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Akai MPD32 or MPC?
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KidA
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17th April 2013
Old 17th April 2013
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Akai MPD32 or MPC?

I've been programming drums in Logic for almost 10 years. I'm very comfortable with it and I really like the sequencer. For the most part I've always programmed drums for demo songs for bands I'm in, but for the past few years I've slowly been gravitating towards creating downtempo electronic music (BoC, Tycho, BMSR, etc). Now I've decided to dedicate all my time to this solo electronic project. One thing I'm missing is that classic MPC feel to the grooves. Logic's built in swing functions aren't that great. I've downloaded several MPC groove templates, but none of them are any better than Logic's built in groove templates. I'm looking for something, hardware or software, to accomplish this. I primarily use my own samples and downloaded samples in EXS24. I also use Addictive Drums, EZ Drummer, Battery 3 and Stylus RMX. My budget is around $400 - $500, but I would prefer to put that towards other studio gear and synths. If anyone knows where I can get legitimate MPC groove templates for Logic that would be awesome! Otherwise I'm considering the 2 options below...

1. I've been looking at the Akai MPD32 quite a bit lately. From the information I've gathered from Akai it looks like it's the perfect option. Akai states it has built in MPC swing to get that classic MPC feel. It also has note repeat and several functions you find on an MPC. I know the pads aren't that great, but I can upgrade them if need be. I'm not too fond of using pads to program drums but maybe I'd like it if I spent more time doing it. From the information I've gathered from other sources online it looks like it's not so good. I've noticed lots of people saying neither the note repeat or swing functions work with Logic (or any other software). Most of these people say they sold the MPD32 for an MPC and are much happier. Part of me wants to think these are just people who have no idea how to set it up with their software, but I'm sure there is some truth to the complaints.

2. On the other hand I could just pick up an MPC 1000 or 2000XL for cheap, but that requires me to move all of my samples onto the MPC and learn new hardware. I'm sure I could pick it up fairly quick, but if there is a cheaper, more efficient option I would rather go with that. If you think the MPC is my best option which one should I get?

Cheers!
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17th April 2013
Old 17th April 2013
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From what I've heard the swing the MPC is famous for was originally a timing issue with the older MPCs. It was basically an accident. You can create whatever groove you want in Logic by playing the stuff in instead of programming. I had a MPD26 and swing function did not do anything in Logic. I could have just missed setting it up properly as you said tho.

I was in a similar situation as you a year ago and I picked up Maschine. It's the best of both worlds IMO. It's very hardware/hands-on focused and also the best set of pads you can buy. As an ITB guy I would stay away from a full MPC unless you just really want to get out of the box and away from the computer. After using a DAW you will likely be frustrated quickly with the workflow of the MPC for production use. I would check out Maschine.
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17th April 2013
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I sold my mpc last year and don't miss it. While the mpc was good, the workflow is way too slow compared to what you can do in logic now. not to forget how any samples you can have in logic. Even something as simple as naming a sample takes so much longer on an MPC so I don't see a benefit if you are working in such a slow workflow.

I use logic for all my sampling needs and can't see myself going back to the MPC.

I would try the 32 if I were you, they are relatively cheap and low risk.
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17th April 2013
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I typically prefer to work OTB, but with programming drums I tend to work ITB, because I'm so comfortable with it. I've looked into Maschine quite a bit, but I'm just not sure it's what I'm looking for. I've picked up quite a few NI products over the years and I haven't really liked any of them so I'm a bit skeptical. I will definitely look more into though. Thanks for the response!
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17th April 2013
Old 17th April 2013
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MPC's have midi out. So you could use it as a controller as well.
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17th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidA View Post
I typically prefer to work OTB, but with programming drums I tend to work ITB, because I'm so comfortable with it. I've looked into Maschine quite a bit, but I'm just not sure it's what I'm looking for. I've picked up quite a few NI products over the years and I haven't really liked any of them so I'm a bit skeptical. I will definitely look more into though. Thanks for the response!
I'm pretty hardcore out of the box myself but the the few things I figure are worth in the box are midi sequencing my synths in logic and any drum machine work. I've owned a few drum machines and came to the conclusions that the workflow is much better ITB.

