For discussion about setting up your studio and advice on the gear and equipment within it.
By ascloutier Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:05 pm
I'm new to music production and the MPC. My daughter and I are trying to play around and record some stuff but I'm not clear on what I really need. I'm looking for a basic setup with as few pieces as possible (within reason).

What we have:
    MPC Live 2 - (ordered) Hoping this can be the center of my setup
    Ukulele - We got a pickup for it.
    Casio Electronic Piano - Has USB Midi and Stereo (line?) out.
    Scarlett Solo - USB Audio interface (Not sure if this will work with the MPC live)
    Cheap condenser mic from Amazon (I know this needs +48v)

My daughter sings and plays Uke and Piano and I'm trying to learn beat making/sampling stuff. In my head, we feed the Uke, Mic and keyboard through a mixer and into the MPC.

Questions
Can I then record an entire song using the MPC or would it be better to pick up a portable recorder (like the Tascam DR-40x) to send out from the MPC for a final cut?

I'm not 100% clear on what needs to happen with the Ukulele if I put it through a mixer. Some of the mixers I'm looking at, such as this little Alesis Mixer, has a button on one of the inputs with a Guitar on it. Would this mixer be suitable for my stated needs of condenser mic, Uke and keyboard?

Do I need a DirectBox? Would anything make this setup easier?

Could I use the Tascam DR-40x I mentioned earlier as a portable microphone to connect directly to the MPC? Is there a better/easier mic that I could connect directly to the MPC if I'm not near my mixer?


Sorry for all the questions. Ultimately this is a hobby but I do have some money to spend on it. I don't want to go overboard but I'd like to try to do it correctly. Thanks for any help.
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By NearTao Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:27 pm
ascloutier wrote:I'm new to music production and the MPC. My daughter and I are trying to play around and record some stuff but I'm not clear on what I really need. I'm looking for a basic setup with as few pieces as possible (within reason).

What we have:
    MPC Live 2 - (ordered) Hoping this can be the center of my setup
    Ukulele - We got a pickup for it.
    Casio Electronic Piano - Has USB Midi and Stereo (line?) out.
    Scarlett Solo - USB Audio interface (Not sure if this will work with the MPC live)
    Cheap condenser mic from Amazon (I know this needs +48v)

My daughter sings and plays Uke and Piano and I'm trying to learn beat making/sampling stuff. In my head, we feed the Uke, Mic and keyboard through a mixer and into the MPC.


You can definitely make the Live the center for making music, and you can absolutely make full tracks on it.

From what you've posted, you seem to have a pretty good understanding of what you'll need.

ascloutier wrote:Questions
Can I then record an entire song using the MPC or would it be better to pick up a portable recorder (like the Tascam DR-40x) to send out from the MPC for a final cut?

So... yes you can record an entire song... you can have multiple stereo tracks recorded. Limitation is that they cannot go over a limit... I forget off hand, it might be 3, might be 6 minutes each. I forget, but you can get around this by having multiple sequences, that you can then join together in Song mode for things like bridge, solo, chorus, main, etc...

In fact, you'll likely find you can do most things you're likely to want to do, just depends on how much you mind asking questions on the forum here or other places, or trying to think a little outside of the box.

ascloutier wrote:I'm not 100% clear on what needs to happen with the Ukulele if I put it through a mixer. Some of the mixers I'm looking at, such as this little Alesis Mixer, has a button on one of the inputs with a Guitar on it. Would this mixer be suitable for my stated needs of condenser mic, Uke and keyboard?

Assuming it is acoustic... you'll need a mic, to something to get to audio levels (mixer, or other options... I'd start with mixer). Then just try recording into the MPC. The joy of having a mixing board is that you'll be able to get multiple things input, and then choose what you want to record by adjust your mixer instead of having to change cables all the time. You should be good with the mixer, and then go from there.

ascloutier wrote:Do I need a DirectBox? Would anything make this setup easier?

Somebody else might have different thoughts, but I'd say you *probably* don't need this. You'd often use this to be able to get raw instrument level signals up to line level, so that you can record an unaffected signal to then route through FX later. Again, somebody else might chime in with other reasons, but I'd think a mic *ought* to get you started here... assuming you get an amp, or your mixer can provide power.

ascloutier wrote:Could I use the Tascam DR-40x I mentioned earlier as a portable microphone to connect directly to the MPC? Is there a better/easier mic that I could connect directly to the MPC if I'm not near my mixer?

You can get powered microphones, or microphones that come with amps. I mean sure, you can go wild in this space, but my advice would be to start with the equipment you've ordered already, and then ask questions to help plug gaps, or get gear for things that you obviously don't have options for.

ascloutier wrote:Sorry for all the questions. Ultimately this is a hobby but I do have some money to spend on it. I don't want to go overboard but I'd like to try to do it correctly. Thanks for any help.

I think you're off to a great start. Good luck!
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By Lampdog Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:28 pm
WELCOME!

Can I then record an entire song using the MPC or would it be better to pick up a portable recorder (like the Tascam DR-40x) to send out from the MPC for a final cut?

