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Akai MPC 3000 MIDI Production Centre (part 9)

I could easily continue to describe how sequences are created, and then how they can be chained into songs, and then converted back to new sequences if desired.

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I could easily continue to describe how sequences are created, and then how they can be chained into songs, and then converted back to new sequences if desired. I could also tell you about the way punch in and auto punch in usually make step editing unnecessary, but I’m going to run out of space. Maybe I should tell you a couple of things I don’t like about this unit to balance out my overall enthusiasm. Firstly, I have to say that the unit before me is a pre-production model as far as the UK is concerned so I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on a few problems that are known to Akai and which they intend to fix before the MPC 3000 hits the streets. Something that strikes me as odd however, and is mentioned in the manual, is that the machine will randomly play or miss out the last 20ms or so of a sample. This is only significant if there is something you particularly want to cut out at the end of a sample, probably from a sampled drum loop. You need to make sure that you really have cut it off properly, and then all will be OK - I don’t think it amounts to anything of significence. Another point is that although you can edit any aspect of the MIDI data, it isn’t possible easily to change the timing of a single note. I would have liked to be able to position the cursor on the bar/beat/clock reference of a note and be able to dial in a new value. To ameliorate this however there are cut and paste functions, and also you can step directly from one event to another without having to scroll through a lot of potential quantisation intervals that don’t happen to contain a note.

In conclusion, I have to say that the Akai MPC 3000 is a great piece of gear. Not because it does everything and has a million functions, but because its designers have thought out very thoroughly what it ought to be able to do, and then have made it do it as simply as possible without frills and without hassles. I can’t promise that it can replace your high end computer sequencer because you will probably have become used to the facilities it offers, but you must consider whether all that extra baggage is weighing you down, because contained inside the MPC 3000 there may be everything you need.

The unit tested was a preproduction model, software version 3.0.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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