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
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.