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MPC Live vs Blackbox

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  • MPC Live vs Blackbox

    I have long planned to get an MPC Live, then the Blackbox shows up. Now, I’m firmly on the fence. Yes, the MPC is more powerful overall, but I’m most interested in the features that happen to overlap.

    Who among you have both devices?
    Despite the obvious portability and lack of pads, how does the workflow stack up for immediacy, yet flexibility?

    Will be running samples, drums and sequencing various analog monosynths.

    If you have some thoughts, toss ‘em below!
    Love the Blackbox, but having a tough time letting the MPC idea go. Saving a few bucks would be nice though.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I have tried both.

    Regarding the MPC, I think it's really close to a DAW in a box. But I believe it goes to far for a device and maybe a great DAW on the iPad would be better (by the way Akai makes the iMPC mobile DAW)

    The BB on the other side, though sporting a touch screen and fewer physical controls, is way more instant and simple and fun to create a project with. If the project gets serious, you'll probably need to finish it in an actual DAW.

    I would say if you want to be able to do a full project from sound design/sampling to even a bit of mastering, the MPC (or its iOS equivalent) could make sense.

    Otherwise if you want a sample-based idea box that you can either take on the go and create music easily or integrate to your hardware setup to quickly control your instruments, the BB brings this flexibility in a more instantaneous way.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
      I plan to stay away from computers (iPad included). I quit making music a long time back due to being tired of using a DAW. Starting back up with a DAW-less goal.

      The immediacy of the bb is what has my attention. The MPC gives me the extra features
      that would help with finishing tracks more completely. I will combine this new purchase with my SP-404 to bounce samples back and forth on and also sync up.

      I don’t think this will be an easy decision and I think both options will provide plenty of what I want. Tough call!


      Comment


      • #4
        Hi, I have all of them BB , MPC Live , MPC X and Pioneer Toraiz SP16 and KDJ One. Each of them have there own speciality and you must not vs each other. For example the MPC Live is a complete workflow against the BB , but if I look to the MPC X he is top of the bill against the MPC Live. Each value in $ have his own quality.
        Back to the MPC X aganst The MPC Live , the MPC X has a workflow which is more easy to use, more possibilitys and an easy going into the depth (of the machine) against the MPC Live. So has the MPC Live the same issue against the BB.
        When I look to the Pioneer Toraiz SP16 , he is very easy to use and he has realy realy marvelous filters against the MPC machines. ( I realy love this machine)
        If you are a lot on the move than I love my MPC Live due to the fact that he has his own battary inside which is not on the X, Toraiz 16 and BB , but also on the KDJ One.
        The BB have an easy workflow , but you must do a lot of tricks to get a complete song against all from above but he is easy to carry with you. I use it every day when something comes in my mind,
        The KDJ One against the from above is a tiny MPC Live , also with his own battary and very usefull to set basis of songs because he has like the MPC series more visuable tracks and step sequencer,
        If I must decide I should take an X , then a Toraiz SP16 as top of the bill
        Middle section MPC Live and BB
        Lower section KDJ One
        But again each machine has his own speciality and on every machine something could be better.
        Like the BB , make a battary pack that fits exactly under the BB and this machine will be more powerfull against the "competation" ( means also more sales for them)
        So look where your preferences and wishes are and then decide , you will get in love with all of them.

        (Ps don't look like the MPC live is more an IPad DAW ,as discribed above in an other message , it is defently not! Also the MPC X or Toraiz SP16 or KDJ One even is defently not like an IPad Daw

        Comment


        • #5
          I like that the BB brings you straight to the instant fun part of loop/sample based composition. Pick your starting point, be it a loop or a sample-based sequenced melody, and off you go.
          If your creation feels like a masterpiece in the making, at some point you'll jump off to a daw, but you can go a long way just in the box itself to flesh out sections, variations, and work out some structure.
          I would love to see some development at this stage in the direction of midi control of the transport/recording so as I can use it with a guitar/kb and footpedal. It is crying out to be also treated as a very capable sequential multi-track recorder/looper.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by spiralingalbatross View Post
            I have long planned to get an MPC Live, then the Blackbox shows up. Now, I’m firmly on the fence. Yes, the MPC is more powerful overall, but I’m most interested in the features that happen to overlap.

            Who among you have both devices?
            Despite the obvious portability and lack of pads, how does the workflow stack up for immediacy, yet flexibility?

            Will be running samples, drums and sequencing various analog monosynths.

            If you have some thoughts, toss ‘em below!
            Love the Blackbox, but having a tough time letting the MPC idea go. Saving a few bucks would be nice though.

