hold 6 minutes of mono, and so having a whole set would require a mess of disks, I imagine, which wouldn't really work well. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

My inspirations are artists like Radiohead, Of Montreal, Tune-Yards, Helado Negro, Moses Sumney, etc., and so I tend to gravitate toward older gear with more sonic character — thus my interest in the MPC2000. Does the 2500 still carry some of this old school charm?

Anyway, it's super late and my brain is melting from looking all over the inter webs for the answer to my litany of questions, and the list continues to grow as I learn about other options within the MPC units (hot swappable or not, zip or CF, internal or external memory, etc. etc. etc. etc.).

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my screed. Looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks!


Sincerely,
MQ
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By mr_debauch Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:55 am
it sounds like you want to play possibly longer samples (the ability to load up several clips that are minute(s) long... maybe have some effects on top of those... maybe have several of those long samples loaded and ready to go at the push of a button (pad) .

this sounds like the job for an SP 404 over an mpc.

the mpc has a great sequencer (better than the SP series) but it's samples need to be loaded into ram... once that ram is full you need to use (disks on the 2000 classic, memory card or possibly hard drive on the 2500) to load up new material. If the clips are in stereo, it eats up memory quick. FX? the mpc 2000 has a low pass filter stock, reverb, delay, overdrive, 3 band filter, basically some very rudimentary basic fx IF you have the EB16 expansion installed... that can be set up and you can route pads to those fx... you can't have unique fx for every pad mind you. The 2500 has more built in fx without the need for an additional expansion but either way both models don't compare to an sp-303, sp-404, or any of the roland/boss sp samplers.

that seems like an ok price for both machines, they would be great as center pieces for sitting down and putting together beats from samples or sequencing external gear but they take some effort trying to set up for entire sets. You really need to plan out your entire set around making sure you have enough fuel loaded into ram to last... or else you need to spend time stopping the sound to load up another set. on the classic, that could take loads of disks or old scsi hard drives which are expensive and limited... or on the 2500 which can hold 128 megs of sample time... you might still run into that issue if you plan to be loading all 30 second sound scape samples. On the SP-404 your limitation will be the number of pads and banks before the amount of sample time. You could load entire instrumentals on each pad and tweak the fx live over the top if you wanted to.
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By The Jackal Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:50 am
Buy both, play off first one while second one loads, play off second one while first one loads. Keep going back & forth.

Joking about buying both, but not really: if you haven't used them before and don't understand the architecture yet, that would be your easiest solution. You'll have to dive into them for awhile and learn about programs and the general nature of saving & loading before finding out what works best for you. Everything can be done off one box (depending if you're triggering samples, "stems", whole songs, verse/chorus, etc.) if you're determined enough. It's really about how you intend to use it and when I speak of this intent, I mean an intent that comes from an understanding of how the MPCs work, not how you intend to make music in general.
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By JUKE 179r Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:03 pm
I don't play live but for me it would get the 2500 but talk them down on the price. :wink:
With the money saved on haggling the price, get the larger XL LCD screen and put JJOS on it. :smoker:
http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~mpc1000/mpc2500/
By marceloasherq Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:58 pm
mr_debauch wrote:it sounds like you want to play possibly longer samples (the ability to load up several clips that are minute(s) long... maybe have some effects on top of those... maybe have several of those long samples loaded and ready to go at the push of a button (pad) .

this sounds like the job for an SP 404 over an mpc.


Hey! Thanks for responding. I guess what I meant to say is that I want to compose backing tracks using samples — not necessarily long ones, but definitely drum samples and other melodic bits — built into sequences that are chained together as a song. And have a few of those songs ready-made so I can trigger them when I start to play.

Basically, the functionality of the MPC (according to my limited understanding of what it does ... just started to read the manual) seems ideal because of the ability to write in "odd" time signatures. The first song of mine that I really want to write a beat to and include other textural overlays is in 5/4 and some of the others are in 3/4, and from what I understand the SP404 requires some heinous trickery in order to do anything in those time signatures. I realized the same thing about the PO-33 after I bought one of those (d'oh!).

mr_debauch wrote:... or on the 2500 which can hold 128 megs of sample time... you might still run into that issue if you plan to be loading all 30 second sound scape samples. On the SP-404 your limitation will be the number of pads and banks before the amount of sample time. You could load entire instrumentals on each pad and tweak the fx live over the top if you wanted to.