I sample my drum machines and then use EXS from there. The control is worth it, not to forget you can build up drum kits quickly and save midi sequences to your hearts content. Doing all that OTB takes soo much longer.
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17th April 2013
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Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
I sold my mpc last year and don't miss it. While the mpc was good, the workflow is way too slow compared to what you can do in logic now. not to forget how any samples you can have in logic. Even something as simple as naming a sample takes so much longer on an MPC so I don't see a benefit it you are working in such a slow workflow.

I use logic for all my sampling needs and can't see myself going back to the MPC.

I would try the 32 if I were you, they are relatively cheap and low risk.
That's kind of what I was thinking. I've read this same comment before. Lots of people pick up an MPC and say it completely slowed down their workflow so they sold it. There's an MPD32 on my local craigs for $150 right now. I'm just wondering if I really even need it. Do you use any groove templates in Logic?
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17th April 2013
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This solution obviously won't work with everyone for numerous reasons (from equipment to comfort) but I simply disengage quantize and play it as I hear it in my head.

Strangely, given that, I more often than not want my percussion very rigid. The movement of the melodic elements around it and proper "ghost" hits will create the "groove" as the song develops for me.
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17th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
I'm pretty hardcore out of the box myself but the the few things I figure are worth in the box are midi sequencing my synths in logic and any drum machine work. I've owned a few drum machines and came to the conclusions that the workflow is much better ITB.

I sample my drum machines and the use EXS from there. The control is worth it, not to forget you can build up drum kits quickly and save midi sequences to your hearts content. Doing all that OTB takes soo much longer.
That's exactly how I work. I'm just having trouble with my beats having that natural swing feel. I've been thinking I should just drag individual notes very slightly off tempo to create the feel I'm looking for and saving it as a groove template. At the same time it would be cool to have pads and hands on control of my beats in Logic (if the MPD32 can even do this).
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17th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidA View Post
That's kind of what I was thinking. I've read this same comment before. Lots of people pick up an MPC and say it completely slowed down their workflow so they sold it. There's an MPD32 on my local craigs for $150 right now. I'm just wondering if I really even need it. Do you use any groove templates in Logic?
No templates.

I've bought and sold an MPC giving it a try again the second time but on the second time around realized how it just slowed me down.

For you coming from already a background drum programming in logic I think you would feel your workflow slow down quite a bit.

There are some things nice about sitting with an MPC, getting away from staring at a computer screen, but the workflow in the end isn't worth it.

If you want though you could always give the MPC a try to see if it is for you or not. You can find some used for 300-350 for the cheaper ones. You can also give the hip hop forums a try and ask those guys what they think.

But I do think in the end you won't completly like the MPC workflow.
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17th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aktuator View Post
This solution obviously won't work with everyone for numerous reasons (from equipment to comfort) but I simply disengage quantize and play it as I hear it in my head.

Strangely, given that, I more often than not want my percussion very rigid. The movement of the melodic elements around it and proper "ghost" hits will create the "groove" as the song develops for me.
I had an MPD18 for awhile I got for free with Addictive Drums, but I just wasn't getting what I wanted out of playing on pads. I would definitely prefer to be able to get my ideas down in this way, I'm just not sure if it's for me. I guess I should pick up an MPD32 for cheap and if it works great, if not I can just sell it for what I paid for it. I'm thinking upgraded pads would be loads better.
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17th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidA View Post
That's exactly how I work. I'm just having trouble with my beats having that natural swing feel. I've been thinking I should just drag individual notes very slightly off tempo to create the feel I'm looking for and saving it as a groove template. At the same time it would be cool to have pads and hands on control of my beats in Logic (if the MPD32 can even do this).
I know someone who works likes this and swears by it.

On the MPC note editing midi ain't fun.


Lastly for the 32 I bought pads or my MPC back when I had it. They have mpd32 pads too. Same fit. The place is called mpcstuff.com
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17th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
I know someone who works likes this and swears by it.

On the MPC note editing midi ain't fun.


