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I’m outraged

MPC Live Sampling RAM

Hi Akai,

We've established that the Akai MPC Live really only has 500-600MB of RAM for sampling, despite the box clearly stating that it has 2GB for sampling.

Akai's advertisements used to say 2GB for sampling as well, until people complained and it was quietly changed.

It is now time for Akai to answer to it's consumers with something other than meaningless, vapid responses intended to sidestep the issue.

So I have two questions which I ask that a representative of Akai address directly:

First, did Akai deliberately deceive customers about the sampling RAM, or did someone make a mistake in all of Akai's adverts and on the packaging? It must be one of the two, so which is it?

Second, since it was either a deliberate lie or a serious mistake, what is Akai's plan to compensate customers who bought a MPC expecting the advertised 2GB of RAM for sampling?
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  • 2
    How do U or where do you find RAM usage to determine use of RAM on the MPC live or X Hardware.
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  • Hey natrixgli,

    Thanks for posting!

    I understand this has been a topic of conversation lately in the community and I think this is a good opportunity to address this concern. I want to first make clear that in no way was this intended to be a deliberately misleading specification or a deceptive marketing strategy. Sampling entails more than loading audio into a project and playing it back. It requires an operating system to handle the processing of sequences as well as host the audio itself. There is no synthesis on the MPC X/MPC Live so regardless of whether you have lifted samples from a record and created a melodic program or you are loading a Drum, Keygroup, or Clip program, you are working with samples. Every action you can perform in terms of sequencing (excluding MIDI and CV tracks) uses sample content.

    I do understand how the MPC X and MPC Live's system RAM specification may have caused confusion among users and for that I do apologize. Keep in mind that if you are working on a project that really does require some heavy sampling - the MPC X and MPC Live are hybrid machines that can also be used as controller devices. You absolutely have the option to use the MPC in controller mode with the MPC Software and utilize your computer's processor and RAM for those extra-demanding projects.

    Many competitors that are manufacturing samplers (such as Elektron, KORG, Teenage Engineering, Pioneer, Roland, etc.) are not even putting a numerical value on their hardware's memory - the memory is often reported as a time value (X amount of sampling time). This is not to say that these machines are inferior in any way! In fact, quite the opposite - these machines are completely capable of producing music (and hits!) and if we are drawing comparisons between the MPC X/MPC Live's standalone functionality, the amount of sample content that can be processed in a given MPC project far exceeds that of machines that are measuring their sample memory in seconds.

    With that in mind, there are certainly steps you can take to maximize the available space - sample size management is paramount as is purging your unused sample content. If you are working with a 5 minute audio track but only pull 10 seconds worth of audio from it, there are still 4 minutes and 50 seconds of unused audio eating up your RAM. This can easily be managed by using the Purge function to remove the unused sample content from your project and free up a good amount of usable RAM.

    I hope this helps clarify this topic a bit. As always, if you need any assistance with your Akai hardware, please let me know and I will be happy to help you!
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    • Thanks for the comprehensive reply Nick, it's appreciated. The reality is that 2GB for a sampler is, in most cases fine. For example the Rytm MK2 has 64mb. (yes you read that right). But here's the rub. The MPC isn't just a sampler any more, it's a coputerless DAW. With the ability to have full audio tracks. Who ever though 2GB of RAM was enough to accomodate this feature needs their head looked at. At the very least, "direct from disk" streaming should have been implemented for the audio tracks. This would have made the MPC LIVE indispensable to me. Instead I have to search for a buyer. Extremely disappointed
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  • 2
    2 GB of RAM for sampling This is written on the box. I j bought it to exclude the computer. Akai the deceiver
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  • 1
    They should made it so you can upgrade or should I Ask can you upgrade the RAM
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  • 1
    I think that advertising 2 GB for samples is obviously a mistake by the marketing department that someone overlooked. It's difficult for me to think of it as an intentional deception, since it's so easy to spot that nobody could be ever fooled more than a few days or weeks after working with the machine.

