I use a MPC Live…for my Beats almost exclusively. Its my masterclock when i produce with it and i record audio from my modular/guitar setup into it. It has serious flaws (most fully integrated workstations have these) and i like the pads…that was my selling point. Pads that light up in velocity, sequence and userdefinable colors. I always know which pad is a Bassdrum etc. to your questions:
-yes its polyphonic and there are different ways of using samples. Either as Programs of multiples-most basic as a beat/bassline/sample thing containing everything. Or as complex multisample engines contaning up to 4 samples per pad. A fun thing to test polyphony was when Marbles and Hermod tickled the new software synths that come with update 2.4. i had multiple stages of scale changes and harmonizing tools trigger these midi input without remorse…i think it stopped playing all notes only when i exceeded 6 Octaves-its pretty comprehensive but its still midi and will stop playing notes when it exceeds its own polyphony.
-all new MPCs can record twidling of knobs internaly…BUT, its a pain to edit these. There is no way to record multiple layers and edit. For example: you record a great first pass twidling pitch and fuck up in the second pass. Either undo the second pass immediately or abandon the whole idea because you can not see whats being recorded inside the machine. I‘m pretty sure but have not tried, that you can midi cc a lot of parameters externally and therefore being able to see/edit what you have been tweaking.
And yes NONE of this can be done independently of notes / general parameters. You‘ll have to record step by step.
In my Setup i can do this with Hermod tho-this is my live midi / cv hub where any parameter can be recorded or routed.
-in the end the Sequencer inside MPC is this legacy of famous tricks that have been used on every trap record in the last decade, mainly the 16levels feature that allows 1 pad to be played over 16 half tones (the pitched 808) and the beat repeat triggering precise notes to tempo (the trrrrrr hihat) and the many possibilities to finetune notes in swing and position. Apart from that you get a ‚stepsequencer‘ which is pisspoor actually i love it for the boombap features and i would love it to get more modern but its akai and it wont progress really:poop:
Major flaws of the MPC Live (the rant)
-this machine only has its famous microtiming when it is the Master. Somehow when Pamela was clocking it…it was seriously wonky💩 and Pamela is incredibly tight with the rest of my setup
-All and any midi cc needs to be programmed in really tedious looking pages and even if you have a masters degree in midi ccness, its really easy to lose any connection with actual music making right on these midi pages.
-the manual for this?..come on akai this is really not doing justice to this comprehensive instrument.
-really basic new school tricks have been completely ignored. Eg. copying pads to new pads or new pads inside new programs is not possible. As of why, somebody will wait on the akai insider forum…
Whats good is the sound of the DACs its something i‘ve grown to like. The effects and filters can have weight and work well sometimes. And the pads-love these❤️
I wished MPC could do all tricks mentioned by you but it won’t. And maybe you need to look into a granular sampler like the tasty chips?