Photo (CC-BY-NC-ND) Magic Trax.

Loe Pesci Sings Love Song to MPC60; MPC Complains It Doesn’t Get Enough Love [Video]

Loe Pesci loves his sampler. No, really loves his sampler. (Video omits any NSFW parts, though; you only see smoking in bad afterward.) Lyrics in this number are — well, complex. It seems there was more sampling going on early in the relationship. That didn’t stop AKAI from sharing the video, even if there is a brief glimpse of Ableton. The music: Montreal-based Loe Pesci also surely deserves credit for working “12-bit sampling engine” into a rap. That’s some nerdcore action, right there. A forum posted complains that they wish the tune were more serious, apparently because love …


Samples, No Computer: $99 Akai MPX8 Combines Pads, SD Card, MIDI and USB Port

Sometimes, there are designs that seem almost impossibly like an answer to a specific need. Let us illustrate. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a box that you could play, independent of a computer, that just let you mess about with samples directly from an SD card? And wouldn’t it be nice if it had MIDI jacks on it, too, and not only USB, so that you didn’t need the computer handy? That’s the MPX8 from Akai Pro. It’s dead-simple, so you’ll do most of your sample manipulation away from the hardware. (There’s a free Mac and Windows sample editor …


MPC in Your Pocket: iMPC Comes to iPhone [Hands-on, Gallery]

Say “MPC,” and what comes to mind is a big, solid piece of hardware – a pickup truck of a drum machine, all metal beneath its rubber pads. And yet, a whole lot of what an MPC can do is now on your phone. Akai’s iMPC is available now for the iPhone. At a US$2.99 intro price, this one’s pretty much a no-brainer, but here’s a look at what the app does. As with Akai’s other iOS efforts, the app is developed by seasoned iOS devs Retronyms, so you get a beautiful, polished app from the makers of Tabletop. The …


C64s, Control Voltage, MIDI … iPads, Keyboards and Audio: NAMM Saturday [Gallery, Impressions]

Everything old is new again. And everything new is everywhere – at least if we’re talking iPads and so on. At Anaheim’s massive gathering of music gear, there were some definite themes. Photographing for CDM, James Grahame and Marsha Vdovin give us a look at the tools on the floor. James has stumbled upon various fascinating oddities, and of course the booth celebrating MIDI’s 30th anniversary. (We’ll be talking more about MIDI’s history and legacy in the coming weeks.) From top, the keyboard models that made the history first connection, and a Commodore 64 talking to an iPad. Synthtopia has …


Dueling Grids: A Duet for monome and MPC [Live Set of the Day]

Ocelot – Beyonica (Live) from Tim Shaw on Vimeo. Let’s again step back from the world of the industry to the realm of individual musicians and how they make tools make sounds. Tim Shaw’s music is a beautiful illustration of the ways in which brain and musical imagination can be connected to fingers and sound. In his new project Ocelot, Tim pairs with Jeramy Bradfield and makes a sweet, square-based duet. Tim’s grid of squares comes from the monome and Ableton Live; Jeramy turns to the Akai MPC and effects pedals. (I assume the guitar we see gets used elsewhere …


Video Find: Fixing MPC 500 Pads with Tape, Bike Rubber

A two-minute break for some MPC hacking – friend of the site Servando Barreiro hacks his MPC for better performance, and demonstrates the results in a video. It’s a reminder that a little mechanical thought can improve the life of your musical gear. “So, that’s all. Goodbye.” (Other drum pad hacking tips? We’d love to hear them. I’ve been dreaming of a drum pad DIY special, in fact, including how to make custom drum pad controllers, so this is a perfect excuse to solicit some advice and guest contributors.)

Control from your [Livid] Code, without [writing] code. And that's an excuse to show this beautiful custom Livid Code controller, one of a number of devices from Akai, Livid, and Korg supported with this powerful tool.

A Controllerist Dream Come True: Custom Mappings in Ableton Live, Without Code

You’re not other people. You want things your way, right away. You might not want to buy a new controller for each piece of software, or, worse, the latest controller that purports to control said software, and then live with the particular way in which the two integrate. You want things to work the way you want things to work, darnit. Hidden in the depths of Ableton Live, MIDI Remote Scripts have for some time allowed you to map controllers to software functions. Now, you could do fancy things with Max for Live, but that means, first, buying Max for …


M-Audio, AIR Join Akai, Alesis, Numark at inMusic: Q&A With New Owners, and a Timeline

M-Audio honored its Midiman roots with an anniversary edition of their (quite useful) MIDI interface line. Photo courtesy Avid. So, you own M-Audio and/or AIR stuff. You want to know what this means as Avid sells those makers to a new owner, right? M-Audio and AIR (formerly Wizoo) this week end their time as subsidiaries of Avid, and take on a new life at a parent entity now called inMusic. (That company has been known to us for some time as the home of brands like Akai, Alesis, and Numark, among others.) There’s a business story here, of course – …


Avid Sells Off Consumer Side; Numark – Avid – Akai – M-Audio Becomes New Giant

M-audio, b-bye. A-kai, hell-o. Photo (CC-BY) Ludovico Sinz. Avid today announced sweeping changes in a changing market. Having gradually accumulated more businesses, the company now is selling many of them off, keeping its flagship video tool and Pro Tools audio products. Gone are the consumer/entry-level divisions – consumer-level Avid and Pinnacle on the video side and M-Audio on the audio side. Instead, Avid says it will be “more focused and agile” and will focus on the pro side of their business. The key here: most of Avid’s revenue is pro revenue. Combined, the divisions Avid is dumping pulled in just …


808, SP1200, MPC, NS-10 Reborn in Miniature as Beautifully-Detailed, Tiny USB Drives [Gallery]

File these designs under “do want.” Some of your favorite gear is rendered in miniature: Roland’s TR-808, E-MU’s SP-1200 sampler, Akai’s MPC 2000XL, and (coming soon) even the Yamaha NS-10 near-field monitors. It occurs to me that someday soon, such tiny things might even work in some form as functioning music equipment. For now, you’ll have to settle for tiny classic gear that contains an 8 GB flash drive – enough to carry especially-precious samples or demos or backups. The drives are US$39.99, but contain extraordinary levels of detail and use Toshiba flash memory (not something overly generic). They work …