    So, if you bought the Live in good faith thinking that there were 2 GB of RAM available for samples I would expose this to your retailer and claim for a refund. Given the huge number of MPCs that have been returned (I'm on my third Live) I don't think that should be a problem. If your box says 2 GB for samples and you get a different amount before loading any sample, then there is a very easy way to prove you are not getting what you paid for. You could even say that you got shipped "the wrong model with less RAM" to provoke a response from the retailer.

    Because nobody is going to add more RAM to the Live and I wouldn't expect a more official answer that the one that has been given here.
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  • Hi Nick,

    Was trying to get a response on another post but not sure you have seen it.
    Getting the same problem as everyone else. I was also thinking when you mentioned to me to purchase an SSD to be able to transfer my project from the computer to the MPC that the SSD would be more than capable of running the projects. Before I need to return the MPC due to me feeling extremely misled can you please clarify two things:

    1) Is there any hope of MPC Live implementing a 'stream from HD' option for audio or is it impossible to make this happen with any future update? Does the audio have to be on the ram by design? I can wait if this can be changed by software update...

    2) Is it possible to make a project on the MPC software and load it to the MPC Live without it auto converting it back to WAV? This would obviously allow more tracks at less quality but I can't get past it converting my mp3's back to WAV (either on the software or when it loads to the SSD, not sure when it happens in the chain).

    Thanks,

    Ryan
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    • As far as I can't disagree with what you just said, I think that's not the point.
      the point is : If I buy a piano advertised as 61 keys, I do not want to discover that it is actually 49 when unboxing even, if that leads me to greater creativity. The MPC has been advertised and sold on several different arguments, one has been : 2Gb Ram for sampling ! Even if I'm far for having memory problem on this machine it just seems that Akaï intentionnally misled potential customers here in entertaining confusion between Ram and Sampling Ram. I can't imagine this has been unintentional...That being said, I loves this machine.
    • Lando yes, let's let companies mislead us :)
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  • Here's my take and I will be blunt because I come from a background that understand the difference between ram and storage

    Akai's Claim: "2GB of RAM" would be fine. Because even in the PC world, when you buy a 250gb drive say - you won't get the entire 250gb. Just like a 1tb drive, you won't get the full amount. That is logical with RAM loads bits and pieces in the background

    It's the part AFTER 'for sampling' which is the issue and clearly that is a lie. This isn't even in doubt. I know some people get confused with ram and storage space but there is no doubt. That said, the alternative would be recording audio to...SSD/SD/USB. Which I assume would be possible and would be in a future update?...

    That would appease everyone and they would not have to use their computers RAM. It would make it even BETTER and give people more options and people would probably prefer that to be honest because then you have more flexibility. It would also mean that the lack of it being 'updateable' (ram) would not be such a big deal since SSD etc IS.

    Sorry to be hard on your guys. It's a fab device but please....forget the PR. Just concentrate on making it the best product it can be for the people. It's got so much potential and you've done a really decent job with this.
    • I'm so confused over this. I understand the difference between RAM and space (mb) like on a PC etc. But what is the AKAI running out of? If its Sample time cant you just sample on to the SD card instead? or is it the the memory on the device is so low it can't handle big projects and there's no way around it?

      Thanks for your help!
      Ben.
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  • Dan from Akai revealed on a recent Gearslutz thread, that they're working on disk streaming, but cant clue us in on when its finished.
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  • 1
    You know what? I think they cheated me with this fake 2gb of ram but at the same time they gave me a device which is so powerful and clever that I forgot about the 2gb lie.
    The more I use it, the more I love it and I don't know how but it sounds much more clean and detailed compared to any other gear I tried so far.
    I have the feeling we are just at the beginning of a long way since Mpc live has still a lot of things to correct and implement. First of all, a stable midi clock. Then an arpeggiator, a better reverb algorithm and so on. There are many improvements on the way, I hope.
    But anyway, this device sounds really well and it's a real fun to use it.
    So ok, at the end i think akai is winning again.
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  • 1
    @Frisbi: I ́m 100.000% with you - anyhow in my opinion Akai takes far too long time for correcting all those stupid bugs...
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  • You know, I have the feeling we are a sort of beta tester. At least Until midi clock is not perfectly working, we cannot consider Live as a standalone box.
    I think akai worked hard to have a good workflow and a professional sound, and Live has this for sure.
    But it's really time to fix the midi issue, otherwise they will lose a lot of customers.
    • Using the population as beta testers is what companies do anymore. It's way cheaper than to hire a group of people and interact that way.

