Akai MPC Live - my new love affair

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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EnochLight
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Post 01 Apr 2019

So I ended up picking up the MPC Touch when they were being cleared out at Sweetwater. These retailed at $800 USD, but dropped to $399 - $450 in the past few weeks, so they're likely being discontinued.

Setup was a breeze, and I downloaded the latest MPC Software 2.4. The MPC Touch acts as an external soundcard, which at first I didn't use since my RME Babyface is far superior, but you have to 1. use the MPC Touch as an audio interface if you want to sample from the phono-in and monitor, and 2. using my RME Babyface as the audio driver causes the MPC 2.4 software to crash if I use any of the included Air effects plugins as inserts.

If I use the MPC 2.4 software inside of Reason, however, it's fine on my RME Babyface. So I decided to use the MPC Touch as an audio interface when I need to sample and run standalone, but use my RME Babyface Pro for everything else.

I love the pads - they're thick but sensitive. The touch-screen essentially serves as an extended desktop display and controls the MPC 2.4 software with a specialized GUI/UX on the extended touch display. This is very different from how the MPC Live works (which actually runs the MPC 2.4 software on the device itself unless you are in controller mode).

I can also have the MPC Touch go into MIDI controller mode and use it as a pad controller for Reason devices like Kong, etc.

Anyway, I'll probably keep this. Time to put my M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro up for sale! :puf_bigsmile: :lol:

Last edited by EnochLight on 11 Apr 2019, edited 1 time in total.
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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EnochLight
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Post 05 Apr 2019

*UPDATE*

So after watching countless videos of people using their MPC Live out in the field, I decided I don't want to be tethered to my computer all of the time, so I'm sending my MPC Touch back to Sweetwater and just ordered the MPC Live instead.

So, my love affair isn't over - I just upgraded to a much more independant workflow. :puf_bigsmile: :cool: I might take it along to various record stores in the area and sample some vinyl in-store, or sit on the patio and work on some beats. :thumbs_up:



Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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cognitive
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Post 06 Apr 2019

You will probably be very happy with the Live. It is an absolute beast.

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EnochLight
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Post 06 Apr 2019

cognitive wrote:
06 Apr 2019
You will probably be very happy with the Live. It is an absolute beast.
Yeah, I can't wait to get it. Supposed to arrive today. Do you have an MPC Live?
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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cognitive
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Post 06 Apr 2019

EnochLight wrote:
06 Apr 2019
cognitive wrote:
06 Apr 2019
You will probably be very happy with the Live. It is an absolute beast.
Yeah, I can't wait to get it. Supposed to arrive today. Do you have an MPC Live?
I do have an MPC Live. Prior to picking one up, I was doing live sets with a couple of Novation Circuits. Now the MPC is my "main" beast, although I do still have a Circuit in the mix just for the fun of it.

IKEA_stands.jpg

That said, I can now do entire live dance music shows with just a Live, although I do have to merge multiple songs into sets of sequences in a single project in order to get a seamless hour or two worth of material in one project. The Live can't load a song from a file while another one is playing, but then again I've never really seen a device that can.

Someday, some company will clean up when they release a groovebox or other standalone performance workstation that has "A" and "B" projects and can play and crossfade between the two projects simultaneously.
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EnochLight
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Post 07 Apr 2019

cognitive wrote:
06 Apr 2019
I do have an MPC Live. Prior to picking one up, I was doing live sets with a couple of Novation Circuits. Now the MPC is my "main" beast, although I do still have a Circuit in the mix just for the fun of it.


IKEA_stands.jpg


That said, I can now do entire live dance music shows with just a Live, although I do have to merge multiple songs into sets of sequences in a single project in order to get a seamless hour or two worth of material in one project. The Live can't load a song from a file while another one is playing, but then again I've never really seen a device that can.

Someday, some company will clean up when they release a groovebox or other standalone performance workstation that has "A" and "B" projects and can play and crossfade between the two projects simultaneously.
Sweet - good to know!

Last question, when your Live has been plugged in and charging all night, what does it show in the battery meter? I can't get mine to climb above 98%. :( Not sure if I have a defective battery or if this is just par for the course with Akai MPC Lives... :shock: :? :o

Your photo - yeah - now I remember: the Ikea desktop stand. :) I'm considering picking up a stage-worthy electronic drum stand, so I can get this thing off of my desk entirely and keep it free-standing next to it. I know that Ikea stand is a crazy cheap desktop solution, though. I'm only 15 minutes away from an Ikea, so maybe I'l stop by there today.
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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Data_Shrine
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Post 07 Apr 2019

The MPC Live must be fantastic, you will surely get loads of fun with it. I have a lower-tier groovebox, the Electribe 2, and it's incredible. Can't even imagine how awesome the MPC Live must be.

