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Author Topic: akai mpc 500 (2006)  (Read 4759 times)

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Offline chrisNova777

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akai mpc 500 (2006)
« on: April 12, 2017, 01:43:48 PM »
48-track sequencer with a 32-voice stereo sampler
If you've always wanted an MPC, but couldn't quite justify the $$$,
this could well be the machine you've been waiting for.



http://www.akaipro.com/products/legacy/mpc-500
http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/akai-mpc500
originally sold for 500$ US

drum sampler, MIDI sequencer, rubber velocity-sensitive pads, and audio and MIDI I/O

Quote
Specifications:
Storage: Compact Flash: Type-II, support up to 2GB card
Memory: 16MB installed (Can be expanded to 128MB with EXM-128)

Analog Input/Output:
(2) Balanced 1/4" Inputs
(2) Balanced 1/4" Outputs
(1) Headphone Output

MIDI Input/Output:
(1) MIDI Input [5-pin DIN]
(1) MIDI Output [5-pin DIN]

Other Input/Output:
(1) USB [Storage Support]

Levels:
Analog Input = +10dBu
Analog Output = +5dBu

Sampler Resolution: 16bit/44.1kHz
Sampler Recording Time:
136sec [16MB/MONO]
24min 28sec [128MB/MONO]

Sequencer Details:
100,000 notes resolving at 96ppq
99 Sequences with total 48 tracks per seq
20 Songs with total 250 steps per song
24 "Active (loaded)" Programs max

Pad Details:
12 (velocity and pressure sensitive)
4 Pad Banks [A, B, C, D]

Synchronization: MIDI Clock only

Power Options:
12V DC 500mA pin-negative power adapter (included)
(6) AA batteries [lasts about 4.5hrs continuous use w/backlight ON]

Dimensions (W x H x D):
10.47" x 1.73" x 6.89"
266mm x 175mm x 44mm
Weight (net):
2.93 lbs / 1.34 kg

Data Compatibility: (with other Akai Samplers)
AKAI MPC1000: http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=2253.0
SEQ, WAV, PGM

AKAI MPC2000: http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=3939.0
AKAI MPC2000XL: http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=2254.0
 SEQ (saved as MID file only), WAV, SND, PGM (Most parameters of PGM file can be loaded.)

AKAI MPC2500: http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php/topic,4930
SEQ, WAV, PGM

AKAI MPC4000:
SEQ (saved as MID file only), WAV, AKP (DRUM program only...No Keygroups. Only note assign and tune are loaded.)

AKAI MPC3000: http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=2255.0
 SND (THRU Computer)

AKAI Z4/Z8: http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php/topic,4931.0
WAV, PGM (DRUM program only. Only note assign and tune are loaded.)

AKAI S5000 http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php/topic,3938.msg4389.html#msg4389
AKAI S6000:
WAV only (THRU Computer)

S1000/3000:
No compatibility



http://www.mpc-tutor.com/files/mpc-manual/mpc500_manual_131.pdf
http://www.akaipro.de/sites/default/files/downloads/mpc500_quickstart_manual_00.pdf
http://www.akaimpc.com/mpc500video.html

https://www.mpcstuff.com/mpc-500-st500.html?cat=119
https://web.archive.org/web/20150607055654/http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1997_articles/apr97/akaimcp2000.html

Quote
Little Drummer Boy

The subject of this review is the new baby of the family, the MPC500, which, although roughly a quarter of the size and weight of the MPC2500, still exudes a reassuring sense of robustness. Uniquely for the range, power comes via an external supply rather than an IEC mains lead, and as a nice side-effect of this cost-cutting measure you can also stick six AA batteries in the back if you want to 'keep it real' on the 6.55 to Peterborough.

The core MPC features are all present and correct: drum sampler, MIDI sequencer, rubber velocity-sensitive pads, and audio and MIDI I/O. Some of the more recent refinements are also included, such as the Q-Link real-time controller slider, two basic multi-effects blocks (offering EQ, compressor, tremolo, phaser, chorus, flanger, auto-pan, reverb, delay, or lo-fi processor) and a master stereo effect providing simultaneous EQ and compression for the main audio outputs.

