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Need to sell something to buy OT. MPC 1k or MDUWMK1?
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Author Need to sell something to buy OT. MPC 1k or MDUWMK1?
ddyenn59
Hey y'all,

I've been wanting an OT for a very, very long time but need to sell something to afford one. I don't use the sampling on my MPC 1000 anymore, but as a MIDI sequencer, I find it unbeatable. The MIDI sequencing on my MD I find unintuitive, at least for now -- I like sequencing in Ableton, punching things in on a grid with 16 pads or writing them in. I also like having >4 bars for my sequences (on my MDUW, I only have 2 bars as it is 1st gen).

When I do use my MD (which is quite often), I gravitate towards the UW features -- resampling, RTRG features, loading it with my own drum kits. Drum synthesis is very fun for me, but not essential to my workflow.

The MD is awesome and a powerfully blank slate, but I can't imagine being able to write songs as I normally do without the MPC.

Any ideas (beyond "keep both!")? Is it possible to use the OT sequencer as one might use the MPC sequencer? This would likely inform my decision.

Thanks so much.
dogoftears
the OT sequencer is nothing like the MPC sequencer, it's more like the MD sequencer on steroids. OT is also a UW on steroids. i'd say ditch the MD, you can do all that UW stuff in spades on the OT, but you can't do linear/real time entry sequencing as well as the MPC, nor can you do "traditional" sampler-voices (pitch across whole keyboard, velocity control, etc) like on the MPC.
jshell
It's funny. I could not write songs on the MPC. Granted, I only had the wee little MPC 500. I could make really good patterns, but that's where it would stop. Same thing with Electribe EMX - really good individual patterns, nothing else.

The Machinedrum changed everything for me and I found myself able to write songs on it and use it as a foundation for live sets within a few weeks.

So my personal bias is to ditch the MPC. Especially as the MPC and OT are both "just samplers and sequencers".

If you like the drum machine synthesis of the Machinedrum, keep it. That's usually my recommendation. That collection of drum synthesis engines is still pretty damn unique. But if the sound synthesis isn't your bag, then yeah - ditch it. Keep the OT and MPC for two variations around how to sample and sequence and mix and match as appropriate.
itsritual
jshell wrote:
It's funny. I could not write songs on the MPC. Granted, I only had the wee little MPC 500. I could make really good patterns, but that's where it would stop. Same thing with Electribe EMX - really good individual patterns, nothing else.


For me its the opposite. The MPC 1000 lends it self to making entire tracks, while with my Elektrons I usually get stuck in a 4 bar loop/live jamming situation. And its definitely because you had the MPC 500. Its a toy compared to its bigger siblings.

Ditch the Machinedrum. Especially if you only use it for its sampling features. Its redundant with the OT sequencer, and you probably won't miss it when using your OT/MPC for drums. I personally don't think the OT sequencer could ever replace my MPC as a sequencer, as the MPC is just that powerful. Together though, they make a great team.
ddyenn59
thanks folks, all of these answers are quite helpful. really, I'm most interested in the PI sounds, but not quite enough to own the machine just for that.

one more q/thing I'm afraid I might miss: another feature of the MD I like is the CTR-AL/CTR-8P features. Anything similar on the OT (or other Macro-knobby type deals)? The ability to control several knobs with one is always one I'm on the lookout for!
dogoftears
ddyenn59 wrote:
thanks folks, all of these answers are quite helpful. really, I'm most interested in the PI sounds, but not quite enough to own the machine just for that.

one more q/thing I'm afraid I might miss: another feature of the MD I like is the CTR-AL/CTR-8P features. Anything similar on the OT (or other Macro-knobby type deals)? The ability to control several knobs with one is always one I'm on the lookout for!


not the same, but you've got the scene fader which can interpolate unlimited parameters at once in plock style. 16 scenes per part.
jshell
ddyenn59 wrote:
one more q/thing I'm afraid I might miss: another feature of the MD I like is the CTR-AL/CTR-8P features. Anything similar on the OT (or other Macro-knobby type deals)? The ability to control several knobs with one is always one I'm on the lookout for!


The Octatrack blows through that with the fader. You can have 16 scenes per 'part' (part is like 'kit' in Machinedrum - the configuration of the audio and midi tracks). A scene is a collection of parameter settings across the audio tracks - if it can be parameter locked, it can be set in a scene. You can jump across scenes immediately, or quickly assign them to 'Scene A' and 'Scene B' on the cross fader and use the fader to quickly or slowly transition between them.

