I picked up a second hand Akai MPC 2500 a few ago and after tricking it out with the full 128mb of ram, a 40gb hard drive and jjosxl I’ve been having great fun breaking my musical shackles from the computer.
Ok, so the MPC is a computer but the hands on tactile feel make the whole experience much different and I’ve found the learning curve minimal given I have a strong background in music technology although I’m sure I still have much to learn as jjosxl seems to be quite deep.
Here are a few tracks I’ve uploaded to Youtube from the last week or two staring the Akai MPC 2500, Korg MS-20 Mini, Korg Volca Keys, Korg Electribe EMX1, Oberheim Matrix 1000, EMU E5000 Ultra, Roland TR-707 and a bit of delay and reverb.
I’ve recently been exploring the musical possibilities of the iPad and one of my recent discoveries has been the fantastic TB MidiStuff.
It allows you to easily create touch interfaces for your MIDI devices. Combined with the wireless midi functions of the iPad and OS X and it makes controlling MIDI devices wirelessly easy enough even for me.
Tonight I sat down to explore what was on offer. I’ve got to say I’ve not even scratched the surface but in the process I created two “panels” for controlling the Volca Beats and the Volca Keys.
Unfortunately not every knob on the Volca’s is accessible from MIDI. The Volca Keys is missing the VCF Peak and the Beats is missing some of the most useful for shaping the sound, the kick click, pitch and decay, snare snap, pitch and decay, tom hi pitch, tom lo pitch. Obviously this has been done to save costs but it still gives us plenty to twiddle with.
I wanted to share a few templates I’ve made for the Volca Beats and Volca Keys for the NI Komplete Kontrol S25 keyboard.
So far I can’t see how to use to assign more than 8 knobs per template so I’ve had to split them out across multiple template.
This is a major blow as so far it looks like you’ll need to take your hands off the keyboard and use your mouse to select between templates. Controller values will also rest to 0 when changing from template to template.
This could be fixed if we could use the bank select button next to the knobs but NI knows best. Hmmm.
I’ll be sure to update this post if I manage to overcome the seemingly bonkers restriction.
Here’s a list of the midi controls the volca’s offer:
PART LEVEL ADJUSTMENTS
(KICK, SNARE, LO TOM, HI TOM, CL HAT,
OP HAT, CLAP, CLAVES, AGOGO, CRASH)
(CLAP, CALVES, AGOGO, CRASH)
CLOSED HAT DECAY
OPEN HAT DECAY
Annoyingly there is no option for kick or snare pitch or decay. Could there be a way to mod this?