Akai – MPC500 or MPC1000?

I remember buying an Akai MPC500 drum machine in early 2009 and returning it the morning after because I didn’t know how to work it. These were the days before it crossed my mind to search YouTube for a tutorial by some overzealous American dude who’d tell you their whole life story on the intro to the tutorial. That was the end of my drum-machine-dream because I dived head first into Logic Pro and never looked back. Two years passed and I had purchased the NI Maschine, it wasn’t a standalone drum machine like the MPC series, it was powered by USB connection and took me about eight months to make sense of it even after extensive YouTube tutorial study.

Last week the hard drive on my laptop died. It was shortly after I upgraded my operating system which disabled my ability to record vocals through my Focusrite Saffire 6 soundcard because there was no updated driver available. I was and still am in a position where I cannot make any music, I can’t record a mix for a podcast either because my DJ equipment is laptop based, I use NI Traktor and Numark‘s Omni Control. It was at this point that I realised how much I had tossed all of my eggs into one basket because I had never planned on my hard drive dying, I had no contingency.

It’s been about six days with no laptop and no ability to make music. I’m cold turkey and I realize now more than ever that I need something that isn’t dependent on my computer, it’s about time I invest in some new hardware. It’ll also give a chance to try something new as I get quite bored from time to time. If I’m honest, it just looks much more fun.

The only thing left to decide is whether to go for the ultra portable, battery operated MPC500 or the much bigger MPC1000. There’s £100 give or take in the price difference but the practical portable in me wants to go for the MPC500 because I may find myself in the middle of nowhere with no available plug sockets. The MPC1000 has more features such as better quality outputs, time stretching features and of course a bigger screen but is it worth the £460 price tag? However if the 500 is £309 it makes sense to get the 1000 because the small screen and difficulty in getting it to work is why i returned it in the first instance.

Either way I probably won’t make a final decision until the midst of next month so let me know the pros and cons of each device and your experiences with the 500/1000.



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