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MPC 3000 vs. MPC 4000
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AShah
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12th June 2007
Old 12th June 2007
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MPC 3000 vs. MPC 4000

Hello friends,

I am curious; is there anyone out there that prefers the MPC 3000 to the MPC 4000, and why?

Thanks a ton!
~AJ
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12th June 2007
Old 12th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AShah View Post
Hello friends,

I am curious; is there anyone out there that prefers the MPC 3000 to the MPC 4000, and why?

Thanks a ton!
~AJ

To many reasons to name... IMO
In short

If your into a groove or any type of swing the 3000 is it..

the 4000 is super duper clean with lots of features, but it doesnt have the legondary swing!
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12th June 2007
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........the difference between the two is an MPC 1000.........
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12th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuehler View Post
........the difference between the two is an MPC 1000.........

hahahahahahahaha
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two different beasts.

The 3K is old skool and has that 90s swing / R&b feel (early R Kelly, Aaliyah, Brandy, Mary J). That music aint around no more, but it was great at the time and is still highly regarded today. I say the 3000 has a swing feel that reminds me of that kind of music. It also has more of a lo fi sound, the top end is not as extended as a 4000, hence a greater perception of low end.

The 4000 is a newer type of drum machine sampler / sequencer. It's a full powerhouse and has a very high resolution for off quantize drumming and feel. I don't think it has the low end of the early samplers as discussed above, but it has a tighter feel and cleaner / clearer sound overall - no doubt. The 4k is great for complex drum programming - drum & bass would be a good example. For hip hip and rnb alot of producers are using them now. Timbaland has alteast 2 4ks, not to mention Darkchild even uses one. I have seen many others too, including P Diddy.

At the end of the day, i think all the mpcs can do great things when used effectively.

Sometime from now, i can see people dropping the mpcs for Dave Smiths / Roger Linn's Boom Chick...just kiddin.
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13th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofswing View Post
two different beasts.

The 3K is old skool and has that 90s swing / R&b feel (early R Kelly, Aaliyah, Brandy, Mary J). That music aint around no more, but it was great at the time and is still highly regarded today. I say the 3000 has a swing feel that reminds me of that kind of music. It also has more of a lo fi sound, the top end is not as extended as a 4000, hence a greater perception of low end.
Well, the 3k is 16bit 44.1kHz. Thats not considered lo fi... Well not yet. LOL.
Dre uses a bunch of 3ks and his sound is very clean.

The 4k is 24bit 96kHz and thats a very good sampling rate if you sample live instruments. Even vinyl!!!
If you sample drums for sampling cds and loops from cds you wont hear the 4k's true sampling resolution.

The sp1200 and mpc60 are considered lo fi. The 3k is industy's standard CD quality bits and rate.

Id prefer the 3k but id love to get my hands on the 4k as well.
Everything is experience.

Peace!
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13th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ ALX View Post
Well, the 3k is 16bit 44.1kHz. Thats not considered lo fi... Well not yet. LOL.
Dre uses a bunch of 3ks and his sound is very clean.

The 4k is 24bit 96kHz and thats a very good sampling rate if you sample live instruments. Even vinyl!!!
If you sample drums for sampling cds and loops from cds you wont hear the 4k's true sampling resolution.

The sp1200 and mpc60 are considered lo fi. The 3k is industy's standard CD quality bits and rate.

Id prefer the 3k but id love to get my hands on the 4k as well.
Everything is experience.

Peace!

If you have used both like myself (4k owner), you will notice the differences in the top end between the 3000 and 4000.

The 4000 has AD-DA's of a later generation over the 3k, and that is where the obvious sound differences take place. 16bit 44.1kHz of the 3K vs the 16bit 44.1kHz of the 4000 is not the same thing, trust me.

As for Dre, what he actually uses and what we read are also different - take it with a pinch of salt. His sound is clean because it is processed using the best of the best in studio equiptment. Mind you, his earlier stuff from the 90s is not as clean sounding as his more recent work imo.

I don't think sampling Vinyl at 24bit 96kHz proves the potential of the 4000s sound quality. It's like sampling a scratch sound at 24 bit 96 - who cares??? Infact the 4000 shines when it samples drums from CD's (or any other clean digital source), because it sounds almost identical to the source.
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13th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofswing View Post
If you have used both like myself (4k owner), you will notice the differences in the top end between the 3000 and 4000.

