MPC Software Forum: Bug reports, feature suggestions and discussion for the MPC Software application for Mac/PC. If you have hardware-specific questions, please post in the relevant MPC forum.
By manji Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:04 pm
I just submitted the following. A lot of this, especially the midi program section, I think would gain a lot of support from the community, so I figured I'd post it up here and see if there are any responses. I've had my X for about 18 months now and I love it, but it's got some hampering issues. I came from a 4k, and while I'll take an X any day because of the versatility, it's a major step backwards for how it deals with digital music boxes/midi. What I imagine is being able to set up a Midi Program called Access Virus B,be able to control the 90% of the machine from the MPC (everything non-set up related, so everything from Program Changes to LFO selection, etc etc) or my Roland Integra (which has pathetic Midi implementation but full SysEx). I understand this could never really be 100%, but it could get much, much closer to what it is now. Anyway, here is my email -

I bought my first MPC, an MPC60, in 2002, when they were considered bottom end. Funny how that works, huh? I've only spent 2 weeks since 2002 without an MPC of some kind, if not a few of them. I know them inside and out, I really feel like the Live/X is a return to form for such a legendary machine. I really appreciate what you guys have created here. I have a list of requests/things to consider, but the 2 that are actually important is Disk Streaming and Midi Programs.

Disk Streaming is an obvious request. After the debacle of saying we had 2GB of mem when we have .5Gb, I really feel the middle ground is to add disk streaming. Being able to load up big sample pools with long, high quality samples in programs with mutliple layers/mutliple keys sampled per octave only adds to the quality of the sounds coming from the machine. In the studio it just means faster access to sounds while you're figuring out which programs, especially keygroups, you want to use. Less time navigating through folders, more time making studio music. And on stage, it means being able to play longer, more diverse shows without having to stop and purge/load. Less time navigating through folders, making more live music.

My number one request, however, would be a reworking of the Midi Programs. I think Midi Programs should be much more customizable and in depth. With a little reworking, I think it would add a huge amount of functionality and sellability to the Live/X, while I'm guessing some what easy to implement (just a blind guess, I trust the experts).

Right now the way midi programs work is it's almost a one size fits all approach. Doesn't matter if you've got it hooked up to a drum brain, a digital synthesizer or an analog synthesizer with midi inputs, fx units, digital mixers, etc etc. There's 40 some odd years of midi capable music boxes floating around the world. You can't walk into a pawn shop without seeing some funky old sampler or maybe a cheap 20 year old noise maker with a midi input, much less all that new, awesome gear at the music shops. Beyond that, tons of professionals still use outboard gear for various things. Everything from those cold early 90s synths to mutli-thousand-dollar fx units. As it stands now, controlling, automating, manipulating and generally using those thousands and thousands of pieces of gear is doable, but hampered. So I had some ideas I'd like to throw at you guys to see if we can't buff up the midi programming section.

The very first and most useful feature I can think of would be ability to receive and transmit midi dumps. The idea of just turning my MPC on, loading a project, and having that project transmit my last save to all of my gear sounds like a dream come true. No loading projects from 5 different machines in 5 different ways, just receive, save/load, transmit. This not only would add incredible value to the MPC itself, but it would add value to my other gear. By being able to save my patches to my MPC, I'm able to keep my available patch slots on my other gear open for patches, not just sounds I need for one song. The other side of this would be the inclusion of SysEx, both receive and transmit. I have multiple pieces of gear with limited midi CC implementation, but vast amounts of SysEx data. By including the ability to program SysEx, to both qlinks and to pads (for toggle/momentary), you hold the key to the lock that's hampering us from exploring our music fully and easily. Of course the programming of SysEx is a bit hard, but especially with the proper interface for the computer, it's very doable. Ask MPC-Forums or another site to host the program files profiles people make for various pieces of gear and not only are you giving us that key, you're opening up yet another place for the community to gather and share their set ups from everything from this years funnest synth to that 80s classic we all want so bad.

