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blackbox 1.4.0 update and aka mpc one

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  • #16
    With all due respect to the OP, everybody wants something different from a sampler, sequencer, groovebox, music making machine and you can't, and never will please everybody.

    I've owned a lot of said machines over the years and still own a lot, but they all have an Achilles' heel. They all have much slower processes for creating music and Akai has never had a natural workflow IMHO. It seems to take years to learn all that muscle memory, unless you're a naturally quick learner with lots of time to burn. My own experiences with Akai (owning 2 MPC's) is they're frustrating and frustration equals less productivity. Updates promised sometime take forever too.

    If you're an mpc master who knows his way around an mpc then maybe it's the device for you, but 1 thing that has held myself and music making friends back A LOT over the years is the time it takes to get ideas down, and that's where the Blackbox excels.

    The Blackbox is insanely quick at getting fast flowing ideas put together. I can sit on the couch with a pair of headphones on and quickly knock together some good sounds that I just can't do on any other machine I know about and it's worth every penny for the satisfaction I get from that. The software updates are pretty quick and add to the workflow naturally and make things better as well as adding more value.

    They do listen, but, you can't please everybody.

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    • #17
      I did make the time to go see the MPC One at NAMM. The first thing you notice compared to the blackbox is the size. The MPC is about twice as wide and twice as high as the blackbox. (10.7" by 10.7" or 272 x 272 mm). That is one important difference.

      The price point and the feature set of the MPC One is impressive. And, they are emphasizing different things than we are. I completely agree that everybody wants something different and it is not possible to please everyone. We are listening and appreciate your thoughts.

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      • #18
        Thing is, MPC One is built to be a groovebox, while the Blackbox is first and foremost a sampler. A powerful one at that, almost Ableton in a box to an extent, but all in all they’re very different devices.
        For one, I'd love some more features on the BB, like LFOs for the samples, some more effects and, why not, some kind of internal synth or even puredata support, but we have to look at what the BB already offers, and that's undeniably a LOT.
        Aaron has already proved he listens to his customers and work on the most requested features, I'm excited about what the future will bring

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Aaron View Post
          I did make the time to go see the MPC One at NAMM. The first thing you notice compared to the blackbox is the size. The MPC is about twice as wide and twice as high as the blackbox. (10.7" by 10.7" or 272 x 272 mm). That is one important difference.
          Dimensionally speaking, the MPC One is over 7 times more volume than the BB....

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Adhrast View Post
            or even puredata support
            heheh, wow, big request, but yes it would wipe the floor with everything out there, if you could load your own patches...

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Michal Ho View Post

              heheh, wow, big request, but yes it would wipe the floor with everything out there, if you could load your own patches...
              Yeah well, that's most likely a pipe dream, but you never know

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              • #22
                This MPC, just like the others, will have the memory issues. It's why I left. The new one has even more limited memory and my guess is direct disk streaming is still a pipe dream for Akai

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by peachnoise View Post
                  This MPC, just like the others, will have the memory issues. It's why I left. The new one has even more limited memory and my guess is direct disk streaming is still a pipe dream for Akai
                  I used to load many long samples on my Live (4-5 minutes each) without a single issue. They said they were considering implementing disk streaming, but personally I didn't really had the need for it in "real life", one of the reasons why I switched to the blackbox, which I'm loving. Also, disk streaming alone is not enough if your cpu "dies" first I guess...

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                  • #24
                    The size and weight are definitely different. I would start consider MPC if they made a simplified « to-go » version of it with battery (MPC Go ?) but it seems that the 7 inch screen becomes a must with the concept of their firmware/software, and an MPC without pads wouldn’t be an MPC so I don’t really see this coming.

                    In place, I would easily see BlackBox Pro or Go coming in a case of the size of an MC-101, slightly thinner, built-in battery, full size MIDI dins, 16 mini PADs (1/4 of the size of the MPCs) and CPU enough powerful for become an actual mobile groove box. I would even put a small speaker if there was any room left.

                    The current BB does still have a lot of potential to improve through software of course, but that would definitely bring it (and 1010music) to the next level.

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                    • #25
                      I think the Akai MPC One is really cool. But it has too much shit going on. It's all over the place.

                      The Blackbox, more than anything, is a damn fine example of a focused and clear device that defines itself as much by what it can't do, in a good way. The balanced of features and how they interact with each other, make for such a fine mix that inspires me every day. I was on the Live for a brief while. Got nothing but good things to say about it. But it didn't speak back to me. I got nothing out from it. That's on me, of course. But the Blackbox, I can go from nothing to something within a day. It's like a sampler version of how my brain works.

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                      • #26
                        I have a Live since launch. Believe me... it’s not all over the place. It’s a truly powerful workstation that takes full advantage of the classic MPC workflow.

                        the One looks great, both in form factor, and tactile riches.

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                        • #27
                          Note repeat is a great feature for programming drums - but I’d surmise that most BB users would have other bits of gear for doing that... I definitely do.

                          Get a cheap drum machine. Create a shitload of loops on it - sample those loops into BB & chop them up. You should be able to do some fairly wild & fantastic stuff.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by OldBones View Post
                            Note repeat is a great feature for programming drums - but I’d surmise that most BB users would have other bits of gear for doing that... I definitely do.

                            Get a cheap drum machine. Create a shitload of loops on it - sample those loops into BB & chop them up. You should be able to do some fairly wild & fantastic stuff.
                            I have a lot of gears too , dude a user should not do 4 operations to achieve such a simple feature or buy another device , I bought black box to get rid of all other dum machines ,if i should take a drum Maschine around with me to help black box sequencing than what I s the purpose of buying a small device , simple not logical solution. if this is a groove box sample playback studio the sequencer must be advanced or at least with basic features.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by totalvoyage View Post

                              I have a lot of gears too , dude a user should not do 4 operations to achieve such a simple feature or buy another device , I bought black box to get rid of all other dum machines ,if i should take a drum Maschine around with me to help black box sequencing than what I s the purpose of buying a small device , simple not logical solution. if this is a groove box sample playback studio the sequencer must be advanced or at least with basic features.
                              Well, you wouldn't need to take a drum machine with you all the time, just sample one and save the samples on the BB so you have them anytime you need them.

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                              • #30
                                My struggle with the Live, when I mentioned it was all over the place, is that it can do everything. I personally don't believe this is beneficial for hardware instruments. Again, this is my personal belief, not an objective truth. For me, the best gear has always been the focused ones. Doing one thing specifically, and doing it well. The Blackbox, to me, excels at being confident in what it is and delivering on that with crystal clear clarity.

                                The new MPCs are fantastic as an accomplishment and as instruments, but it's not just an interesting prospect for me to do everything in one environment. The Blackbox is my tool for coming up with an idea for a song, by means of recording ideas into it and building ambience and beats around this with samples. As I progress to enhance the result, I bring it with me as a constant to the next stage. External fx for flavour and additional sonic depth and quality, then monitoring for mixing and first master template, where I then apply the Heat before I record.

                                This is not a workflow for everyone, but it's where I'm coming from when I say the MPCs are all over the place. I'm a bit agnostic, though, and even hide the gear I'm not using at the time, to avoid distraction. If I come up with a new song, it's just my synth and the Blackbox on the table, for example. And when I'm done with that, I put it away and bring out the fx. Once done, they go and the Heat comes out. And so on. Partly because of living conditions, but I'm finding this is actually quite productive. Each phase has its own clarity on what it's supposed to bring to the song, and I can let go of certain things as I progress to the next phase.

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