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A serious discussion about MPC 3000 emulation
Old 18th February 2020
  #1
A serious discussion about MPC 3000 emulation

I probably think about this way too much.

I decided its time to direct this discussion here instead of living in my head. I'm sure you guys would bring lots of info.

I daydream about digital emulation of the mpc 3000. I cannot stand the sound of digital and my brain simply isn't wired for clunky groovebox workflows. I'm the perfect age that I started making music in FL studio in 1999/2000 with computers, with the sound of the 3000 being my north star. ignorance kept me pushing with the computer workflow... and by the time i had the knowledge that this sound was analog and was essentially the opposite of digital sound.... it was starting to be emulated in plugins.

Ive spent a really long time studying different analog emulation plugins and their capabilities... in hopes of recreating the magical sound of the mpc 3000.

The toughest part of all of this is not actually having any hands on experience with an actual mpc 3000. everything i know comes from studying guys like j dilla, dr. dre, black milk and the drums and samples they use. theres nuance there like what the rest of their chain is.... but im starting to come to the realization that dilla was pretty raw going into the 3000 for the most part. most of his snap came from the adsr inside the 3000. in addition to stuyding the music of these guys.... there are also minimal videos online comparing raw audio on different machines including the mpc 3000. i've taken frequency analyzers to these videos and audio... to say the least. also tidbits from long discussions from guys like young guru. also the musical context of hip hop from the 90's and 00's and who was creating it and what they were using to create it.

i've done everything but shell out the $3000 to buy one. I'm super afraid that I simply won't be able to use it.... which is kinda sad.

So what does the mpc 3000 really do to the sound? how is it coloring sound? Let's talk about it... and i'm 100% open to ideas and suggestions. But this is what I think is happening......

-it's adding a subtle mid/low punch to the attack but only to the lower frequencies..... maybe 300-500hz and below?
-it's shaving off high end frequencies in a unique way
-it's placing each sound in a frequency shelf almost. so if its a kick it sounds one way, if its a snare its sitting in a different place. its an analog thing... you can hear it in machines like the sp 1200 too. as opposed to digital where you can hear frequencies all over the place and kicks and snares will share all kinds of similar frequencies.... muddy.
-small low/mid frequency eq spike
-it seems to give it this extremely extremely subtle cabinet effect but i cant pin it down. it seems "dirty" almost... but the more you try to pin it down, the more you think of it as an "analog clean". its frustrating.

All of this coloration is extremly subtle... but also analog and unique in a way only to the 3000. i've tried countless settings on plugins and different chains with different analog emulation plugins and its extremely difficult to get anything close.

For one... the mpc 3000 has THREE DIFFERENT MOTHERBOARDS. 3 mother boards! that right there i think is huge on what it does to color sounds. The thing is 16 bit 44.1 which is basically cd quality... so bitcrushing won't get you very far. It has been said that the guts and specs are the same as the s3000 but I don't believe it.

Things like analog emulating transient designers, analog emulating eq's have been the most helpful in getting closer to emulating the 3000 but I think there's more factors at play than are capable of figuring out.

I've had serious thoughts about hiring a plugin developer to start studying what can be done on this. It's a real possibility but a lot more info and insight would be needed. I've toyed with the idea of spending the money only to make it for myself.... but it would make more economic sense to release something publicly.

Would anyone have interest in an MPC 3000 emulation plugin? The marketing would be tricky, as i'm not sure the public has been trained to understand that the 3000 colors sound the way it does.... it would be assumed as a sequencer or something. Going to have to think about that.

I really cannot stand the sound of digital, but its all i'll know and probably all i'll every know. I'm frustrated.

EDIT: after rereading that I was way to heavy handed in calling it analog in my description. I shouldn't have done that. If ANYONE understands that the mpc 3000 is a digital machine, its me. I've literally called people out in youtube comments for trying to say that any mpc is analog. So i get that.

