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By chameleoned Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:23 am
Hey folks,

I'm a long time MPC1000 user and lurker on the forums. I've never posted before but coming up to a purchase and wanted to get some feedback.

My current setup is an old blue case MPC1000 tweaked to full memory and pad upgrades. I'm running JJOS1v5 (paid version- never upgraded because I am fast in OS1). I love love love this machine. It's the most comfortable electronic instrument I have ever owned. I play live running our tracks using the mpc, a monosynth and a kaoss pad all midi together. That's the setup.

The reason I have been thinking upgrade is the limitations on MPC1000 RAM. I typically load the samples of our entire set into my autoload folder and then just open each sequence as needed. I rely heavily on the track mute function. Our changeover from song to song is about 30 seconds or so. Nice and fast. But obviously this limits my sample selection. I've streamlined it down as much as possible but thinking it's getting to be time to upgrade. I only use short drum machine and instrument "note on" samples- no long loops . I just want to load more sounds at a time. I do have extra flash cards for other sets, but still a longish loading time.

What I would want is:
More Ram- more then 128 mb
INternal memory or flash card- 8 gig or better for storage
good sound quality and more effects
Traditional JJOS functionality - is this even possible?
A track mute button (which suddenly killed MPC live for me when I heard about that)
an onboard synth would be cool

Budget about $1000 more or less.

Any thoughts? Thanks all.
User avatar
By Menco Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:20 pm
Except for the fact the Live doesn’t have a dedicated Track Mute button, it sounds like a MPC Live meets most of your needs.

If a Live is really out of the question I would suggest you to pick up another MPC1000 and use them as a pair of 1&2’s, because I don’t know if the 4000 and 5000 can handle JJOS files.
By dryad-66 Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:14 am
After using all the post MPC3000 mpc s for years the only ones im interested in are the 4000 (sounds solid and lots of modulation possibilities ectect) and the 1000 (because its a solid no nonsense workhorse. No synths tho but you can trigger softsynths !!!!!!! Sound quality wise the 4000 is far more hardware like than the the live and x which i find very uninspiring.The 4000 is actually a sampler/synthesizer.I like the effects and filters too.Used sparingly.

I did really dig the 5000 and the synth is cool.But ultimately it does not have the modulation options of the 4000 and the sound quality was not up the 4k standard also.
Last edited by dryad-66 on Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
By chameleoned Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:45 pm
Thanks for the Responses! Sorry about the late reply- I did not see that there were any hits.

Last week I went to our local GC and they had an MPC live and an old 4000 (blue and white) on display. The 4000 had no power cord and looked like it had been through a meat grinder. I couldn't even turn it on. They still wanted 1200$ :roll: I spent an hour or so on the MPC live and walked away feeling rather uninspired as well. But, I admit the idea of the MPC live is the more intriguing at this point because they keep tweaking the OS and it has the smaller footprint- so I can still fit other gear on my little keyboard stand with it. I'm not looking to change my sounds and style- but those soft synths got me thinking....

Interesting that when doing a comparison search through AKAI- the 4000 isn't even featured? They have the 5000, 2500, 1000, 500. Where is the 4000? Is that considered a whole different product line? Also, I am reading that some consider it more similar to a standalone sampler- rather then sequencer/sampler? I'm going to have to look at videos to find out the capabilities of the machine.

I am back to thinking MPC Live but importing my sludgy, lofi drum sounds and such from the 1000 and starting with those- maybe also turning off the LEDs for now as well and seeing if that brings in the inspiration. The Live looks like an amazing machine if it can capture any of that old school hardware feeling. I'm not looking for a computer, but this is a tough choice
By CharlesRandolph Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:50 pm
The 4000 is more inline with the Akai Pro Z4 and Z8 samplers. It always been the Step Child of the MPC brand. But it's the MONSTER of them all. As far as the notion of not looking for a computer, you're barking up the wrong tree, because that what these machines are computer. :smoker:

Nevertheless, it all depends on how you work and what you want the machine to do.

chameleoned wrote:Interesting that when doing a comparison search through AKAI- the 4000 isn't even featured? They have the 5000, 2500, 1000, 500. Where is the 4000? Is that considered a whole different product line? Also, I am reading that some consider it more similar to a standalone sampler- rather then sequencer/sampler? I'm going to have to look at videos to find out the capabilities of the machine.
User avatar
By Menco Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:38 am
chameleoned wrote:Thanks for the Responses! Sorry about the late reply- I did not see that there were any hits.