MPC's are not meant to be dedicated time-based recorders, even though they have a good amount of memory that memory is dynamic and given to allotted to anything within the workspace that needs it. DR40X is 4gb? I'd suggest a laptop/computer with 16gb ram over the Tascam.

I'm not 100% clear on what needs to happen with the Ukulele if I put it through a mixer. Some of the mixers I'm looking at, such as this little Alesis Mixer, has a button on one of the inputs with a Guitar on it. Would this mixer be suitable for my stated needs of condenser mic, Uke and keyboard?
The button is for instrument in, your pickup is for that. Alesis mixer is a perfect small frame mixer, also has usb to computer I see.

Do I need a DirectBox? Would anything make this setup easier?
Nope, a mixer with total line-ins for all your gear, mic, Uke is enough.
Maybe even audio usb to computer, some mixers have this and some don't, gotta check specs before purchase and ALWAYS check to see if you can return it if not satisfied or it doesn't fit your needs, warranty also.


Could I use the Tascam DR-40x I mentioned earlier as a portable microphone to connect directly to the MPC? Is there a better/easier mic that I could connect directly to the MPC if I'm not near my mixer?
It has mic in and line out, it can work as line in to mpc.
By ascloutier Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:48 pm
Awesome. Thank you both for the input. I have tried to do lots of research but I really needed someone to verify I'm going in the right direction, which it sounds like I am.

MPC's are not meant to be dedicated time-based recorders, even though they have a good amount of memory that memory is dynamic and given to allotted to anything within the workspace that needs it. DR40X is 4gb? I'd suggest a laptop/computer with 16gb ram over the Tascam.


Help me make sure I don't have a fundamental misunderstanding here. If the MPC Live 2 is getting everything from the mixer through it's LINE INPUT, will that sound play through the MPC while I'm doing beats and stuff?

Here's the plan I have in my head. My daughter and I are essentially jamming. I'm doing drums, bass, samples on the MPC, she's doing vocals, uke, and/or keyboards. As she's playing/singing and it's going into the mixer then into the MPC will all of that go OUT through the Main Outs of the MPC while I'm live looping and stuff like that?

If that IS the case, then my plan was just to record a "take", like you would with a band, right onto the DR-40x. If this takes off then I would expect that we'd want to record vocals and Uke and stuff onto separate tracks and master it more formally, but that would be a future me problem. :)

Thanks for the input and I'm expecting to have a lot more questions.
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By Lampdog Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:30 pm
Help me make sure I don't have a fundamental misunderstanding here. If the MPC Live 2 is getting everything from the mixer through it's LINE INPUT, will that sound play through the MPC while I'm doing beats and stuff?

The LINE INS is also a 2chnl mixer! YES, it's perfectly fine, we all do it all the time. You sample through them, can turn them on/off and/use them as an active mixer. Easy.

Here's the plan I have in my head. My daughter and I are essentially jamming. I'm doing drums, bass, samples on the MPC, she's doing vocals, uke, and/or keyboards. As she's playing/singing and it's going into the mixer then into the MPC will all of that go OUT through the Main Outs of the MPC while I'm live looping and stuff like that?

SURE CAN!

If that IS the case, then my plan was just to record a "take", like you would with a band, right onto the DR-40x. If this takes off then I would expect that we'd want to record vocals and Uke and stuff onto separate tracks and master it more formally, but that would be a future me problem. :)

You CAN use MPC to record takes (audio tracks) but I wouldn't make them too long or too many because remember while it has a good amount ram it's still not a dedicated time-based recorder. Record your takes but go light. While power is on everything is in RAM and factory content is ALREADY in ram when you begin. Like said before do not delete this factory content or you will have serious headaches, read around here and you'll see all the hair loss people have had, lol.

SD card, usb stick, usb hdd are the places for big storage, no streaming though.

I have a kybd, audio going into mpc also usb midi from kybd to (powered usb hub) mpc. I use the mpc line in to hear the kybd EXACTLY as you described.
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By Lampdog Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:12 am
I use these also. The super thin mesh over the rubber tip slides smoothly over the screen, str8 rubber tips grip to much imo. These things are GREAT to have around.

Also note that since your kybd has midi, connect it to mpc and you can control the default synths with your piano, giving your piano new life and your Fam more sounds to play with. I connect my ipad to mpc sometimes and play mpc synths from kybd/mpc pads. I record the “performance” (midi) into mpc and ipad headphones connect to mpc line in.



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By Ultros Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:45 am
and if you call now..

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By ascloutier Mon May 03, 2021 8:32 pm
:lol: :lol:

Nice. My MPC Live 2 and the mixer both arrived this weekend. I've been digging into the MPC, doing tutorials to familiarize myself with the phenomenal depth of features it has. I DID find the page for mixing in audio coming from the inputs, so that's on my list to test this week. I didn't notice the fx slots but that's probably just me being a bit overwhelmed!

(I also got distracted by the XY effects which were fun to play with...)

... but how do I get my towel?? :wink: