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::::::::EQUIPMENT REVIEWS:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

HARDWARE
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Akai
ASQ10
MPC-1000
MPC-2000
MPC-2000XL
MPC-3000
MPC-4000
MPC-60/60II

Boss
DR-202 Dr.Groove
DR-5 Drum Machine
SP-303
SP-505
DR-770
Yamaha
SU700
QX1 sequencer
QX5 Sequencer
QX5FD Sequencer

Casio
Ensoniq
Korg
Roland

SOFTWARE
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Native Instruments
Battery 2

:::::::: ARCHIVES :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Akai MPC-2000 :: Review by Circuitt
My main tool I use for sequencing is this mpc2000 I just picked up. It has this effects card, I find it quite nice considering it's all in the box, would be nice for doing a show without having to use a mixer and effects processor. The best thing about the mpc, I think.. is the work flow (ease) of the machine , and the velocity sensitive pads, you can really freak shit vs. using keys, it seems i can just get a lot more done, in less amount of time with the mpc, not saying it's easy.. it's just i've used to so much, it's became somewhat second nature for me. another great thing about this unit, and all other (midi) units (should come with no surprise), is that i can sync it up to my sequencer on my computer (digital performer4.5) (mac dual 1.0), i like to track all my drum hits/samples separately via (8-outs option on the mpc) into my digital converters, and if (most of the time) i am using more than 8 hits/samples, i just make another pass while staying synced, really saves a lot of time and leaves me with nice editing options in the end, i can always go back, and just add or subtract something on the fly while staying in perfect time.

Akai MPC-60 :: Review by Rajbot
MIDI Production Center, a full-featured sampling drum machine and MIDI sequencer with a large 8 line LCD display, up to 26 seconds of 12 bit non-linear sampling at 40 kHz sampling rate, 16 simultaneous voices, 2 MIDI inputs and 4 MIDI outputs.

Moodswing9 recommended this machine to me years ago and I'm glad he did. I have an upgraded system which includes the new(er) O/S (3.10), extra RAM (sampling time).

Having used the MPC 2000, I would say the MPC 60 is much simpler, easier to use and somewhat more affordable. The MPC 60 is also better built and was concieved by Roger Linn. The sample editor operates on a time basis instead of a wave-form. I find this much more precise (i'm math oriented) than the graphical wave form editor of the MPC 2000. The MPC 60's sequencer is super fun to use with punch-in/punch-out ease. Hardware wise- the MPC 60 comes standard with 8 individual assignable outs (an extra purchase for the basic 2000). The MPC 60 is also a great controller if you into MIDI and a nerd (like me). The most interesting (and mysterious) aspect about the MPC 60 though is what it does to drums. Precisely I cannot say, but it might have something to do with the 12 bit sampling rate...the MPC 60 breathes some strange life into samples and adds alot of kick to drums.

If you're looking for a machine with hours of sampling time, a fifty gig hard drive, a touch screen, a USB port, an onboard synth module, or any other needless (in my opinion) amenities, don't even bother looking at the MPC 60. This is a very simple machine with limited sampling time (26.2 seconds with extended memory), a floppy drive (if you don't have the SCSI), and a tooled down interface. It is also alot heftier than the MPC 2000 (much more hefty of course than the MPC 1000). It's still one of the raddest instruments I have ever used and is a crucial member of my electronics assortment. If you're looking for a slightly more beefed up sampler, I would check out the MPC 3000 if you got the bucks as it was also developed and designed by Roger Linn.

Boss DR-5 drum machine :: Review by Nomar Slevik
∑ Type: Synth/ Drum-machine/ Workstation/
∑ Polyphony:Max: 19,Typical in use: 16
∑ Multi-timbral (number of parts): 4
∑ Controllers : Footswitch
∑ Drum Section :
 o Number of Drum Kits : 48+16 user defined
 o Number of Drum sounds : 174

This machine has been nothing but ABSOLUTELY useful in all aspects of my production.

This machine has drums, mad drums. I personally need to eq them to my specific needs, but there is no shortage of sound here. Usually I will find breaks that I would normally sampleÖ but with this DR-5 I will instead, re-create the breaks, and eq the kicks and snares to any sound I want. The versatility of itís programming or punch-in formats really helps when creating a good drum foundation.

To top it all off this DR-5 has MAAAAD instruments kid! Donít throw away that Casio just yet, but utilize these instruments with a sampler or other keyboards and you gotz a full orchestra.

Battery 2 by Native Instruments :: Review by Sharkey
For those of you who arenít familiar with Native Instruments, they make dope products! Mainly software synths, but their whole line of products have changed the way I create music. The most recent addition to my studio is Battery 2. Which is basically a huge drum sampler.

The way I have always created my beats in the past was by sampling in sound by sound to my computer, then chopping and pasting sound clips throughout my time grids. Never used an MPC, just one of those people that never took to it. Although I do believe itís a great machine for some people, it just never fit my work style. So for the producer like myself who has libraries of sounds, this is a great tool. Itís got 72 sample cells to load various sounds into and all of those sounds can be tweaked, pitched and altered. Every sample cell has its own individual set of powerful sound shaping tools like, compressors, filters, bit-reduction and freely assignable LFO modulation. It also has a huge library of drum kits and percussion sounds. Plus you can import sounds from just about every sampler sound format imaginable. Battery 2 has sped up my work flow immensely. I highly recommend checking it out.