MPC Live & MPC X


Thanks for saying @JohntheSavage

I’m originally from a classical background and tend to think about music in a more linear sort of way, even if it’s just a beat on repeat. A three minute long piece is still a completely linear progress, no matter its content and the randomisations going on in there. For that purpose, the MPC seems to think more like I’m used to.

But I’m still detoxing. I’ve been in step sequencing country for years and learned to appreciate what that brings to the table, so we’ll see. I like it so far.

Great work on the Tempest with Roger Linn, by the way. Your successful negotiation with Linn and the results that came out of it, made me keep the Tempest. For this, I thank you.


You’re very welcome! As I’ve said in the past, I did it as much for myself as for the community, but it does make me happy to know that the results of those efforts still resonate with Tempest users in a positive way. And Roger and I remain friends to this day, so it proved to be good experience in the long run, well worth the hassle and frustration. That said, I do wish there was enough overhead left in the Tempest, and the willingness on DSI’s behalf, to implement one last round of bug fixes; but sadly, that will never happen.

I actually bought the MPC Live because I’m sick of negotiating with the Tempest’s rather unpredictable voice stealing algorithm, which still needs a lot of work. I perform and record beats, live onstage, and the Tempest has made a mockery of too many otherwise flawless performances; so, I decided to go with a box that offers more polyphony and more reliable playback. The idea being to use the MPC for finger-drumming and live sequencing, and the Tempest for prefab beats and fodder for the MPC. It’s early days, but thus far, I’m getting the results I was hoping for.

Much like yourself, I am also a trained musician first (a guitarist), so I approach every instrument, electronic or otherwise, with the expectation that I can perform on it in real-time, in the context of a linear arrangement. It’s amazing how few instruments fit the bill when you apply that one seemingly simple prerequisite. Hence why I fought so hard for the Tempest to come to fruition - I needed it (grin)!



Yes, makes total sense. I’m excited to see what Roger Linn brings with the new drum machine he’s mentioned, once it’s unveiled. It did feel like he was polite and professional enough in his communication to understand that Dave Smith just didn’t want to push development further now, for various reasons, but that the Tempest was in some ways an opportunity lost to make something already amazing, become even grander.

The MPC is making more and more sense to my linear brain. From time to time, over the years, I’ve sometimes been both frustrated but also fascinated by the limitations of step sequencing in situations when I just want to sit down and record a 32-bar sequence in one take. But that has forced me to find new ways, of course.

But now, to just sit down, play and record a take that’s as long as I want it to, without tricking the sequencer with conditionals or different time signatures - to just play it and then it’s done - is very refreshing.

But we’re honeymooning still. Time and patience will tell where this ends up.


I’ve found that people who like to play their sequences in, as opposed to programming them in, tend to like MPCs more :nyan:

I also prefer playing, most of the time. I wish I had more chops though :blush:


Second this. Just putting the seq on 128 bars and zoning out with some nice slices :relieved:


The loop mentality is so engrained in me I even forgot I can do things linearly…
How would you do that, record a whole long take for an instrument, then repeat for all other?


Reading these last few posts gives me MPC Live envy.

I’m making LP sampled hiphop triphop type stuff and a long time MPC1000 user, then ableton live, then both (MPC master/Abes slave). Then I discovered the OP-1, then the DT and I’ve been going back and forth between both since.

What’s important is that I want a one stop machine. As far as I understand the production ability of the MPC Live is spot on.

Now, how about in a live context? Can I easily pre-organise sequences/patterns (beats) as a set and go from one beat to the other easily, while trackmuting, etc and transitioning smoothly?

Whenever I google/youtube MPC Live I never find beat sets, or someone doing what I describe above. The most stuff I find is finger tapping (these pads seem amazingly sensitive, nothing like my 1K), or arranging/producing.

Surely with a name such as “MPC Live” :slight_smile:

Let me know your thoughts.


Sure, individual track lengths :slight_smile:


Right, so now that I’ve spent another day with this thing, a couple of things occur to me -

Being familiar with the Tempest, once I got the practicalities around the MPC Live, I found that just playing this thing and knocking out ideas, is a breeze. It’s like putting a tape on record and not stopping it, just jamming away.

The entire idea of different track lengths is absolutely brilliant. Again, I’m new to the MPC, so for many of you, I’m sure this is familiar since decades back. But not for me. It suits my sheet music / play in one take / rehearse and rehearse again mentality so well. And swapping between the tracks to lay down beats on one, a bass on another, put in a lead or why not a piano, is just so damn easy.

Which brings me to the internal synths. The bass and electric piano engines are just great. Punch, character and color to boost. The tube synth is no Prophet, but it’s on par with any other VA out there. I kind of like that they’re not flooded with options either, helps you get to where you want pretty quickly.

I’ve heard some bad mentions on the FX. I’m only using the AIR effects. I think they’re great. Perhaps this talk of bad fx was prior to these AIR plugs, which I just think get the job done really well.

