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Multitimbral MIDI???????

I'm used to the great JJOS software for the MPC1000.
In my live setup i'm using a midi keyboard to play program1 and the MPC pads to play Program2.
Now with this new and advanced MPC LIVE this multitimbral MIDI setup isn't possible, which renders the MPC "LIVE" useless for playing "LIVE".
I really hope this feature will be in a very near future update, or i might need to sell it and get back to my feature friendly MPC1000.
AKAI? Pretty please?
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  • Hey Dijf,

    Thanks for posting!

    You can currently input MIDI data to the track that is selected. Of course I understand the usefulness of inputting MIDI on two separate tracks with a controller and the MPC itself in a live setting - and I would like to see this function too - but I'm not sure it's quite accurate to say that it renders the MPC Live useless in this scenario. It is a sequencer after all so if you want to perform with it, you can sequence your drums, play the sequence, and play over the sequence on another track with the controller or vice versa and that's really only getting started with how this machine could be used as a live performance instrument. Have a look at the MPC Live's Clip Launch functions to get some new ideas:

    MPC Lounge: Clip Launch

    I am, however, happy to see that there is interest in this feature so I have submitted this to the Akai team for consideration in a future update.

    Thank you for your feedback and let me know if you have any questions!
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  • 4
    There is definitely interest for this feature. I've posted about this before as well. Akai samplers have always been multitimbral, and in 2017 when you are trying to get a platform to dominate, I feel it's a must-have feature. In a perfect world, and Advance controller would transmit on multiple MIDI zones into the MPC Live/X which could receive/play multitimbrally, and that would be all anyone would need for a baseline live rig where actual playing is a big part of the performance in addition to interactive sequencing and clip launching. If this was the case, I would have already purchased both products and crowed about them to anyone who would listen :)
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  • 2
    Hi,

    Some news from the development team ?
    Multitimbral MIDI fonctionality for next release ?

    Regards.
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  • This reply was removed on 2018-01-09.
    see the change log
  • I’m confident and thankful
    6
    Nick, I humbly disagree with the simplification in your statement.

    Currently, the heading for the MPCX on http://www.akaipro.com/products/mpc-s... is "The Studio Centerpiece" and on http://www.akaipro.com/products/mpc-s... as "Bigger than beats. The X is truly a studio centerpiece."

    And not to get too far into word games, but I would argue that there is a distinct gap between the sequencer-for-play (as in PLAY a sequence, not a toy, obviously) and studio-centerpiece. So even though you are absolutely correct that it is ALSO a sequencer, it is being marketed and sold as way more than simply a sequencer.

    Now don't get me wrong, please. I am in no way complaining. I am simply saying that Akai should live up to the expectations under which the MPCX is being sold, which can easily be viewed on the two URLs above.

    The first bullet of major features on the mpc-x URL is "Standalone MPC – no computer required" and another is "2 MIDI inputs, 4 MIDI Outputs", which is true to an extent, but this is where things LIKE the multi-timbrality has to be resolved. The implication by Akai IS that there are, at least 64 channels in and 32 out, and are available for management of MIDI gear. This is not quite the case at the moment.

    As I have stated before, the solution should include not only USB MIDI In Ports but also USB MIDI Out Ports since there is virtually no difference between them in terms of class compliance, well the direction I suppose. I know Akai makes absolutely no claim of this, but it follows that this should be made available on a studio centerpiece. Not only because it make sense, but because it is a huge marketing point. (And because it would make myself, and surely other, happier!)

    MIDI isn't going away anytime soon. There is no alternative because of patents, copyrights and well, corporate greed in general I suppose. Akai IS one of the few last (and seasoned) companies that has made such amazing strides in the standalone sequencer arena and keeps investing in MIDI too).

    I am VERY happy with my MPCX, but I think that there are a few things that you guys need to complete in order to live up to the studio centerpiece. Though I am actually using it, as true to its claim of a studio centerpiece, I have had to rework my approach because some of the current deficiencies.

    I have tons of old MIDI gear that used to be accessed (from a computer) through a 8x8 MIDI interface and a couple of old JLCooper MSB16/20's. So I have high hopes for my newest member, a USB3 8x8 MIDI interface that DOES WORK with the MPCX, but the 8 Out Ports do not show (obvious reasons, at the moment) and the 8 In Ports cannot be assigned to individual Tracks (as we all know). Please allow this kind of a solution.