LET ME BE CLEAR: MPC'S (MIDI PRODUCTION CENTERS) ARE NOT ANALOG PIECES OF EQUIPMENT. THEY ARE DIGITAL. THEY ARE COMPUTERS.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #2
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goldphinga's Avatar
 

i have a 3000- it def has mojo. Akai already has the 3000 filters modelled on their current mpc software. With the 3000 itโ€™s more how you drive the input stage and how that colours the sonics. Also the envelopes as youโ€™ve noted are very snappy. Iโ€™d def buy a full emulation plugin just to have in my computer as the workflow of the 3000 doesn't really fit into my flow these days as criminal as it is to have it just sitting there a lot of the time.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga View Post
i have a 3000- it def has mojo. Akai already has the 3000 filters modelled on their current mpc software. With the 3000 itโ€™s more how you drive the input stage and how that colours the sonics. Also the envelopes as youโ€™ve noted are very snappy. Iโ€™d def buy a full emulation plugin just to have in my computer as the workflow of the 3000 doesn't really fit into my flow these days as criminal as it is to have it just sitting there a lot of the time.
Now that you mention the envelopes... I think its the second time i've heard theres something about them. Essentially the adsr is digital... and I figured every envelope setting no matter analog or digital, would be the same in theory. this is interesting.

And as far as the 3000 emulation with current mpc software.... it seems like a cheap novelty. From what I can tell.... its trash in regards of real 3000 emulation. With that said... i've neither used the actual 3000 OR akai's emulation. but from what i can tell.... the emulation they did seems pointless.
Old 18th February 2020
  #4
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the fxs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brodel34 View Post
I cannot stand the sound of digital ... and by the time i had the knowledge that this sound was analog and was essentially the opposite of digital sound...
For one... the mpc 3000 has THREE DIFFERENT MOTHERBOARDS. 3 mother boards! that right there i think is huge on what it does to color sounds.
i'm sorry, but your first post gave me a good laugh. (no offence)
you can't stand the sound of digital?
do you really think the MPC3000 is analog?
how did you come to the conclusion that the number of motherboards in a DIGITAL DEVICE has anything to do wiht the sound quality?
it's not like we're talking discrete audio design or transformers in analog devices.

Last edited by the fxs; 18th February 2020 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 18th February 2020
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
i'm sorry, but your first post gave a good laugh. (no offence)
you can't stand the sound of digital?
do you really think the MPC3000 is analog?
how did you come to the conclusion that the number of motherboards in a DIGITAL DEVICE has anything to do wiht the sound quality?
it's not like we're talking discrete audio design or transformers in analog devices.
yes i understand that an mpc is digital. but would you define an mpc 3000 as the definition of digitial audio? enjoy your laughs, <deleted by moderator - cleanup>

this is a discussion on what is being changed and why its being changed as far as the sound. if all you're gonna do is judge the conversation without actually bringing any value.... then you can kick rocks. someone could easily take your tone and assume that a windows 95 pc will produce the same sound the as an mpc 3000. thanks for nothing. you are of no value to this conversation.

anyone is welcome to contribute to this conversation as long as you bring something to it. this person clearly doesn't.

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:36 PM.. Reason: -
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Old 18th February 2020
  #6
Hates digital.. Wants to emulate an MPC.. Something's not right here.

I still wanna know what this mythical sound is. You've never heard or seen one in person, how do you even know what the 3000's "sound" is from an over produced mastered commercial release? I guess if you can slag off Akai's new filter emulation without having actually used it too then hyping up something else you've never experienced isn't much of a stretch.

At least it was the 3000 and not the 60 for once. The MPC is a sampler. Plain and simple. Not a single analog thing about it.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #7
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the fxs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brodel34 View Post
enjoy your laughs, <deleted by moderator - cleanup>
lol, a SERIOUS discussion ...

do some serious research, actually make music on a 3k for some time.
putting youtube videos through analyzers won't do anything.
if you have never been on a real MPC you are missing the whole point.

calling expirienced people "asshole" won't help neither, but go ahead.
i'm out, chopping up some breaks on my MPC.

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:36 PM.. Reason: -
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Old 18th February 2020
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotremata View Post
Hates digital.. Wants to emulate an MPC.. Something's not right here.

I still wanna know what this mythical sound is. You've never heard or seen one in person, how do you even know what the 3000's "sound" is from an over produced mastered commercial release? I guess if you can slag off Akai's new filter emulation without having actually used it too then hyping up something else you've never experienced isn't much of a stretch.