Last week I went to our local GC and they had an MPC live and an old 4000 (blue and white) on display. The 4000 had no power cord and looked like it had been through a meat grinder. I couldn't even turn it on. They still wanted 1200$ :roll: I spent an hour or so on the MPC live and walked away feeling rather uninspired as well. But, I admit the idea of the MPC live is the more intriguing at this point because they keep tweaking the OS and it has the smaller footprint- so I can still fit other gear on my little keyboard stand with it. I'm not looking to change my sounds and style- but those soft synths got me thinking....

Interesting that when doing a comparison search through AKAI- the 4000 isn't even featured? They have the 5000, 2500, 1000, 500. Where is the 4000? Is that considered a whole different product line? Also, I am reading that some consider it more similar to a standalone sampler- rather then sequencer/sampler? I'm going to have to look at videos to find out the capabilities of the machine.

I am back to thinking MPC Live but importing my sludgy, lofi drum sounds and such from the 1000 and starting with those- maybe also turning off the LEDs for now as well and seeing if that brings in the inspiration. The Live looks like an amazing machine if it can capture any of that old school hardware feeling. I'm not looking for a computer, but this is a tough choice


Although I love a lot of the functions of the Live, have to admit I find it quite an uninspiring machine too. I still sample almost everything into my MPC2500 (JJOS1) and start 80% of my projects in there before continuing on the Live and finish up for the last part inside the computer. I don’t know if the ‘hardware experience’ is also important to you when performing? Or only when making beats?

If I’m correct some if the newer JJOS versions offer the same sampler functionality as the 4000.
By chameleoned Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:23 pm
Menco wrote:
Although I love a lot of the functions of the Live, have to admit I find it quite an uninspiring machine too. I still sample almost everything into my MPC2500 (JJOS1) and start 80% of my projects in there before continuing on the Live and finish up for the last part inside the computer. I don’t know if the ‘hardware experience’ is also important to you when performing? Or only when making beats?

If I’m correct some if the newer JJOS versions offer the same sampler functionality as the 4000.


Hey Menco- That's good to know! What parts do you continue in Live? That's a rather involved system to work in two MPCs and finish in the computer. I guess the "hardware experience" is the key to me. I started on hardware way back before moving to almost strictly PC for about 8-10 years. But the last 3 years have been back to strictly hardware. No vst instruments. It's not an artistic statement or anything, I just found that working in the MPC was much more interesting and fulfilling. I was making tracks I couldn't make in a computer. I also found I really like to use the MPC 1000 live in performance. People ask me afterwards- "All that sound is coming out of there??" haha

You all have got me thinking seriously about the 4000 again. I love the idea of the 4000 but here's something that might change that. I'm not looking to sample any new material - not saying I won't- just not thinking about that need! I already own an Ensoniq EPS16 that I've had for nearly 20 years and have about 25 gigs of useable sample content that I have created for myself. Maybe I'm just looking for the ultimate playback sequencer. These days I just take my content and remanipulate, tune, stretch, etc and I'm happy with the outcome.

In regards to a 4000, Is Aksys useable on newer windows? I see posts about XP but that's about it. How about the 96k audio output...My samples are in 44.1 at best- so does a 96k output really make any difference? I'm watching vids on the 4000, I admit it looks a bit intimidating, but maybe just because it's different. F**k it, just buy them both :lol:
User avatar
By Lampdog Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:18 am
Aksys won’t run when just using Win10. I needed Win XP in a virtual machine.

96, well you can hear a difference but it’s small, very small imo. You’ll also halve your efx busses to gain that bandwidth.

4k is a full fledged sampler/synth.
User avatar
By Menco Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:53 am
chameleoned wrote:
Menco wrote:
Although I love a lot of the functions of the Live, have to admit I find it quite an uninspiring machine too. I still sample almost everything into my MPC2500 (JJOS1) and start 80% of my projects in there before continuing on the Live and finish up for the last part inside the computer. I don’t know if the ‘hardware experience’ is also important to you when performing? Or only when making beats?