The 4000 has AD-DA's of a later generation over the 3k, and that is where the obvious sound differences take place. 16bit 44.1kHz of the 3K vs the 16bit 44.1kHz of the 4000 is not the same thing, trust me.

As for Dre, what he actually uses and what we read are also different - take it with a pinch of salt. His sound is clean because it is processed using the best of the best. Mind you, his earlier stuff from the 90s is not as clean sounding as his more recent work imo.

I don't think sampling Vinyl at 24bit 96kHz proves the potential of the 4000s sound quality. It's like sampling a scratch sound at 24 bit 96 - who cares??? Infact the 4000 shines when it samples drums from CD's (or any other clean digital source), because it sounds almost identical to the source.
What I am hearing is the sampling quality, a sample is a sample the way its procesed and mixed will be the end result...

What the mpc brings that no other sampler series I can think of has duplicated is that slight triple or quad triple sound that primo, ATCQ, Pete Rock, Dre, Track masters and even some of the new catz have. Its the differance between say a classic singer singing a R&B song.

Yea they can do it and it may be the right notes with perfect pitch, but it wont be funky.

The seq in the Roger Linn MPC's have always and will aways make the differance between something that has a feel and something that is str8 16.

that 50-75% swing makes a record your own. it makes it have your on feel your own sound. thats why we all bought them back in the day and why they stand the test of time.

you can do anything and still have your own sound. Its a feel thing you get it or you dont. If you cant hear the differance in the feel then you should get a 4000 cause it doesnt mean anything to you.

If you truly understand Hip Hop and how the sound has changed, will change, and will continue to change, you will understand why the 3000 is the best for HIP HOP!

and maybe R&B. More people still go back to the 3000 all the time!!! even if its just for drums

they just finish in PT!

Ive said to much i'm out!!
AShah
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13th June 2007
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Thanks Guys!

I thank all of you for responding to my query. I've used the mpc60, the mpc2000XL and the mpc3000, just not the 4000. I now use Logic primarily, but was missing that whole synergy of working with a drum machine. I wasn't sure but wanted to know what the input would be to my quesry, from everyone's various experiences. In fact I also know that the 3000's feel has not been replicated by any other MPC model. But wanted to know all the 'unobvious' differences, from users of the 3000/4000.
I thank you all very muchy for taking the time... thanks for your insight!

~AJ
Dor
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13th June 2007
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I don't have the 3k but I have a 60II and 4k. They say the 60 and 3k have the same feel. To tell you the truth, I can get the 4000 swinging just like the 60 but with more fidelity. I've started tracks on the 60 and then recreated them on the 4k & they pretty much have the same feel. I've already done the 2500 vs 60 challenge. Maybe i'll do the 4k vs 60 swing test when i get a chance.

Does anyone want to post some sound files of the 3k and 4k set to the exact swing triggering drums via midi just to test the feel of the two units? I can host the files.

D
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13th June 2007
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As discussed before, that actually won't work, because the feel of the MPC is not in the MIDI clock, it's in the actual internal timing of the unit... So if you are doing timing tests you have to do them in audio.
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13th June 2007
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both MIDI and audio files are required to get valid results, i guess.
off topic: does MPC still swing with the 50% setting of time correction?
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13th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dor View Post
I don't have the 3k but I have a 60II and 4k. They say the 60 and 3k have the same feel. To tell you the truth, I can get the 4000 swinging just like the 60 but with more fidelity. I've started tracks on the 60 and then recreated them on the 4k & they pretty much have the same feel. I've already done the 2500 vs 60 challenge. Maybe i'll do the 4k vs 60 swing test when i get a chance.

Does anyone want to post some sound files of the 3k and 4k set to the exact swing triggering drums via midi just to test the feel of the two units? I can host the files.

D
Just load a hi hat pattern into one machine. Quantize it to 51%, Record it/label it
Go through all of the settings repeating for both machines.

Then pull the waves into a protools, line em up and see if the waves are different or identical.