At least it was the 3000 and not the 60 for once. The MPC is a sampler. Plain and simple. Not a single analog thing about it.
ive heard the emulation. you <deleted by moderator - cleanup> m sure you're a do less with more kinda guy the way you talk. definitely nothing of note coming from you artistically or from an engineer perspective. i'd bet money on that.

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:37 PM.. Reason: -
Old 18th February 2020
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
lol, a SERIOUS discussion ...

do some serious research, actually make music on a 3k for some time.
putting youtube videos through analyzers won't do anything.
if you have never been on a real MPC you are missing the whole point.

calling expirienced people "asshole" won't help neither, but go ahead.
i'm out, chopping up some breaks on my MPC.
the point is the sound. thats literally the point. im sure your **** is trash dude. its hilarious that i never imagined the direction of this thread going to negative.

you could've gotten your point across... which was already known, in less of a ****-boy way. find a bridge and jump off of it. i created this thread coming from a good place. why pricks like you find it necessity to be a ****ing ass clown for no reason is beyond me. enjoy your mpc, asshole.
Old 18th February 2020
  #10
does the mpc 3000 sound different than a computer????

Yes or no???

You guys get your wish. You've ruined my thread and killed it. There is zero desire for any emulation of the 3000 and any discussion of it is simply laughable and ludicrous.

Congratulations.

I cannot stand the members of this forum. What a ****ty place.

I literally ASKED for insight on what is changing the sound on the 3000. Said i came from a place of ignorance.
So what do you guys do? Make me feel like a ****ing idiot ANYWAY and laugh at me. What the **** is wrong with you? I came in asking questions. You guys are ****ing assholes and at this point i'd like to go crawl in a hole.

Thanks.
Old 18th February 2020
  #11
Lives for gear
Bye
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Old 18th February 2020
  #12
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the fxs's Avatar
 

wow
Old 18th February 2020
  #13
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If you'd give Dilla an MPC Live or MPC One, or a Digitakt or an Electribe (or a plastic bucket): it would still sound like a Dilla track. It's about the cook, not the kitchen. Yeah of course each devices gives a specific 'something' but especially with samplers it's really about what you put in, and how you work the sequencer.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by olafmol View Post
If you'd give Dilla an MPC Live or MPC One, or a Digitakt or an Electribe (or a plastic bucket): it would still sound like a Dilla track. It's about the cook, not the kitchen. Yeah of course each devices gives a specific 'something' but especially with samplers it's really about what you put in, and how you work the sequencer.
1. thats false. the gear is everything at the most and way more than what people make it, at the least... its not "nothing". simply misinformation. not true
2. this thread is cancelled... you didn't get the memo? it doesnt matter.

this thread was created out of frustration. frustration with what? the drums from "the light" by common are the detroit emeralds - you're getting a little too smart. i watched a video about keeping it raw going into the mpc. i correlated that the drums from the light could get by with being processed minimally in the mpc with adsr.
so i tryed to recreate the drum sounds using the break and a digital adsr envelope.... it sounds nothing like the light drums. sequencing isnt even a factor in this.... we're talking about drum processing.

so what are you going to say? "oh thats because of the gear he ran it through"
yeah... no ****ing ****. thats why i created this thread on how to emulate this stuff.

and you wanna tell me its all the same? you're <deleted by moderator - cleanup> for real.

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:38 PM.. Reason: -
Old 18th February 2020
  #15
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WozNYC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by olafmol View Post

If you'd give Dilla an MPC Live or MPC One, or a Digitakt or an Electribe (or a plastic bucket): it would still sound like a Dilla track. It's about the cook, not the kitchen.
He's absolutely 100% correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brodel34 View Post

thats false. the gear is everything at the most and way more than what people make it, at the least.
You sound like you have a lot to learn. Good luck to you. Your attitude isn't helping matters.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #16
Gear Addict
Thread took a nosedive here.

I get OPs excitement and point tho, and if theyโ€™re coming from never having used an MPC, I can understand a few facts get confused along the way.

That said, Iโ€™d recommend the OP try an actual MPC, maybe an older one like the 1000, 2000 or 2000xl, just to see whatโ€™s that like. Working with one is just such a physical thing, and it either works for some people or not at all.