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demt
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Post 08 Apr 2019

donations accepted, its all going to a good cause,fraid it has to b a lump sum as i am on the end of fearfull advice{ VICE} and binge 2weeks mun in 2 days funny thing though i live a very fugal 2 weeks on 20 quid and the vice doesnt get me
back to the point used to miracles though i am its going to b difficult to purchase a MPC Live any won else want to buy a trig fing pro a launchpad pro 2 a nektar p1 a korg kaos pad huawei tab and 400 quid all i need is a ebay account and a lot of luck otherwise, serious stuff
neutron; tb3; triggerfingerpro;3korg volca keys fm drums; kaos pad 3;zaquencer; akai mpk mini;2 zmx mixers; midiplus interface;16 channel behringer umc 1820 with ada8200 soundcard, arturia drumbrute.nektar p1,
hear scince reason 2.5

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EnochLight
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Post 08 Apr 2019

I'm actually putting my Trigger Finger Pro up on eBay as I type this.
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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cognitive
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Post 09 Apr 2019

EnochLight wrote:
07 Apr 2019
cognitive wrote:
06 Apr 2019
I do have an MPC Live. Prior to picking one up, I was doing live sets with a couple of Novation Circuits. Now the MPC is my "main" beast, although I do still have a Circuit in the mix just for the fun of it.


IKEA_stands.jpg


That said, I can now do entire live dance music shows with just a Live, although I do have to merge multiple songs into sets of sequences in a single project in order to get a seamless hour or two worth of material in one project. The Live can't load a song from a file while another one is playing, but then again I've never really seen a device that can.

Someday, some company will clean up when they release a groovebox or other standalone performance workstation that has "A" and "B" projects and can play and crossfade between the two projects simultaneously.
Sweet - good to know!

Last question, when your Live has been plugged in and charging all night, what does it show in the battery meter? I can't get mine to climb above 98%. :( Not sure if I have a defective battery or if this is just par for the course with Akai MPC Lives... :shock: :? :o

Your photo - yeah - now I remember: the Ikea desktop stand. :) I'm considering picking up a stage-worthy electronic drum stand, so I can get this thing off of my desk entirely and keep it free-standing next to it. I know that Ikea stand is a crazy cheap desktop solution, though. I'm only 15 minutes away from an Ikea, so maybe I'l stop by there today.
I never noticed it, but my Live only goes to 98% battery charge as well. I would be worried about it, except that yours is doing the exact same thing. :)

Have you played around with the Live's "Generate Random Events" yet? You can do random rhythmic content for things like drums and random melodic content for synth plugins, keygroups, midi, etc.

It's quite a time saver when I want to generate something weird and unique, or just get some random inspiration. This is especially powerful if I've already laid down the foundation of my musical ideas, but want to introduce something unpredictable in the music to shake things up.

I often use generative tools in Reason, like 'Lectric Panda's PSQ-1684, RND or sometimes the Quad Note Generator, so it's cool to have some basic generative tools on the Live that let's me easily add some unexpected touches.

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cognitive
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Post 09 Apr 2019

Another great feature, I hook the Live up to my PC running Reason, and can use the Live's auto sample feature to generate MIDI to play and and grab sounds from Reason synths and within seconds, the synth notes have been "played" back into the live, auto-sampled and assigned to keygroups within a keygroup program. Any of my Reason synths, automatically turned into playable Live instruments with minimal manual intervention. Wow.

In particular, I've been capturing sounds from Blamsoft's eXpanse and Prop's Complex-1 to make playable Live instruments. Next up, I'm gonna grab some crazy cool percussive sounds from the Noise Engineering REs.

Cool thing is, the Live as a sampler is an "important" feature to the device, so the audio quality is superb. When I take the time to set things up properly for auto-sampling the particular patch that I'm capturing, I'm having trouble hearing much if any difference in the quality of the sampled instrument on the Live and the original RE that was sampled. For live performances and adding my own Reason generated flavoring to my MPC Live sounds, that's more than good enough.

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EnochLight
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Post 10 Apr 2019

cognitive wrote:
09 Apr 2019
Another great feature, I hook the Live up to my PC running Reason, and can use the Live's auto sample feature to generate MIDI to play and and grab sounds from Reason synths and within seconds, the synth notes have been "played" back into the live, auto-sampled and assigned to keygroups within a keygroup program. Any of my Reason synths, automatically turned into playable Live instruments with minimal manual intervention. Wow.

In particular, I've been capturing sounds from Blamsoft's eXpanse and Prop's Complex-1 to make playable Live instruments. Next up, I'm gonna grab some crazy cool percussive sounds from the Noise Engineering REs.

Cool thing is, the Live as a sampler is an "important" feature to the device, so the audio quality is superb. When I take the time to set things up properly for auto-sampling the particular patch that I'm capturing, I'm having trouble hearing much if any difference in the quality of the sampled instrument on the Live and the original RE that was sampled. For live performances and adding my own Reason generated flavoring to my MPC Live sounds, that's more than good enough.
Nice - both great tips! Really glad I picked this up. Question: how are you triggering devices in Reason via MIDI to autosample without being in MIDI controller mode (which eliminates the ability to autosample, or so I thought)? Are you running MIDI cables into your interface as well?
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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cognitive
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Post 10 Apr 2019

EnochLight wrote:
10 Apr 2019
cognitive wrote:
09 Apr 2019
Another great feature, I hook the Live up to my PC running Reason, and can use the Live's auto sample feature to generate MIDI to play and and grab sounds from Reason synths and within seconds, the synth notes have been "played" back into the live, auto-sampled and assigned to keygroups within a keygroup program. Any of my Reason synths, automatically turned into playable Live instruments with minimal manual intervention. Wow.

