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Akai MPC60, or am I trippin'?
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Author Akai MPC60, or am I trippin'?
ObsoleteModular
Got GAS for this old workhorse.

Would you pay the going rate for an MPC60? I'm thinking I might, or am I trippin'?

Why I would:

I dig the MPC sequencing workflow anyway
Less is more (my Elektron seuencer makes me anxious, so much choice!)
That crunchy sound fits my lo-fi, downtempo, dirty predilections
The MKI looks awesome
4 MIDI outs
8 assignable outs as standard

Why I wouldn't:

Many $£€
The modern gear you could get instead (but remember ... less is more)

Thoughts? Talk me out of it. Talk me into it.

Wait for the Behringer remake? Lolz.
chaocrator
good sequencer, four physical MIDI outs, 12-bit sampler engine.
if i could afford it, i would.
CF3
One of my favorite machines. It’s like driving a Cadillac. I had one for years and years (still got a GIANT box of disks in the basement). Definitely great as a centerpiece for your studio, and for all the reasons you listed. Make sure the unit you get has the SCSI option. And/or get a Floppy emulator. Finding “DD disks” is getting harder and the old “tape over the hole” trick for HD disks is not really a good option for crucial work.

The workflow is great on the 60. Its big and roomy. Hands down my favorite MPC. Not really sure what the going rate is at the moment, but personally, I wouldn’t pay over $1000. And it would have to be 100% intact, with the SCSI card and 3.10 OS.
CalvaryBand
Get one, get a HXC floppy drive emulator and you're set. The only other option is the 3000. There is nothing modern quite like it (I used a 60 for many years, now I am using a Cirklon but of course the Cirk doesn't have any of that sampling stuff).
anselmi
wait for the Isla SP-2400?

Seems to be very straightforward and also limited in a good way
Operate both in hi-fi and legacy (SP-1200 crunchiness) mode
Plans are to add a daughterboard with SSM filters per voice

I think it´s a very good alternative
gruebleengourd
anselmi wrote:
wait for the Isla SP-2400?


Wait for something that is untested, that may never deliver, or get the greatest time tested MPC of them all?

You've got to have space on your desk, and care more about quality of experience rather than features, but for a drum sampler/ midi sequencer it cannot be beat. If you want to go beyond that I'd recommend the 3000.
$1000 with SCSI in good condition seems about right.
shreddoggie
The 60 is my favorite MPC by far - one of my favorite electronic instruments of all time actually. If I had to pare my rig way down the 60 would definitely make the cut.

The sound is great and the timing is wicked accurate. Its like a pillar of granite in the center of your song.

A couple things:
With a mkII its easier to get a modern screen. I have a mkI with a sexy blue LCD from Sequentix but those are long gone. mkI is definitely sexier tho.
You don't need scsi unless you want the external port - with a few ribbon cables you can access the scsi bus without that Marion systems thingie. I have a SCSI2SD in mine (epic) and it is just cables and power.
gruebleengourd
shreddoggie wrote:

You don't need scsi unless you want the external port - with a few ribbon cables you can access the scsi bus without that Marion systems thingie. I have a SCSI2SD in mine (epic) and it is just cables and power.


That is great info!
DJFonzi
Funny, I was just reading the latest "What's the best sequencer of all time?" and all I could think was ASQ-10.
It's the sequencer portion of the MPC-60. Just a fantastic beast. Bought mine for like $50 forever ago. Just saw one for sale locally for some absurd amount.
Bath House
They are huge and luxurious to work on. Don’t get one for crunch though - it’s a surprisingly smooth sounding machine. SP-1200 is crunch all day, MPC60 is smooooth.
Michael O.
I went this route back in the day, and the mpc60 and mpc3000 with Valixi are as good as it gets for mpc style sequencing. In my experience I found the initial track creation with these machines significantly easier and faster to use than most sequencer options, however I found them lacking in terms of both interface and capability with regards to more in depth and detailed editing, especially with chromatic/pitched/keyboard material (rather than drums/percussion/one shots, which they do pretty well).

