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Akai MPC 3000 MIDI Production Centre (part 4)

Spec wise, the MPC 3000 has what it takes to stand amongst the best equipment.

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Spec wise, the MPC 3000 has what it takes to stand amongst the best equipment. In standard form, the sampling time available is 21.9 seconds mono or 10.9 seconds stereo. This can be expanded up to 188.3 seconds of mono or 94.1 second of stereo with the addition of more memory.

As in the S3000, the data format is 16 bit, and the sampling rate is 44.1kHz giving a fully adequate sound quality. You can see a full list of all the specs elsewhere, but I’ll mention here that the note capacity of 75000 should be adequate for most normal sequencing applications.

The resolution of 96 pulses per quarter note may be seen by some as rather coarser than many computer sequencers allow, but I think you have to remember that the MPC 3000 is designed to fit into the professional studio situation. In the pro studio if you need a better resolution than 96 ppqn on the drum track you’ll call in a real drummer and do it the old fashioned way! Likewise, any keyboard parts that need better resolution than this may as well simply be recorded directly to tape. One spec that will be of interest to loop users is the tempo resolution of 0.1 BPM.

Getting a four bar loop to cycle correctly without noticeable glitching requires precise adjustment of the tempo of the sequence, and if I say that this degree of resolution is ample, then there will be those keen eared loopists who will disagree with me. I think it’s good enough, and since so much time can be spent agonising over what tempo is best for a loop (which probably isn’t consistent in tempo within itself anyway) a resolution of 96 ppqn might just be the optimum compromise between accuracy and overkill. I’ll tell you more about how easy it is to loop using the MPC 3000 later.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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