Logging MPC Projects (Or Other Drum Machines) on Paper

It’s the little things that keep you happy sometimes. The Sunday Soundtrack blog has an interesting idea for tracking work on the MPC — write it down. (I have to say, I miss having paper notes as I did when I was making hard-copy patch diagrams of my Moog and Buchla modular creations in college.) This fellow has a printable template you can use yourself if so inclined – and, of course, it’d work with any 4×4 grid, not just the MPC. Post: Music Production on the MPC Full-sized image for use as a template Keep anything on paper in …

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REX/ReCycle Loops Meet MPC Via Mac Utilities, MPC Add-ons Live On

Up close with an MPC screen. Now you can make your computer screen your MPC slicing interface. Photo: regueifeiro. Want to load ReCycle REX sample files onto your MPC? Or looking for a better solution for chopping up samples – that is, firing up ReCycle on your screen? Joe Lambert writes in to share his GBP11 Mac utility for the task: Just a quick note to let you know about a little application I wrote that lets users easily convert chopped Recycle files into Akai MPC program files. http://apps.steamshift.com/ This essentially allows a producer to chop a breakbeat (or other …

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MPC5000 Gets 2.0 OS; Does it Stack Up to JJOS Alternative Firmware?

Akai has announced 2.0 OS for their flagship MPC5000 drum machine workstation, a free download for MPC owners. Now, the MPC itself has long been a bit minimalist in what it does – I think that’s part of its appeal, that it has resisted complexity. But users of the MPC1000 and 2000/2500 have as a result turned in some cases to an alternative firmware, JJOS, to get all the features they want. And Akai has generously looked the other way. Akai says the 2.0 OS responds to user requests. Here’s what’s baked in: Keygroup programs for chromatic, key-mapped samples (that …

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Video: Beloved Drum Machines Hit the Road

Would You Like to Tap My Box? from kamoni on Vimeo. Drum machine lovers, you now have the beat gear equivalent of Matt Harding and Where the Hell is Matt?. Kamoni, aka sonic creator, composer, and experimenter Micah Frank, takes his favorite devices out on the road, piecing them together into an epic YouTubular jam. Doepfer and Korg, Elektron and Akai, plus a lot of other devices make their way around New York and Brooklyn and other parts of the world. Ableton I think figured into editing the video clips in time — thank you, Live, for video. I could …

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NI Maschine: Fully Integrated Hardware-Software-Plug-In Drum Machine, Controller

If you could have an ideal drum machine and sample-slicing workstation, taking the physical control of hardware but the flexibility of software, what would it look like? We talk a lot about hardware control of software, but hardware usually comes second – software gets designed first, and then either you have to figure out how to map hardware to it, or someone else comes along and designs gear. That means there’s usually a disconnect in the design and workflow of the two, and most of the time, you have to reach for the mouse to make up the difference. Maschine …

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Akai APC40 Ableton Live Controller, in Detail: Plug-and-Play Live Control For Everyone?

It’s been eight years since Ableton Live introduced its signature screen layout for live performance: clips, scenes, sends, tracks, and devices. For the first time, a single controller combines all the basic elements of that Live set in a single hardware layout. Akai’s APC40 is a plug-and-play, driver-free hardware controller developed with Ableton. The APC has certainly got enough buttons and knobs and faders to cover those Live features, but it also raises a couple of questions. One is, does one-size-fits-all work for Ableton Live? The other is, will Ableton open up the “exclusive bidirectional communication” used for clip status …

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Akai MPC5000: Beyond Reviews, Dave Dri Reflects on MPCs Past and Present

What do you say when it’s all been said? We felt it was time for a fresh perspective on the MPC phenomenon — one a normal review couldn’t provide. So we got the opinion of our friend, samplist/producer and Segue member Dave Dri. And the verdict: there’s still something about an MPC — even if it suggests why there’s also something about software, too. But it involves dust. Here’s his op-ed: Recently I had the task of reviewing an MPC5000 for a local street press magazine. The MPC part of it was fine — the word limit was trickier. Over …

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LinnDrum 2: New Design, New “Beat-Centric” DAW-Synth, 2009?

The treachery of mock-ups: Roger Linn Design today released a new image of a design that Dave and Roger won’t be using. The LinnDrum II (once the BoomChik) has become a somewhat mystical beast, looming over the horizon and taunting fans of synth and beat hardware. The collaboration between beat machine guru Roger Linn (of LinnDrum and MPC fame) and synth guru Dave Smith (of Dave Smith fame), the box has gone through various design revisions, each leaked and dissected by, well, people like me. Saturday brought a new set of news, as spotted by Tony Mission on Gearslutz. Here’s …

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A Brief History of the MPC in Video, by Current TV

Sometimes in technology, the design of a product can have an impact beyond just the tool itself, and that’s easily the case with the Akai MPC. Even if you aren’t part of the device’s cult-like following, you’ve likely worked with software influenced by its approach to musical interaction. While we await the coming of creator Roger Linn’s new collaboration with Dave Smith, the LinnDrum II, it’s great to look back at the MPC itself, and the artists who stretched it to its musical limits, from hip-hop to classical. Current TV has a short documentary they’ve just sent us. Current’s Parisa …

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Intua BeatMaker Arrives for iPhone/Touch: Sequencer, Sampled Drum Pads

Intua is the first to get a full-fledged music creation app on the iTunes App Store, with an MPC-style sampler and step sequencer, plus effects, for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This isn’t just a toy for triggering sounds or a useful utility like a guitar tuner; it’s an actual music app on which you can produce whole songs. As with any mobile app, there are tradeoffs versus a desktop tool – but its simplicity is likely to be part of its appeal. US$19.99. Most importantly, it’s available now. The basic features: 16-pad sample triggering. Drum kits and other samples, …

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