Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

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Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

Postby thinkingbeat » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:02 pm

Any thoughts between these two machines?

I am looking primarily for sample recording & editing for beats - prefer ease of use over a crapload of features & hidden menus that will take me ages to learn. Need to be able to transfer WAV files from my CD or downloaded, I don't use any type of software for editing, etc. so this is primarily a hardware-only setup (plus file transfer).

Which one would be a better friend in electro beat-making, coupled with a decent synth or two?
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Re: Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:15 am

MPC, no question. Only minus is it's a lot more expensive.

The SP is known for sloppy timing and not highly regarded. Any SP808 owners care to rebut?
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Re: Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

Postby supermel74 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:41 am

The SP-808 isn't really meant for making beats from scratch. It's more for working with loops and cut & paste type stuff. The effects on the SP-808 are outstanding though and it's a really easy machine to learn. For remixing and cut & paste stuff I think the SP-808 is the best, but for what you want to do I think the MPC would be better.
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Re: Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

Postby balma » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:25 pm

supermel74 wrote:The SP-808 isn't really meant for making beats from scratch. It's more for working with loops and cut & paste type stuff. The effects on the SP-808 are outstanding though and it's a really easy machine to learn. For remixing and cut & paste stuff I think the SP-808 is the best, but for what you want to do I think the MPC would be better.



totally agree for that statement.

I had both, but the MPC was sold since I am absolutely full of samplers (Vsynth + EX5 + A4000 + ESX1 + two SP 808ex)

I have around 6 years using the SP808ex. It's an outstanding sampler, and haven't heard another sampler with better effects than this one. Effect section is the CORE of the SP 808, the are infinite, beatiful, complex.

things that you won't get on the SP 808 but with the MPC you will:

On MPC 1000 you can have access to 64 samples at the same time (layering 4 banks of 16). On the SP808ex you'll get 16 only.
Sensitive pads.
NO annoying noises. (fuck*ng Zip drive sounds like shit, drives me crazy!)
More polyphony.
more sample edition.

On the SP 808 you'll get
Ultra fast copy paste manipulation. Wanna duplicate a sample and chop it???? you can do that in 2 seconds.
Duplicating a sample does not decrease the memory.
An outstanding, very very reliable effect section. Few average synths, have the effect section of the SP 808ex.
Beatiful, amazing delays. The tape delay, the surround delay, the analog delay, all of them are simple adorable.
the mic effects, are for experimentation during months, the distortions, the CC cancelation, the isolators, the low fi, simple great for sample edition. Just this section worths the investment for processing external signals throught them.
A two oscillator VA synth, and a Vocoder.

I use it mostly for recording. I sample myself while playing, it can sample two line in at the same time, that's quite useful. Then, I chop the samples on accurated loops of 2,4,8 and 16 measures. Add effects to them, and organize them in banks according to their BPM.

then, I trigger those samples with a sequencer, and make companion with more sounds.

This is the best usage I found for the SP808ex.
For your case, maybe is better the MPC1000, but in any way the SP808ex should be considered as an inferior product. It has some habilities on sample edition and effects that most of the samplers does not have.
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Re: Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

Postby Dj Pound » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:10 am

I hear so many complaints about the SP-808's sequencer. What kind of sequencer does the 808 have? And how does one go about putting together a beat on it?

Just curious :mrgreen:
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Re: Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

Postby cartesia » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:51 am

if it's like the other SPs , you just hit pads and play while its recording..

The SP samplers are not going to give you the features of the MPC>.. but they have a certain workflow that some people love..
Also as mentioned, the SP samplers have pretty good effects in them.. etter than the MPCs from what I've heard.. and just plain more of them.

It's hard to say which you will prefer.. some people just dont 'get' the SP way of working.

Me.. I tried.. SP 404 and MPC 1000 and MPC 500.. I didnt like the MPC way of working...
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Re: Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

Postby supermel74 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:06 am

cartesia wrote:if it's like the other SPs , you just hit pads and play while its recording..
you can do this, but you can also lay out your tracks on a linear grid measure by measure or sample after sample
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Re: Roland SP 808EX vs. Akai MPC1000

Postby balma » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:20 pm

the issue with the SP808ex's sequencer:

You record a sequence of several pads. For example, you can specify before hitting a pad, if the length will be specified by the measures or by the sample length.
If you used just one of them, no problem, you end to record the chain of pads, and come out of the record mode.

but if you used both specifications, when coming out the record mode, you'll see a message:

"Please wait, creating phrase"

Go out to take some fresh air, walk the dog, get some coffee, light a nice joint, rent a movie...

Then come back to see if the SP 808 ended "thinking". If not, watch the movie you just rented.....


honestly, in 6 years, I have used the sequencer a couple of times. It's so crappy, measure and time inconsistences, absoulutely horrible. The only good feature is the "merge" track option, where you can come out from 3 tracks to a single one.
It has 100.000 notes sequencer, but it is a total failure.

Despite that, I don't miss it. This machine is the biggest from all the SP series, and for its reasons.
the 16 steps sequencer for the effects is pure gold
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