1. The 2018 Battle That! Competition results are in. See what went down!

MPC vs Roland...my two cents

  1. Hi-Lo

    Hi-Lo

    Member
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Posts:
    465
    A couple of weeks ago I put a post up asking for advice between an MPC 4 and the roland mv8k, and since I had a chance to try both out side by side for like a week, i thought i'd just post up my 2 cents for those who might be making a similar choice in the future.

    at first I loved the mv8k- I got real caught up in its "groove templates" and features and all that stuff, but the more i used it, the more i really started to become convinced that people who talk about it having timing issues were right. from what I gathered after reading a lot of message boards, the LCD measure/beat/tick display apparently has some bug in it where on a lot of the models, it is slightly off time...which is problem cause it makes it hard as hell to stay on beat if ur watching the screen as I like to do. i read a lot of posts about how people eventually got their timing settings worked out to suit their needs, and eventually i did too, to some extent...the problem is, the roland has so many timing features (quantization, swing templates, and 71 groove quantize templates, all with multiple varying percentages), that figuring out how to get the machine to respond exactly how u want is a pain in the a** for each different beat you do. it can be done, but i just found the roland took way more time than it should have to be able to get into an easy groove. also, two things to look out for that i hadn't heard before buying it; number one, save and load times are rediculously slow. second, you can only have ONE filter for the entire loaded pad banks at once; meaning if you want a low pass on your kicks and a diff filter on your claps, you gotta resample.

    the 4k is plain and simple that shi*. i completely understand what people mean when they talk about the mpc timing and feel now, i hop on this thing with no quantize and my beats play back perfectly, the sequencer is really on point. the sound quality of 24 bits is sick and the fact that i can assign a filter to not only each pad, but each of the 4 sounds i might have layered on the pads, along with the q-link mixing stuff, is unreal.

    if the mv8k works for you, im not trying to down it, its a very capable piece of gear. i jsut found the timing and feel of the sequencer to be bizarre at best and like i said, you CAN get it to groove like an mpc with the right quantize grid and shuffle settings, but it takes way too long to get that feel figured out for each beat, at least for me. and as far as the thing about songs having an mv "sound" to them, i do agree...i listened to a ton of myspaces of people on the mv-nation boards trying to prove how it can swing just like an mpc, and i honestly didn't hear one drum beat that really had my head nodding. i think roland is close but they need some more time to get that machine right. with the mp i just hop on there and the music happens, no wasted time. anyway, hopefully this perspective helps someone out in the future, cause i found it hard to find unbiased comparisons on these 2.
     
  2. Ash Holmz

    Ash Holmz

    The Bed-Stuy Fly Guy
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    207
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    Posts:
    2,673
    my thoughts exactly fam.... i love the 4k but I let evryone make the desicion for themselves i would never tell someone not to get a roland. The 4k is such a rock solid beast of a machine. I dont know if i should do this but i hardly ever turn the thing off... (will prollly blow out my screen) sometimes i will make like 10 beats over a week long period and never even turn that bitch off... hop on it right after work, make track or two, wake up in the morning and bang out another one... i prefer function over features.. the roland has the bells and whistles but the mp just has balls, big elephantitus balls lol
     
  3. Hi-Lo

    Hi-Lo

    Member
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Posts:
    465
    as soon as i get my stock HD replaced ima probably do the same...im just wary of doing it now cause this hd makes so much damn noise and i feel like its about to break any second. how much did it cost u (labor included) to get yours replaced?
     
  4. Ash Holmz

    Ash Holmz

    The Bed-Stuy Fly Guy
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    207
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    Posts:
    2,673
    40 bux for the labor .. i forgot how much the actual hard drive cost wasnt that much if i recall.. yeah def get it changed the stock one is crazy noisy and does strange things...esp to the fan ... which is never good
     
  5. dahkter

    dahkter

    Ill Muzikoligist
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Posts:
    1,029
    thanks hi-lo for takin the time to post that follow up, good read.
     
  6. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith

    IllMuzik Junkie
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Posts:
    789
    word. good looks on the review.