I guess I've been contemplating this for a while for simplicity of use but also getting that beautiful/inspiring MPC sound. And then possibly just loading what I create onto a EHX 45000 and triggering backing tracks from there that can still be manipulated. I guess I need to do some more research on the SP series!

Thanks!!
By marceloasherq Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:02 pm
The Jackal wrote:if you haven't used them before and don't understand the architecture yet, that would be your easiest solution. You'll have to dive into them for awhile and learn about programs and the general nature of saving & loading before finding out what works best for you. Everything can be done off one box (depending if you're triggering samples, "stems", whole songs, verse/chorus, etc.) if you're determined enough. It's really about how you intend to use it and when I speak of this intent, I mean an intent that comes from an understanding of how the MPCs work, not how you intend to make music in general.


Right, the hands-on knowledge piece is what I'm missing. I guess I could always get one (likely the MPC2500, unless someone tells me it sounds like trash or some other glaring issue I'm not seeing ... originally my eyes were set on the 2000XL but haven't found one under $600 with CF and the 8 outs) and start messing around and seeing what's next.

But yeah, I'd be wanting to create songs with distinct verse/chorus/etc. segments that are chained together on the MPC and have them play live while I sing and play guitar over them.

Thanks so much!
By marceloasherq Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:04 pm
JUKE 179r wrote:I don't play live but for me it would get the 2500 but talk them down on the price. :wink:
With the money saved on haggling the price, get the larger XL LCD screen and put JJOS on it. :smoker:
http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~mpc1000/mpc2500/


What do you think would be a fair price for the 2500? I think he said he has JJOS but put it back to the original OS since he was initially super familiar with the 2000. So he said he could reload JJOS on it before giving it to me, if I wanted.
By marceloasherq Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:06 pm
tapedeck wrote:said it recently in another thread - if you are new to mpcs and production in general, go with the more modern 2500 and save yourself a lot of headaches.


Yeah, I've been wondering about that. I admittedly romanticize the vintage/problematic gear a little bit, and would rather have things be a little challenging than to sound too clean/digital. But I've never heard either unit in real life before (or so much as touched either before), so I'm not quite sure.

Appreciate the insights, everybody!!!
By saltmcgault Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:14 pm
I'd go with the 2500 for sure. xlcd screen and jjos128xl might cost you some extra coins but it's well worth it!
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By tapedeck Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:27 pm
marceloasherq wrote:... but also getting that beautiful/inspiring MPC sound

neither of these models are really known for that. if you want mpc 'sound' you likely want a 60 or a 3000 ... but those will come with even more less-than-ideal non-modern headaches.

sure some people will say that the 2000 sounds different than the 2000xl, and different than the more modern ones...but honestly, past the 3000 everything is so clean you are just splitting hairs at that point.

I read somewhere that the floppy disks only hold 6 minutes of mono, and so having a whole set would require a mess of disks, I imagine, which wouldn't really work well. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

i mean thats 6 minutes of continuous audio... usually you will not need all that much because you will be using smaller drum samples and repeating them with the sequencer. still - these kind of misunderstandings are going to become normal for you if you go with the older model.

that is an insanely good deal on that 2500. if you tried to talk me down from that i wouldn't even reply. honestly, most 2500s go for more than both he is selling, so you could buy both, still get a good deal on the 2500, and basically get a 2000 for free.
By marceloasherq Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:00 pm
tapedeck wrote:i mean thats 6 minutes of continuous audio... usually you will not need all that much because you will be using smaller drum samples and repeating them with the sequencer. still - these kind of misunderstandings are going to become normal for you if you go with the older model.

that is an insanely good deal on that 2500. if you tried to talk me down from that i wouldn't even reply. honestly, most 2500s go for more than both he is selling, so you could buy both, still get a good deal on the 2500, and basically get a 2000 for free.


Ahhhh that makes sense. And yeah, it seems like a crazy good deal. I can't truly afford either, but almost can't afford not to at this price. Just wasn't sure if the 2000 had some great sound that would outweigh its limiting factors in relation to the 2500.

Thanks!
By marceloasherq Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:48 am
tapedeck wrote:2500 w jj is an excellent machine and can be pretty much whatever you want
you can totally afford to skip the 2k. it would be fun to try but with a 2500 right next to it you'd probably never use it.


Thanks for the insights! I'm going to pick up the MPC2500 for sure, then! (now the real learning begins, haha)