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Hardware Sequencer, Software, MPC? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 7th September 2011
Lives for gear

Hardware Sequencer, Software, MPC?

I've been using a Yamaha RM1x for the past 5 years to good effect. Now that I'm getting ever-more-in-depth with sequencing, I'm maxing out the internal 110,000 event memory of the unit. I bought some 3.5" floppy disks to back-up songs to, and that's going OK, but apparently there are some internal memory bugs in the RM1x that required periodic Factory Resetting on some units (apparently mine included). This means then having to go in and manually reset my master settings each time.

SO I'm looking for a new solution.

At the same time, I'm getting more and more into detailed sample manipulation. The Zoom ST-224 sampler I've had for about 4 years has served me well, but is now also basically inadequate for my needs.

AND SO I thought "Well those MPC-1000s look pretty slick, especially what with the jjos and everything," but they have 96ppqn to the RM1x's 480, and basically the same amount of MIDI storage.

So I thought, well, maybe I ought to get the MPC to haul heavy sampling duties, and get the king of all hardware sequencers, the Roland mc-80 with a massive internal hard drive for unlimited MIDI storage.

And then I started thinking, man...that's a lot of new hardware.

I'm looking for some guidance and experience on this.

Do people have good experience with the MPCs if they've had a history of 16-step sequencers? Any experience withthe mc80? Should I just suck it up and joing the 21st century and put together a DAW for all this stuff? (I hate doing music on a computer, but maybe the hardware dream is dead).
Old 7th September 2011
Lives for gear

Personally i think using a DAW is just so much easier and way faster. Depends on how you like to work i guess. Its a lot easier looking at a 24" screen and programming midi on a piano roll than looking at a tiny blacklit lcd and scrolling through note values. Sample work is also a breeze since everything you need to work with is right there. Finally you can build a high end pc and get a DAW for less $$ than a new MPC. heh
Old 7th September 2011
Gear Nut

The hardware dream is fading, but never dead imho. There's plenty of great hardware sequencers still around.

Why don't you upgrade to the Yamaha RS-7000? 200,000 note data, 480ppq, and pretty good sample manipulation. If you're coming from the RM1x, naturally the RS-7000 is the next step.

As far as Mpc's go, I'd recommend the 4000. 960ppq resolution, 300,000 note data, 80gig hard-disk, it's basically a sampling synth in an Mpc hardshell. It also has a step sequencing mode.

Daws are bar-none the best sequencers, technically. Personally, I prefer the hands-on approach with hardware, but if you're after precise sequencing, editing, and sample manipulation all in one box, I'd say Mpc 4000 or Daw.
Old 7th September 2011
Gear Maniac
harness's Avatar
Used the RM1X for a brief time, moved to Fruity Loops, did not like it. Got the RS7000 8 years ago at still use it more than ever. Used quite a few DAWs, managed to complete a few tracks in each of them, but never enjoyed the process.

You using the RM1X for 5 years, I'd guess you are comfortable with the machine. Switching to anything would take getting used to, the RS7000 would be the most seamless. The sampler and manipulation is great, but I could also preprocess my samples on a PC before loading it up in the Yamaha if I needed more. Sometimes I do, but prefer other ways.

I also have an MPC 1000. I get along with it fine, prefer to use it on its own. An MPC 4000 would be very nice, but I settled on the RS7000. Different machines, different ways of working.
Old 7th September 2011
Gear Maniac
AbsoluteSpirit's Avatar

The MPC 5000 has 480 ppq too...

Most daws will have a variation of the step sequencer and then some - I decided to stick with Reason / Record but you may find Maschine may be more your cup of tea...
Old 7th September 2011
Here for the gear

If you are planning to use more hardware, I would choose a hardware sequencer. Better sync and no latency problems. Thats why I moved from a software seq. to a hardware sequencer. I own a mpc but a yamaha rs7000 should be fine too...
Old 7th September 2011
Deleted User
If it's 16-step analog style step sequencer you'e looking for I recommend Numerology from five12
Old 7th September 2011
Lives for gear

I have an MPC60 as my only and main sequencer and main midi production centerpiece hub and don't plan to replace it. Simple, basic.. Love it.
Old 7th September 2011
Lives for gear
szf's Avatar
Bought a RS7000 when they came out to replace my daw. Was really happy with it, although I ended up still using my daw, but to a lesser extent.
Got an MPC2000XL not too long ago and rate it much more highly in regard to drums, but the summing is more muffled, has very slightly less bass, but still has more punch, noticable on snares (comp to RS7k). I find the mpc workflow way less contorted.
..Also, many people say the RS7000 is really tight, this is not really the case, timing is 3 times worse than the mpc2k, and that is not even that good compared to the mpc3000/60.. which are next on my list to get.. You should check them out.
I still use my RS7000 slaved to my mpc2000, and find it really cool to use as a multitrack recorder, nice fx and the tempo synced lfos are useful for gated pads, vocals etc.
Old 8th September 2011
Gear Guru
Muser's Avatar
there are a few sequencers which are hard to beat for what they are. RM1X is one of them. I've seen some people putting in USB floppy emulators in a QY700 ,,,, like here.

EX5Tech Discussion : Floppy drive alternative

if that works in a QY there's a good chance it will work in an RM1X. It isn't any faster but at least you can store a whole lot more.

as for resetting, I'm assuming that if you set up and then save an ALL file...
that won't bring back in your base settings at that point, with no sequences ?

because if that works, that could be a quicker solution.
Old 8th September 2011
Gear Maniac

Originally Posted by Brainchild View Post
Should I just suck it up and joing the 21st century and put together a DAW for all this stuff? (I hate doing music on a computer, but maybe the hardware dream is dead).
I have fond memories of the RM1X. The hardware dream does not have to die, at least in the tactile, hands-on experience sense and does not have to involve a full-on DAW thanks to Maschine which for me is the best of both worlds. You don't have to look at the computer monitor or touch a mouse and do pretty much everything from the Maschine controller.

Don't overlook Maschine's tactile step sequencer either if efficient hands-on workflow matters for you. It's not just limited to 16 (4x4) steps. You can change step resolutions at will and the pads will light up differently for each resolution and you can scroll through every step with the buttons above the right display which shows you where you are in the pattern. And the way they implemented the navigate page with the backlit pads that lets you pan, zoom in and out of Maschine's patterns and scene arranger, as well as opening/closing the browser and automation panel in the software GUI from the hardware is just fantastic. Maschine also have its own way of doing step parameter locks like the Machinedrum/Monomachine/Octratrack trinity. I prefer Maschine's way because you can change the values of multiple steps at once.
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