Internal sample memory is 16MB RAM as standard (although you can upgrade to 128MB as a cost option) plus a further 5MB of internal Flash ROM which, although loaded with preset sounds by default, can usefully be overwritten with your own data instead. All files must be backed up to the Flash ROM or a Compact Flash card, via a slot on the front edge of the unit, if they are not to be lost on power-down. This slot can be accessed from a PC for file-transfer purposes via a rear-panel USB socket.

A lot of the basic MPC functionality was covered in the SOS reviews of the MPC2000 (April 1997) and MPC2000XL (December 1999), and I dealt with more recent updates in my recent MPC2500 review, so I won't go over the same ground again here. Instead I'll look at what differentiates the smallest MPC from its larger siblings. Does 'Diet MPC' have the same great taste?

Hardware Choices

The first thing anyone with any knowledge of the MPC series will spot is that the MPC500 only has 12 pads. Like those on the MPC1000, they're only 75 percent of the 'classic' height, but I actually quite like this, as I've always found the traditional MPC pad spacing a bit too wide. Fewer pads means that you only get 48 independent samples in an MPC500 Program, and it's also reflected in the reduced 48-track sequencer capability — the number of pads and sequencer tracks are linked by the pad-based Track Mute function. Naturally, the MPC 16 Levels function becomes 12 Levels here too.

Akai MPC500
There's support for Compact Flash cards of up to 2GB in size.
Photo: Mike Cameron

Also visible on the top panel is probably the most important way in which the MPC500 differs from it larger siblings: its display has been downsized to a two-line, 16-character LCD with switchable backlight (to conserve power when running from batteries). While I'd be the first to admit that the MPC2500's 240 x 64-pixel monochrome screen was hardly a graphical feast, it could still display a fair few controls and options at a time, it allowed waveform editing, and the software-assigned keys below it made navigating through internal parameters comparatively painless. With the MPC500 you get a plain alphanumeric read-out and you have to apply moderate elbow grease to the data dial and cursor keys to access a lot of basic parameters — sample assignment or filter cutoff, for instance. So you can forget waveform displays, drum-machine-style grid programming, or any sane type of MIDI list editing.

That said, Akai's experience in designing this kind of operating system (remember the S2000?) shows through, in that they've sensibly tried to speed up operation by providing a lot of dedicated function buttons, as well as by having multiple functions for the drum pads. However, the degree of unavoidable menu-surfing required does still seem to me to undermine part of the unique selling point of the MPC series — simplicity and ease of use — so you should seriously consider saving a bit longer for the MPC1000 if this is a concern for you.

While all the other MPCs have multiple outputs and at least two MIDI ins and outs, here you get just balanced stereo audio I/O on TRS jacks and single MIDI In and Out sockets. The digital connections available to the rest of the family have also gone AWOL. All of this seems fair enough on an entry-level machine, but I was a bit narked that there was no proper facility to route the analogue inputs to the main outputs for, say, monitoring a live MIDI module alongside your MPC samples — as it is you need an external mixer to do this. For the sake of a little extra OS code, Akai could have saved its target cash-strapped customer some money and hassle, so this seems a daft omission to me — and they can't plead ignorance either, because the feature (Input Thru) already appears on both the MPC2500 and the MPC1000.

A much more practical cost-cutting move is the lack of built-in or optional hard drive or CD-RW burner. To be honest, I can't see many potential users complaining when there's support for Compact Flash cards of up to 2GB in size and it's child's play to transfer files to a computer via the rear-panel USB socket. I'd certainly rather have sacrificed these kinds of pedestrian extras than funkier things like the Q-link slider or Flash ROM.

Alternatives
The Boss SP505 (£499) combines sampling and sequencing, and also gives you a decent waveform-capable display, but its more restricted polyphony and lack of battery powering might swing your vote against it. Korg's ESX1 is another option, but at £599 it's really competing with the MPC1000 rather than the MPC500, and its bias towards dance style may not appeal to hip-hop producers. However, I suspect that many potential purchasers are simply looking for the most affordable slice of the MPC mystique, and in this regard the MPC500 stands alone.

