Octatrack vs Mpc


I owned a Mpc long time ago but I sold it becuase I felt it was not fun to sit
and edit samples on it.Now I own a Analog 4 and thinking of a Octatrack.
Have some of you guys owned a mpc before and see parable between those
two?Do you think I’m going to be board with the audio sampling on Octatrack as well?


I owned an MPC 1000 before owning an Octatrack. All I miss about the MPC is the pads, other than that, for me the OT blows any electronic music device I’ve ever encountered clean out of the water.

Occasionally I’ll hear a nice, simple groove by J Dilla, Pete Rock etc, and I’ll get the urge to smack some beats out on an MPC. But I can’t justify buying one just for that urge that comes and goes now and then.

Once you get the hang of sampling on the OT, it all makes sense and is very easy and quick - don’t be put off by reports that this is not the case - it’s usually people who can’t be bothered to put the effort into the machine to get the most out of it. It’s very rewarding once you master it.

The OT can do the same and so much more, I’ve made some lovely simple hiphop grooves on it. OK, so it doesn’t have the 16 rubber pad grid, and it’s not as ergonomically satisfying as punching those samples out on an MPC - but you can slice samples and edit those slices much more efficiently on the OT, and it will map out your slices across the Trig keys when in Slice mode.

Buy one, it’s the best sampler ever made (IMO).


A Major

I will look at it as two different tools that have some of each other’s skills, but to say “vs” may cause some confusion. (Funny) I am about to return to the MPC family for drums as we speak 2500 model. The only thing that hold the purchase is me waiting for Elektron to reveal the new machine that’s " in the box"
The Octatrack is a phenomenal tool that any one who samples should have,
But drums,
That is a very personal choice.

Good luck thou…

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I use an Octatrack and a MPC1000 together, since they are very different machines and complement each other very well. To me the interface of the OT is far more inspiring and fast to use than the MPC, and you can be much more creative with sound sculpturing as well. I always start with the OT, and then add the MPC later on.
The important things the MPC has that the OT doesn’t is: 32 voice polyphony, velocity and poly aftertouch pads, 64 tracks, slicing samples by transients, stacking samples…


I like to finger drum and so use the MPC all the time, I had an octatrack and it has more options for effects and mashing up sounds etc.

Personally I prefer the MPC because it allows me to get a more “live” sound and groove more easily and I actively enjoy playing it as an instrument without using the sequencer at all but the MPC has nowhere near the same ability in terms of FX etc.

One place where the MPC is also better is 4 way layering and velocity switching. So for example when I set up a kick or snare in a drum kit on my MPC I will often layer 2 kicks/snares with different tones, a noise sample and a reverb tail all on the same pad with different velocity sensitivities etc. On a high hat pad I might layer 3 slightly different closed hat samples and a similar but open hat sample so when I play lightly it plays one of the 3 closed variations then when I hit hard I get the open hat and so on. I love the MPCs velocity sensitivity and the feeling it is a “live” instrument. not everyone wants this but its definitely a boon for me.

For me the proof is in the pudding and I was finding I was using my MPC 1000 a lot more than my octa and so I sold it in the end and put the money towards a DSI Tempest instead, which I also love and sits in pride of place beside my A4 and Monomachine :slight_smile:

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I have an OT since 6 month and just ordered a 2nd hand Korg PadKontrol.

I hope I will be able soon to have the best of the 2 concepts.

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I sold my mpc (blue) to fund the purchase of an MD, (already had the OT)
Sometimes regret selling, but the blue mpc had dodgy pads anyway,
if i was rich enough id get another one, cos they are fun to play with…
However the elektron combo of OT and MD for drums is awesome, and i have no trouble geting the same swing in my beats that i had with the mpc…

I got an MPC 1000 withthe black pads and then replaced them with super sensitive thick pads of mpcstuff.com and now its super sensitve and great for fingerdrumming :slight_smile:


I own a MPC 2500 & an OT. Very different machines. The MPC is efficient with is pads and midi implementation (4 out, possibility to read long midi file with polyphony). But work on samples and edition of them is poor and boring. One thing very usefull is the layering of samples. These are, for me, the great powers of the MPC.

Since i have OT, the work on samples and the sculpture of the sound matérial really easiest and amazing. These are not just Waves files, the sample becomes material for music construction.

Finaly the two machines are complementary, but OT seems to be more recent concept and more profile to creat sounds. The MPC is a good and old producer machine, but it does not really suit for sound design, more usable for instant groove and rythm.

The workflow is more agreable on OT. But i won’t sell my MPC, to much usefull for spécific works (specially when i work with old MC’s who like this slow mo work and filling of beatproducing).

MPC can be usefull too, when you don’t have a DAW… that’s my situation

Totally agree.

Thought i’d pitch in here, as I just bought a OT in order to ‘try’ and replace my MPC1000 for my live rig. I’ve owned a MPC60, 2000, 2000XL and currently have a 1000, the OT is so superior in sound there’s no competition.

The only challenge for me is coming to terms with the OT workflow as opposed to MPC workflow (which is extremely fast and second nature to me). The OT doesn’t have that immediacy for me just yet – just needs the time and effort. Need to also de-program my approach. Whilst the MPC has it’s advantages, it’s generally unfair to compare the OT, as it’s a different machine. The OT has a particular depth the MPC lacks… which is what you’ll find most people are saying.

I was asking many people about the comparisons between the 2 machines before I made my purchase and thought I could eventually get rid of my MPC. Now I’m not so sure, which only proves each machine has their own merits. And like most people said to me, they are different machines!

The OT is an awesome machine which opens up new creative processes, so without wasting too much time, I have a machine to attend to.

P.S. For your reference I make techno + acid shit along with the A4, MD, MnM, 909, 808, 303, 202 etc…

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You really cannot compare these two devices…

The MPC can do a lot of things the octatrack cannot do, and vice versa.

I’d say, if you are more into “open composing”, you will feel that the MPC is more useful.

If you like working in a defined space, and in there having a lot of choices, the Octatrack is yours.

Why is that?

MPC: As many tracks as you want for trying out stuff. a pattern can have as many bars you like. Traditional sampler approach, powered by a classic Midi Sequencer.

Octatrack: 8 Tracks. 4 Bar Loops, and not to forget the weird 4 Parts System. That’s it. But within these confines, you can unleash a lot of creative stuff with p-locked effects, scenes, micro timing, Part switching, etc…

Everytime I try to work on the Octatrack as I would with the MPC (which I had for almost 14 years now, so it’s kind of second nature to me) I start to get frustrated.

So, don’t make the mistake and try to compare these two.

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I had an mpc2000 for a long time. I also had the 2500 for a short time.

What I like about the mpc that I wished was in the OT:

  1. The pads with velocity.
  2. Note repeat.
  3. 16 levels.

I like the OT 100 time more. Mainly because I don’t have to stop the OT sequencer while doing anything I want. The OT uses newer technology where even the 2500 had some limitation.

The MPC does have the better MIDI sequencer in some respects. But it isn’t as if the OT can’t do the same sequencing. I used to use the pads to mute and unmute midi parts which was an easy way of working with a hardware midi sequencer.

You can always get an OT with an Akai controller for the pads. You would then have the best of both worlds.

MPC’s sequencer beats Octatracks sequencer, because you somehow feel limited to the bars on Octatrack while you can record straight out on MPC.
· Even record your music on your PC daw and load them straight into the MPC as Midi files.

I disagree really to a degree…
Firstly I just sold my OT which I sort of regret for missing the audio mangling possibilities and the LFOs . However, I needed the money for Christmas so here I’am.
Now the OT is a fantastic machine, its a beautiful item in my opinion. It is however, extremely fussy and its messy in some aspects regarding operation. But its an amazing machine, I could easily feed it samples to manipulate and it would sound nothing like the original sample.
Slicing for me is far better on the MPC and JJOSXL, firstly bigger screen is a big difference, its probably a matter of preference but I like slicing on the MPC far more than the OT which is more powerful but I could slice just as fast and probably more accurate than just creating a slice grid and then going back and adjusting points which you can also do on a JJOS machine.
Another factor is slicing to transients is not there on the OT, I found it useful.
Velocity sensitivity is a bastard on the OT, it doesn’t exist so you have to adjust the drums in the amp section.
No mute groups too but I never missed that on the OT.
MPC has a better groove though.
I add some more if I remember, the best option would be to combine the two. If I had more cash and if the Hospital paid me more those two would be my weapon of choice.