    Anyways, thank you for such wonderful gear!
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  • 5
    6 midi ports, recieves midi on ONE channel = fraud.
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  • 3
    Year 2018, awesome machine with great features except one single channel MIDI IN and no multitimbral operation. The 1200eur gear sounds as a joke at this point.
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  • 3
    Bump, 8 months old and also 'under consideration'.
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  • this ought be the one feature everyone can agree on. I also wanna play multiple channels from one program.. so AKAI please do us the favor, would ya?
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  • I’m frustrated
    1
    So Akai,

    any updates regarding the multitimbral feature on the MPC live ?
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  • 1
    Like a fool with too much money I bought the live and the X, then I realised the midi was the worst implementation I have ever seen in a piece of studio gear and sold them both, good luck everyone, let me know if they ever finish making this machine, what an embarrassment and never an official answer from Akai !
    You all deserve a refund.
    Akai have ZERO respect for their customers, very sad, they just take the money.
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  • Every single Akai sampler and every sampler in the history of samplers, had multi-tmbral midi, the latest 'flagships' from Akai, don't , they literally forgot to make it .

    But don't worry because they will have a new product out soon which promises the world, I heard on the grapevine, they forgot to put audio outputs on it, no joke!
    So make sure your ok with no audio outputs before buying one!
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  • Will see how it goes..The feature is under construction..
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  • I’m Angry
    2
    I'm starting to think they can't do it. I bet the crappy Tesco tablet processor can't cope or something. It's already pushed to do the fancy graphics and touchscreen. It's the same reason they can't let the pads do one thing (eg play drums) and the screen another (eg mutes, select sequence). It just can't multitask in that way. They know how important and useful these things are to performers and producers alike, but now realise they can't deliver. But of course, being Akai they can't just man up and admit it. They've dropped a bollock, big time.

    It seems the 'under consideration' tag is an automatic status given by the Get Satisfaction page when a feature gets a certain amount of likes. I wouldn't hold your breath for this essential feature folks, it seems they've written it off.

    (Of course, if they do deliver, and I'm wrong, I'll eat my words gladly because I won't any longer have a £1000 MPC Live that I can't use 'live', just sitting there, for a year, mocking me. THAT IS ALL I WANT)
    • Shit, I hadn't thought it could be a processing limitation. I sincerely hope you're wrong!
    • If it can do wireless stuff with Ableton AND bluetooth while playing, it can also do multi-timbral MIDI. It's not that computer intensive. Technically, the inputs and outputs are already doing it now, just not dividing by port and channel. The routing is simply a matter of redirecting the MIDI events elsewhere. Or simply put, right now the machine is using all inputs, just not to different destinations, but one. The channel information is already part of the MIDI events, so there is a minor overhead of routing to different tracks, but that was also done on way less computing power on previous MPC's.
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  • 4
    It seems crazy that they would start a design project like that with that many midi ins and not have thought about standard midi spec..the mind boggles...
    Yes lets hope they sort it out or come clean and not just hide under the duvet which is what they are doing right now hoping its going to go away.
    • That's the whole thing. The number of MIDI ins (+ USB) makes you think they'd have to have that capacity.

      I was crossing my fingers for MIDI learn providing a workaround but it seems that you can only 'teach' the MIDI controller to control the active track. Bummer.
    • Again, the capacity is there, just not an implementation. Technically, the data needed to support division of ports and channels is already in use on our machines (MIDI contains channel information, and obviously the MPC can already deal with dynamic amount of ports, i.e. the built-in 2 and any USB we might add). The routing is a matter of sending the messages to designated targets, which is what we are asking for. I also find it difficult to understand, if multi-timbral was not on the horizon at some point. I mean, why on earth would you be able to use two separate input ports and at least 2 USB MIDI devices, i.e. at least four inputs routed to a single track. That would be an engineering fail, extremely poor planning, etc. There must be a plan somewhere. I just wish they would share that portion of the plan.
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  • I’m Barely optimistic
    Hopefully they pull off the multi-timbral thing as I use a lot of Native Instruments / Kontakt VIs. Meanwhile, I'm about to experiment to see how my CPU handles multiple instances of Kontakt. I'm confident, but would still have one issue.

    My MIDI experience/knowledge is basic, so pardon. I think what I'm looking for currently is a bit simpler (multi-output vs multi-timbral?). Maybe it's available or there's an efficient work around.

    I use Addictive Drums 2 on occasion. I only need separate outputs for each kit piece from the one instance of AD2 to their own AUX channels. Is this possible? If so, how?
    • So on the MPCX there are 4 MIDI Out Ports, 2 MIDI In Ports, and at least 2 USB MIDI In Ports. Live may be a couple of Ports off, but the same basic issue.