Operating Software Casualties

I'd initially hoped that the cutbacks on the MPC500 compared with the MPC2500 would have been primarily hardware-related, but it turns out that a lot of the enhanced sound-mangling functions of the larger machine haven't trickled down either. I was particularly disappointed that there was only a single two-pole resonant low-pass filter per sample, as opposed to the dual multi-mode filters of the more expensive machines, and it appears that the filter envelope generator and LFO have also been culled. However, this pretty much brings the MPC500 back to MPC2000 spec, so it might not bother those already happy with what that machine can do.

A number of other MPC functions are somewhat limited in their implementation: for example, the 12 Levels function can only control sample level and tuning, and only Q-Link data for filter cutoff, tuning and level are supported. The loop-slicing modes and Patched Phrase creation in the sample editor are also gone, although Patched Phrases created on another MPC will apparently play back correctly on the MPC500.

The Hip-hop Portastudio?

For years, units like Tascam's Portastudios and Yamaha's Walkstations have been providing portable music sketchpad facilities, but neither of these options really suited the itinerant hip-hop beat-maker. The MPC500 remedies this for the very first time, and does it while retaining a remarkable amount of the functionality associated with its larger relatives.

Akai MPC500
Photo: Mike Cameron

It also brings MPC2000-style facilities to a much lower price-point than ever before, and I can see this introducing budding hip-hop producers to the MPC approach at a much earlier age. Retaining the USB connection on this machine is a very canny move in this respect as well, because it encourages such users to keep the MPC involved with their music-making even if they start dipping a toe into computer recording and sequencing.

What's great about the MPC concept, though, is that you could combine it with a second-hand digital multitracker and a Chinese condenser mic and put together something like a complete hip-hop production system for roughly £700 in the UK. Adding in a second-hand S&S MIDI keyboard would also make R&B more of an option, and you'd still probably have change from a grand. As a simple upgrade path for those more interested in the music than the technology, this takes some beating.

For the more technically-minded, however, I can't help suspecting that Akai have deliberately hamstrung some aspects of the MPC500's OS, perhaps to avoid undermining sales of the larger machines. Is it just the entry-level user who might value the portability and compactness of the smaller hardware box? I, for one, would find an MPC500XL with better display, multi-mode filtering and LFOs very tempting as a beat-making sketchpad.

Overall, though, I think Akai have made most of the right choices in squishing their classic MPC concept down from tabloid to hardback size. If you always wanted an MPC2000 but couldn't quite justify the outlay, this could well be the machine you've been waiting for.





Quote
Akai MPC 500 Specifications
General
Display: 2 x 16 character LCD w/back light
Memory card slot:Compact Flash (The size of the compact flash card that MPC500 can handle is from32MB to 2GB)
Dimensions: 266mm x 175mm x 44mm
Weight: 1.34 kg
Power requirement: 12v DC 600mA (negative tip)
Battery life: Approximately 4.5 hours of continuous use with LCD backlight ON.

Sound Generator
Sampling rate: 44.1kHz
Memory capacity: 16MB standard (11.5MB for sound memory), expandable to 128MB
Recording time: 136sec. (16MB, MONO) or 24m28sec. (128MB, MONO)
Memory expansion slot: 1 x for optional EXM128
Data format: 16-bit linear
Polyphony: up to 32 (dependent on processing)
Dynamic filtering: 2-pole lowpass filter per voice
Preset sound memory: 5MB
Number of programs: 24

Effects
Effects: 2 stereo effects and Master effect
Effect type: Chorus, Flanger, Bit grunger, 4 band EQ, Compressor, Phase shifter, Tremolo,
Flying pan, Reverb, Delay
Master effect: 4 band EQ, Compressor

Sequencer
Maximum events: 100,000 notes
Resolution: 96 parts per 1/4-note
Sequences: 99
Tracks per sequence: 48
MIDI output channels: 16
Song mode: 20 songs, 250 steps per song
Drum pad: 12 (velocity and pressure sensitive)
Drum pad banks: 4
Sync mode: MIDI clock

