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Microphone Month

AKAI MPC1000 Review

The MPC1000 is really the first drum machine/sampler I’ve really sat down with and gotten to know. I took it home and tried to forget everything I know about audio and recording. I wanted to approach it with the kind of mindset of someone who doesn’t want to know all the ins and outs of the recording and sampling process and just wants to make some music.

The MPC1000 is quite impressive. This sleek little black box looks great, which gets your creative energies going as soon as you take it out of the box. Power up the machine, and you’ll be deep into sequencing in minutes. The Quick Start Manual is great, especially for someone like me who has no prior experience with these things. I glanced over it, got my bearings, and started playing.

The most impressive thing to me about the MPC1000 is how quickly and easily you can put together a sequence. Set up your tempo and how long you want the sequence to be. Find the first sound you want to lay down. Hit record, and do it. It automatically loops back over what you recorded, so you can just keep adding different sounds to different tracks without ever having to stop the loop! When you get a good groove, going, you don’t want to have to stop everything to find your next sound. Keep it playing while you look. When you’re ready, throw it back into record and lay down the next part. It’s so easy.

For those of you with less-than-perfect rhythm (like myself), the MPC will automatically line up your performance (if you want it to). Don’t agonize over a missed beat. Let MPC1000 fix it for you on the fly so you can keep going.

Once you’ve played with all the sounds included on the MPC1000, you can then add as many sounds as you want. Record it in straight from your computer or CD player, edit it on the MPC and assign it to a pad. Customize this thing however you want, and save it all to your Compact Flash memory card.

For those of you that like to tweak, the MPC has plenty of effects and synth parameters. Almost all of the adjustable parameters (frequency cutoff, resonance, volume, etc.) can be controlled by one of the two Q-link sliders. You don’t have to make your adjustments with little buttons, use a fader to “feel” your way through the different sounds.

Get an MPC1000 and let the creativity begin. You’ll be making great musical creations in no time.

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