Volume levels, effect settings, sample playback settings (retrig, reverse, length, start, pitch), LFO speeds and depths, etc, can all be on the scene.

Not as immediate as CTRL-AL, but a much more powerful CTR-8P as each scene can vary wildly. It's a very performance friendly feature of the Octatrack and is one of my favorite things about it.

Heck - it's even possible to use the Octatrack purely as an effects unit for other gear and use scenes to make them performable and never turn on the sequencer.

Also, if interested, check out Goliath, a little MIDI box that is effectively a big 'CTRL-AL' button. Record CCs into it on any MIDI channel to its three memory slots, and then put it in your MIDI chain to have a single knob effect one or more parameters on one or more synths. (I primarily use it as a big macro-knob for the Monomachine).
nadafarms
May not be totally relevant to your question, but honestly take the same drum samples and sequence info in a mpc and put it in a OT and it will sound weak and nerdy. OT seems better for taking mastered audio tracks and doing cool stuff but it’s no mpc!

I have a mpc3000, mpc X, mpc60, mpc2500 and I wouldn’t be caught dead sequencing on a OT but would be stoked to play live with mastered audio tracks on an OT or mangling stuff. To me elektron stuff is cold and very sterile/digital
Illiac
Get the OT. I've had every iteration of mpc and md and theres' no magic to be had, outside of the sequencer, that can't be easily replicated. Unless you're in love w/ the md synthesis sound, it's basic FM, PM and sample-based synthesis, that can be realized elsewhere.
computer controlled
The OT is my favorite sampler ever. Sell whatever you can get the most money for =o]
calaveras
If you are only using the MPC for sequencing, that is the one to cut.
If you have a MD and add an Octatrack, you should just go in full bore for the Elektron paradigm.
I've got an A4 and MD wedded together. They make a very powerful, very deep rig for writing entire songs with all the parts. (20 voices, plus CV and midi sequencing). Yes there are some obscure sub menus and such. But Elektron is pretty good at prioritizing the menus so the things you need to fiddle with often are closer to the top.

MPCs are their own thing to be sure. But if you aren't actively using it to sample, or even playback libraries, it's superfluous.
itsritual
calaveras wrote:
If you are only using the MPC for sequencing, that is the one to cut.
If you have a MD and add an Octatrack, you should just go in full bore for the Elektron paradigm.
I've got an A4 and MD wedded together. They make a very powerful, very deep rig for writing entire songs with all the parts. (20 voices, plus CV and midi sequencing). Yes there are some obscure sub menus and such. But Elektron is pretty good at prioritizing the menus so the things you need to fiddle with often are closer to the top.

MPCs are their own thing to be sure. But if you aren't actively using it to sample, or even playback libraries, it's superfluous.


No offense, but I'm not quite following the logic. Having an OT & MPC is redundant while having two Elektron boxes is not? The thing that sets the MPC apart from the Elektrons IS the sequencer. There's a lot of things the MPC can do that the Elektron sequencers can't, so to get rid of that would be handicapping yourself. Especially when OP has said "I can't imagine being able to write songs as I normally do without the MPC. "
calaveras
I guess I just dont understand using an MPC only for sequencing. I know some folks swear by them, but I've never clicked with Akai stuff.
Elektron gear seems friendlier to me (in a frigid, guileless, Scandinavian way). I could see someone being very productive with any two Elektron boxes in a way that a heterogeneous rig wouldnt be. Plus, beige clashes with everything.
dogoftears
nadafarms wrote:
May not be totally relevant to your question, but honestly take the same drum samples and sequence info in a mpc and put it in a OT and it will sound weak and nerdy. OT seems better for taking mastered audio tracks and doing cool stuff but it’s no mpc!

I have a mpc3000, mpc X, mpc60, mpc2500 and I wouldn’t be caught dead sequencing on a OT but would be stoked to play live with mastered audio tracks on an OT or mangling stuff. To me elektron stuff is cold and very sterile/digital


strong disagree.
it is a -10 dB instrument, so maybe you are just hearing the 10 dB drop compared to the line level mpc.
level match and compare and i doubt you'd be able to tell the difference.
the mk2 is line level now, which eliminates this illusion of quality loss.
nadafarms
dogoftears wrote:
nadafarms wrote:
May not be totally relevant to your question, but honestly take the same drum samples and sequence info in a mpc and put it in a OT and it will sound weak and nerdy. OT seems better for taking mastered audio tracks and doing cool stuff but it’s no mpc!