Inputs/Outputs
Record input (L and R): 1/4-inch stereo phone x 2, pseudo balanced -40dBu, input impedance 9k ohm
Max. Input level: +10dBu
Stereo output (L and R): 1/4-inch phone x 2 pseudo balanced +11dBu, output impedance 1k Ohms,
Max. Output level: +5 dBu
Phones output: 1/4-inch stereo phone x 1, 200mW / 100 ohms
MIDI inputs: 1 x 5-pin DIN
MIDI outputs: 1 x 5-pin DIN
USB: Slave connector x 1, USB MASS STORAGE CLASS support (Windows 2000/ME/XP or later version, or Mac OS 9.x/10.x or later version.)

Data Compatibility
MPC1000: SEQ, WAV, PGM
MPC2000/2000XL: SEQ, WAV, SND, PGM (Most parameters of PGM file can be loaded.)
MPC2500: SEQ, WAV, PGM
MPC4000: SEQ, WAV, PGM (DRUM program only. Only note assign and tune are loaded.)
MPC3000: SND (THRU Computer)
Z4/Z8: WAV, PGM (DRUM program only. Only note assign and tune are loaded.)
S5000/6000: WAV only (THRU Computer)

« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 06:54:24 PM by chrisNova777 »

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: akai mpc 500 (2006)
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 11:52:23 PM »


« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 11:50:44 AM by chrisNova777 »

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: akai mpc 500 (2006)
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 01:46:38 PM »
Quote
Also for those that do use Batteries:

Click MODE then OTHER then scroll to LOW BAT. WARNING and youc an change it so you get your low battery warning with enough time to save your project :)

http://www.mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=107682&sid=a4549bcdb33d2dbe88cff512dd2d9643&start=15

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: akai mpc 500 (2006)
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 11:45:09 AM »
Quote
Specifications:
Storage: Compact Flash: Type-II, support up to 2GB card
Memory: 16MB installed (Can be expanded to 128MB with EXM-128)

Analog Input/Output:
(2) Balanced 1/4" Inputs
(2) Balanced 1/4" Outputs
(1) Headphone Output

MID Input/Output:
(1) MIDI Input [5-pin DIN]
(1) MIDI Output [5-pin DIN]
Other Input/Output: (1) USB [Storage Support]

Levels:
Analog Input = +10dBu
Analog Output = +5dBu

Sampler Resolution: 16bit/44.1kHz

Sampler Recording Time:
136sec [16MB/MONO]
24min 28sec [128MB/MONO]

Sequencer Details:
100,000 notes resolving at 96ppq
99 Sequences with total 48 tracks per seq
20 Songs with total 250 steps per song
24 "Active (loaded)" Programs max

Pad Details:
12 (velocity and pressure sensitive)
4 Pad Banks [A, B, C, D]

Synchronization:
MIDI Clock only

Power Options:
12V DC 500mA pin-negative power adapter (included)
(6) AA batteries [lasts about 4.5hrs continuous use w/backlight ON]

Dimensions (W x H x D):
10.47" x 1.73" x 6.89"
266mm x 175mm x 44mm

Weight (net): 2.93 lbs / 1.34 kg

Data Compatibility:
MPC1000: SEQ, WAV, PGM
MPC2000/2000XL: SEQ (saved as MID file only), WAV, SND, PGM (Most parameters of PGM file can be loaded.)
MPC2500: SEQ, WAV, PGM
MPC4000: SEQ (saved as MID file only), WAV, AKP (DRUM program only...No Keygroups. Only note assign and tune are loaded.)
MPC3000: SND (THRU Computer)
Z4/Z8: WAV, PGM (DRUM program only. Only note assign and tune are loaded.)
S5000/6000: WAV only (THRU Computer)
S1000/3000: No compatibility

http://www.akaipro.com/products/legacy/mpc-500

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: akai mpc 500 (2006)
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 06:53:45 PM »

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: akai mpc 500 (2006)
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 06:55:50 PM »