Lastly for the 32 I bought pads or my MPC back when I had it. They have mpd32 pads too. Same fit. The place is called mpcstuff.com
Ya I was checking mpcstuff.com out earlier today. I'm definitely going to put the thicker pads and corx in my 32. Thanks for all the input, I've definitely made up my mind now.

Cheers!
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17th April 2013
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Go YouTube user sflogicninja and search MPC and you'll find a link to his MPC groove templates for Logic.
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17th April 2013
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Originally Posted by networkacid View Post
Go YouTube user sflogicninja and search MPC and you'll find a link to his MPC groove templates for Logic.
I tried the link, but it doesn't seem to be working.
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17th April 2013
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Originally Posted by KidA View Post
I had an MPD18 for awhile I got for free with Addictive Drums, but I just wasn't getting what I wanted out of playing on pads. I would definitely prefer to be able to get my ideas down in this way, I'm just not sure if it's for me. I guess I should pick up an MPD32 for cheap and if it works great, if not I can just sell it for what I paid for it. I'm thinking upgraded pads would be loads better.
Wow, our paths to this are/were very similar!

I too began on an MPD18 free with Addictive!

I am in complete agreement with you concerning the responsiveness of the pads, it was not sufficient for me either.

After that I moved on to a MPD24 and it was better, but it wasn't completely where I would want it. I took it apart and put 4 pieces of black electrical tape on the back of each pad (smooth side touching the membrane sensors) and this helped it tremendously. However, it ruined the velocity response in a way, it made them register even the slightest hits, but it basically gave me 2 velocities, a little, and a lot.

A year after that I purchased a Spark and its pads are AMAZING compared to both prior experiences, they have the feather response of the "modded" MPD24, but (for me) the velocity response was what I had been dreaming of.

I should have noted that earlier. My ability to perform my recommendation did not become fully possible until this point.
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18th April 2013
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Originally Posted by footstep View Post
MPD32 won't be able to do that. It really does sound like Maschine is a better fit for what you want. Way more sensitive and responsive pads out of the box too. It can be used entirely mouseless and even without looking at the computer screen. Maschine is all hands on and you can adjust swing individually per sound and per group and you can also manually nudge notes and adjust and automate everything from the hardware.
Not at all to speak for the OP, but some of us don't mind, and even *gasps resound throughout the room* enjoy using a mouse for many duties!

I think a mouse is an outstanding audio workflow tool personally.

In fact, the only things I don't like it at all for are melodic composition/note entry, and pitch bending.
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18th April 2013
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groove templates from the mpcs basically sound exactly like the swing implemented in the mpcs. i've made some myself before selling my mpc and use them all the time, as the swing in cubase can't replicate it (it can't shift notes far enough for the higher mpc swing%s without using a template).

so, if you're not getting the swing you want from templates, neither an mpd or mpc will change that.
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18th April 2013
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Good info here from everyone.

I'd say the mpd will at least get you some pads to hit on and that's a good thing.
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18th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footstep View Post
I know what you mean. That was the impression I had with my initial experience with NI products with complex menus and interfaces. Thankfully, Maschine is completely different from anything they've done before. The entire concept behind is for it to be totally hands-on and super intuitive and fast to use.
It's getting shilly in here....
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18th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aktuator View Post
Not at all to speak for the OP, but some of us don't mind, and even *gasps resound throughout the room* enjoy using a mouse for many duties!

I think a mouse is an outstanding audio workflow tool personally.