I switched to the 4 because I can do everything I did with a 3, but guys with a 3 can't do everything I do with my 4000.
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13th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khameln View Post
As discussed before, that actually won't work, because the feel of the MPC is not in the MIDI clock, it's in the actual internal timing of the unit... So if you are doing timing tests you have to do them in audio.
Isn't the internal timing of the MPC based off of MIDI? So the Roger Linn "feel" only applies when triggering samples in RAM & not sequencing external synths? Not so sure about that.


D
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13th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khameln View Post
As discussed before, that actually won't work, because the feel of the MPC is not in the MIDI clock, it's in the actual internal timing of the unit... So if you are doing timing tests you have to do them in audio.
So you´re saying you lose the MPC´s feel/timing when sequencing for example external synths?
I don´t agree...
Somebody should call Mythbusters
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13th June 2007
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Quote:
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Isn't the internal timing of the MPC based off of MIDI? So the Roger Linn "feel" only applies when triggering samples in RAM & not sequencing external synths? Not so sure about that.


D
This is very easy to test. On your MPC60 Trigger a high hat from a module, record it at different swing settings.

Sample the same sound and do it again from ram.


(Then do it with a the 4k to test the "swing" of diff machines being different)
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13th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofswing View Post
I don't think sampling Vinyl at 24bit 96kHz proves the potential of the 4000s sound quality. It's like sampling a scratch sound at 24 bit 96 - who cares??? Infact the 4000 shines when it samples drums from CD's (or any other clean digital source), because it sounds almost identical to the source.
Hey kingofswing, I'm confused now. Why would sampling from CD show the MPC4000 true potential? If true recording of a digital source is important, why would one not just use their digital inputs. Thus making the 4000 like other models besides the 60. I would think the benefit of the converters would be from sampling analog sources. Atleast that is what I observed when I owned mine.

But we really need a sticky of a sounds that went thru different samplers, so everyone can hear the difference of converters.
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13th June 2007
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those 16bit converters on the mpc3000 have some magic. same way the old converters on lexicon 480L have some magic and character. brighter better converters are not always a good thing with drums

4000 is way more advanced on features as it should be being designed and built 10+ years later after the 3000. my major complaint with non roger linn mpc's is the excessive button pushes and shifts to do things that r one touch with the 3000.

think its resolution more than swing that characterize the mpc3000 sequencer.
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14th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggum, Ralph View Post
Hey kingofswing, I'm confused now. Why would sampling from CD show the MPC4000 true potential? If true recording of a digital source is important, why would one not just use their digital inputs. Thus making the 4000 like other models besides the 60. I would think the benefit of the converters would be from sampling analog sources. Atleast that is what I observed when I owned mine.

But we really need a sticky of a sounds that went thru different samplers, so everyone can hear the difference of converters.
My bad. I did not mean 'digital' as in the 4000's digital input, but meant it as a term for cd quality or high quality samples.

I suppose you can test converters with any source - clean or dirty. But imo it is easier to test AD-DA conversions with clean sounding samples, and that is when you know how good or bad the 4000s converters are. I say they are pretty decent sounding converters for a 5 year old product.
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14th June 2007
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MPC magic swing is so 2003...just turn off quantize, play drums with your own magic swing.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethdk View Post
those 16bit converters on the mpc3000 have some magic. same way the old converters on lexicon 480L have some magic and character. brighter better converters are not always a good thing with drums

4000 is way more advanced on features as it should be being designed and built 10+ years later after the 3000. my major complaint with non roger linn mpc's is the excessive button pushes and shifts to do things that r one touch with the 3000.

think its resolution more than swing that characterize the mpc3000 sequencer.
Older cpu clock speeds, plus the 96 ppq as well as the simple software make up for the timing / feel of the older mpcs over the newer ones imo.

The 4k is not one of those 'non Roger Linn' mpcs that requires more button pushing. It has more dedicated buttons than a 3000, such as a note repeat hold button, as well as buttons for each function like record, program, etc. No need to use shift buttons to go into these menus.

I personally find the 4000's sequencer highly felxible for drums over the my other mpcs. It has no instant funk like the 3000 or XL (created partly by slow cpu clocks), but it's when you start programming - it can really impress. You cannot go wrong with 960 ppq, and it allows far more complex note shifting than any other mpc.