            Thanks.
            random thoughts from a BB owner considering getting an MPC Live:

            so, I've had the BB for a while and it's amazing. I got it bc I too hate staring at a computer screen and wanted some freedom. It's great for that and I think you'll be happy to have it. It's way fun and easy to grab and go. Park, train, anywhere you want you can make a track and it's easy and fun to do. I mean the thing's not even the size of an iPad and powerful as hell - it's f****** great. BUT I will say that it severely lacks in fx and tweaking options so even tho I can do a lot of complex and cool stuff with it, I'm still left feeling like I need to run a track through an fx mixer or into my DAW if I want to get a better final track. This really has me looking at the MPC Live. Just seems like I could actually make a deeper, more complex, polished track in there.

            Lacking pads is nice on the one hand b/c it lends to the portability. I will say though that you'll be finger tapping, not finger drumming, unless you plug in a controller. This is easy to do, but means you'll be bringing an accessory with you on top of the external battery. MPC is larger overall, but it's all-in-one. No way could I bust out the Live while standing up on a busy train and build a track though - something I do often with the BB.

            If you're big on Midi stuff, the BB seems pretty solid for that, but that's not my game.

            One thing IDK is if the MPC has is a piano keys section. I like that the BB has this b/c it helps with melodies.

            Remember the BB is still ironing out some of its own kinks b/c it's still new. For example, in the SEQS Piano Roll you are able to use the knobs to adjust where in the sequence a note is, BUT the samples page and keys page don't have the same knob functionality. Also, if you put in a note lower than C2 on the KEYS page and then go to the KEYS Piano Roll and zoom out you have to use a knob to navigate to where the notes are again. If you try to move the note up or down it bounces it up above C2 and won't let you reposition it lower again if you want. Another weird thing is if you hit the play button repeatedly to retrigger the sequence, there's can be a crackling noise. So, RN there's still little wonky things like that that you'll come across. The 1010 folks are geniuses and I'm sure they'll work these things out at some point, but IDK b/c the last update pushed some pretty complex stuff like multisampling and Midi controls instead of addressing some things I would consider more basic.

            So yeah, go for what you feel is better for you. I'm quite happy with this machine b/c it has me making music more often than I was. It's portable as hell and will work well with your 404. (I'm piping mine through a 900 nexus - makes it super fun). BUT at the end of the day I will say I'm a happy owner of the BB who is STILL considering the MPC Live so I can do even more w/o a computer, lol so idk what to tell ya.

            either way keep rocking!


            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the thoughts so far. Jeremagination,
              your feedback is especially pertinent. I have to admit, since I’m not working with a true DAW,
              I’m being pulled more toward the MPC.

              As much as I appreciate the immediacy of the BB, it feels the aspect of 16s (especially SEQS) will end up limiting how I work. I wind up with 20+ sequence variations on my SP-404 as it is.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've had both, won't go into any great detail but lemme say the constant memory errors killed MPC live for me. Everything on that box happens in ram memory. It's great but I got over the clumsy workflow. BB has all the basics I need without the memory limitation

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                • #9
                  Appreciate the feedback. I’m as stuck as ever!
                  Only have the budget for one and need to make the best choice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Guess it all depends on how much you want to spend. The price difference is justified imo. I have both as well.

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                    • #11
                      I have the MPC Live and I agree, the price difference is justified but only if you need what the Live has to offer. There are many more things inside the MPC, and also more connections, both usb, midi, balanced jacks... many possibilites, and you can find a used one for about the same price as the BB.

                      That said, for my personal needs, I would love to get a BB and sell the Live, because I much prefer the smaller size and design of the BB and I'd rather use external effects for live playing, so I don't really need what's inside the MPC.

                      When and if the BB will have a midi learn function and/or I'll be able to control volume levels through a fader midi controller, I'll sell my Live.

                      Edit: I'm reading midi learn has been implemented. Currently investigating on that

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                      • #12
                        Blackbox it is.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have the MPC X and the BB and they are both great machines! The X is my workhorse in the studio and the BB is absolutely fun and easy to use for testing ideas, sounds, etc. and in combination with a small keyboard (Launchkey mini MK3) great for performances where you usually do not need all the extra shebang the X has. I'm happy to have both!

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                          • #14
                            The bb arrived this weekend. No real time to sit down with it yet, but one issue immediately apparent. The usb power jack requires A LOT of effort to plug in. Even with effort, it only seems to want to travel a few millimeters into the port. Just barely enough to make contact and power up the bb.

                            This must be a one-off fault with my device.
                            Have not seen this mentioned previously.
                            It otherwise seems well built.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              They purposely used 'industrial strength' usb ports for all Blackboxes. I'm noticing after time that it loosens up a bit

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