Just thought I’d add this, as I hadn’t seen it before today (and I looked hard for octa demos in every genre before I bought one):

It’s true what’s been said about slicing and pad-triggering being better on the MPC. As for pad triggering slices, I don’t really miss velocity on the OT, because when I want that over-the-top hip hop sound, I play vocal slices one-shot with zero velocity and choke on every channel, even if I’m using a maschine. But velocity is definitely missing from finger drumming on the octatrack.

That said, I’m working on getting my maschine to play the trig keys, if that works out, I’ll have the best of everything. Replace the word maschine with MPD24/26/28/32/MPCXXXX and I think you’ve got all the live power and sound of the octatrack that can be played (backwards, live-looped, live tempo-warped, mangled, mind you) back with your choice of expressive pads. And MPDs cost pennies.

I have both an MPC and an Octatrack, they both serve similar purposes, but each one is better at something than the other.

The Octatrack, by far, is the better sequencer. The effects are better as well, and the overall sound quality is better. If you’re trying to decide between the two… Go Octatrack.

The MPC is more of an instrument than the Octatrack. It has more polyphony, and samples can be made into keyboard-like patches. You can layer samples, make splits, layer velocity splits, etc. It’s more of a traditional sampler. I like the ADC on the MPC, it’s colourful and warm and makes everything you put into it sound good.

How I use the MPC is to create keyboard patches and to create percussion samples by layering sounds that I then sample back into the Octatrack for sequencing.

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After reading all opinion, finally, OT & MPC looks great creating devices. Each with its lakes and miscellaneous tricks. Having the twos pieces is having best of the two world (as been truly stated) but if monetary question oblige to make a choice, it must be made depending of the way you work and your musical origin (DAW or hard).
The computer 's musicians nedds wide space time line. The hardworkers would be more trained to BAR workflow. The DAW workers are more composer and the musician more in the instantaneity of the creation… And so on.

So choice must be made within these intervals.

PS : its false to think that MPC have more groove than the OT & vice versa. The fact is that MPC have a microtiming too & Only the MPC of Roger Linn have a specific groove

yeah I’ve used an MPC 1000 for some years & I can’t see that I’d ever sell it. Using it just allows me to re arrange all the stuff I’ve done on a computer into something expressive and improvisational.

I imagine I could do this with an Octatrack but in a different way. I wish that MPC/JJOS could accept all that real-time CC magic but we are talking 2004 vintage for the MPC1000 so there’s a lot of extra CPU power in the OT for really nice filters, more real-time stuff etc.

I think it’s important to specify what OS is on the MPC i.e. Akai’s or 3 versions of JJOS - they are so very different.

Also, on the MPC 1k use all 4 MIDI ports to loop-back through a pair of RW minicommands or my MIDIPal so I have some randomisation for notes and the small no. of CCs it accepts.

If you have an A4 and an OT, I’d recommend you sell your MPC and get a NI mk1 maschine.

Not sure what it would cost you these days on ebay but given the maschine software upgrade recently, it will satisfy all your studio mpc needs.

this is based on my conviction that live performance, being practical, is best done minimally, without a PC, and if you have A4 and OT as your live core, you don’t want to also be tapping out beats on an MPC for an enjoyable live experience when the audience doesn’t really care or know what you are actually affecting as you twiddle and tweak.

that said, you need to just find your way of working and stick to it. There are infinite combinations. A good test is - what do I want on the table when performing live.

I had an MPC1000. It was my original attempt to make music without a computer. Despite having JJOS etc I hated it. It was a chore to work with, slow and unimpressive. I found it much harder to use than the Octatrack. Sometimes I think I should get one again and use OT for sequencing my tetra (as poly sequencing should be better) but then I remember how much I hated the MPC.

I probably didn’t give it as much time and effort as I gave the OT but either way I would go OT hands down.