If I’m correct some if the newer JJOS versions offer the same sampler functionality as the 4000.


Hey Menco- That's good to know! What parts do you continue in Live? That's a rather involved system to work in two MPCs and finish in the computer. I guess the "hardware experience" is the key to me. I started on hardware way back before moving to almost strictly PC for about 8-10 years. But the last 3 years have been back to strictly hardware. No vst instruments. It's not an artistic statement or anything, I just found that working in the MPC was much more interesting and fulfilling. I was making tracks I couldn't make in a computer. I also found I really like to use the MPC 1000 live in performance. People ask me afterwards- "All that sound is coming out of there??" haha

You all have got me thinking seriously about the 4000 again. I love the idea of the 4000 but here's something that might change that. I'm not looking to sample any new material - not saying I won't- just not thinking about that need! I already own an Ensoniq EPS16 that I've had for nearly 20 years and have about 25 gigs of useable sample content that I have created for myself. Maybe I'm just looking for the ultimate playback sequencer. These days I just take my content and remanipulate, tune, stretch, etc and I'm happy with the outcome.

In regards to a 4000, Is Aksys useable on newer windows? I see posts about XP but that's about it. How about the 96k audio output...My samples are in 44.1 at best- so does a 96k output really make any difference? I'm watching vids on the 4000, I admit it looks a bit intimidating, but maybe just because it's different. F**k it, just buy them both :lol:


Most of the time chopping and sequencing. Basic mixing, sound shaping and arranging I do in the Live. Last edits and applying vst FX happens on the computer.

I actually bought my Live to bang out beats when I’m at my girls place, or to continue working on tracks I started on the 2500 in my own appartment. Sometimes I do a heavy sampling session, throw everyting on a SD and dump it in the Live. But most of the times I try to lay down the basic blocks of my beat before switching to the Live, simply because the 2500 has a better ‘feel’ to me.
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By NearTao Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:50 pm
I've got a 1k with JJOS, 500, a Live, and just picked up an X. I keep telling my wife I am not hoarding MPCs, but I've been really trying to get the right feature balance.

Before I begin my comparison... I'll start with, the 1k will have to be pried from my cold dead hands. I am not giving that up. I was considering getting the 2.5k instead of the X, and letting go of the 1k, but from a feature and size, the 1k (with JJOS) is really top marks for me. The workflow is solid, while not battery powered it is super portable, and to me, it is quite fast to work on and get around.

I got a 500 a while back, sold it, missed it, and got another. This is absolutely *not* a portable 1k replacement for me... there is no JJOS. While it is the familiar workflow you know and love, it also isn't responsive in the modern sense. What I mean by this is that without a graphic display, you really are forced to listen and play by ear. I follow the "if it sounds good it is good" mantra, but on the 500 you need to trust your ears, and you need to have the sense to know when you just need to change your start and end points. You cannot see how tight you made it, so deal with it :).

Anyways... I've put together a ton of really good seeds on the 500, and the reason I brought it up is twofold. One... JJOS imports programs from the 500... oddly. From a technical perspective the formats are similar enough between the two to sort of work, but they are different enough to lead to frustrations. Given this alone, the 500 probably isn't for you, but as a sampler that is similar to the 1k, it might function as a nice portable box for you that you could sequence from the 1k when you are performing. On the flip side, the Live/X import from the 500 really well... and it has been interesting to visually see how much I can trust my ear :).

I picked up the Live at the beginning of the year. I wanted something more feature rich that was portable as well. I have a few musician friends who are not MPC heads and have no knack or care for really getting inside the machines. The 500 is like bringing over an alien artifact, while they get the pads trigger sounds, they really cannot keep a sense for how the machine works in their heads, making this a disaster to work with in any cooperative capacity using the 500. The Live on the other hand has been far more intuitive for these folks, while they don't get the underworking of the MPC, they've absolutely been able to see in grid view the hits, or in sample view how a waveform has been sliced and chopped. Personally I like the Live a lot, but it is just too awkward of a size for my taste, and while I'd love to take it on trips with me, I've done this a few times and haven't been in love with it the way I had hoped.

