MPC1000, New Electribe Sampler, Machinedrum?

After years of buying and selling gear I still lack that one central part of my live-setup and am very disoriented right now… so I think I maybe need some advice.
Short preamble: I have an LXR, wich I really like and I have a Digital Warrior sequencer, which I’m using with mixed success (I really like the sequencer, but I found the pattern memory to be a bit too limited for most of my sets).
Musically I would like to incorporate more samples in my live-sets. I do a lot of field-recording and record sounds from objects I find, so I’d love something that let’s me load this samples and play with them. I’d like the sequencer to be kind of live-oriented, so that I can prepare small blocks and then improvise on them and arrange them during the live performance.

The problem: what I’m looking for is a central element for my setup which I can use for rythm parts (mainly glitch/digital-oriented polyrhythmic stuff) drive external synths (like the Shruthi) or the modular and build complete sets with. I want to avoid using a computer, mainly because I don’t have one I can use and because my experience with the computer so far hasn’t been all that great. I also don’t want an iPad because, well mainly because I don’t like how it feels…

So basically I’m looking into the above boxes. The MPC1000 has a powerful sequencer and works well with samples (I love messing with samples), the new Electribe Sampler also looks good under many aspects, though the details are a bit sketchy, and last but not least, a Machinedrum with Sampler extension would also be a great centrepiece for my setup… but at a higher price.
The Electribe also has a synth engine (but it’s hard to understand how good it is, since the demos are all horrible) and the Machinedrum is said to have a great sequencer… hmm…

  • How long do you want/need your patterns to be?
  • Do you want to be able to create polyrhythms by running multiple patterns of different length at the same time?
  • Are you going to drive all instruments from the same central sequencer, or are you going to use more than one?
  • Are you planning to edit/tweak patterns “live"?
  • Do you think you need some kind of “song mode” to create arrangements, or will you switch patters “live”?
  • Do you generally enter patterns or sequences x0x-style, or do you prefer to play/overdub from a keyboard?
  • Do you want or need to record and be able to replay CC automation?

Cirklon’s the thing for tweaking and independence from the computer.

I invested in an MPC as a stop gap measure. I can’t say I’ve been hooked on it yet, starting to think that a computer would be less hassle :slight_smile:

I don’t know how good the MPC/Machinedrum is at running several Polyrhytmic tracks simultaneously or with changing Tracks due to random and or grabbed Values from other tracks…. Otherwise the MPC 1000 might be fine, Octave One can’t be that wrong :wink:

How long do you want/need your patterns to be?
I find 16 steps pretty limiting sometimes. Let’s say more than 16… but I don’t need them to be 64steps…

Do you want to be able to create polyrhythms by running multiple patterns of different length at the same time?
Yes that’s one thing I love to do!

Are you going to drive all instruments from the same central sequencer, or are you going to use more than one?
No the idea would be to drive everything from one central device. I would also run a loop station in sync with it.

Are you planning to edit/tweak patterns “live”?
Well that would be cool, but I think that will not really work well probably. What I do now is create different monophonic patterns and combine them in different ways, If I wanted something to do real live-sequencing I would probably have to get a tenori-on or something like that… but then I would have to focus a lot on that, the sequencer should be manageable while messing with the other stuff as well. I usually have a circuit-bent SK-1 and other devices I play into the loop station.

Do you think you need some kind of “song mode” to create arrangements, or will you switch patters “live”?
No I’m not into backing tracks. I like to have a live aspect, even if it’s just combining things. So yeah I do switch patterns live a lot.

Do you generally enter patterns or sequences x0x-style, or do you prefer to play/overdub from a keyboard?
I used to enter notes a with a keyboard when I was still using a computer. But I also like to have an interface where I can tweak those notes once entered. So yes maybe having something where you hit rec and play some notes would be preferable. I don’t like step-by-step note entering via keyboard though… never got the hang of the Anushri’s sequencer for example.

Do you want or need to record and be able to replay CC automation?
Yes that’s another thing I would need, especially if I want to control the modular from the sequencer.

Thanks a lot for your help and for the questions!

@6581punk: the hassle is actually one thing I am a bit afraid of… having to do a lot of editing on one tiny screen is not really great. But then the computer is not really an option for me.
The Cirklon… well that’s another option I don’t think will work for me. Mainly because it’s too pricey, and a bit bulky.

didnt someone have a machinedrum for sale here recently for 700?

http://mutable-instruments.net/forum/discussion/6456/machinedrum-sps-1-mk-2-for-sale-in-western-usa-#Item_2

I will now predict the future: you will - in best Modularitis Manner - buy an MPC, mainly because its cheaper than a Cirklon, persuade yourself its the better solution, learn to hate the rubber knobs and other limitations and end up selling the MPC, loosing money and sitting prolonged on the waiting list until your Cirklonic Beauty arrives…. have it signed by Collin!

yes and for a good price, but in the US, which means high shipping costs, import taxes… I’m living in Italy

Midibox SEQ V4
http://www.ucapps.de/midibox_seq.html

I think you’ll want the MPC-1000 with JJOS2XL. Long reply will follow later. Cooking dinner for the family right now.

