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AKAI MPC X For Guitarist?

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AKAI MPC X For Guitarist?

Postby forumuser641699 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:50 am

I'm interested in a standalone machine that will give me a side of electronic music as well as a side of multitrack audio recording, guitar and voice.

These groove box type things are new to me and a quick look at what is on the market tells me an XRL input is a rare feature but this Akai has two!

I wonder if anyone can tell me a little about it or if there is something else on the market, it's not cheap!

So as I say, I want to play with electronic music. I hear the MCP approach is a pattern-based sequencer. I come from the 90's Atari/Notator/Creator days and I loved that approach. Pattern 1 Intro. Patter 2 Verse. Patter 3 Chorus etc. Is that how the Akai works? I build each section separately on its own pattern?
To me that was always a more intuitive songwriter friendly approach, I never could write music on modern daws.

Regarding guitars, I've been tempted to dig out the old Electric and treat myself to a new amp. I miss those days of just playing solos to a track I made in Notator and jamming along. Does the Akai have any decent sounding amp simulators? Just want to plug in and play.

I see the Akai has Bluetooth. Does that mean it can connect to Bluetooth speakers? Well, you see I have a nice pair of HHB Circles as my HiFi speakers in my lounge and an amp with a blue tooth thingy I can stream Spotify through via my phone but I am wanting to put the Akai in my lounge on a table by the sofa. I don't want audio cables going from it across the room to my amp. Just trying to keep this simple and tidy. Something to play within the evenings. A way to revisit my old Atari songwriting days and get back into Electric guitar without staring at a screen and forever battling with modern computers that always seem to have a problem whenever I get the creative spark and kill it dead.
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Re: AKAI MPC X For Guitarist?

Postby wdsteele » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:25 pm

I’ve only used the early MPC’s and then the MPC live from a couple of years ago ; like yourself I favour a pattern approach most of the time and the new Akai kit stays true to that format but with a ton of extra’s which although welcome , may add unexpected complexity to any casual messing around so to speak.

The effects from Akai and Air are excellent as are the bundled soft synths but unless you pair with a laptop , and despite the knobs and buttons , a lot of the workflow demands a fair level of peering intently at the hardware screen anyhow.Lots of distortion not sure there’s an amp sim but Akai are regularly updating so there might well be something included by now.

I’ve never tried the Bluetooth option as I’m guessing there would be an element of latency introduced for anything real time but should work just fine for playback .

Personally I love the MPC approach to composition but the MPC2000 was my first serious piece of kit so my views come with a large helping of nostalgia and if it’s convenience I want , then Logic on a MacBook Air wins out every time ; Logic now has a loop grid option which invites a more pattern based approach and works very nicely for what you describe.

Pity you can’t try before you buy , the MPC’s can have a bit of a love them / hate them affect but if I was in the market for one I’d be edging more towards the MPC Live 2 , battery and speakers built in for a much more mobile approach and certainly less cables and at £500 less expensive leaves some cash for something like a TC Helicon voice / guitar preamp to get around the lack of XLR on the Live 2.
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Re: AKAI MPC X For Guitarist?

Postby OneWorld » Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:32 pm

I too have wondered about this, using the mpc x as an audio recorder, a multi-track. But from what I’ve read the audio recording part doesn’t work quite as a dedicated multi-track HDD recorder would. Apparently Akai were going to release an update that would address the issue but last time I visited their website no such update was there. I feel a combined MPC+HDD recorder with HDMI out is such an obvious concept for a product, if only to avoid infernal Windows updates, that I wonder why there is no such product already and I guess the reason is, no call for it because acoustic music and EDM etc are two different genres and never the Twain shall meet, surely that’s not the case.
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Re: AKAI MPC X For Guitarist?

Postby soulgreed returns » Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:27 pm

I actually had some similar ideas and ended up getting an MPC One recently. It doesn't have a instrument in but I am using line in from an IK iRIG with amplitube which seems to work fine. Still digging into the possibilities as I don't have much free time at the moment but seems to do everything I need.

There are loads of video tutorials on the units if you look for akai academy on youtube. Gives a good amount of in depth walk throughs and steered me in the direction of the MPC having considered the maschine plus initially just because i prefer the MPC workflow.

Hope this helps.
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Re: AKAI MPC X For Guitarist?

Postby forumuser641699 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:17 pm

Thanks for the info guys.

There does seem to be a gap in the market here. The Akai MPC & NI Machine are almost there but they're so focused toward hiphop/electronic genres, I would love to see a little more DAW and I/O for real instrument connection but still maintain a pattern-based approach to writing.

Having looked at the Akai and NI offerings, I must admit I'm more drawn now to Machine+, the UI looks a bit more intuitive but I've decided blowing over a grand on something as a punt is silly so it's really only left me with the MPC One as the regular Machine needs to be connected to a computer.

@soulgreed, I've been searching on youtube but again it's all hiphop artists, I'm struggling to find anyone using it in the way I would.
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Re: AKAI MPC X For Guitarist?

Postby soulgreed returns » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:48 pm

The most useful videos I found were the walk through from akai, which shows the general UI and workflow https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyawkFIWnO1NCuvnHyOBUVvD8YjHtqgBW Just imagine the output from the turntable is actually from a Kemper modelling amplifier.... :bouncy:

Most of the promo stuff is hip hop based but the generic feature set and workflow seems to suit guitar music as well. You have 8 audio tracks and 100 odd midi tracks to play with, you can work on song sections separately (akai terms each section a "sequence"), and you can glue these all together in the box to create a song.

BUT you will need something between your guitar and the mpc with a 1/4" line out, like a sansamp or something. There are effects, distortions etc. in the box but they're not guitar oriented, and no amp/speaker sims AFAIK.

I guess something like a Zoom R16 would be more guitar oriented but I was looking for something with drum pads and synths as well, which the mpc seemed to do at a lower price point than the maschine plus...

Hope that helps!
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