I ultimately went with an Atari ST running Notator for all my midi-sequencing needs, and have been happy ever since. I do however keep a few S-series Akai samplers around the studio, including the S900, which absolutely nails (and even surpasses) the 60 sound.
anselmi
gruebleengourd wrote:
anselmi wrote:
wait for the Isla SP-2400?


Wait for something that is untested, that may never deliver, or get the greatest time tested MPC of them all?


well. I try to move on and show a different perspective, you know...forums are full of nostalgic old farts that think their glory old days are the only worthy stuff

so saying something different maybe adds a fresh approach to the same and tired stuff...we all know the MPC-60 and its good stuff...it was around for so many time, right?
Corrupt
Got hold of an MPC3000 a few months ago and the Cirklon has started to look more and more like a very interesting, but increasingly dusty, MIDI router.
miminashi
I loved my old ASQ-10 back in the day, but am I remembering correctly that Step Edit is only available when the transport is stopped? I still sometimes yearn for another ASQ/MPC but that (potentially hallucinated) limitation kind of puts me off.
shreddoggie
re: Sound - I kinda disagree on the smooth vs crunch point. It absolutely IS smooth for a 12 bit machine from long ago esp compared to an SP1200 (at about $2500 more expensive these days), but it still has that Akai transient that is so good for drums. Its also dependent on how hot you record your samples of course.

re: Editing - yeah, its certainly from the era of 'play and quantize' and not meant for noodling. I use mine that way and do more complex / melodic stuff elsewhere. Its def a consideration if one doesn't have other sequencers.

re: old v new - I am not stuck on either and buy / try / keep / sell plenty of new gear as it suits me. I don't think anything competes with the combo of great sound of a specific character + wicked timing. Some of the Tronz (AR) come close-ish and offer a lot more features but there are compromises in character and accuracy. Can't think of any other new sampler with pads and sequencer that rates offhand.
Sir Ruff
shreddoggie wrote:

re: old v new - I am not stuck on either and buy / try / keep / sell plenty of new gear as it suits me. I don't think anything competes with the combo of great sound of a specific character + wicked timing. Some of the Tronz (AR) come close-ish and offer a lot more features but there are compromises in character and accuracy. Can't think of any other new sampler with pads and sequencer that rates offhand.


Toraiz also doesn’t sample!
shreddoggie
Sir Ruff wrote:
shreddoggie wrote:

re: old v new - I am not stuck on either and buy / try / keep / sell plenty of new gear as it suits me. I don't think anything competes with the combo of great sound of a specific character + wicked timing. Some of the Tronz (AR) come close-ish and offer a lot more features but there are compromises in character and accuracy. Can't think of any other new sampler with pads and sequencer that rates offhand.


Toraiz also doesn’t sample!


Intention was to say Elek(tronz) i.e. Analog Rytm (AR).
anselmi
It’s not the same, but a S-950 + digitakt could be a killer combo for maybe the same money and you win 2 different sample engines plus a very capable pattern sequencer
m0rb1d
Do it.
Monotremata
Get the sexy 3000LE in black and grey instead!!
Sir Ruff
shreddoggie wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
shreddoggie wrote:

re: old v new - I am not stuck on either and buy / try / keep / sell plenty of new gear as it suits me. I don't think anything competes with the combo of great sound of a specific character + wicked timing. Some of the Tronz (AR) come close-ish and offer a lot more features but there are compromises in character and accuracy. Can't think of any other new sampler with pads and sequencer that rates offhand.


Toraiz also doesn’t sample!


Intention was to say Elek(tronz) i.e. Analog Rytm (AR).


Well same limitation applies to that as well (maybe not MKII?)