Maybe it's just me but every time i use my friends 3000le, it kind of makes me fall a sleep. The dark screen does nothing to inspire me. It's built like a tank and yes it has a nice sound, but it makes me switch off over my 4000. Even my XL and 2500 can get on my nerves sometimes, but the 4000 never lets me down.
#22
14th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AON View Post
So you´re saying you lose the MPC´s feel/timing when sequencing for example external synths?
I don´t agree...
Somebody should call Mythbusters
Yup... It's not quite the same. Peff's already done the test when he was trying to produce templates, and he had to do them via audio because they never came out correctly using MIDI data. The irregularity of the MPC timing doesn't get reproduced through the midi clock, it is truly an actual irregularity of the MPC clock's timing itself that does not get transmitted in the MIDI messages.

There has been rehashed multiple times. No need for Mythbusters, just use Google or search :D
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14th June 2007
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From Peff´s site:
<embed style="width: 568px; height: 29px;" class="sIFR-flash" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" sifr="true" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" wmode="" flashvars="txt=Background&textalign=left&offsetTop=0&textcolor=#333333&hovercolor=#CCCCCC&linkcolor=#333333&w=568&h=29" quality="best" src="http://www.peff.com/journal/wp-content/themes/peffv42/tradegothic.swf" height="29" width="568">
The MPC-3000 Groove Templates are MIDI sequences extracted from sample loops created with an Akai MPC-3000 MIDI Production Center. Originally, this project involved creating MIDI files on the MPC and transferring them to a computer for import into Reason, but the results did not quite have the same feel as loops created with the MPC. The timing does not seem to capture the groove when using imported MIDI files. The problem could be the difference in PPQ (Pulse Per Quarter Note) resolution on different sequencers, or perhaps the latency and timing of the circuitry in the sampler engine.



Peff couldn´t get the same groove in Reason, that doesn´t prove that you can´t get the MPC timing when sequencing for example an AKAI S3000...
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14th June 2007
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...is it true timbo uses the MPC 4000 ..? I didnt think he used an mpc..must be a recent thing i guess?
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14th June 2007
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...is it true timbo uses the MPC 4000 ..? I didnt think he used an mpc..must be a recent thing i guess?
I know that he has them in his session, but I really think that it is danjahandz who uses it.
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I know that he has them in his session, but I really think that it is danjahandz who uses it.
I don't think that really matters. In the studio they have a blue and a white unit. At least two tracks on the Shock Value album featured drums programmed on the MPC 4000 including that Elton John track.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AON View Post
Peff couldn´t get the same groove in Reason, that doesn´t prove that you can´t get the MPC timing when sequencing for example an AKAI S3000...
He says "could be or possibly"... Not a good outlook when you want to do the test the guy was talking about to trigger drums via MIDI and compare timing (and either way, I highly doubt he was specifically talking about triggering an s3000 for the test...).

Thus again, much better to do the test with audio
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14th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khameln View Post
He says "could be or possibly"... Not a good outlook when you want to do the test the guy was talking about to trigger drums via MIDI and compare timing (and either way, I highly doubt he was specifically talking about triggering an s3000 for the test...).

Thus again, much better to do the test with audio
You misunderstood... My point is that I´m not so sure you lose the MPC`s timing/feel when sequencing external samplers and synths, sequencing an s3000 was just an example.
You do lose the swing when slaving to some sequencers MIDI clock though.
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15th June 2007
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Yo, I've owned the MPC 60II, MPC 3000LE & a MPC 4000 and they're all diff'rent animals, but to me it does'nt matter as long as I can build a good vibe out of them. It's all about the feel u get if you're building a beat or whatever & it's translating into a good vibe (A HIT SONG). The MPC 4000 kinda gives you more to work with in terms of knobs and newer technology (quality) but it does'nt matter as long as you can develop a good vibe on whatever u use (even programming in ProTools), then u can bring out the true tones yur looking for when mixing. I bought my MPC 4000 because I gave away my 3000LE 5yrs (I think) ago and was missing the feel of the pads under my finger tips.
That's my 2cents....Bless
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6th April 2009
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Did anyone ever confirm if you lose some of the MPC (60 or 3000) feel when you use it to trigger other midi devises VS triggering samples with it? Also is it definitely true that you lose the feel when slaving an MPC to a DAW?
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