In fact, the only things I don't like it at all for are melodic composition/note entry, and pitch bending.
I don't really like using a mouse. The only reason I use it when programming is because I've done it that way for so long. I would love it if I didn't even have to touch the mouse at all. Maschine does look really cool, I'm just not sure I want to put that much money into yet another software instrument. I have purchased all kinds of drum software and I rarely use any of it. I pretty much always use my own samples in EXS24. I recently purchased Stylus RMX and I hate it. I should have done more research but some of the demos I watched made it seem pretty cool. For the type of music I do I simply need sampled drums and a good groove template to make them sound more natural and sloppy. I really like the idea of having some sort of hardware controller so I can have and adjust certain functions, parameters and fx like note repeat, swing, reverse, delay feedback, etc hands on. If Maschine is perfect for that I will look more into it. It just seems like it has so many functions and features I have no use for. I definitely appreciate all the input though! Keep it coming.
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18th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidA View Post
I don't really like using a mouse. The only reason I use it when programming is because I've done it that way for so long. I would love it if I didn't even have to touch the mouse at all. Maschine does look really cool, I'm just not sure I want to put that much money into yet another software instrument. I have purchased all kinds of drum software and I rarely use any of it. I pretty much always use my own samples in EXS24. I recently purchased Stylus RMX and I hate it. I should have done more research but some of the demos I watched made it seem pretty cool. For the type of music I do I simply need sampled drums and a good groove template to make them sound more natural and sloppy. I really like the idea of having some sort of hardware controller so I can have and adjust certain functions, parameters and fx like note repeat, swing, reverse, delay feedback, etc hands on. If Maschine is perfect for that I will look more into it. It just seems like it has so many functions and features I have no use for. I definitely appreciate all the input though! Keep it coming.
I just bought an MPD32 and just tested it out right now. I guess all your talk today made me get one. It is great! You should go for it!
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18th April 2013
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Originally Posted by KidA View Post
I tried the link, but it doesn't seem to be working.
Damn. Did a bit of a search and found this: Logic Pro Groove Templates - Logic Caf which has MPC3000 groove templates and a bunch of other drum machines as well
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18th April 2013
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18th April 2013
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Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
I just bought an MPD32 and just tested it out right now. I guess all your talk today made me get one. It is great! You should go for it!
You are using this with Logic, correct? How does it work with EXS24? Can the rotary knobs be used to control plug in parameters in Logic?
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18th April 2013
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I had the MPD, but didn't like the feel. The Korg Kontrol is waaaay better IMO.
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18th April 2013
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Originally Posted by billkahler View Post
I had the MPD, but didn't like the feel. The Korg Kontrol is waaaay better IMO.
My friend has a PadKontrol and I agree the pads feel great, but it's lacking all the other features I'm looking for. I'm pretty sure an MPD with upgraded thick pads from mpcstuff.com is going to feel just as good (or close enough at least) as the PadKontrol. Plus I'll get knobs, faders, transport controls, and other features the PadKontrol is lacking. If I was just looking for pads I would absolutely go with the PadKontrol, but that is not what I'm looking for.
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18th April 2013
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So after hours of research late into the night last night and this morning I have decided Maschine isn't for me. Don't get me wrong, it looks fantastic, but it's expensive and it does not look like it would integrate into my workflow very well at all. I watched countless videos (not just the hip hop ones, but every video I could find) and I also read through forums, reviews, and everything I could find. I think the MPD32 is exactly what I'm looking for.
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19th April 2013
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Quote:
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You are using this with Logic, correct? How does it work with EXS24? Can the rotary knobs be used to control plug in parameters in Logic?
Sorry long day at work so late response. I literally decided yesterday to put my money where my mouth is and buy a used MPD32. I figured I'd give it a test run the sake of knowing.

I literally only used it for about an hour last night but it works great with logic. I was using my Axiom midi keyboard to control drums but this is so much better. I will say the pads to kind of suck on the MPD32 because they are hard but I'm going to buy the thicker ones and the sensitivity cork kit they offer. The pads are hard and nothing like my MPC2000 but I think it's still better to use this than my keyboard for drums. So don't expect the same pads as the stand alone hardware.


I haven't ran the faders and knobs through the test yet but I understand that you can control anything you can assign a midicontroller to them. You can switch through the 8 banks of faders by pressing the button underneath quickly. So you can have 64 faders in theory that you can access really quickly. Same with the knobs.

The note repeat is great, also you have the same options as the MPC2000 such as full level, and 16 level.

I'd say if you can get it for 150 go for it. I paid 200 but I'm happy.

You assign your samples to notes as usual and the MPD is plug and play for my Mac. You can store lots of configurations on the MPD. It comes with templates too. I'm sure there are better ones like Korg with better Pads but I like all the features of this because I'm comfortable with the MPC2000 which I used to own.
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22nd April 2013
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Just bought the thick pads. Apparently they come with sensitivity corks. I'll let you know when they arrive and when I am done installing them.
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