Toraiz sp16 seems more mpc-like tho
radar24
60 MK1 is the sexiest mpc.
its sound is not like sp1200. if you were looking for sp1200 sound, you need sp.
but mpc 60 has very nice sounding 12 bit. I like it better than s950 which i used to have.
it is easy to use. very straight forward to sample.
no need to wrap your head around to choose which sample rate etc...
sampled drum sounds like it has been processed with compression or something.
I had sampled elektron MD to my mpc 60 and I like sampled sounds way better than the vanilla MD.
It's workhorse for sequencing.
I now sequence everything with mpc 60. I sometimes even sequence VST with mpc.
I wish I had mpc 3000 LE too just for a collector's item.
3000 is nice too. I used to use 3000 before getting 60.
60 has stereo echo return input that you can use it as external stereo mixer.
this is one thing 3000 is missing.
i have s3200xl hooked up to that input.
for even dirtier lo-fi, i use s612 which i've got recently.
but I don't use it for drums. s612 is instant poly synth maker with sampling my mono synth.
I think I paid around $1700 for my mpc 60.
It was clean and had scsi. backlight was alright but i replaced with super bright LED screen and got rid of the infamous backlight inverter.
I also replaced floppy drive with internal SCSI2SD. SCSI2SD is the way to go.
save things fast enough and one 8GB sd card is too much space to save files for mpc 60 smile
I also modified the power cable so it is grounded. original mpc 60 is not grounded with original power cable.
I had spent some big extra dollars for my mpc 60 but it's ok cause i'm very satisfied with it.
my mpc 60 is still on OS 3.10e. so the great Roger Linn's soul is still maintained on 60, lol
jessem
I'll jump in the talk you out of it camp.

Quote:
I dig the MPC sequencing workflow anyway

You can get this on the MPC2000XL or MPC1000, and more. The 60 has some limitations.

Quote:
Less is more (my Elektron seuencer makes me anxious, so much choice!)

You are still going to be living in menus, and waiting for things to load. Floppy disks make me anxious, and the SD Card upgrade works well, but is still a pain compared to any modern sampler.

Quote:
That crunchy sound fits my lo-fi, downtempo, dirty predilections

Can't argue with this one, if you like the sound you like the sound.

Quote:
The MKI looks awesome

It's huge.

Quote:
4 MIDI outs

Not rare or a really good reason to buy the 60.

Quote:
8 assignable outs as standard

Also not rare, and do you really need them?

Why I wouldn't:

Quote:
Many $£€


You'll either love it and never want to sell it or make money when you finally do. Mine tripled in price in the 5 years I had it.

Quote:
The modern gear you could get instead (but remember ... less is more)

At some point less is just less. I think the MPC60 is harder to work with than the 1000 or 2000xl.

If it were me and I wanted an old vibey MPC I'd just get a 3000 at this point.
Monotremata
radar24 wrote:
60 MK1 is the sexiest mpc.
its sound is not like sp1200. if you were looking for sp1200 sound, you need sp.
but mpc 60 has very nice sounding 12 bit.


Anybody familiar with the two in here used the MPC Software?? Im kinda curious now how good their 'vintage' plugins that emulate the output of the 60/3000/1200 are compared to the real deal. I usually leave my projects set to the 3000 one globally, it adds a noticeable high end PUNCH to it (I'm guessing that's that old MPC/Akai magic?) and just makes things nicer all around (kinda like an SSL bus comp on the master deal).. Today I was mixing some drum tracks in a song and decided to try out the plugin versions on the tracks.. Two tracks in particular just went BOOM and went to the next level when one had the MPC60 and the other was using the 1200..

If the hardware is anything like the two plugins, they are VERY different. The 60 gave the track a very old and soft 'rounded' tone, like an old record, but a very clean record. Just with the upper end rolled off around 2k or so? Fairly thick in the low end too like a good old slab of vinyl. Now the 1200..

That doesn't have the gooey thick sound of the 60 at all. The upper end is still there with its own smack, but its not as open as the 3000s. If that's how the 1200 sounds in person, I can see why people loved that thing in the early days of hip hop. Its got that 'lo-fi' vibe like the MPC but it punches you in the nuts in the best way. It was pretty much an API (the 1200) vs Neve (the 60) showdown. The 3000 I would say is more along the lines of an SSL if you use that comparison.

I don't know WTF is up with the SP1200 Ring emulation Akai made.. Its rad for really nasty and dirty loops but does the 1200 really do that?? Where did that whole ring mod thing come from??
Navs
Monotremata wrote:
Where did that whole ring mod thing come from??


I don't think 'ring mod' is what is meant. I think it means the pitching artefacts.
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