MPC live or Pyramid as master?

experimenting with my setup a little…

As the clock of the MPC Live is much more stable since last updates, should I have the MPC, that I use mainly for recording and playing back beats and samples, as the master while having Pyramid, sending MIDI / MIDI FX to my hardware synths, as slave?

Or is the clock of the Pyramid, that is connected to my MIO midi interface via USB HOST, much better as a master device?

Just curious about other people’s experiences if they use both machines together.


Still waiting on live/X to implement multitimbral midi input/filtering etc (they say its in the works) but right now I have pyramid as master for sketching sometimes. I use both to sequence and when I do use pyramid to sketch something I ultimately record the midi into X. With Pyramid as master I still have all my gear coming off the ports of the X so I can use both as master when I want. When I record to DAW bitwig is master to pyramid and then to X.

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never thought the LIVE would work as well when slaved… so I have it as master and haven’t encountered any oddities

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Well, I’ve read about MPC clock being much more stable with latest update.

When I monitor in MPC software a 120.00 BPM clock that’s coming from the MPC, I got values from 120.04 to 120.07. The PYRAMID clock is sending 120.06-120.07.

When I monitor clocks on my Analog Heat, i got values that jump around from 119.6 BPM to 120.3 with the MPC. That’s almost 1 BPM difference. I don’t know if that’s the case with older MPC’s as well…

When I monitor the Pyramid clock on the Heat, I got a very stable 120.0.

Probably at the end it’s not a difference that we 'd hear, but maybe in terms of reliability I’d say the pyramid might be better to send master clock to all the devices, no?

What I didn’t test is the influence of tracks / MIDI data on the clock. That might make a difference as wel, don’t know…

Any more thoughts / experiences welcome!


Well the Pyramid’s clock has been rock solid from the beginning so it never got the chance to get “much better” but then again it was never “much worse either”. I think the order has more to do with your performance strategy, if any, if both clocks are now more than good enough


Great, thanks to verify.

And yes indeed, now it’s just a matter of how I want to have things set up live.

Still figuring out if I’ll have the MPC as master (similar to a live setup with my friend that’s using an older MPC 2500), or the pyramid as master. Now the Pyramid is master and doing just fine. But good to know I can change roles if I’ll need to for any reason…

This is my exprience too. The MPC live (as were the MPC 1000 and MPC 3000) is a very weak slave in terms of not running stable to a an external clock…

I’m sorry for jumping in late and focusing on that one thing but, WTF? After working out what ‘multitimbrel midi’ is beyond being a grammatical error (timbre refers to sound, MIDI is a semi-standardised data protocol), I’m astounded that Akai have purposely hobbled their new samplers so badly.

I have a hermod and my mpc live is the master. Works perfectly, mpc in midislave is not very tight to hermods clock which is supertight. I use it like this also to record phrases into the mpc-recording in slave obviously doesnt work. And like this i have a clicktrack which hermod doesnt have😃


switched to MPC Live as a master, turns out to work better for me now…

When using the term multitimbral with midi I meant the midi input routing on the live/X isn’t capable of controlling the live/X as a multitimbral instrument. Sorry for the wording… Yeah the MPC 4000 had it all worked out. Pretty sad the Live/X doesn’t.

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Geez, 128 tracks in standalone, yet only one can be addressed via MIDI? They did well to hide that, glad I pulled out my E-Mu instead of blowing the 3k on an MPC X. I’m sure they will fix it, but wow, they let it out the door like that in the first place…and called it a Flagship.

I saw where the mixed-up term came from when I searched the issue. It’s insane really that they have done such a thing considering even my Rhythm Wolf can receive on two channels, one for drums, one for bass (though they are fixed to those channels forever).

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Geez, 128 tracks in standalone, yet only one can be addressed via MIDI?

Yes, they did a great marketing job.

I didn’t check the manual for that because of seeing the multiple I/O options, I thought it would be a device with advanced MIDI capabilities / implementation. NOT!

The Pyramid MIDI input handling is way better, but far from perfect yet. I keep on struggling with my setup

I use multiple keyboard synths, their MIDI I/O connected to the Pyramid via a MIO10 midi interface. I want to be able to record from these keys and ALSO being able to play them simultaneously, along with the tracks sequenced by the Pyramid. This is possible…

…But, not without falling into the same trap each time, over and over again…

  • I don’t use MULTITRACK = ON, as in that scenario, you can only have just one track per MIDI channel = way to limited You can’t record two tracks of CHANNEL 2 for example: one track containing note data, the other one containing CC Data.

Or you can’t record multiple tracks of the same channel with some variations or extra parts for layering purposes. Also this option is limited to one bank at a time only!

  • I don’t use OMNI: CH (x)… as it’s obvious all my keys need a different channel to send and receive MIDI data

  • so the only option left is MULTITRACK = OFF, but unfortunately…

I really can’t count the times I recorded data into the wrong (active) track, being notes or being CC data, messing up other tracks that shouldn’t be recorded on… With only 1 UNDO credit, that’s a real pain in the a** sometimes!

Also, when playing along with different keys connected to the Pyramid via MULTITRACK = OFF, you really have to watch out you have selected a track with an unused output port as active track!

If you don’t, you end up playing / tweaking two synths or other gear at a time!

That can be fun SOMETIMES, but also frustrating MOST OF THE TIMES :stuck_out_tongue:

i know some other people ar struggling with this already longtime, so I hope @squarpadmin will let us know if there will be any future updates on this or not! It’s always been silent from their part when it comes to this subject.

So I’d be happy to know if we just will have to deal with this for always, or if we might expect some change in MIDI input functionality soon or late.

I have both as well and haven’t had a chance to link them up. But I can’t find a proper midi spec for the Live - do I just hit pads and twist knobs and watch the midi output for CC messages to remap in the pyramid?

Also 1 track isn’t bad, because I think you can address 8 * 16 pads worth of samples no?