AUDIO POPS- THIS IS SO CRUCIAL!!!

What's up good people. I have been using Akai MPCs since the 3000. Since then I've owned a couple 2000XL's, a 2500, 4000, and 5000. I am now working quite a bit on the Ren.

I am an engineer, producer, and beatmaker who has worked on countless hip-hop records- many of which are well known and considered to be classics- from the "Golden Era" all the way up through today. I don't do as much studio work as I used to, so in recent years I have also become a branch manager at Guitar Center.

I only mention my background info to stress to you that I am very well-connected from my experiences in the music and music gear industry in the past 25 years. So you can trust me when I say the problem I am about to speak on is a widely discussed issue with almost all folks I've spoken with about the Ren...

These small, slight, digital pops at the beginnings and ends of samples are getting to be a pain to the point where I am seriously considering giving up on the Ren entirely! Any time I have pads cutting each other off, even if it is the exact same pad in 16 levels mode, I get these little tiny pops where one sample meets another. I will mess with the attack/decay, plus the starting and end points of the samples for literally hours on end, and I am unable to eliminate all of these little pops. They will even happen at inconsistent times. Say I have a 4 bar loop going. The pop may happen at the end of bar 2, then the next time at the beginning of bar 4. Then next time at the beginning of bar 1. And so on. It is absolutely ridiculous!

I've know plenty of others who have returned their Rens and instead gotten NI Maschines for this very reason. For this problem to exist is a complete joke, and I can assure you I am not alone in this complaint.

Going back several years, these pops would happen a little bit on the 2000XL, but mainly only when the polyphony within the sequence was being taxed with too many sounds going at once. The 2500 was worse. Little pops started existing at the end of almost every sample, and you would really have to mess with the decay to eliminate them. The 5000 was worse still, with pops happening more randomly at the beginnings and ends of samples, and "59" being the magic decay number glitch to eliminate a lot of them.

But my oh my has the Ren taken this problem to another level! You can barely do anything without getting these little pops, and most of them are simply un-fixable!!!

So as a veteran of the hip-hop production community who is now firmly ingrained in the equipment sales game, I suggest that you guys figure something out to fix this issue. Because I know speak for many when I say "Streets is Talking"...and if this problem continues, the future is not looking bright for you guys. Take it from me. This issue is unacceptable.
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  • Hello T Dot!

    Thanks for posting. I'd be happy to help!

    This is the sampling concept known as Zero Crossing. Essentially the loop/slice beginning and/or end point happens while the waveform is not centered at a value of zero. The computer then "clips" the audio. It's forced to draw the waveform with a straight line down or up, which is physically/acoustically impossible (your speaker can't go from one point to another in zero time). The result is a pop/click.



    Sometimes it's unavoidable, like with most stereo samples. You might zoom in on your stereo sample a put your slice exactly at zero crossing for the left channel, but now your right channel is not aligned and is going to click. Now you've got to spend hours searching and hoping you find a point where both channels align (get some popcorn). Sometimes the best resolution is actually what you're already doing; change the envelope decay or fade the start/end points.



    With the Ren, using the software's sample edit view in Chop mode, zoom in as far as you can. Now click and drag the slice point and you'll notice it's not smooth; even when you've zoomed down all the way it still "jumps" to different points of the waveform. Basically, the software is making the best guess as to where the zero crossing is but also where the beginning of the hit is. This is why you've noticed it to different degrees on different machines; they're different algorithms doing the guessing. Just turn "Snap to Zero" OFF and you'll be able to tweak yourself.

    Multi-sampling pitched instruments is even tougher. I multi-sampled a Moog Rogue recently and it was a real challenge finding not only zero crossing, but two zero crossing points to make a seemless loop (for sustained notes). Some sample loop points I had no choice but to insert a quick little fade or crossfade.

    Sometimes, especially with stereo samples, that's the only solution. I actually kind of like that sound; like when you hear the snare from an old drum loop that has some reverb/ambience, and you can hear that kind of unnatural cutoff... it has some character.

    In the end, I understand and agree that it's a pain spending time editing samples on that level. Just in regards to workflow, sometimes you find a good sample and just want to PLAY your kit, not make it. I know you're probably familiar with what I discussed above, but feel free to discuss. We might come up with some new features ideas to make making music easier!
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  • I agree with T Dot I would like to see this addressed. Its a big workflow killer.
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