Akai MPC 4000 hard drive issues, IDE 4K , audible beeping, Fat 32 Formatting, ARGGG!

So, to make a long story short. Dealing with hard drives for drum machines can be terrible.

I had bought an Akai MPC 4000 on craigslist years ago. It was sick, there were chiptunes, hard hitting drum beats, strange shit and so on.

I knew I wanted to back everything up so begins the journey.

I tried putting a USB flash drive on the front USB. It recognized it, but the device would not allow me to save to the flash drive, even though there was enough space. ( The MPC 4K seems to like loading samples from the USB instead of saving to it)

Next, I tried hooking the 4k USB on the back to my PC. I don’t fully remember what it did, but I know I couldn’t get anything to transfer.

I then tried hooking it up to my macbook, and download the akai.sys http://www.akaipro.com/mpc4000 , which did connect. I was able to see the files, however, I could not figure out how to copy the files over to the mac. So, after a while, I figured it would not let me do such things.

I thought I tried to diligently get the samples off my hard disk, and boy was I wrong.

About a month ago, I tried turning on the 4K and I noticed something was a miss. The device turned on, however it would not load properly, and there was an audible sound coming from the hard drive. My heart sank, I knew the hard drive had severe issues. I hoped that I could try turning off the machine and turn it back on and get it working. Unfortunately not. The hard drive died completely. There was some kind of beeping every couple seconds.

I tried and tried to get the hard drive working, but either the head is off the track or the head is not reading. I looked into a few different options for hard drive recovery, but they were all too much money. Although, there is a promising lead on reddit for no charge….

Anywho, I delved into my selection of older hard drives, and found a 3.5 IDE 60 gb older hard drive from a former computer. This was an obvious choice, as it was from a family computer, free and working.

I had to find a USBto IDE cable and power adapter, which powers the hard drive and converts the IDE to USB so the computer can read and edit the hard disk. I finally got the hard drive working, however it had to be fat 32 for the 4k to read the disk. I am using a Windows 7 laptop, and apparently it will no longer do FAT 32 formats, and the partitions can only be a certain size. I think it is 32 gb?

I tried a few programs for formatting hard disks, and I had a few issues getting it to work. First it was formatted wrong. Then I tried to plug it into the 4k and have the machine format it, but that was having issues as well. I finally settled on the smaller drive so it wouldn’t have to have more than one partition (although maybe that wouldn’t have been a problem) I managed to place folders of drum kits on the hard disk and then I installed it into the 3k. It has a single power plug and the IDE cable that is attached to the motherboard. It is very simply to remove and install the IDE hard disk once the 4k is opened.

I started opening the folders, and loading them, and then creating new programs for the 4k. You have to create a new program first and then you can start saving a program. More on this later.

Bottom line:

Next time I get a 4k or other disk based system, I will probably physically take out the hard drive, and copy everything to an external disk, as well as a flash drive or DVD, so if this happens again, I don’t have to worry….

This whole ordeal, took a huge amount of time, and frustrated me immensely. If I had just taken my own advice, I could have just forgotten about the disk, and put a new one in!

Ipad 2 Midi Controller with Akai MPC 1000 Camera Kit and USB to Midi

This was a cool little project that I set up. I used the camera connection set to USB, with a USB midi cable for your computer, and VOILA! It worked nicely. I was able to control my Akai MPC 1000 via MIDI! I used the MIDI out and plugged it into the AKAI MPC 1000 MIDI in. Now, the pads were not as supple as the 1000, but it was nice to have it work. I imagine there are many other amazing tricks you can do with this setup. With the right software on the iPad, I aimagine anything is possible.

Next, I would like to see if I can use the 1000 to control General Midi on the iPad!

Freeware / Open Source Software for Akai MPC 500 1000 2500 2000 etc

Hey everyone…
I love open source software and free ware. It is great that people donate or otherwise make free software that they give selflessly to us. I have compiled a list of freeware that is awesome and makes Sampling, or program making easier. Hope this helps someone!
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Audacity: Great recording software that can do many things.

* Record live audio.
* Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
* Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
* Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
* Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
* And more! See the complete list of features.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
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Blue Box: Great program to make .pgm files for your mpc 1000

* load existing MPC1000 PGM files
* save edited PGM file and all associated samples to one location
* import keygroups/zones from AKP-format programs into PGM (also works with Recycle AKPs)
* load single samples using built-in sample browser or drag/drop one or more samples from Windows explorer windows
* edit any program setting
o pad/layer settings (layer samples, tune, volume, play mode, MIDI trigger,
o pad mixer (volume, pan, output, effect setting and send level)
o amp envelope
o filters
o Q-Link sliders
* copy entire pads and layers and sliders in one step
* copy individual pad, layer, mixer, envelope, and filter settings to any number and combination of pads in one step
* playback samples in layers
* assign a sample to a range of pads (tune and MIDI trigger are automatically adjusted)

http://webpages.charter.net/dereese/gary/akai.html
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MPC Maid : Another great program for making 500/1000/2500 Programs

Works on Mac, PC, and other platforms (Java) and makes the edition of MPC programs files easy.

Switch between the MPC 500 12-pads layout or the MPC 1000 16-pads layout (also takes care of the correct number of filters and sliders thanks to the built-in machine profiles).