And on the software side, maybe try the s950 filter emulation to see if that also gives a sense of what these older machines are capable of, but in the box. Very roughly (I know the 3K is totally different).

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Old 18th February 2020
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by WozNYC View Post
He's absolutely 100% correct.



You sound like you have a lot to learn. Good luck to you. Your attitude isn't helping matters.
you guys are boiling down to the fact that the mpc 3000 does not color sound. its ****ing trash. and its false. you sound like you have a ways to go.
Old 18th February 2020
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by millionmiles View Post
Thread took a nosedive here.

I get OPs excitement and point tho, and if theyโ€™re coming from never having used an MPC, I can understand a few facts get confused along the way.

That said, Iโ€™d recommend the OP try an actual MPC, maybe an older one like the 1000, 2000 or 2000xl, just to see whatโ€™s that like. Working with one is just such a physical thing, and it either works for some people or not at all.

And on the software side, maybe try the s950 filter emulation to see if that also gives a sense of what these older machines are capable of, but in the box. Very roughly (I know the 3K is totally different).

yeah i get it... you push buttons and it makes a noise. whats your point... theres literally no difference in sound between a computer and an mpc 3000? i have some land for sale if you're interested.

s950 emulation? lmao i guess i should try that, right? i had it on preorder. you have no idea the extent of my research, with all due respect. and correct... i have not used an mpc 3000. im not claiming to have operated one. all im claiming is that there is a difference in sound. and its not disputable, really.

are you familiar with the bitrate of the mpc 3000? maybe you should research it a little before you recomeend an s950 emulator. mpc 3000 is cd quality.

I guarantee you im closer than anybody has come in emulation with plugin chains. But we can't even get to that part of the discussion without minimalizing the entire discussion before it even starts.

s950 was tested and is not part of my mpc 3000 emulation chain. theres many plugins that i use to emulate it and the s950 is not one of them.

now back to your regularly scheduled program of "an mpc is digital and does not have color"

**** this forum, honestly.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #19
Here for the gear
 

Hello brodel

Quote:
Originally Posted by brodel34 View Post
I probably think about this way too much.
Yes - from a musical standpoint the mpc 3000 is not *that* important. It might help you in various subtle ways to get you sonics you like. But it won't spot material to sample, nor help you relate samples to create an interesting musical context. That was, is and will be the domain of the creative mind.

No - from your writing anyone can see you have a great interest in sound design. Keep that going! It seems to me you already know what you need to create the sonic flavour(s) that you like.

The *means* - the actual tools you can use to apply that knowledge - are plenty.

If somebody asked me to write something with strong retro-drummachine/mpc/sp-1200 sonics, I'd start with NI Battery and the soundtoys plugins.

With those two you have plenty of saturation and transient shaping possibilities. Decapitator and devil-loc are your friends. Battery also has an 'mpc' mode for sample playback, but perhaps more interesting for you is the modulatable equalisers and filters.

Push the mpc3000 fixation aside for a week.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #20
if you think the mpc 3000 does not color sound simply because its digital than you are factually wrong. thats all there is to it. ask some ****ing pro's... dumbasses. ever heard of guys like young guru? you know.... professional audio engineers?
listen to what they say about the mpc 3000.

<deleted by moderator - cleanup>

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:39 PM.. Reason: -
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Old 18th February 2020
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormPilot View Post
Hello brodel



Yes - from a musical standpoint the mpc 3000 is not *that* important. It might help you in various subtle ways to get you sonics you like. But it won't spot material to sample, nor help you relate samples to create an interesting musical context. That was, is and will be the domain of the creative mind.

No - from your writing anyone can see you have a great interest in sound design. Keep that going! It seems to me you already know what you need to create the sonic flavour(s) that you like.

The *means* - the actual tools you can use to apply that knowledge - are plenty.

If somebody asked me to write something with strong retro-drummachine/mpc/sp-1200 sonics, I'd start with NI Battery and the soundtoys plugins.

With those two you have plenty of saturation and transient shaping possibilities. Decapitator and devil-loc are your friends. Battery also has an 'mpc' mode for sample playback, but perhaps more interesting for you is the modulatable equalisers and filters.