    In a couple weeks i'll be able to weigh in as well. I recently recovered from a financial crisis and got some dough to throw on a payment plan on americanmusical.com...i ordered the mv. I've had the 1000 for a minute and i felt limited by it (probably because it's the 1k...and not the 4k). I did about a week's worth of research and was stuck between the 2500 and the 8000. (a little different than the 4000 but it's still relevant) I went to guitar center to try out the mv since i heard the sequencer was difficult...i was actually able to bang out a beat in like 5 minutes.

    I went with the 8000 for the following reasons:
    -bang for buck: i got a factory resealed for $1695...split 5 ways. (thats sort of an exclusive case). there are just so many things that i PERSONALLY like: vga screen output option (huge for my workflow), built in bass synth, stock cd burner, mastering features, etc, etc.

    - i have a lot of experience with the roland sequencers and although I'm comfortable with them, I do agree that they aren't for everyone.

    now there are some things Hi-Lo said that I can attest to: as far as loading times, at least with my fantom, the shit was eternal. I personally don't mind it but I can see how it would bug someone.
    also on my fantom the light wasn't exactly on sync with the click...maybe its a thing across the board with roland. but again, I personally don't look at the light but I can see how people would.

    This is basically reinforcing the fact that it really is down to personal preference...you will never find the perfect machine...simply one with flaws you can put up with the easiest.

    i'll be able to review the actual machine once it gets to my house so we can have a dual perspective.
     
  7. Hi-Lo

    Hi-Lo

    Member
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Posts:
    465
    i definitely hear that, i mean there are a lot of people on the mv boards who swear by that machine, and it was just that the timing of it felt weird to me. i've never owned a real drum machine before- always used either a keyboard, guru's step sequencer, or a usb drumpad, so this is all new to me. i have no doubt the roland is a powerful piece if worked right, or if it just naturally works with someone, it just wasnt for me. it may just be a personal thing, but i find that clock count like essential for my timing...when im tapping out a complex pattern the metronome doesn't completely do it for me, it helps me a ton to be able to just pace myself knowing that the snares need to hit on that 2 and 4 beat count every bar, so the clock issue was big for me, but def won't affect everyone.

    and all timing issues aside, that one filter thing was a huge, huge thing for me. it takes me long enough to put together a really nice drumkit as it is, it would have just been a pain to have to resample a bunch of times in the middle...that being said though, man the filters on the roland are amazing...you put a kick in there, turn on a nice lowpass, and man that thing bangs! enjoy it!
     
  8. Formant024

    Formant024

    Digital Smokerings
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Posts:
    4,553
    said so lol
     
  9. TachyonFresh

    TachyonFresh

    Member
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Posts:
    114
    I wanna sell my mv-8000, but its such a waste of money that I'd feel bad putting it on someone else.

    I hope this year someone releases a really sick sampling/drum machine/workstation.
     
  10. The Bastard

    The Bastard

    Guest
    Joined:
    Posts:
    0
    il lbuy it
     
  11. FSC

    FSC

    Royal Souf Productions
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Posts:
    233

    So your just gonna keep selling your gear everytime something new comes out? Just a question
     
  12. TachyonFresh

    TachyonFresh

    Member
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Posts:
    114
    ^^ I'm sticking with 2000xl, esx, sampletrak, su700 all connected to the 808ex through a behringer mixer.

    I wanna see if any of these companies step up to the plate and actually release a workstation that resembles Ableton Live.
     
  13. bigdmakintrax

    bigdmakintrax

    BeatKreatoR
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    123
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Posts:
    2,123
    Being the straight hardware fiend I am I, started out on the EMU SP12, then the SP1200, had a MPC 2000(with all of the options close to xl), until i had to sell it, had a 3000 until it started dying LOL then got a 1000 as filler while deciding whether to get a 4000 or the MV, akai is a beast, but if you dont know how to set or program the quantize you are going to have a problem there is not a timing issue on the 8000 also furthermore for anyone thats used the 3000 one could easily say that but the machine is advance enough where you need to know time division and quantization that need to be applied to your realtime beat tapping or swing that you use with the programming, trust me many times people have used the 3000 and either 1 because their own timing is off they thought there was some problem you should study some drumming then match up what you might think is a problem with the quantization...stiff robotic quantize and straight quantize value with no swing is going problem not sound too exciting, you need to really sit down and mess arround with patterns, i never used the 4000 enuff to make a comparision but its a very nice machine, but I hear tons of banging joints coming from people using the mv though so its a personal preference at least to me, I wont get in either corner and go one is really a whole lot more than the other, it becomes the user factor at some point tho.
     