I really don’t miss anything on this one, so far. I can’t think of a single thing I want to do, that this one can’t. I haven’t sampled yet, no chopping or slicing, only used stock samples and internal synth engines. But I’m assuming the sample and edit sections for that, will be more than enough for me as well.

Remember - I come from Octatrack land, having made a few single tracks on the Model:Samples alone lately, knocked out a few things on my Tempest through my Heat just recently, working with that kind of small setup. But as I sat down and played my Reface CS just recently, I just yearned for doing something with longer takes, longer structures, longer sequences. I don’t mind the drum loop on repeat with just one bar. But I do like my playing to spread out over minutes, if I can. The MPC allows me to do this with no hassle. At all.

And when I run the Live through my Analog Heat, the Heat still works wonders on this machine as well.

I’m not preaching. I’m well aware this thread is old and most users here, are familiar with the Live since long. I’m simply sharing my experience, in the case there’s someone else like me joining the fray late, and reading this thread.


It’s almost pissing me off I didn’t give this one a go earlier.


Yep, that’d be the way. Though your drum beat can be short and run on loop, and your interpretation of Mozart’s Sonata 545 on top of it, can run for minutes.


The MPC forum is not my habitat yet, that’s why I am asking here…,
I would like to resample the the MPC programmes that send Audio to Out 3 & 4
Strange enough, I think it is only possible to looper-resample from programmes that send audio to Out 1 & 2 (the master)

I solve this, by sending audio from my mixer to my input 1&2, and then loop-record input 1&2
it works, but gives some latency, due to the audio path to go from mpc through the mixer and back to the looper.


IIRC you can go to the sampler page and select resampling as input, then just press play to sample everything?


When sending audio from track to output 3/4
Then it is not recorded in the sampler

The problem is, i want the master and the sample loop to go out on different outouts (1/2 and 3/4)


I do this
Looping and Mixing
Works amazing
But seems to Need hardware routing
With some overcomable latency and needed nudges
This even gives some vinyl vibe to it
(I am making drum and bass set now)


Sampling and chopping on the MPC Live is about as easy as I’ve ever seen on any piece of standalone hardware. I just finished sampling an entire project’s worth of sounds from my Tempest over to the MPC: 128 sounds, with four velocity layers per pad, for a total of 512 samples… It took me about two weeks, chipping away at it for only a few hours a day (between other musical responsibilities); and that included learning the MPC workflow from scratch, while making a bunch of subjective artistic decisions along the way (which, honesty, is where most of the time went). Sufficed to say, I was pleasantly surprised (grin).



I feel the cliché “In my day…” welling-up inside me, but I refuse to let my inner old man get the better of me (smirk). But, yes, that would be the way it was done in the days of tape. Hell, before Ableton came along, even DAW’s were strictly a linear recording environment.

That said, I actually prefer to work with both loops and linear elements in conjunction with each other. Loops have a certain hypnotic effect that can help anchor an arrangement; whereas linear elements are ultimately where our humanity comes to light.

Of course, I say this from the perspective of someone who is an accomplished instrumentalist and vocalist, so I personally can’t image making music entirely with static loops and samples; nor would I get any satisfaction out of it.

Regardless, I’m always more interested in music wherein someone is actually playing or singing the most significant part of the arrangement in real-time, beginning to end. Even within the genres of EDM or HipHop, I’d rather watch someone like Jenk or Jblack, for instance, build a beat from scratch, mistakes and all, than listen to push-button playback. But that’s just me (grin).

I think a good approach is to have at least one box onstage that you can physically play, even if it’s just a simple hook, for the sake of relating to people and giving the whole thing and arc. Because isn’t that what music is for?

(that’s a rhetorical question, by the way, and WAY off topic)

These newer MPC’s (much like the Tempest or the Elektron boxes) are a relatively rare breed, amidst the world of machine music, that allow for this kind of autonomous real-time interaction. That’s something to be taken advantage of, but not to be taken for granted, I would say (wink).



Thanks for answering. What do you mean by needing hardware routing?


I send out audio from MPC to mixer
I send in Mixer to MPC (for looping)
Then I send out recorded loop to Mixer

Unfortunately the internal routing is not good enough, so external routing (= hardware routing) with cables is needed. The only problem is that this causes little latency, so the loops are not perfectly in sync. For a few seconds, I change the tempo of the master from 175 bpm to 174 bpm, this way I nudge the master and bring it ‘in sync’ with the recoorded loop. This way I compensate the 0.1 second latency on the loop.

On the mixer I can use 2 channels, one for the loop, the other to the Master out of the MPC
The loop is used for song transition.
this rocks

clear? Feel free to ask. Once I have made 5 drum and bass songs and my A4 mk2 is repaired, i will post a youtube video.


I get it, thanks for the detailed answer.