Push the mpc3000 fixation aside for a week.
bro we're in diffrerent levels of this conversation. i'm talking about sample for sample comparison.... on a scientific sound comparison level. you're talking about musical sequencing. we're not on the same page. this is not a philosophical discussion. take that somewhere else.

i started using battery and sound toys plugins years ago. this is more advanced.
Old 18th February 2020
  #22
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by brodel34 View Post
yeah i get it... you push buttons and it makes a noise. whats your point... theres literally no difference in sound between a computer and an mpc 3000? i have some land for sale if you're interested.

s950 emulation? lmao i guess i should try that, right? i had it on preorder. you have no idea the extent of my research, with all due respect. and correct... i have not used an mpc 3000. im not claiming to have operated one. all im claiming is that there is a difference in sound. and its not disputable, really.

are you familiar with the bitrate of the mpc 3000? maybe you should research it a little before you recomeend an s950 emulator. mpc 3000 is cd quality.

I guarantee you im closer than anybody has come in emulation with plugin chains. But we can't even get to that part of the discussion without minimalizing the entire discussion before it even starts.

s950 was tested and is not part of my mpc 3000 emulation chain. theres many plugins that i use to emulate it and the s950 is not one of them.

now back to your regularly scheduled program of "an mpc is digital and does not have color"

**** this forum, honestly.
well i guess i learned my lesson in commenting!

from the extent of your research, it seems to me you've got it under wraps.

i'll look forward to your notes as i stare blankly at the 5 beige Akai's i have in my rack out of the other 11 samplers set up in front of my right now. carry on!

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Old 18th February 2020
  #23
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Jamie munro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brodel34 View Post
you guys are boiling down to the fact that the mpc 3000 does not color sound. its ****ing trash. and its false. you sound like you have a ways to go.

There is a way to get a conversation going and the opposite

Scott is a pro with a long history in electronic music and you would do worse than be polite as you may learn something from him, and others. Like many of us he has a lot to offer in the way of experience/knowledge call it what you want, you could manage this much better and be less offensive and actually gain some valuable insight into the 3k and other Akai units if you truly want it.

Your choice, if you want a discussion then hold one.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #24
Gear Nut
 

brodel how can yo call anybody a <deleted by moderator - cleanup> when you think an mpc is analogue. Also you claim this is or was a serious discussion, yet you are being openly aggressive to even the measured / thoughtful answers presented above. Please stop lashing out. It's ok to be wrong sometimes.

I await your hailstorm of insults....

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:40 PM.. Reason: -
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Old 18th February 2020
  #25
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the fxs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brodel34 View Post
if you think the mpc 3000 does not color sound simply because its digital than you are factually wrong.

<deleted by moderator - cleanup>
who even said so in the first place?

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:40 PM.. Reason: -
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Old 18th February 2020
  #26
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Keen to learn more from the OP.

He seems both knowledgeable and humble.

Go on.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #27
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Acid Mitch's Avatar
 

Having digital versions of digital stuff would be awesome. Especially for those folks who hate digital.
Such a great idea it makes me wunder why no one's done it yet.
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Old 18th February 2020
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Mitch View Post
Having digital versions of digital stuff would be awesome. Especially for those folks who hate digital.
Such a great idea it makes me wunder why no one's done it yet.
so then you're saying an mpc 3000 doesnt color sound because its already digitial? so an mpc 3000 sounds the same as v1 of fruity loops on windows 95? correct, right?

thanks for the outstanding contribution to the discussion, Acid Mitch.
Old 18th February 2020
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
who even said so in the first place?
so then what the **** is your point? or you just being an<deleted by moderator - cleanup>

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:40 PM.. Reason: -
Old 18th February 2020
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie munro View Post
There is a way to get a conversation going and the opposite
yeah no shi!t. like how i ****ing started this conversation. perfectly friendly. you all can go **** yourselves at this point.. pretty clear nobody has interest in an actual discussion on this without being<deleted by moderator - cleanup>. so thats where we're at. **** you.

Last edited by Reptil; 18th February 2020 at 04:41 PM.. Reason: -
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