Synth Site: Akai: MPC4000: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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JG a part-time user from US writes:
Although I don't use the computer for sequencing midi, I started out using one.

I had a computer in about 1996 which I used for midi sequencing. I had two programs One was Trax, the other was Cakewalk professional. Cakewalk was the superior sequencer in features and popularity but I'll tell you I made 99% of my songs with Trax. The program had stripped down functions, no groove quantizing, no shuffle quantizing, but it had something most computer sequencers don't have. It's called ease of use. If you are a songwriter, you need to be able to get your ideas down quickly. With Trax I had a simple to understand and visualize AND operatable step editor. I also could do nested loops. Cakewalk at that time had one fixed loop point. And everytime you stop recording, there was no auto rewind function (so imagine how many users messed up on that pet peeve of mine). Although Trax never became popular, Cakewalk became known as the easiest sequencer to use so imagine the others. Why did I go to the mpc you ask? Well after operating on one I found that it had a user interface designed specifically for hip hop or electronic style music. I still stayed with my computer until I started having timing problems.

So is the mpc for you. I don't know. I would think programs like acid are better for people who do an extreme amount of sampling. Even now if you are doing sampling and midi a computer program might be better functionally BUT always consider the learning time and user interface. What you buy could be a product you use for the rest of your life. I always read about professional producers trying to go software and become intimidated by poor user interfaces. A bad user interface can take a lot of energy away from writing a song via midi. Sure after you learn the programs and IF you learn them, you will have a wide array of features but realistically as far as songwriting you have the same features on a mpc as you get in any computer sequencer. And very few software companies upgrade the midi aspect the program it is always new plug ins or new audio sequencing functions.

I like how the mpc integrates sequencing, sampling, and midi control of various modules in one unit. It is fairly easy to learn. And in each new mpc unit there are significant upgrades in almost all three arenas except midi control.

About live performance unfortunately most people buy these for studio use only but it is far capable for certain jobs. I want to know what you mean by live?

It has 256 megs of ram so it can trigger several songs at 16bit 44.1khz. Probably a 10 minute performance. If you are really good I don't see why you couldn't rock it all night as well. If you are doing sequencing it has a track mute screen with automation but I guess that isn't "live".

Midi wise you can stack up at least 2 synths by using it's feature to play two outputs on a track.

posted Tuesday-Mar-18-2003 at 13:41
J Smacks a part-time user from USA writes:
This machine is getting trashed. I think too many people used this machine for a day expecting it to be like a 2000 or 3000 and when it wasn't gave up on it. There are some problems with this machine but a whole bunch of good points and it also shows that Akai IS listening to the buyers of the previous mpc's. I've used this for about three weeks my impressions.

1. Getting around on the sequencer is about the same as the other machines with the exception of the step editor which actually works better. Now you can view your notes in a piano roll type display. Other IMPORTANT AND NOTICEABLE IMPROVEMENTS is the resolution and quantization features of the sequencer. We now have 64th note quantization with swing. Also you can record/automate your track mutes. The old mpc's were 96 ppq, this is 960 ppq (You will only hear the difference in resolution if you don't quantize your tracks). 96 ppq kind of deterred people from turning the quantize button off because it wasn't capable of capturing a live performance. Now when I input notes they come out as exactly as I played them. So does the sampler.

2. With the 4000's sampler engine, you don't get the limitations you got in the other machines. You can load up practically as many samples you need. You can load up 128 PROGRAMS and use them. Now you can mix and match up your kits. The sampler however is probably where the machine gets the most criticism. The main criticism is it's user interface is different than the previous ones. This does make the 4000 sampler much more intimidating to use. But isn't this what the users wanted? A full fledged sampler in a mpc? This thing has All the features of a z8 sampler which mean it's basically a digital synth as well as a drum machine. Plus it sounds great because it doesn't color your sound like the other machines. This is more suitable to the pop like sounds of today. And you have studio quality effects to dirty them up.

3. A previous user talked bad about the effects on this machine. I disagree. Ok I'll admit the reverb does suck but that is normal for most synths with exception to a couple KORG, KURZWEIL KDFX. The other effects are perfect for altering your sounds. Compressor distortion and flanger type stuff all sounds great. As well as echo. This is the best job Akai has done when it comes to effects.

People who bought this machine should expect at least a month before they are comfortable with this machine. This is also a machine that will take years to fully master. Also when saving you need to make note of all the drum kits you are using since you can use more in a sequence.

Also get a usb zip. These things are fast.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Mar-17-2003 at 15:02
Jose from Netherlands writes:
I am a studio owner and producer. I did use the MPC60mk2, MPC3000 and most of my dee jays are using the MPC2000xl. For different productions I use different gear. For example, in live situations I like to use the Akai DPS24 HD recorder. In the studio I like to work with my DAW Cubase on a G4.

Ok what does this have to do with the MPC4000. I can´t understand the people that used the MPC4000 and saying that it is crap. It does his job very good. For example, you can load it up with very much different sounds and create very quickly a instrumental track. Needing noting more... When you take it back to the studio hook it up with USB via Aksys and a Adat connection. Put your sequence in your DAW, put some vocals to it, mix it to CD and you are making serious $$$$$. The best thing with Akai is that they gif great updates with new functions.

Mine quenstion to the people that give the MPC one point. Do you really have a MPC4000!!!

Thnx Akai for creating this monster BANG BANG machine. Sorry wrong number...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-09-2003 at 05:46
Airo Muramatsu a hobbyist user from Japan writes:
I sold my MPC3000 and bought MPC4000 and I am satisfied. It is easier to express my sound on 4000. 3000 sounds good... but too few features for the main machine.

I love my MPC4000. I am still learning how to use it completely. Software is kinda difficult to use for the first time MPC user, I think, but that means eventually when I know all...things will happen.

I am making acid type hip-hop, acid house, and experimental techno, etc straingt out of Tokyo street. This machine will do just as I expected and more.

If you like the old school fat beats, get 3000 or 60. It is better for the purpose. But if you are willing to make New school hip hop or acid house with crazy tricks, 4000 is your pick.


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-07-2003 at 21:51
ninhoh writes:
superb machine!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-25-2003 at 07:30
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