I am unconvinced about the Cirklon regardless of price. I have yet to see a video, a Real Live Performing Artist Using It Live, or a decent manual explaining why it is worth its price.

borfo: way too much work, plus I'd like something that can also make sounds, I want to keep the setup as compact as possiblet2k: yes that’s also true. I haven’t seen one convincing live-performance Cirklon video either. Plus… it wouldn’t really the smartest choice to keep the setup light and compact :slight_smile:

Questions to those owning an MPC1000: I guess getting JJOS onto it is an easy thing, isn’t it?

The real beauty lies within the concept of the AUX events, have a look into the manual to get a glimpse of what you can do with it.

But you are right - being lightweight is one of the few things a Cirklon can’t do :wink:

@rumpelfilter Yeah, getting JJOS2XL is easy and fast. It is really good. The only thing that sucks about it is the manual because the JJOS developer isn’t a great writer and doesn’t speak English very well. The downside about the MPC-1000/JJOS2XL option is that you’ll need to invest time in figuring out how stuff works.

@t2k: yeah I guess that will be the case with any new piece of gear. The question is if the time to figure stuff out will be “balanced” with what the thing will let me do.
I must say that the new Electribe seems really straightforward from the videos… but hard to tell at this point, since it’s barely been released so far.
Anyway, the MPC1000 also seems kind of logic and consistent, though of course there is a lot of features and menus, which add complexity.

@fcd72: you won’t convince me, don’t even try! :smiley:

@rumpelfilter:
Thats what they all tell me all the time….

@rumpelfilter The MPC-1000 is extremely straightforward, with or without the JJOS. It’s just that the JJOS manual is a bit hard to read which means it might not make sense until you try stuff out.

First of all, I own a MPC-1000, I’ve owned a Machinedrum, and I’ve looked into and played with the New Electribe even though I don’t own one. I also own an Analog Four and a Analog RYTM and used computer-based sequencers and DAWs extensively.

I find 16 steps pretty limiting sometimes. Let’s say more than 16… but I don’t need them to be 64steps…

The Machinedrum as well as the Electibe do up to 64 steps per pattern. The MPC can have patterns (they’rew called “sequences” there) of an unlimited length.

The MPC has a “proper” 96 PPQN event sequencer, while the Machinedrum as well as the Electribe are “tight” step sequencers with adjustable swing.

Yes that’s one thing I love to do!

Bad luck. None of these boxes allow you to have different length tracks within a pattern like you can do on for example the newer Elektron Analog boxes and on most dedicated modular step-sequencers.

No the idea would be to drive everything from one central device.

The nice thing about the MPC is that is has 2 MIDI In and Out sockets. You can also have up to 64 tracks within a pattern (sequence). This means you can easily have multiple pattern variations for the same instrument (either internal or an the same external MIDI channel) within a single pattern that you can toggle between simply by muting/unmuting tracks.

Both the Elecribe as well as the Machinedrum have 16 tracks. Using a track to send MIDI out means it can’t be used internally.

A nice thing about JJOS2XL is that it also includes a looper and also allows you to use any of its tracks to do mono audio recording.

Well that would be cool, but I think that will not really work well probably.

Editing step patterns live is probably easier on the Machinedrum or on the Electribe. Having said that, JJOS2XL has some very powerful step edit modes.

So yeah I do switch patterns live a lot.

The Elecribe has no song mode at all, but that’s not an issue in your case. The Machinedrum’s song mode isn’t very nice IMHO.

I used to enter notes a with a keyboard when I was still using a computer. But I also like to have an interface where I can tweak those notes once entered. So yes maybe having something where you hit rec and play some notes would be preferable. I don’t like step-by-step note entering via keyboard though… never got the hang of the Anushri’s sequencer for example.

First of all, I haven’t used the Electibe much for this. I found the Machinedrum very limited for entering note sequences; you have to set the note number using an encoder per-step and you can’t use an external keyboard.

Yes that’s another thing I would need, especially if I want to control the modular from the sequencer.

The MPC seems to be your only choice here if you want to record, replay, and edit more complex CC events.