Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequencing?)

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Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequencing?)

Postby Zack McConnell » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:20 pm

Hi, I'm new here. The rules say this is the place to ask about synth comparisons, but I need to ask about sequencers, I hope this is the right place?

OK so I come from a computer sequencing background, but after a friend told me to try hardware and I got myself a MicroKORG, I was hooked! I've since picked up a BOSS DR-550, Yamaha DX200, Korg M3R, and a Roland MT100 (it's most certainly NOT a D50! :P ). I'm looking into some sort of sampler, an AKAI XR-10, a Yamaha TG500 and a Yamaha YS200.

I also have an Roland MC50 which I cannot wrap my head around, and this Mac is barely usable for the OS much less anything processor intensive. So I need a new hardware sequencer. I don't like to be tied down to genres, I would like to be able to do anything (which I guess eliminates most of the grooveboxes and RM1X). I've done electro and trance and some happy Aniga style chiptunes, but I also want to do synthrock/pop, trip-hop, and other things...

Every thread on every forum I've read on the subject of sequencing pretty much boils it down to 2 choices: Yamaha QY700 vs.
AKAI MPC1000 with JJOS. Which do you think is better for sequencing external gear?

I've had an extremely brief time with an MPC1000 in a music store, not enough time to give it a fair shake. I've never tried a QY700 but everyone raves about it.

I'm not planning on really utilizing the QY700's soundset too much (I already have a PSR-290) nor it's preset styles and while the MPCs sampler is nice, I might go for an older rack sampler down the road because I like how the 12-bit warmness/punchiness sounds over digital. So the extra stuff is just that, extra stuff. I'm mainly interested in the sequencer.

I also heard that if you want to sequence with MPC1000, you have to get JJOS to do anything good with it, is this true?

Also, for all intents and purposes of this question, money is not an issue.

So I guess basically my main question is, out of the two choices:

1. Which is easier to get used to? (The MC50's learning curve is rediculous, or maybe I'm just stupid. ;) )
2. Which has better external MIDI implementation? (less latency, able to transmit controller data etc...)
3. Which has more potential to be inspirational (like what is better at getting creative juices flowing/easier to use)

I would go software sequencing, but I don't have my Windows box anymore, just a 400MHZ G3 iMac running OSX 10.3.9., so latency would be a major problem. It also doesn't seem to recognize my MIDISport UNO at all.

So please tell me what you think, I'm all ears and very grateful for your opinions!
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby glassofwater » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:06 pm

download the manual for each, print it out and read it in bed before you go to sleep. whichever manual puts you to sleep the fastest is the one you should avoid.

I don't know. I just made that up. but I do suggest reading the manual for both to kinda get your head around how they work. they're completely different machines. also. don't look for vids on youtube. all the MPC videos are lame beat makers and the few qy vids I've found have been quite absurd and doesn't show anything useful, really.

JJOS is indeed really nice, but on the MPC I have now I rock the free one it does the job for me. answers to your questions:

1. MPC was really easy for me get my head around. it starts out as an advanced MMT8, or the session view in Ableton Live. JJOS adds a grid edit mode which is similar to a piano roll. the MPC also has step sequencing. there is actually a good video on youtube showing the step sequencer in JJOS2 (or 2XL, maybe) and it looks pretty cool.
2. I haven't noticed any latency with the midi on my MPC. I remember when I used my ESQ1 I had to press start/stop a few times to get my external roland drum machines perfectly in sync. this hasn't happened with my MPC. I gotta admit I haven't used midi to any further extent than notes, mainly because all my external gear are analog synths with no midi control anyway.
3. depends. the mpc is really immediate and you can get a groove down in a minute.

don't underestimate the sampling capabilities of the MPC1000. while it may not have the "warmth" of old rack samplers (they're digital as well, you know) it's extremely nice to have both a sequencer and a sampler in the same box. the QY only use floppys while the MPC has USB/compact flash card slot etc so it's a lot more with the times.
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby pricklyrobot » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:40 am

If you're not dead-set one of the two you've already mentioned, I would also check out the E-mu Command Stations (PX-7, MP-7, XL-7; they're the same machine, just different paint-jobs and sound ROM's in each). They'll give you 16 tracks of sequencing (with individual mute buttons), which you can do in grid, step, or real-time (and you can edit track while it's playing). It can do some very complicated stuff, but it's pretty quick to wrap your head around the basics and start pounding out tracks.

In addition to being an excellent sequencer, it also makes for a hell of a synth and/or drum machine (depending on which ROM's are in it, it can hold up to four different ones). I got it to replace my own MC-50, and it gave me nearly everything I was looking for in a sequencer. Lately it's been becoming my main drum machine as well. Oh yeah, they're cheap too ($300 or less usually).

The E-mu site still has the manuals for these (be warned though, they are about 300 pages long :shock: ). And have a search round this forum, there are plenty of Command Station fans and threads on VSE.
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby Zack McConnell » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:22 am

Hey guys, thanks for the info!

