@lettuce has some good points, but you can't regret buying a guitar, with no midi or screen either. The MPC works best for folks who think like Brian Eno where his entire studio is his instrument. Certainly works for the entire hip hop scene for the past 2 decades. It all about how you use it , not what it can or cannot do. I really have to quote Mark Twain here again for this:
'A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.'.
Likewise MPC does the things it can exceedingly well, and many of which transcends gear fashion trends. Like a good book makes you think and learn and pontificate at the same time and not get bloated with 'filler chapters', it's exactly the same thing with an MPC. I find the same thing with Renoise, it's like an excellent book. You can always complain about a muffin recipe missing from Proust but it's not there for a reason. The author did not think it was relevant to have a muffin recipe in any of the pages even if some of his readers might be cake addicts and need their daily fix. That is where bibliography works best, for references to others works for further research if the reader feels like it, similar to your plugin architecture on Renoise.
Btw for the DR 880 and similar drum machines with their unique falvours and features, I dare you to program a live rock groove in any MPC especially the older ones with that level of realism without significant time spent doing step editing in the LCD. It's one thing that will take you aback when you go for the 1000 or 500 or any other in that series. MPC does not jam well with laptop like workflow where you just visit an event and drag and drop it or do fades like in Renoise as a tracker would.. you need to use step edit for fixed grooves and mostly live record mode for the human parts. The sample layering and repeated takes on the pads that MPC 1000 has will test your patience, unless you like it of course. The beauty of this interface is that it makes you hear more and listen critically more than thinking in post production terms of an edit done later. You really strive to make every single one step you recorded live or via step mode make it sell its full worth and you go about your compositions and productions with a very ciritical ear becos your time is super important. This kind of discipline and ear focussed workflow is quite different from the we will fix it later trend of DAW based production. Also this let's to you be very creative not only in terms of being artistic but in also making the most of your hardware as it is.
When you buy a live drum set you are essential stuck with a single kit but you can and will develop methods to get a large number of sounds from it. What you do learn in the process goes from drum technique, snare flame, rim hits, snare sound variations/edge/centre hits, diddles, rolls, cymbal work, ride and bell playing, kick work, hihat pedal work, closed and open variants, tom work, floor tom diddles, drum fills, hand eye coordination, single hand techniques, mic'ing techniques and so on. This can only happen if you use your drum machine as a real one. This shift can only happen of your drum machine provides you with such a setup where you can emulate a drum kit in every way possible to high degree of realism. That is why I was recommending the DR 880 becos without a laptop running a 80 GB drum plugin inside a DAW it's practically very difficult to have that kind of facility in a setup that is without a laptop and fully hardware.
For the MPC you can layer kick sounds from every kit in the DR 880 and make new kits from that, use the EQ and compressor and reverb processing from the drum machine and also re effect it with the ones in the MPC. Changing kits on an existing groove is not so simple with an MPC because you have to either change the sounds individually or load programs for each kit and that is good in some ways but not while auditioning for a perfect kit sound or testing with various shuffles or fills. You can also build your own kits within DR right from the display with live response as the pattern is playing so it's not just a preset system, you can check individual snares and kicks as they change from sound to sound. This kind of browsing convenience is nowhere in an MPC. You can program entire songs inside the drum machine machine and sample them back in to MPC and layer a groove. You can provide full bass synth and live bass groove support to MPC from thr DR and preprogeam chord templates in the drum machine and just record to MPC. MPC will do 16 levels for level and pitch and provide a mapped bass sample done chromatically for you to play it and it works for thr most part but also involves you for detailed bass work, but if realism and speed is what you desire along with a ready bank of bass and drum sound sources to go with the limited storage space on the MPC. Say you want to do bass chords and pitch bends on the MPC, how will MPC do that for you? For the chords part you have to figure out the chord shapes on the 16 pads that are mapped to one octave only unless you change banks and work it that way. For bends I have absolutely no idea how will it work because you can use the Q link and map it to tune or pitch and limit the range to use it as a mod wheel, but I just use my bass guitar for such things when required or use an alternative source like the DR if my bass guitar is not there with me, say when I am travelling. On the DR 880, the entire fingerboard is laid out to a 20 pad bass guitar layout, pretuned and mapped to the first position bass guitar lay out and upto 3 octaves total from one single button and all the note names are on the pads too, you don't spend time trying to visualise the bass note names on your MPC. Really hard to beat this kind of convenience. For pitch bends the step edit provides a detailed and 'visual' grid to program your bends and also quantizes them. Couple that with MPC and you can just layer two separate bass sounds playing the same groove and make a phat bass sound with a single Pad 2 layer sampled bass phrase.
For tom and cymbal work and fills MPC has the provisions but not the ease and speed. MPC is perfect for hip hop beats because they don't work with velocity too much and intricate pattern work like Squarepusher, rather they are about grooves and track mutes and sampled phrases, so in reality most hip hop guys don't even play the bass or drums or instruments or even step record it, rather they just sample it and trigger it at accented beat positions.
MPC can be seen as an excellent 48-64 track cassette recorder that triggers what was recorded on each track without doing a rewind. If the RAM was not so limited you could record entire songs on a single pad if used just as a recorder.
Also from my own experience my 'drum work' and finger drumming has become more and more responsive and well controlled and the study of jazz and live drumming more engaging since I got this unit. The very fact that you can immediately execute what you learn from a drum session or lesson is what I am totally sold for. I am also a very away from laptop guy this past year especially for music production. The benefit is that your ears will sharpen like never before and for the genre of my interest Jazz it's an invaluable skill to maintain and perfect everytime and not let it atrophy.
You may have made your decision now and MPC 1000 is a great unit but in time you could be reminded of some of the benefit from other gear and hence I wanted to give a clear picture of what I have experienced from having all the above mentioned gear so far. Remember there is no one right setup so ultimately get what works for you. If hip hop heads used a live drum set and sm57 for their drums all these years we would never have the boom bap legacy to begin with. Btw DR 880 is no way vintage (just older) yet and has a well supported site at
I would like to buy some similar drum machines that are all in one units and not like Maschine which is tied to a laptop. Elektron has some good machines but does it do live stuff very well, that I have to investigate. The Korg sequencers are good by all measures except that doing swing is not a good idea at all becos they don't record anything off the quantization grid. Good for techno stuff though.
Edited by encryptedmind, 27 January 2018 - 10:20.