Which would you buy out of...

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Which would you buy out of...

Post by mitya33 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:31 pm

What's up guys, hoping to get some expert buying advice.

The situation: looking to get a groovebox for my wife and myself. I'm a musician, somewhat conversant in synths (I have a MODX) and the whole field, but she's a total noob. We're looking for an all-in-one track-making box to generally jam with but, down the line, be able to use our advancing skills as we learn more.

So, with that in mind, the options are:
  • Akai MPC Live
  • Elektron Digitakt
  • Roland MC 707
  • 1010 Music Black Box
You'll notice they're all samplers. I could have included the Digitone, but that's a synth, and she in particular is not so much looking for detailed sound design (which could be overwhelming for a noob, particularly FM).

Obviously there's quite a price range there. The 707 is brand new out and currently £870, with the Live available from around £835. The Digitakt I can get for £650, and the new Black Box for around £550.

My own thoughts are, in short:
  • The Live looks fab as an all-in-one. Numerous effects, sidechaining, and a really cute machine lovely responsive and sizeable screen. Have read that it's more hip-hop focused, though?
  • The 707 looks great and is the only one on the list that is a synth as well as a sampler. However the screen is tiny, a design decision I really don't get given the size of the unit. Seems to be very well received, though. The little brother 101 is an option, but there'd be concerns for future scalability given it's only 4 tracks vs. 8 on the 707.
  • The Black Box looks a really cute machine, with a lovely screen and interface. Limited effects from what I gather, but, yeah, for not a lot of money it looks pretty cool.
  • The Digitakt is seemingly loved by all. Limited effects seems to be about the only negative I read about. Screen is also small, so I don't know how it would compare in ease-of-use to the Live or Black Box when it came to MIDI editing, track structuring etc. I occasionally read about Elektron's supposedly tough-to-learn interface/flow, too.
Well that's it, guys. Really appreciate your thoughts in advance.

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Re: Which would you buy out of...

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:51 pm

When you write "all in one track making" if you mean something like old hardware workstations, the MPC is probably the closest because it does have a traditional MIDI sequencer built in.

All grooveboxes are focused on pattern/loop based sequencing. That's why after owning a few of them I've found them to be useless for song creation in the traditional, linear sense.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Which would you buy out of...

Post by daveysubs » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:43 pm

MPC is great from what I hear. I use a Native instruments MK3. MPC has distinct advantage of being a standalone with no PC required but I still love my baby.

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Re: Which would you buy out of...

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:31 pm

Novation Circuit if you can manage 1min of sampling time.

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