      I am a long time Steinberg user, been using Cubase since it was even Cubase. :) They are doing a lot of this too. Removing features in v2 that was in v1, and then reintroducing them in v3 or v4. Now, Steinberg is by no means an exception, it's just how things have become. I never had any problems until one day, my eLicenser started to give me errors. There is nothing wrong with MY eLicenser, because I tried it in a few other computers and I say about half show the errors, the other half works all the time. For DRM products to work this poorly, well, let's just say life is too short to put up with it.

      Now I am back to basic with music, very invigorating, with the MPCX. I notice some missing features, but it works standalone (even though it obviously is a computer as well) and is dedicated to music and no constant updates for EVERY single software ALL the time.

      I mean, I understand we have come to the point where software just works, but so now we have to introduce subscriptions of bits to sustain businesses that ordinarily wouldn't have ben able to sustain on just polishing something, over and over.

      The MPCX in my opinion represents an innovative way to use the concept of a computer and specialize a tool for making music. The main thing here is that I don't see the computer and all it's maintenance, meaning in a general sense.

      I just set up all MIDI ports to a MIDI router, now everything MIDI orbits the MPCX rather than my computer (Steinberg Midex), and next I am working on replacing my audio box (Steinberg mr816crx) to audio patchbay with the MPCX audio ports.

      Got to think a bit on the implications since the number of MIDI and audio ports are fewer on the MPCX, however, it's just a different scenario and it may not be anything to worry about.
    • Yes same here. Slowly moving from computer to devices, I replaced softwares with mpc live since I used them as an advanced sampler, which is what mpc live actually is, an advanced sampler.
      I never thought mpc live could be the only device of my setup, so I am making a new set with mpc, a Novation synth and a kaoss pad all going to a mixer.
      Honestly I feel so happy after years and years of computer to go back to a real mixer, real cables and so on.
      I think this is possible thanks to mpc live. So I don't complain,all works fine for me now, even the midi connections.
      I find it very sad to notice that many people,instead of focusing on the new possibilities of music creation, spend time asking for features and
      complain about anything they want different.
      That's what I think.
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  • I’m away !
    I hope you guys gets the better from this unit, as far as I'm concerned, I'm out !

    Contacted support to unregister the mpc.

    What I will miss are :

    -the absolutely fantastic pads
    -the almost unlimited sequences lenghts.

    What killed it for me :

    - No freely assignable lfos.
    - Automations.
    - The page switching.
    - The non cc assignable parameters.
    - Program change handling.
    - MIDI CLOCK !!!!!!!!!

    I could have lived with Bugged FX and sub par ts algorythms though.

    I tried, but grabbing an Octatrack mkII made me instantly understand I'll have much more fun with it. All in all I'm probably not a MPC guy.

