MATRIXSYNTH: MPC Electronics MPC-1 with Elby Designs MIDI Retrofit-8

Monday, March 26, 2018

MPC Electronics MPC-1 with Elby Designs MIDI Retrofit-8

via this auction

"The enigmatic MPC-1, called the British 808 by some, used by Depeche Mode, Thomas Dolby and others. I've owned this particular unit for well over 10 years now, but have finally given it the sorting out it deserves and since I have no room for the rather large beast, it's ready for a new home.

Like so many other vintage pieces, this suffered a nasty battery leak on the digital (sequencer) board, trashing it. I have completely removed the digital board (not that anyone would really miss the very limited sequencer it housed) and installed an Elby Designs MIDI Retrofit-8 ( formerly the MIDI2SDS) to give you MIDI control over the voices.

The Elby interface is very straightforward to program to your needs, lift the front panel of the MPC-1, hit the "Learn" button on the interface, and it's in omni learn mode - play the MIDI notes in sequence on the channel you want and it's set. I currently have it set to respond to channel 1and the first eight natural notes starting at C3. Bass is boomy, snare is brilliant, open and closed hats are fizzy, claps and cymbals (switchable from the MPC-1) are awesome, and Toms 3 & 4 do a great Simmons impersonation. For unknown reasons I haven't been able to figure out, Toms 1&2 will not trigger via MIDI - they trigger from the pads, but not MIDI. Otherwise, the noise for Tom 1 does not work. Those are the only real "issues". You may look into sorting that or not, but you still have Toms 3&4 working great.

Like so many of these, the pots are often wonky, specifically the voice level pots. This unit has wonkiness with just about all of the level pots, so forget about using the glorious mono output and use the indie outs! Included in the sale is a period-correct Yamaha KM802 mixer, so you have the ability to mix and pan the indie outs as you desire, and even get EQ on the first 2 inputs. The internal mixer was pretty noisy, so using an external is really the only way to go. I'm also including enough 1 meter long HOSA dual cables to hook you up."

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