In particular, I've been capturing sounds from Blamsoft's eXpanse and Prop's Complex-1 to make playable Live instruments. Next up, I'm gonna grab some crazy cool percussive sounds from the Noise Engineering REs.

Cool thing is, the Live as a sampler is an "important" feature to the device, so the audio quality is superb. When I take the time to set things up properly for auto-sampling the particular patch that I'm capturing, I'm having trouble hearing much if any difference in the quality of the sampled instrument on the Live and the original RE that was sampled. For live performances and adding my own Reason generated flavoring to my MPC Live sounds, that's more than good enough.
Nice - both great tips! Really glad I picked this up. Question: how are you triggering devices in Reason via MIDI to autosample without being in MIDI controller mode (which eliminates the ability to autosample, or so I thought)? Are you running MIDI cables into your interface as well?
Exactly. MIDI out from the MPC Live to the PC audio/MIDI interface and returning audio from the PC audio interface into the 1/4" line-in of the MPC for capturing the samples. Took me a little fiddling around and watching a video or two to figure out a couple of things, but now that I've got it down, I have so many more colors available in the MPC Live palette.

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EnochLight
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Post 10 Apr 2019

cognitive wrote:
10 Apr 2019
EnochLight wrote:
10 Apr 2019
Question: how are you triggering devices in Reason via MIDI to autosample without being in MIDI controller mode (which eliminates the ability to autosample, or so I thought)? Are you running MIDI cables into your interface as well?
Exactly. MIDI out from the MPC Live to the PC audio/MIDI interface and returning audio from the PC audio interface into the 1/4" line-in of the MPC for capturing the samples. Took me a little fiddling around and watching a video or two to figure out a couple of things, but now that I've got it down, I have so many more colors available in the MPC Live palette.
Hell yeah - I'm totally going to do that! Originally I just planned to hook up my Juno 106 and do some autosampling - which I'll still do of course. But I'll move on to autosampling Reason devices, RE's, and VST afterwards. Just got my 1 TB SSD today that I planned to put in my MPC Live. I might use that in my main rig instead and put the 512 GB SSD in my MPC Live. Haven't decided...

Cheers
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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EnochLight
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Post 11 Apr 2019

cognitive wrote:
06 Apr 2019
You will probably be very happy with the Live. It is an absolute beast.
Not sure if you have access to a 3D printer, but I found this free template for a sweet desktop stand (for free):

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2592587





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EnochLight
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Post 11 Apr 2019

Actually, I like this one better. Your MPC just sits on it instead of having to have brackets slid onto the sides like the one above (which would eventually wear the rubberized plastic off of the metal casing). I've got a buddy with a 3D printer that's going to print this one up for me in black - total cost is 50 cents in substrate, plus the cost of buying some silicon grip pads from the local hardware store:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3247554



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95057a2846f87d7bfcf2a1ce39aaed3f_preview_featured.jpg
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Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

thatboicrazi11
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Joined: 11 May 2019

Post 11 May 2019

very cool thread got some interesting ideas from you guys (auto sampling reason plug ins, 3D printed stand etc.)
I am looking to tailor a workflow for using my MPC Live alongside reason that is simple and efficient. Do any of you guys use the mpc/software as a plugin in reason to add drums/samples or would that feel a little redundant? I've also considered leaving the live in standalone mode and midi syncing it to reason's sequencer. Third scenario would be to keep the live away from my computer altogether and use it as a standalone sketch pad to compose and then to bounce the ideas as audio. I know there's no "right way" to go about it Im just curious as to your guy's thoughts on it.

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EnochLight
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Post 12 May 2019

thatboicrazi11 wrote:
11 May 2019
very cool thread got some interesting ideas from you guys (auto sampling reason plug ins, 3D printed stand etc.)
I am looking to tailor a workflow for using my MPC Live alongside reason that is simple and efficient. Do any of you guys use the mpc/software as a plugin in reason to add drums/samples or would that feel a little redundant? I've also considered leaving the live in standalone mode and midi syncing it to reason's sequencer. Third scenario would be to keep the live away from my computer altogether and use it as a standalone sketch pad to compose and then to bounce the ideas as audio. I know there's no "right way" to go about it Im just curious as to your guy's thoughts on it.
I specifically bought the MPC Live so I can run standalone and move away from my computer. But I also like running the MPC Software as a plugin in Reason once I’ve got a base sequence or a few - or even a song fleshed out. I also use my Live as a pad controller for Kong, etc.

But standalone is where it’s at for me. I load up on Splice and sample via vinyl or YouTube. Then take it to the park for a few hours.
Windows 10 | Reason 10.4 |  Studio One 4.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion

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