  14. Hi-Lo

    Hi-Lo

    Member
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Posts:
    465
    bigd i almost always agree with your posts but i gotta disagree here. i did learn how to use the roland's quantize engines, and i even followed specific settings instructions posted online by mike acosta, roland's lead mv rep, about how to give it an mpc feel. it just didn't work, and i had these two machines sitting right next to each other, with the same sounds loaded, and playing the same patterns at the same bpm. i do know a good amount about the music theory behind quantize and swing settings and now that I do have my 4000, i hardly ever even use quantize for my patterns...i'll use it a lot for hats and then mess with them but i cant stand robotic stuff. on that note though my favorite feature about the 4k is how you can switch between 96ppqn and 960ppqn sequencing in one knob switch...96 gives you that mpc 3000 feel, whereas 960 definitely gets a little more of the groove you're in.

    for a lot of my trying these machines i didnt even use quantize at all so thats not an issue. straight up, the mv feel is absolutely different than an mpc...i had to try 10 times on the mv to get a pattern to sound right when on the mpc it was once, or twice max. also for the price, the ting about having one effect for the entire pad bank is rediculous i think, that means so much time spent resampling that it takes all the fun out of music for me. but, as i said in my first post, if people like the roland these machines are really a matter of personal preference. i wasn't saying its not a capable machine, i just personally wasn't impressed with the stuff i was hearing coming off of it from other people (but, i only listened to 10 or 15 artists, which isn't much) and it just didn't feel right for me.
     
  15. Formant024

    Formant024

    Digital Smokerings
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Posts:
    4,553
    My issue with roland i not on quantizing, cuz thats the same everywhere but polyphonic performance is something else, specialy in a daw such like where the user should do everything in the box. I havent used the mv but perhaps anyone can test this and stress out the machine by using it as shoud, meaning armed fx, eq, comps in the mix and on the masterchain, record audio from input, send/play midi and record midi, and playback audio, all this when having realtime control over all parameters.

    If it freaks out i dont want it lol.

    Btw, i think the majority just records from a record, chopshop, remix and drop a 2 step over it and figured it done with a few extra comps/eq on mix and masterchain. I that case i know a good solution bout half the price.
     
  16. bigdmakintrax

    bigdmakintrax

    BeatKreatoR
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    123
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Posts:
    2,123
    word I feel you, I do know what you are talking about, like putting the pattern down even on the 1000 its pretty much going to stick out of the box, and like most of the other ones out of the box its tweaked to like 96% 53%(makes it so you can add a lil bounce to the joint)the default swing and timing is not set dead on on the mpc....whereas the MV of box is straight up set to be at 100% 50%....dead on timing = stiff and robotic....I set the MV grid to right at 96% 53 myself knowing this from using akai for the longest and trust there is slight variation , also you have to remember the MV has grid and shuffle also I think the shuffle is generic and it will not be what you think set at the default but the ppq on the Mv is the same as ny of the mpc's except the 4000 and at that resolution the human timing and ear is not going to notice it programming a hip hop beat LOL but like I said previously it comes down to you and how you want to work the gear because the grid (visual)is exactly like any other grid sequencer fruity loops, reason etc and then the piano roll is there to tight shit even beyond that oh well I never thought I would find myself just talking about the machine to the extent after owning akai boxes forever., but to me even on the classic machine like the EMU sp1200 some would say its robotic which it was until you had to figure out how you want the timing and even difference in the timing and feel of the 3000 compared to the 2000 even to me felt a small bit different anyhow good luck with it man.