@glassofwater: This is REALLY REALLY helpful, it's the first I've heard anybody mention external MIDI with the MPC1K. I'm leaning towards this, because I need ANY kind of sampler right now, and yeah the floppy thing kinda bites. LORD I've seen the videos, but hip-hop was created with these things so I guess it's to be expected. I would just like to see it do other things too. (I've heard techno and other MP3 demos on (I believe) the AKAI forums. It's all good. :3)

@pricklyrobot: Command Station WAS an option, but I had this crazy notion it was only for techno like the RM1X. Total DURR on my part, I guess. Thanks for clearing up that misconception! :D I have heard that it's good but has a few nasty bugs, is that true? If I get one, it will be the XL7, I've always loved the XL1 soundset (dig that progressive trance demo!).

I'm not making a choice just yet though, I would love to hear from a QY700 user (or someone who's at least used it for enough to judge) and maybe other option.

Thanks again, guys!
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby pricklyrobot » Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:52 am

Zack McConnell wrote:@pricklyrobot: Command Station WAS an option, but I had this crazy notion it was only for techno like the RM1X. Total DURR on my part, I guess. Thanks for clearing up that misconception! :D I have heard that it's good but has a few nasty bugs, is that true?
I have the MP-7, which was meant to be the hip-hop model, and I'm making spacey, kraut-rock type stuff with it. It does all kinds of crazy time signatures, and like I said you can do real-time MIDI recording, so you're definitely not confined to 4/4 grid stuff.

As far as bugs go, what exactly have you heard? I can think of a feature or two I'd like to add (but that's true of almost any piece of gear), but no serious limitations spring to mind.

You should also check out the XL7 Yahoo group. It's pretty active with a lot of knowledgeable people.
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby Zack McConnell » Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:24 am

pricklyrobot wrote:As far as bugs go, what exactly have you heard? I can think of a feature or two I'd like to add (but that's true of almost any piece of gear), but no serious limitations spring to mind.


I heard that doing something (I forget what, I think making your sequence too long) would crash the unit and corrupt your song. I dunno how true that is, it's just what I heard.


Is the MIDI implementation good on the Command Stations? I couldn't get my MC50 to talk to ANYTHING except my DR-550. :( (I'm leaning towards a Command Station now... :3)
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby masstronaut » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:59 am

If you were still looking at an RM1X you should know that the sequencer is based on the QY700. It's very similar and actually does a few more things in some respects I think (more real-time MIDI effects for instance). You can combine pattern and song type sequencing and record in real or step-time so there's no reason why it should be limited to any particular style. What the QY has that the RM1X lacks AFAIK is the auto-backing mode. Neither the MPC or Command Stations have anything like that either.
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby masstronaut » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:06 pm

pricklyrobot wrote:I have the MP-7, which was meant to be the hip-hop model, and I'm making spacey, kraut-rock type stuff with it.

Nice crazy stuff, good work.
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby Zack McConnell » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:10 pm

masstronaut wrote:If you were still looking at an RM1X you should know that the sequencer is based on the QY700. It's very similar and actually does a few more things in some respects I think (more real-time MIDI effects for instance). You can combine pattern and song type sequencing and record in real or step-time so there's no reason why it should be limited to any particular style. What the QY has that the RM1X lacks AFAIK is the auto-backing mode. Neither the MPC or Command Stations have anything like that either.


But isn't it hard to do anything that's not techno or trance with the RM1X? Or am I stereotyping again?
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby masstronaut » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:20 pm

Like I said, there's no reason why it should be limited to any particular style. It's a sequencer - you can record what you like!

Not trying to sell you on the idea but just thought you should know that it is very similar to the QY700. It's a good MIDI sequencer, I wouldn't dismiss it as an option.

Zack McConnell wrote:But isn't it hard to do anything that's not techno or trance with the RM1X? Or am I stereotyping again?

Only if you find it hard to do anything that's not techno or trance in general. ;)
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby masstronaut » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:22 pm

Certainly the on-board sounds may not be the greatest or to everyone's taste but you say you won't be using those anyway, and even then there's bound to be a few that are useful.
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby Zack McConnell » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:24 pm

masstronaut wrote:Like I said, there's no reason why it should be limited to any particular style. It's a sequencer - you can record what you like!

Not trying to sell you on the idea but just thought you should know that it is very similar to the QY700. It's a good MIDI sequencer, I wouldn't dismiss it as an option.

Zack McConnell wrote:But isn't it hard to do anything that's not techno or trance with the RM1X? Or am I stereotyping again?

Only if you find it hard to do anything that's not techno or trance in general. ;)


Hmm that makes me want it again, it was the first sequencer I had my eye on until I saw "dance" and "groovebox" used in conjunction with it. (actually it was the RS7000 i wanted, but they are too rare) I actually might spring for this one then, if I don't go MPC. Thanks for the info!

Onboard sounds are not probably even going to be touched. :3
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby masstronaut » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:27 pm

Is the MC50 really that bad though?

You shoulda been able to get it to talk to your other MIDI stuff...
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby Zack McConnell » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:29 pm

masstronaut wrote:Is the MC50 really that bad though?

You shoulda been able to get it to talk to your other MIDI stuff...


I have no clue why man, I had the MC50 working as normal, everything else was to it's clock, but nope, no dice. :(
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Re: Sequencer shootout:Yamaha QY700 vs MPC1000 (for sequenci

Postby masstronaut » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:37 pm

Not used one but yeah it's probably not the simplest. You had all the MIDI channels set up correctly?

If you can stretch to an MPC that would do you fine as well so I'm not suggesting the RM1X is necessarily better. It's quick to work with, solid and fairly simple to pick up. Plus you'd be getting a sampler in the box of course.
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