    The MPC Live is dead ( for me ), long live to the MPC Live ( for you ) !
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  • Selling my MPC. The features I need will never come..
    Contact me if anyone interest. In the UK. MINT CONDITION.
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  • About the one thing from your reasons I think can be done is assign Non CC s in cue link, You re a guru though compared to me, I still cant understand for the life of me how a new tune I am working on has gobbled up all memory with only a few samples and kits loaded. WTF Heard alot of good stuff about OCT. I m a guitar player though and love to go somewhere else with the sonics. I love Reverb for selling any piece of EQ if you cant move it locally
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  • I have to say I actually got the MPC Live to get rid of my Octatrack and handle my Live set without a computer involved. In the past I used a MPC1000 fro master clock and drum programs, and then I had som large files as backing track I played with my Octatrack, for each new song. I actually thought it was possible to handle the large backing tracks in the MPC Live, but after I load 6 of them, i ́m out of memory. One thing i did not like about this method on with the Octatrack was I never new how much of my song i played, because I was streaming directly form the compact flash card. I would like to see the possibility to stream backing tracks from a USB HD or the SD card in a future software update, so I could get rid of the Octatrack.
    I have to admit there are so much I like about the MPC Live, so I would not sell it, but I would like to see the support of larger files in a software update if possible.
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  • Great point Dennis. It's a different animal truly then what I am use to coming from the Roland world myself. It would take some engineering redos for some things. I m still trying to rap my head around the fact would an external drive help your issue or mine. I was told by mpc rep it would, but I don't think it would with the limited internal ram. Can someone answer this for us regarding Dennis n his current issue?
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  • Truth is that if AKAI would like to be fair, they would be fair
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  • 2
    "I do understand how the MPC X and MPC Live's system RAM specification may have caused confusion among users and for that I do apologize."

    No confusion. Advertising was pretty CLEAR.

    Whatever, Streaming from HD or Card seems to be a solution that ALL COSTUMERS WANT!
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  • 1
    But are you sure it's just 600 mb?
    I have the feeling it's a bit more, maybe 1gb or so.
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  • Think about it. A CD is 650MB and that equates to about 70-75 minutes of audio. 1 hour+

    Are you really doing a song where you need an hours worth of samples loaded into memory? MIDI samplers used to max out about 128MB back in the say and nobody complained.

    If you want long audio clips then you create audio tracks and arrange the audio on there, that AFAIK is not loaded into RAM and streams?
    • Yes indeed, it is loaded into RAM. That's the whole issue.

      Let's say your songs are 4 min. on average. Let's say you want 2 stereo tracks and 2 mono tracks per song, for a live gig. This limits you to perform just about 6 songs ... if you're not using any samples at all!

      Why does the whole audio tracks have to be loaded in RAM?! It doesn't make any sense. They should be streamed from disk, and then only bits of them loaded into RAM when needed.
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  • 1
    Even if it was one special audio track that streamed from disk? You could overdub/resample and it would free up so much. I've faith they'll deliver. Disk streaming could open up so much from the audio side of things. With all the outputs etc

    Just to add - sampling would have to be improved. the MV has it perfect. Sample from threshold and then automatically stop after a certain amount of beats (user assignable) to get perfect sync. Right now many people are unsure with autosampler.

    Its great for short sounds but getting the tail right is trial and error.
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  • Glad I read this thread. My Live is in the post, and I was about to give my RC-505 to a friend.
    Thinking using the two together might help work around the issues above.

    Definitely disappointed reading though, looks like Akai really missed out on a simple but important feature. Fingers crossed it's something that can be addressed in an update... if they don't, then I'd definitely air on the side of nefarious marketing/sales practice.
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  • I find it interesting in all that 'statement' they didn't actually say how much sample time there is at normal 16bit sound.

    Look, there's a division among users that do different things. There are those who make beats and use 'small' samples for beat making.

    There is an entirely different class of us that are not making beats, but looking for something that lets us premake our samples in songs and then load those sounds into samplers to be either backing tracks or played in live settings (or both). There is NO hardware out there that does this except for basically MPC's. The problem is and has always been the very very low memory. There is basically zero excuse for that these days. I was looking into upgrading from a 1000 to a live, but no so sure now. They aren't ever going to come out and say it, but they purposely mislead consumers.

    It is pretty bad when I've googled and can't find a straight answer as to how many seconds/minutes of sampling time I can load in 1 setting.
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  • Well put,
    I really feel that some kind of streaming from disk technology must be implemented somehow.
    I'm not sure just how cynical AKAI are in the amount of info available in regards to sampling times and usable RAM amounts are concerned, but simply having track options where you can record audio as if it were a standalone DAW but then not having the memory to support the feature is in my estimation a gross oversight at best. Having enough memory (or at least streaming from disk) to play backing and samples directly from my MPC in a live setting would have been amazing, and not being able to do that it really disappointing.
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