A two-minute break for some MPC hacking – friend of the site Servando Barreiro hacks his MPC for better performance, and demonstrates the results in a video. It’s a reminder that a little mechanical thought can improve the life of your musical gear.

“So, that’s all.


(Other drum pad hacking tips? We’d love to hear them. I’ve been dreaming of a drum pad DIY special, in fact, including how to make custom drum pad controllers, so this is a perfect excuse to solicit some advice and guest contributors.)

  • Andy

    Your title says, MPC 50, it should say MPC 500.


    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Ha! Fixed that with some electrical tape, too.

  • dentaku

    The MPK49 uses the exact same pads and I made them more sensitive with a few layers of electrical tape quite a while ago.
    They’re still nowhere near as good as the pads on my AKAI LPD8.
    The best solution would be to get the nice thick pads from MPCstuff.com
    I’m quite tempted to get some

    • http://twitter.com/yugen yugen

      I was just thinking this morning about getting some of the thick pads from MPCstuff for my MPD32. Does anyone out there have any experience with them?

    • http://www.facebook.com/VoodooWitchlordMetatron72 Jamie Riley

      DO IT AND DO IT NOW. :-)

      Seriously they’re that much of an improvement. The PCB mount clips are cheap as hell in there, be careful. And theres a really short jumper wire that will prevent you from separating the top and bottom of the case. It’s long enough to leave attached but I think I removed it.

      I used them with the corks and the whole thing is a bit snug and the pads are a bit hard due to the thickness but it’s no issue. I don’t have to hit them very hard and corner triggers work great too. I have the internal sensitivity settings at their highest too.

      Also run the MPD32 off 5 pin MIDI cables and a DC power pack. it improves the responsiveness even further. I think it asks for too much juice over USB, disabling power suspending didn’t even help.

    • http://www.facebook.com/servando.barreiro Servando Barreiro

      I have also the lpd 8 and fixed with 3 layers of tape but I much prefer how the aftertouch works in the mpc.. : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/octavio.larrain Octavio Obaid Larrain

    you want ot talk about some diy percussion stuff…search in the internet for a musician called “Materia Prima”

  • Christopher Davis

    mpcstuff also sells pre-cut cork discs that work in the same way, but they’re 20 bucks after shipping. I’ve was just restoring a beat up MPC2000 this week and found the best solution for increasing pad sensitivity…way better than using tape:

    3/4″ ROUND AVERY CODING LABELS.http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/Products/Labels/Identification-Labels/Color-Coding-Labels_05471.htm?N=0&Ns=&refchannel=c042fd03ab30a110VgnVCM1000002118140aRCRD

    1. The shape and size fits directly over the pads’ sensor.
    2. You can actually adjust the level of sensitivity by how many labels you stick on. I’ve found 7 or 8 to works perfectly.
    3. You can find them at any office supply store from 3 to 6 dollars.

  • http://www.afrodjmac.com/ AfroDJMac

    I did something like this a while back with my Akai MPK49. I’m still very happy with the results.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw7OLaGQZnY

  • http://www.facebook.com/moo.lfz Giorgio Elleeffezeta

    after try the bike tube what’s the best solution?

    • http://www.facebook.com/servando.barreiro Servando Barreiro

      I’m definitely loving the mpc 500 fixed with rubber… keeps velocity sensitivity and also the aftertouch but you dont need to hit the pads with the elbow anymore ; )

  • todd

    i have the mpcstuff.com thick pads on my mpd24…they are not soft..thick and colorful, yes.

    if you want the feel of a real mpc, you have to get actual pads off of a real mpc.

    to increase sensitivity ive used bicycle bar tape http://www.amazon.com/Handlebar-Tape-Newbaums-Cloth-Black/dp/B0043BX9MS cut to fit..works quite well.

  • KarlPopper

    Has anyone tried out the Maschine upgrade/repair stuff from mpcstuff.com, esp. http://www.mpcstuff.com/ni-padsen-rep.html ? Two of my pads are dying. Not sure what to do yet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/VoodooWitchlordMetatron72 Jamie Riley

      I’m not sure of the exact name of the product but Radio Shack sells what’s in that MPCStuff jar, it’s conductive paint. Don’t know how permanent a fix that would be, but you would put it on the worn parts of the sensors. NI should start selling replacement parts directly as Maschine has been out for 3 years and these situations will become common. They had been selling replacement units at $449 but with MKII that could be over. Certainly problems like yours are not $450 fixes hence the need for NI to sell spare parts as Akai and it’s licensed sellers have for years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/servando.barreiro Servando Barreiro

    Soon, very soon! : )