Which leads me to getting the X. This is my first full sized MPC, and let me start by saying, as the center of my studio, damnit I don't know why I waited so long to get a full sized MPC of any kind. While I have the muscle memory for the Live to get around the menus now through shift keys and touch screen interfaces, having so much more of the interface exposed is amazing. I found a lot of the sample editing features on the Live to be "nicer" than the 1k/500, but having to dump around the q-link banks was a real hassle which could be fixed several ways on the Live, but as an example having all the q-links exposed on the X for sample editing feels great to me. I haven't brought the X over to anyone's house yet, but I imagine this will be easier to show how it works to others as well.

Good luck picking out your Next MPC!
User avatar
By Lampdog Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:46 pm
NearTao wrote:but on the 500 you need to trust your ears, and you need to have the sense to know when you just need to change your start and end points. You cannot see how tight you made it, so deal with it :)


This is how I learned on the ASR10 and it was some of the BEST music I have ever made.
The inconsistencies of chopping by ear was GREAT imo. "Nice surprises" damn near everytime I chopped.
But now that I've seen WAVEFORMS, I can't unsee them.


:lol: :lol:
By CharlesRandolph Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:21 pm
Lampdog wrote:
NearTao wrote:but on the 500 you need to trust your ears, and you need to have the sense to know when you just need to change your start and end points. You cannot see how tight you made it, so deal with it :)


This is how I learned on the ASR10 and it was some of the BEST music I have ever made.
The inconsistencies of chopping by ear was GREAT imo. "Nice surprises" damn near everytime I chopped.
But now that I've seen WAVEFORMS, I can't unsee them.


:lol: :lol:



This is equivalent to listening with our eyes. Music is first and foremost an auditory and touch experience. All visuals do is get in the way of inspiration. Waveforms are a blessing and a curse. That's why music mastering sounds like ****. Everyone mixing with their eyes. :lol:

If they are going to choose, I say get a 3000, 4000. or MPC X. Everything else is the LE version of the MPC. :lol: :lol:
By chameleoned Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:25 pm
NearTao wrote:I've got a 1k with JJOS, 500, a Live, and just picked up an X. I keep telling my wife I am not hoarding MPCs, but I've been really trying to get the right feature balance.


I picked up the Live at the beginning of the year. I wanted something more feature rich that was portable as well. I have a few musician friends who are not MPC heads and have no knack or care for really getting inside the machines. The 500 is like bringing over an alien artifact, while they get the pads trigger sounds, they really cannot keep a sense for how the machine works in their heads, making this a disaster to work with in any cooperative capacity using the 500. The Live on the other hand has been far more intuitive for these folks, while they don't get the underworking of the MPC, they've absolutely been able to see in grid view the hits, or in sample view how a waveform has been sliced and chopped. Personally I like the Live a lot, but it is just too awkward of a size for my taste, and while I'd love to take it on trips with me, I've done this a few times and haven't been in love with it the way I had hoped.

Which leads me to getting the X. This is my first full sized MPC, and let me start by saying, as the center of my studio, damnit I don't know why I waited so long to get a full sized MPC of any kind. While I have the muscle memory for the Live to get around the menus now through shift keys and touch screen interfaces, having so much more of the interface exposed is amazing. I found a lot of the sample editing features on the Live to be "nicer" than the 1k/500, but having to dump around the q-link banks was a real hassle which could be fixed several ways on the Live, but as an example having all the q-links exposed on the X for sample editing feels great to me. I haven't brought the X over to anyone's house yet, but I imagine this will be easier to show how it works to others as well.

Good luck picking out your Next MPC!


Thanks for the thorough comparison! Interesting on the 500- I never considered one of those. I thought about what you said and think I don't want to haul around a second machine for gigs- I'd rather not add more gear and wires if I have a single box that can handle the same processing.... and I think I want that upgrade! I'm really leaning towards the 4000 now. (back and forth- back and forth!!) The x looks great, but outside what I want to spend and the reviews on the Live makes feel like I'll be missing my 1000! Hoping to pull the trigger really soon, but gotta pay some bills this week :|