I have a mpc3000, mpc X, mpc60, mpc2500 and I wouldn’t be caught dead sequencing on a OT but would be stoked to play live with mastered audio tracks on an OT or mangling stuff. To me elektron stuff is cold and very sterile/digital


strong disagree.
it is a -10 dB instrument, so maybe you are just hearing the 10 dB drop compared to the line level mpc.
level match and compare and i doubt you'd be able to tell the difference.
the mk2 is line level now, which eliminates this illusion of quality loss.


it’s not a scientific comparison, it’s an intangible musicality that the mpc has. I couldn’t believe how bad the OT sounds and feels when sequencing individual drum sounds, just like software sampler/sequencers sound bad to many people. I guarantee you that hard 16th note drum patterns on a mpc3000 would eat a OT for breakfast. I’m not saying the OT doesn’t have its place but as a master sequencer MPC is amazing and has a tightness that can’t be rivaled and I would take a $400 mpc1000 as a master sequencer over a double priced OT any day
ddyenn59
thanks everyone for the excellent advice and input. i have one sort of novice midi question to do with the OT; what can I do with 8 midi tracks but only one midi out? i.e. wouldn't i hypothetically need 8 midi outs (or, much more realistically, a splitter hub) to fully utilize the OT's midi capabilities? would each track control a different midi parameter on my evolver?
jshell
ddyenn59 wrote:
thanks everyone for the excellent advice and input. i have one sort of novice midi question to do with the OT; what can I do with 8 midi tracks but only one midi out? i.e. wouldn't i hypothetically need 8 midi outs (or, much more realistically, a splitter hub) to fully utilize the OT's midi capabilities? would each track control a different midi parameter on my evolver?


If you don't have synths with MIDI Thru, you will need a splitter. But MIDI can transmit up to 16 channels on a single cable. And some synths can handle multiple channels at once. This includes classic multi-timbral synths, but also things like Elektron's Monomachine and Analog 4.

The MIDI Solutions "Quadra Thru" - http://midisolutions.com/prodqth.htm - is a low cost thing you can add to an Octatrack. It gets its power off of MIDI, and the Octatrack supplies this power. They also have an 8-port rack mount version - http://midisolutions.com/prodm8.htm

If you have the Desktop Evolver, I know it has a MIDI Thru port, so you can do Octatrack (MIDI Out) -> Evolver (MIDI In, then MIDI Thru to) -> another synth's MIDI in. If that synth has MIDI Thru, you can continue chaining.

Sadly, very few modern synths have MIDI thru, and it makes me angry. (One reason why I bought a Modor NF-1m over something like a Waldorf Blofeld or Roland System 1m - MIDI Thru just makes it easier to combine synths in a small setup.)

Each MIDI track on the Octatrack can be configured on a per-part (equiv to Machinedrum 'kit') basis to address up to 10 configurable Midi CCs, along with a couple of common CCs/messages, so on top of sending notes to your Evolver, you can parameter lock different values (ie, filter cutoff). Velocity and (I think) Aftertouch can also be parameter locked. You can also use the 3 LFOs per Midi track to address any of those chosen MIDI CCs. So an individual MIDI track can control at least 10 parameters on your Evolver.

Tip - many 'good' synths, like the Evolver, allow you to easily manage some common MIDI CC's like 'breath control' (CC #2) on a per-patch basis. This makes it easier to configure both the Octatrack (just use some of these common elements instead of having to look up the filter cutoff CC every time) and the Evolver (you can makes your patches more dynamic using its modulation routing).
LameAim
Kinda sounds like you need to decide which one you like more - MIDI sequencing on the MPC, or the PI sounds on the MD.

My vote would be to keep the MPC, since it seems more important to your setup and workflow. But I also think you should give some consideration to scarcity.

If you were to sell the MPC for an OT and change your mind down the line, it'll be much easier to find another MPC than it will be to find a MD. Especially since you have one of the more recent units - could even upgrade if you so desired.

Anyway, just a thought.
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