Simply drag and drop your samples files onto the pads, and it automatically assigns them, one on each pad or one on each sample layer.

Export the full program and every related sample file together to the target location of your choice.
Also features a semi-automatic slicing tool: drop your loop file to have it chopped into slices based on a beat detection mechanism.

Direct export of the chopped slices as multiple .WAV files, one corresponding .PGM program file and one MIDI groove .MID file.

Multiple window, one window for one program, simply drag and drop a .PGM program file will open a new window for this program.

http://mpcmaid.sourceforge.net/

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Waveosaur : Great slicing tool, slice per pad, export, etc. Vst ASIO Driver,

Wavosaur is a free sound editor, audio editor, wav editor software for editing, processing and recording sounds, wav and mp3 files. Wavosaur has all the features to edit audio (cut, copy, paste, etc.) produce music loops, analyze, record, batch convert.
Wavosaur supports VST plugins, ASIO driver, multichannel wav files, real time effect processing.
The program has no installer and doesn’t write in the registry. Use it as a free mp3 editor, for mastering, sound design. The Wavosaur freeware audio editor works on Windows 98, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Go to the features page for an overview of the software.

http://www.wavosaur.com/

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NPC : Have not tried it, looks really cool!

This program is a rough emulation of the software of an akai mpc. It utilizes the open source hardware developed by monome.org. Below some basic definitions are outlined along with step by step instructions for creating a piece of music with npc.

http://flatflat.org/software/

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MPC Pad 187 : looks similar to the other ones, have not tried!

MPC Pad 187 is a program editor for the Akai MPC 1000, MPC 2500, and MPC 500. The application allows for easy editing and creation of MPC program files.

The app can create and edit programs for all values found in the Slider, Mixer, and Program modes of the MPC 1000 OS 1. MPC Pad 187 can edit all program files it creates but may not be able to edit program files that are created or saved by the MPC hardware.

If you prefer to use a command line interface, I’ve put some open source software up on the utilities page. With the command line interface, you can script modifying and exporting MPC 1000 programs.

http://www.mybunnyhug.com/software/

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MPC Editor

http://www.midicase.com/mpceditor/

Features
Add samples to program by selecting wave or snd files.
Preview sound files in editor
Open and edit existing programs
Import Recycle 2.0 AKP files. (2.1 is not yet compatible, working on it. April 2010) Removed for free version.
Remove/add samples to existing programs
Single interface to set mixer and note settings for a pad
Export function exports program file and necessary samples to any drive/directory
Export function can converts wave files to MPC3000 or MPC2000 .snd files for platform compatibility.
MPC3000 formatter that allows Windows XP write to MPC3000 disks. Removed for free version.
MPC Disk OEM ID repair. Restores OEM ID field of MPC2000 and MPC3000 disks that Windows damages. Read this. Removed for free version.
Backup and restore MPC formatted disks. Removed for free version.
Prevent Windows from tampering with MPC format. Removed for free version.

Totally forgot about this one! This works great with your Akai MPC 3000, 2000 2000XL. I have been using this with a huge folder of drum kits, and it is easy to save your .pgm file to whatever directory you want, very helpful.

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Finally fixed the Akai MPC 1000 Hard Drive Partitioning Issue!

OMG. So, I was getting pretty annoyed. I found a steal on an Akai MPC 1000, and decided to get the hard drive adapter , and then I found a compatible hard drive online. I installed the hard drive without a hitch, got the custom black side pieces for the 1k, and cleaned everything up.

I forgot I had a 2gb CF card in there, so there was initially some confusion as to which was which. However, you can clearly see when you go to the load screen, and rotate the jog wheel.

Anyway, I noticed that only 1.99 GB were showing up on the hard disk when I connected it to my computer. I thought it may have been a mistake (took forever to load about 2 gb as well), well I filled it up, with just about 2gb, so I was a bit worried that something was really wrong.

I tried a few things, and tried searching online, however there does not seem to be much information regarding this. I thought there had to be a partition, or that it was formatted with FAT and should be FAT 32 or NTFS.

Then, I decided to check the version number. It was 1.04, the original firmware that shipped with the unit. I searched for the must current, which is 3.04.

I installed the update onto the compact flash, and followed the instructions, and formatted the hard drive again, and VOILA, the hard drive was now 111 GB, as opposed to 1.99!

I really like the hard drive, and having a backup of all my samples and drum sounds, and being able to bring it anywhere, and to transfer or add with just a computer and usb cable.

I have realized that I like the window of the MPC 3000 and 2000Xl better, but I have begun to mess with the 1000 more.

Now, it auto loads, which is nice, but the original AKAI soundfiles are not where they should be, apparently, but it sometimes manages to load files.

Hope this may help someone!

ThePsychotropics aka The Psychotropics!

OMG, it has certainly been a minute since we have heard from The Psychotropics. How could you forget all the hits, Computer Screen, Cheesy Things, Satan Turned My Motor On, P-Pirate, and so on and so forth. How have these guys not produced a commercial success yet? Well, it would be Lord Berkover’s fault by basically destroying everything that the band considered holy, by participating in another band. It is a travesty of nature and science.

WMD / Satan Turned My Modem On
WMDS Satan Turned My Modem On

Computer Screen
Computer Screen

Cheesy Homo Sapiens Hava Nagadget
CheesyhomosapiensHavanagadet