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How to build setup around MPC?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

How to build setup around MPC?

What's good?

I'm looking to buy an older MPC (2000 XL) and would like to know how to build a setup around that.

I have an interface with 2 ins and 2 outs, a turntable and a 2 channel DJ mixer, so I probably need one with more ins to avoid tracking out everything 1 by 1.

Would you recommend getting a interface or a mixer for an MPC setup?

Mixing will be done on a computer.

What do you guys think? How can I get the most out of having a 2000 XL in 2019.

For the older crowd: How did the greats do it back then? Did they mix and sequence everything on hardware or how was the workflow? At what stage did the beat "leave" the MPC and was transferred to a computer / mixingboard ?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 
KickDrum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hip Hop Head View Post
What's good?

I'm looking to buy an older MPC (2000 XL) and would like to know how to build a setup around that.

I have an interface with 2 ins and 2 outs, a turntable and a 2 channel DJ mixer, so I probably need one with more ins to avoid tracking out everything 1 by 1.

Would you recommend getting a interface or a mixer for an MPC setup?

Mixing will be done on a computer.

What do you guys think? How can I get the most out of having a 2000 XL in 2019.

For the older crowd: How did the greats do it back then? Did they mix and sequence everything on hardware or how was the workflow? At what stage did the beat "leave" the MPC and was transferred to a computer / mixingboard ?
Here’s how I’d set it up:

Turntable -> DJ Mixer -> MPC 2000xl -> Audio interface -> monitor speakers

Also...

MIDI Out of audio interface -> MIDI In of Akai MPC

If your audio interface doesn’t have midi, you can get a cheap midi interface. This allows your MPC to stop and start on time with your computer, allowing you to track out stems for mixing, adding other parts in virtual instruments, etc.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
PHG
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PHG's Avatar
Since you already have a computer and an audio interface, I'd really suggest just skipping the MPC 2000xl, and go for a modern MPC Studio with MPC Software instead.

After I upgraded to the modern stuff, I don't miss my MPC 2000xl at all. So many things are easier.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KickDrum View Post
Here’s how I’d set it up:

Turntable -> DJ Mixer -> MPC 2000xl -> Audio interface -> monitor speakers

Also...

MIDI Out of audio interface -> MIDI In of Akai MPC

If your audio interface doesn’t have midi, you can get a cheap midi interface. This allows your MPC to stop and start on time with your computer, allowing you to track out stems for mixing, adding other parts in virtual instruments, etc.
Thanks. Good suggestion regarding the MIDI interface. My audio interface indeed has no MIDI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHG View Post
Since you already have a computer and an audio interface, I'd really suggest just skipping the MPC 2000xl, and go for a modern MPC Studio with MPC Software instead.

After I upgraded to the modern stuff, I don't miss my MPC 2000xl at all. So many things are easier.
I checked out the MPC software and I'm not feeling it. Too convuluted for me. If I produce on the computer I prefer more streamlined software and linear way of working.

On hardware it's different tho. My way of thought is that I need to understand how Hip Hop used to be made and then apply that knowledge later to modern tech.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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boombapdame's Avatar
 

Focus @ Hip Hop Head on how Hip Hop is made now as it'll do your soul good.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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deuc647's Avatar
I would probably say skip the 2000xl also. Maybe get a 2500 with JJos and call it, its way more capable sequencer and holds a lot more memory.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hip Hop Head View Post
How did the greats do it back then? Did they mix and sequence everything on hardware or how was the workflow? At what stage did the beat "leave" the MPC and was transferred to a computer / mixingboard ?
„back then“ there was no computer so the mpc outs where connected to the mixer and recorded to tape. the computer first replaced the tape then the mixer then the sampler lol
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
PHG
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PHG's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hip Hop Head View Post
I checked out the MPC software and I'm not feeling it. Too convuluted for me. If I produce on the computer I prefer more streamlined software and linear way of working.

On hardware it's different tho. My way of thought is that I need to understand how Hip Hop used to be made and then apply that knowledge later to modern tech.
That makes sense. Don't get me wrong, it is great hardware. I had mine for about 15 years. But after I bought MPC Studio, I really like all the extra features, and how I can quickly do something that used to take hours.

If you are really set on the MPC2000xl, and want to make it your primary hardware, I would do this.

Turntable -> DJ Mixer -> input 1 and 2 on the MPC 2000XL

This will let you sample vinyl in stereo or mono)

If you can't afford a turntable mixer, just grab a cheap phono audio receiver at Goodwill.

MPC 2000XL with 8 output expander > 8 inputs on an Audio interface (like a Focusrite Clarrett, etc)

Audio interface> monitor speakers

MIDI Out of audio interface -> MIDI In of Akai MPC
MIDI out of Akai MPC -> MIDI in of audio interface

That way you can either make the MPC or the DAW your master clock, depending how you feel at the time.

I wouldn't bother with a hardware mixer or anything else between the MPC and audio interface. Just set all the outputs as loud as they can go on the MPC, adjust all the input levels on the Audio Interface so that nothing is clipping, then you can use the software mixer that comes with your audio interface or DAW when you need them.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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deuc647's Avatar
You know what you miss with staying ITB vs using an MPC? Sound. You cannot get a ITB drum sound to sound like running my MPC thru the Electronaut M63 preamp no matter how many plugins you use. So when you track multiple tracks with it, its a cumulative effect.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Plenty of options - I do everything in hardware and then just bounce to computer so the final file is how the rest of the world wants it but this means lots of hardware. If you're set on an old MPC have you looked into staying in the hardware world and just bouncing to DAW for the final stereo mix? It does mean acquiring a console, outboard effects, compression, etc... but it's a lot of fun making music that way and you're not staring a a computer screen. Or there's the option of a digital multi-track also.
If you're set on doing more work in a DAW there's the option of MPC Studio or an MP controller so you get the keypad but with the DAW doing the work if you're not keen on the new MPC's with all the off-putting lights everywhere.
The greats would have used a variety of methods depending on which engineer helped at the studios they used. Back then early CuBase on Atari ST hooked up to a rack sampler such as an S2000 was as common as an MPC.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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BezowinZ's Avatar
Not for the software, but unless you need the 2000 for something the newer MPCs can't do, I'd go for something more modern.

I know the 60 & 3000 were known for their sound. Not sure if there was anything special about the 2000.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BezowinZ View Post
Not for the software, but unless you need the 2000 for something the newer MPCs can't do, I'd go for something more modern.
I honestly like the Live for this reason. I have that standalone approach but I can also use the software too if I'd like. It's an excellent hybrid. I prefer standalone and so far I've been impressed.
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