      The 4 MIDI Out Ports can currently be assigned to different MIDI Tracks, so that each MIDI Out Port/Channel plays different hardware instruments.

      Now imagine some of those MIDI instruments also having keys or other ways to generate MIDI. Well currently, at any one time, every single MIDI In Port is always routed to the selected Track.

      I.e., currently there is no way to assign (as with the MIDI Out Ports/Channels) individual MIDI IN Port/Channel to specific Tracks.

      For example; you cannot have two keyboards (e.g. A and B) where the lower part of A goes to one track, the upper part of A to another track, and B going to a third track. That is, all MIDI events from A and B are always routed to the currently selected track.

      Though, as stated above, the MIDI going OUT from those three tracks (from the example) CAN be assigned to a MIDI Out Port/Channel. But NOT a USB MIDI Out Port, because those currently cannot be used.
    • My needs relate to virtual routing from virtual instrument to multiple aux channels with MPC 2.2. The MIDI is all on one track. I just need the audio for each kit piece routed to separate tracks to either print or export out to my DAW.
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  • I’m frustrated
    3
    I can't believe they put all that effort in having sophisticated MIDI learn for 2.2 and yet there is no proper multi-timbral MIDI IN processing.

    For our project we generally use external drum pads live to trigger some of the samples in the MPC... I wish we could also simultaneously have a keyboard controller assigned to keygroup programs on a separate track/channel (we could even potentially replace some of our hardware synths by doing so!) but nope...: not yet possible.

    It rather frustrating considering the MPC Live/X has way more CPU power & memory but still can't do some of the basic things bulky 20-year-old rack samplers could do.
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  • 1
    As a software developer I can say it's not how things works with multi-threading. Even multiple program and audiotrack simultanous play requires multi-threading (which is not the same as multi-core handling but related). In other hand it's a Cortex A17 ARM processor spinning inside handing it's full power to the MPC engine. Just for scale: a fully operating iPad also could play a bunch of sample even if it's busy with handling emails, network, stuff. And iPad has a weak processor compared to CA17. So I not really think it has no power for multitimbral MIDI processing.
    By the way, MPC live can accept USB hub on it's ports and I tried that it can handle at least 2 MIDI controller connected to the hub. Then I could assign many parameters on different programs to both controllers, worked like a charm. This behavior requires way more multi-threading capability than a multitimbral MIDI routing.
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  • Akai MPC Live and MIDI - a brief history:
    - it took about 5 months to solve Midi clock jitters
    - it took almost a year to implement Aftertouch (channel pressure)
    - multitimbral Midi - "under consideration" now for several months
    - Audio recording & Looper not working when externally Midi clock synced - not even "under consideration"

    But it has 2 Midi Ins and 2 Midi Outs - LOL

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  • Be happy there doing something positive look at Natitve instruments over there still fixing crap from 9 years ago
    • We have to jump in here, 4 layer playback in random order is not machinery at all.
      That's so very much an instrument concept feature for the MPCs from day one. If
      it wasn't an accidental option, what we don't think, it was thought to be for synth-
      and sound-design, which we're quite glad about. It makes the MPC an instrument
      which makes a huge difference. Having this option plus multi midi, drops a bomb.
      ('kaa' booom.. :-)

      PSOUND
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  • 3
    I think there is quite a bit of overloading of the term "multi-timbral". It technically just means that the device is capable of producing multiple timbre's simultaneously. Each timbre (program) functions independently and is controlled by the sequencer. In this sense the device is clearly multi-timbral and, since the sound generation is the expensive operation (not the MIDI handling), the device clearly has sufficient resources to handle this.

    What people are asking for here is more flexible MIDI routing. Specifically the ability to control which program is triggered and which track is recorded to when a given MIDI message (on a given channel) is received. As was the case for aftertouch, the design of the software will have a huge impact on how easy this is. Adding a UI element to let you pick the input MIDI channel for a track is trivial, but implementing the underlying function may not be.

