Just buy Ableton
So, this is one thing that concerned me. I’m trying to imagine moving notes along that tiny touch grid. What are your thoughts, will you hang on to it for a few weeks or will you kick it to the curb before you get that far into it?
The form factor looks so attractive and it’s killing me. OT, the MPC Live and a few small boxes would easily fit into a carry on case.
The battery power and potential onboard storage are what’s calling me. The touchscreen is definitely a compromise to me. While the benefit of it is that it’s just efficient as it provides the opportunity to see a lot of information while also acting as an interface with that information, the feel of adjusting it is not ideal- especially for how specific you need it to be(navigation might be more convenient as well as programming more intricate percussive patterns)
But being able to lay on my bed and jam or to work on beats at a coffee shop just seems perfect to me.
My concern is if it’s worth that compromise of feel
If those particular use cases are worth the money (and any imagined compromises) to you, then so be it. Meanwhile, a $99 Akai MPD218 bundled with a copy of Ableton Lite, etc. is so much more my speed and actual need.
And to be fair, some Laptops are far more portable than hardware too.
I gave it another few hours today and although I made progress, it’s still not what I would like personally.
So piano roll wise, you have a zoom/look tool, a selection tool, eraser tool, and a pencil tool. Very similar to how FL studio and other certain daws work. So you have to use all these tools to to do the editing which is kind of annoying. It would be better done with a stylus. My fingers have not been working well with it. If you can use a mouse with it that would work way better, but then the Live is just a glorified laptop/tablet with pads and extra buttons on it.
The step editing feature isn’t bad though.
I think what I really dislike is the MPC software in general. It just seems clunky and weird to me. The controller itself is fine minus a few more butttons and knobs.
What if you were on the infamous desert island, except this time instead of getting to choose your favorite gear, you are bestowed an MPC live…
Would you like it then?
I always say, I would hope that the deserted island had sik waves and I had my surfboard instead.
When you’re surfin pumping waves all day with no one else in sight the last thing you’d want is a silly music box
P.s. hopefully not completely deserted, a few wild tribal women would be nice
Depends, are there outlets for charging it? Lol.
In all seriousness, sure. But if I got to choose what item I would take it would probably be the DT, 404, or a laptop with Ableton.
I don’t have on MPC live, but on iPad you just pinch and zoom and you get all the resolution you need. Touch screen is a huge advantage IMO, but it is a different paradigm and maybe people are picky about workflow.
Moving notes on the grid is ok, you can use the big knob to move notes when selecting “Nudge” or “Transpose” in the grid screen, but inputting notes, especially for long-ish sequences, is a PITA. Sure, you can pinch & zoom but that workflow of switching between zoom, write, select & erase is killing my mojo.
I kept mine because of the battery and because I can work around the lack of basic features (for me, it’s mainly the lack of a proper automation management implementation that is a problem, disk streaming might become an issue as well I suppose) but I almost sold it like 4 times in a year. The Live feels like a good machine but with what’s on paper, I can’t help but be frustrated at how much better it could be with proper quality management and software design/architecture.
I’ve had it for about a week. There’s no other product in the category, so really nothing to compare it to. A fully standalone device, which hasn’t been crippled by restrictions around disk size, and with Wifi for Ableton Link! The 2.3 features make it a killer machine - being able to sample soft and hardware instruments with ease, and with built-in synth engines!
I’ve primarily worked with it unplugged… and while there are some quirks around touch screen, the result is a net positive. The MPC workflow is a little odd… not intuitive, but once you get over that hump you can start creating quickly and efficiently. If there were literally any other fully standalone, battery-powered machines of this nature I might have harsher criticisms… but this is the only one! The workflow would need to be 5x worse than it is now for me to see it as an issue, taking everything into account.
Sounds like a fair and realistic assessment of the machine.
What about the Synthstrom Deluge as an alternative for the all-in-one box?
Isnt the MPC Live just an ipad with a plastic housing?
Wait, the new ipad has a double midi out, dedicated music knobs and a bay for a hard disk ? Cool story !
I’m thinking pinch zoom has some serious downsides to say dedicated button combos, keys, faders and knobs in a dark club with flashing lights and fog. That, however, might not be as big a drawback in a studio setting. I need to get out and find a local shop that has one on display.
Thank you for reminding this old person about fog machines. I can get actual fog in my studio setting if I open the window at night.
Don’t sell it just yet. In 3 months someone may post a YouTube demonstrating a cool way of working with it and you may be like, “that’s it! Oh, but I sold it” Or update 2.4 introduces a smoother way of working…who knows right.
Also. Remember people hated on the little blue MPC 1000 when it came out. Now it’s an icon?
You bought it for a reason. Get into it. It’s super fun.
I use everything, an MPC, Rytm, Ableton, Logic, TR09…really just depends on my mood. I’m blessed. Sometime I don’t make music and just DJ
No need to hate. Just create.
This is a good ebook to go off of. I got the one for mpc studio.
Also when you buy gear there are resources you can get a hold of such as this ebook
Sometimes when you buy gear you feel that you’re lost and you might as well invest in lessons to master it.
If you practice these lessons in the book you should get a better grasp of the mpc live.
When I got the mpc 1000 I didn’t like it either, but I put miles on the pads and learned layering. I was blown away by how good it was.
One thing you can really take advantage on the mpc is the layering, ghost notes, and mutes to add something extra to your loops. Maschine is good for going to work and finishing a pattern but the MPC has a lot hidden under submenus