Monthly Archives: January 2016

Akai MPC 1000 Pad Upgrade from

The Akai MPC 1000 was released with two types of pads. The original pads were individually mounted and can be replaced independently from each other. Those pads were extremely unpopular. They had a lousy feeling and were prone to failure. Akai eventually released MPC 1000 pads that are one piece with better feel and reliability.

Some MPC 1000 shoppers are under the impression that a black MPC 1000 has the newer pad. This is not the case. Both of the used black MPC 1000s that I purchased had the version 1 pads. After discovering, I purchased the pad upgrade and did so again 5 years later for my second MPC 1000.

I bought the yellow pads over 5 years ago. Although the upgrade was a true improvement over the version 1 pads from Akai, it did not really impress me. I would get the occasional double hits and adjusting the sensitivity didn’t always fix the problem. I read about a cork insert fix which only frustrated me. Why do I need to spend more money to make a product work better? I eventually moved away from the MPC 1000 and both units started to collect dust.

5 years later, I finally finished installing my 2nd pad upgrade from with the intent to sell it on Ebay. To my surprise this new set has a very nice feel to them. The response is really good as long as you keep your hits as centered as possible. You will achieve this with practice. I do not know if has changed the material the pad upgrade kit is made wit. These pads work so well, I almost want to but another kit to replace the yellow pads. I have no intention to sell the MPC 1000 with the black pads. I’ll probably have to put the MPC 1000 with yellow pads up on Ebay.

In closing, make sure you get a used MPC 1000 with the version 2 pads. If you run into an MPC with the version 1 pads, don’t pay too much for it since you will probably need to get the pad upgrade kit from

Black and Yellow, Black and Yellow, Black and Yellow Akai MPC 1000 Pad Set Installation Tips

Here are some tips (or warnings) for installing the Akai MPC 1000 Pad Set:

  • All the screws are the same except for the 1 screw on the face plate next to the CF card slot.
  • You only need a Phillips screwdriver for the task.
  • Unplug two wires from the old pad set to fully remove it. When the pads are exposed, the 1st plug is on the bottom left and the 2nd is under the pad tray.
  • When everything was plugged in, I turned on the MPC 1000 and made sure the pads were working. After I placed the pad tray back into place, I again turned on the MPC 1000 and made sure the pads were working. Once the pad tray was screwed in, I once again turned on the MPC 1000 and made sure the pads were working. The plug under the tray was stubborn and would come out while trying to place the tray back in.
  • Placing the pad tray back into position wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I had to loosen the board with the white button on top to fit the tray back into place. If you do this, don’t forget to tighten the screws on that board.
  • When placing the housing back on the MPC 1000, be very carefully. I broke one of the plastic buttons while putting the cover back on. As you place the screws back on, make sure the button are protruding where they should be.

It’s not so hard and the upgrade is well worth it if you are trying to get rid of the nasty version 1 pads that Akai originally put in the MPC 1000s.

My last post reminded me to finish this pad upgrade.

Loving the Numark PT01 Touring

I can sample vinyl anywhere with the battery operated Numark PT01 Touring!

This unit turned out to be exactly what I wanted. Here’s what I like about it:

  • Light weight
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Suite-case style enclosure
  • Headphone output
  • Aux output
  • Ripping software included
  • $79 U.S. street price

Here’s what I wish it had:

  • Needs a pitch fader
  • Standard A/C plug aside from USB power (call me old fashioned)
  • Output signal runs a little hot

I can sample vinyl anywhere with the Numark PT01 Touring. N-E-WHERE!!

Back in the studio with the Roland SP-555

Last year I picked up a used Roland SP-555 from Guitar Center. I returned it under the 30 return policy and regretted it ever since. Although I don’t believe the Roland SP-555 or the SP-404SX to be very intuitive, the SP-555 seemed easier to use of the two. During the absence of the SP-555, I would watch my only Instagram video post of the SP-555 over and over again. Till this day, I have yet to make a video using the SP-404SX. I’m having the hardest time with that little box.

For months I would look through Ebay hoping to find the right deal.  The SP-555 is not very popular but it has strong resale value. Aside from the many Japanese based Ebay sellers, the SP-555 is rarely posted and will be sold guaranteed from any U.S. Ebay seller. The Japanese Ebay merchants sell the SP-555 at a premium and shipping costs are high. They seem to have a lot of these remaining in Japan complete with original box.

I got lucky with my second purchase of the Roland SP-555. I got for less than the used one I bought from Guitar Center. It is also in much better condition aside from the tape residue I can easily remove. If the seller made the time to remove the gunk, it would’ve sold for much more. This unit also included a 2GB memory card, CD and instructions. All these extra will help with resale value.

So the Roland SP-555 is back with me. Let’s make some beats!