Another midi program evolution I would consider would be to make the qlinks much, much more customizable. Besides the SysEx capabilities I mentioned earlier, a few tweaks would really make this area shine for midi control. Right now, cc 74, commonly used for filters, is called "Sound Control 5", is on page 5, and is difficult to find. I believe being able to create a midi program called "My Synth" and label the midi CCs, as well as order them in the Prog Edit pages, would be extremely helpful, beneficial and efficient. Not only does this allow me to label what I'm tweaking, it would stop me from tweaking the wrong knob because I can't remember if my "Osc Shape" is set to "Gen Purpose 3" or "Legato Switch". Another request would be to be able to label the multiple pages in the Prog Edit screen. Instead of "1", I see enormous value in being able to label it "Osc", put the necessary qlink controls on "Osc", repeat for "2" and "Filter", "3" for "Mixer", and so on and so forth, but left to the user so it can be custom to how you want your setup to work. This would allow one, with a little work, to be able to basically stick their favorite synth "inside" of their MPC, increasing not only the value of the MPC tremendously, but also would cause the user to spend much more time using your product. Especially since with an active community like we already have, being able to download other peoples setups makes this much easier for beginners.

My third request would be to make midi pad assignments much easier to do on the hardware itself. The computer way of doing it is also extremely slow and tedious. I have been setting my drums to the same notes for 10 years as it allows me to switch patterns, on the fly, from internal MPC drums to synthesizer drums and finally, use multiple tracks to create a unique kit that comes from multiple machines and makes our tracks made with your hardware truly individualized.

A fourth request would be the ability to add EG modulation to CCs. Just a simple Saw Down, for instance, running over my Pitch CC, for instance, would be a big advantage. A lot of gear already possess EGs and LFOs, but adding more just means more unique abilities not found in many, if any, other hardware. My fifth request would be to make the Midi Control page under the Main Menu more programmable. I think you should be able to make the pads go to different outputs/channels, and add as many functions to them as possible. Right now I feel the Midi Control page is not really useful, but it's very obvious what was being worked towards/whats possible, and it could be very powerful.

And possibly the most over looked tool ever put into MPCs would make a very welcome comeback - being able to assign two outputs per track. Another incredible tool for layering, sound creation/design and building the most complex yet unique sounds you can muster, being able to layer say a digital osc from TubeSynth over an analog osc from a modular oscilator, or layer thick 808 samples from the MPC under my digital synths drum kits, etc etc, adds something unique, creative, and ultimately something that drives people towards your products. Everyone can layer tracks, but imagine being able to play those stacks live. I'm not sure if this is the best design, but I can see being able to have 2 outputs and being able to use the Program button under the Qlink Section (Maybe Shift + Program?) for being able to set up macros to control both. Being able to turn down my Cutoff while adding Release time to my Amp Env to 2 machines at once, especially when you mix the MPCs incredible output connection options, sounds like an absolute dream. The sonic possiblities are endless.

I think there are other things that could be worked on. A Modulation Matrix, for instance. More LFO destinations, like sample start and loop points. An electronic drum synth is a no brainer and I'm sure it's being worked on. More Physical Modeling synths. Electric is just about my favorite thing of all time. No more searching my drive for just the right E. Piano sound, now I just make it myself. The ability to do the same for say, plucked strings or especially acoustic drums would be phenomenal. By adding physical modeling of instruments, you're opening yourself up to a whole new market, namely song writers looking for quick sketch pads. I have multiple songwriting friends here in Nashville who all talk about wanting quick sketch pads, exactly what the MPC offers. They all love my MPC X, we use it all the time for getting down guitars and vocal melodies. Physical Modeling synths seem to be more accessible to people who don't want to sit there and deal with loading samples and creating programs, etc etc., they just want something to turn on, arm, hit record and start making music. In regards to this market, some basic , competent Guitar/Bass amplifier models would be extremely effective. And please, please, please, make the Note # Assignments on Drum Programs changeable. I know that seems inconsequential, but what I mentioned before about having every drum track I've written in over 10 years workable, without adjustment, with every drum kit I've made, whether in my MPC or on other sources, work, without problems. This already works with melodic tracks, making it work with drum tracks just makes these wonderful machines easier and more versatile at the same time.

P.S. - If you really want go hog wild, you could also make the Midi Programs Prog Edit page able to host graphics. It's a bit of overkill, but your guys' plugins look so, so fancy and nice and wonderful. Being able to do that with my own gear and again, sharing the results, sounds absolutely phenomenal. Another way to personalize the most important gear a lot of us own, the Center of my Music Production. My MPC.

Here is a list of gear I use

Computer - i5, 16gb, Windows 10.
Korg Kronos
Akai S950
Ensoniq ASR-10
Emu E4xT Ultra
Roland Integra 7
Access Virus B
Behringer X32 Live
Various guitars, basses, things to bang on.