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Improved modulation flexibility & LFO

FYI I am using am MPC Live in Standalone mode with the 2.1 Firmware. I have been enjoying using the MPC with some simple, single cycle waveforms to act as a classic subtractive synthesizer. This works reasonably well, but there are a few limitations which seem unnecessary and significantly reduce the flexibility of the setup.

First of all, most modulations may only be applied in a uni or bipolar manner; that's to say they may alter the modulation target only in one direction (or only in both directions). It would be much more flexible from a sound design perspective if one were allowed to select uni or bipolar modulations for all modulation types. By way of example, the envelopes may only by modulated by the velocity in a unipolar manner. The LFO can only apply to the pitch in a bipolar manner.

Secondly, for most modulations the modulation amount can only be set in a positive direction (with a few exceptions). A lot more flexibility is afforded by allowing the modulation amount to be set positively or negatively. A case in point is allowing the filter envelope to be applied negatively to have it sweep down instead of up.

Thirdly, and I haven't dug through all the menus to confirm, but I can't see any significant controls over the LFO. In particular two things. First of all It would be helpful if one could have the LFO wave restart on 'note on' (allowing it to act in varying capacities, such as an extra AD envelope for drum synthesis). Secondly it would be helpful if you could control if the LFO was independent per 'note on' in a given program, shared across the program, or global.

Forth, and somewhat wishful, it would be nice if there were a more flexible way to setup modulations. I understand that this may be a little more complex to implement, but since you have a set of modulation sources (AMP envelope, Filter envelope, LFO, Mod wheel, Aftertouch, Velocity, Q-Links, MIDI CC etc) and a number of targets (amplitude, pitch, filter, cutoff etc) it would be nice if you could arbitrarily connect sources to targets with differing polarity and weightings.

The first 3 would bring the sound design flexibility of the MPC in line with (and beyond) many dedicated hardware synths. With 4, the additional modulation options, it would go beyond what many hardware synths provide to a point of competing with many of the better soft synths on the market. Bundle it up with some classic single cycle waves and you've got a device that does everything you expect from an MPC, plus a capable soft synth, all without a computer.
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  • +1 Free running LFO's / for MPC Software 2.x
    +1 More modulations targets / for MPC Software 2.x
    +1 Midi CC integration on programs/ for MPC Software 2.x

    (ideas sent via the software might reach developers directly)

    PSOUND
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  • On the subject, another suggestion about modulation settings that I didn't include. When you are setting a modulation that applies to pitch (for example, pitch bend amount) it would be nice to have more musical intervals. I had assumed it would be in some fraction of semi tones, but my attempts failed, so I tried to set it to a full step/tone by ear and thought it was between 16 & 17 with 17 sounding better.

    At full modulation (100) you get an octave so it seems to be a power scale (like music) but with 100 steps per octave rather than 12. Factors of 12 are 2,2,3, factors of 100 are 2,2,5,5 so the GCD is 4, meaning there are only 4 settings that coincide. Octave, Tritone, Minor 3rd, 6th: no other notes on the traditional western scale fall on the intervals (which is a very common need for pitch bend).

    The solution here would be to replace the maximum with some multiple of 12 (e.g 12, 60 or 120) or make the number a float in semi tones (the easiest to understand). For other pitch modulations (potentially with wider ranges) representing them in semi tones with non integer resolution makes sense while still allowing flexibility.

    Note that for setting the pitch of the samples you provide two dials giving you an effective 1200 possible values per octave which is good for retuning instruments but not really necessary for modulations.
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  • Hey everybody,

    Thanks for posting!

    There are a lot of great ideas in this thread that would enhance the sound design capabilities of the hardware! We want to make sure that this is brought to the attention of the development team so be sure to submit this as feedback with the MPC 2.0 Software's built-in feedback module. The feedback module is represented by a smiley icon at the lower right side of the software next to the browser icons. This information goes directly to the Akai team for consideration!

    If you need an alternative method of submitting feedback, you may use the following links:

    MPC - Submit a Feature Request

    MPC - Submit a Bug Report

    Thank you for your great feedback!
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