    Given the bug fixes that have gone in and the features that have been implemented I have the feeling that the MIDI is implemented in a way that tries to reuse a lot of the logic from the existing pad oriented function. This makes me think that a number of fixes and features have likely been "hacked" into the code base. Hacked in this sense means written in a sub optimal manner incompatible with the original design and intend of the code. This means that the code is gradually becoming harder to maintain, and the cost (i.e. engineering effort) required to make more far reaching changes like this is going up. At some point they will likely hit a "dead end" where the cost of adding new features becomes so high that a complete redesign makes more sense. All we can do is hope that such a redesign incorporates all the feedback we've been providing. Also, we can hope that such a rewrite comes to existing users and doesn't get reserved for a next gen platform.
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  • I agree many toughts. However reaching the point where a complete redesign become more effective than patching usually means that the codebase turned into a pile of shit and maintainibility reduced to zero. I don't think that MPC codebase became that state, it's working well, from firmware 2.0 it's really stable (at least I had zero crash or freeze) and they still keeping the 2-3 month update period.
    You had an idea that flexible midi input routing may sit in a next gen product. (MPC Live / X MK2?) I'm expecting they will drop a "Max" version of the MPC with improved hardware (maybe a 2.5 GHz Atom processor and 4-8 GB operating memory) and software capable to accept third party plugins for fx and even generator plugins like onboard synthesizers. Boosted effects and really standalone usage. But these are only speculations and I know nothing about MPC developments. However I think flexible midi input routing could be added on the actual line.
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  • We're creating sounds and music using the MPC software. One thing that seems
    interesting for us is that users running standalone units avoid the MPC Software,
    which is so very much bound to the product. Since the latest MPC update, it does
    turn out that people using the Software aren't bound much to the MPC controller
    hardware anymore. The recent MPC controller hardware is a bit dated or legacy.
    Maybe a lighter controller version of the MPC-X/s sees the light. If standalone isn't
    a trend and other companies are joining this concept, new MPCs might appear.

    Until then.. Kick the bass, change the pitch and keep the beat on time ..this time!

    PSOUND
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  • 1
    No disrespect but I’ve read and re-read this about 5 times now PSound and I still literally have no clue what the hell you are on about
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  • 1
    I wasn't implying that it had reached that point, but that I think there is only a certain amount of scope for making "big ticket features/bug fixes". They will prioritize however they do and things will make the cut, or they won't. All we can do is raise concerns and hope the issues that matter to us get addressed in a timely manner.

    As for supporting third party plugins, this seems a little more complicated. My concern is that the software, as it runs on a standalone device, would end up creating its own API on which to develop plugins (and get no developer engagement). Since most existing plugins are distributed in binary format (for x86) that's a no-go on ARM. If they went with Linux VST approach, some may be buildable on ARM so some ecosystem would become available.

    As for synthesis, the device is already quite capable of subtractive synthesis (I made a thread on this and provided some single cycle classic waveforms you can use). You can consider it to be a multi-timbral many note Polysynth with 4 complex oscillators, 2 Envelopes, 1 (very) multi mode filter and an LFO. The modulations and routings are very fixed, and (as I've said before) making those all more flexible may be impractical, but the existing devices certainly have enough CPU power for this.

    Whatever happens, I'll keep working within the limitations and hoping the feature set grows!
    • As for third-party plugins: I meant nothing for VST, it's for desktop only. What I thought is an inside new API, and I bet they already have it. Just see how onboard fx and VST fx selection blends in the selector - they have a similar plugin architecture like the VST, but they can be used in standalon mode. The same would be needed for third-party developers even on fx side and instrument side. I believe Akai already have the technology to do this, but I also beleive it will be released on a next gen product.
    • So after getting on 2.2 I thought my world was opening up alas no would have expected this function to be a given???
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  • I wish we could have a faster processor and more ram in an MPC 1000 with jjos, I’m really starting to miss it the fact that there is so much going on with the slow processor in the 1000 shows that jj really is a genius.
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  • I just learnt a new feature I didn't know. Maybe it's a bug, but it ends up to control every globally set MIDI parameter to work at once. It's for MPC desktop software and I didn't tried if standalon has the same behavior.

    If I open track mixer view, click on a MIDI channel than switch to an audio channel suddenly all the learnt CC parameter becomes accessible at once. So I could tweak realtime all my MIDI programs, effects and plugins from my controllers - kind of multi-timbral mode.
    • view 4 more comments
    • I believe that many user comes from other DAW's and don't understand the whole conception of the MPC. It's not about tracks, it's about sample-to-pad-to-program concept. Original MPC's never had a track as an entity, they had a MIDI input for ch10 and that was all, because all of what theses unit provided was drum sampling and then sampling alltogether later.
      So in this meaning MPC DAW is a bit confusing, it's not a traditional DAW like Cubase or Logic but rather a pimped up sampling engine. However it's another thing that MPC 5000 had builtin multitimbral MIDI routing.
      Back to the MIDI learn, I think this is a bug that MIDI learn already works only track-wise when you selected a MIDI-controllable track. They should separate global MIDI commands to Track-focused MIDI commands but the good question: how? And it's more stricted that MIDI Device ID not used here. As I wrote, there is 16 channel and every channel have 128 CC commands and 112 Note commands so all in all we can have 3840 different command in a project, just not that way how other DAW's handling controllers. Users must plan their controller map more precisely.
    • We've mapped a mod wheel to filter settings via source "None", which could be
      a bit confusing. The Midi-Learn settings can be set global- and project-vise (via
      the Software at least). A step-by-step guide for the procedure and the manuals
      would be helpful.

      ps: manuals (2.2/pdf) are included with the installation.

      PSOUND
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    • view 3 more comments
    • I haven't followed the plugin trend in a while though I still own a lot of them. Meaning, I don't know where the current trend of the plugin market is heading. Last I was involved in these matter, there was an obvious departure from collaboration between vendors.

      This is very similar in nature to operating systems. Just like there, any phone can do the old voice and SMS but with apps bound to the OS's with little cross platform, MIDI is the one standard that burns through the music industry, even though many alternatives have shown presence in the past.

      Dirty money in the way of good business, it's disgusting for us customers.
      In short (after that rant), I could even begin to guess about the probability of what you ask.

      Though, I would create a separate to address your.
    • Multi-timbral support is a thing with DAWs/plugins. Every drum plugin on the market is likely multi-timbral and can be routed as such in every DAW I'm familiar with, for example. I know MPC is not a DAW, and that MPC users tend to be sample based (programs vs plugins), but it's 2018. VIs aren't going anywhere. Some actually come with MPCs.

      But yeah, obviously this request needs its own thread.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Ok, I just realized that the MPC Software (running in plugin mode) isn't capable to route incoming MIDI ports/channels to tracks (multitimbral MIDI) either.

    That was a major WTF moment for me. This means that MPC in no way can replace Machine in our setup.
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  • I agree, this is not a feature request, a nice thing to have, or a bug fix. It is also not an increase of something existing, but simply a lack of implementation. The fact that the output ports are mapped, means that the team obviously realized the need of delineation between MIDI Ports and Channels. It was probably more a matter of getting down to prioritizing time. MIDI got a shaft.

    However, MIDI multi mode is actively being worked on, as per Akai. So it is coming, and is rather a matter of when, not if. Happiness. :)

    I agree with Daniel in earlier posts in that I hope it's not a matter of band-aiding the MPC X, but rather solidly incorporating a complete implementation of MIDI.

    This would eventually need to include being able to re-map the pads, MIDI-wise. Right now, you are stuck with a strange Akai mapping.

    Also, USB MIDI devices are currently limited to MIDI Inputs only, no USB MIDI Outputs can be used.
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  • Rich Lane, no need to apologize about important stuff. I am pleased to see that there are people who still require evidence instead of... well, not. :)

    Take a look at the bottom half on the following page and you will see a somewhat lengthy post by 'Elektrobolt' (me) with an immediate response from 'xparis001' (this is Dan who works for Akai, he frequents gearslutz); https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...
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  • Note the word 'will' be working on.
    Not Are working on, yep I gave up waiting.
    I got a refund on both the Live and the X, I told them they were faulty, midi didn't work and got a full refund.
    I would have gone to court if they refused the refund, felt extremely conned.
    When multimode is working and it's been done properly, I'll buy them again.
    • I hear you, mate. I was initially very bummed about the poor MIDI implementation of the MPCX, and still a bit pissed about it to be honest.

      Another thing that really chaps my hide is the 'standalone' being pitched PR-wise, but every representative response is a reference to the stupid software suit. I bought a standalone unit, and have no interest whatsoever in the software. There are way better software packages out there. (I own and have used Cubase and Bitwig both since their inception.)

      However, the MPCX standalone, is something else entirely, in my opinion. BUT, it does have deficiencies and lacking plenty.

      BTW, based on earlier posts (that one just happened to be a later one by myself) I think what he means is that it is not a 'one update' change. It is a longer term, iterative implementation, but it is actively being pursued, over time.
    • What they mean by standalone is that it won't fall over, you don't need to buy a desktop stand, tripod, no other furniture required whatsoever, it's quite revolutionary in those terms, guaranteed to not fall over! new era in sampling!
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