Discuss the various methods you use in music production, from compressor settings to equipment type.
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By binger0 Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:37 pm
What would be some things that are esstiential for the 2kxl and we all got a little confused on in the beginning? Im seein people coming on here almost daily and askin the same questions. I think we need to cover some basics. Please add some things that your are gettin sick of answering.

where to get a Manual and the Most recent OS. These are at http://www.akaipro.com/int/download/
documentation is where the manual is at and the 2000's os is at Archives on the left hand side.

TIMING AND SWING. and Note Repeat
Timing (Quantizing) means that the MPC will fix your mistakes for you and move your note to the next availbele 1/16 note according to what setting it is on. That means 1/16 would meant that the MPC will put all the notes on the closest avalible note. People do like 1/8 note High hats patterns. U can hold down the Tap Tempo button and hold down the hat and it will play repeat to whatever setting. I make my hi hats patterns like this and light press up and down while im holdint the pad down.it makes it sound more real. Alot of people turn timing off on certain things that you dont want ROBOTIC timing. Like keys and bass lines. Or samples that need to be played between notes
Swing is located if you press open window on the timing field. In there you can adjust the swing which make you drum patterns more realistic. Try puttin it on 59. Then try it on 75. Hear that?
Also earlier and later mean that it moves the note a little forward or back according to the settings. Can make snares sound lazy if on later and can make them sound rushed on earlier.

Low End Theory. This is how you filter in PROG mode in Params the high frequencys out of a sample. The sample has to have a low end though. That means you can make bass lines out of anything. Just filter out the mids and highs. Also gets rid off hats and the mid range signals.
this was discoverd by Pete Rock and was a staple in the 90's hip hop scene. This is used by Primo, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and mad others. Sound dope on horns.

Phatz post on zoing (chopping) on the MPC. This is a staple of most of the producers here so learn this ish. Its when you take and sample and cut it up into little piecs so you can replay and maniputae or reaarganing a loop.
Phatz wrote:FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ASKING.............

ZONE mode
The ZONE mode allows you to divide a sample into a number of equal parts (from 1 to 16). This
could be useful, for example, if a 2 bar sample has 4 beats to a bar: dividing the sample into 8
would give you 8 zones of 1 beat each.
Hold SHIFT and press TRIM (or 5 on the numeric pad), then press ZONE [F3].
binger0=I just had to add when you are in ZONE go up to where it says
PLAY X:ALL, change that to PLAY X:ZONE now you will be able to audition the cuts. just hit the F6 button (PLAYX) in the zone screen.
Select the Zone: field with the CURSOR keys and press OPEN WINDOW.
Set the number of zones with the DATA wheel.
Press DO IT [F5] to return to the ZONE screen.
You can select each zone by turning the DATA wheel while in the Zone: field of the ZONE
Each individual zone can be edited from the EDIT mode (see the EDIT mode section).
Fine Adjustment of the Start Point of a Zone
Select the St: field in the ZONE mode screen and press OPEN WINDOW to open the Zone start fine window.

• Start:
Set the start point of the zone. Change the value with the DATA wheel. You can enter large
numbers by entering a number with the numeric pad and then pressing ENTER.
You can also enter numbers with thw CURSOR LEFT/RIGHT keys while holding the SHIFT
Note: If you adjust the start point, the end point of the previous zone will also change.
• Lngth=
The length of the zone (from the start point to the end point) is displayed. You cannot
change the value of this field.
You can enlarge or reduce the sample wave display by pressing ZOOM+ [F3] or ZOOM- [F2].
Press ZOOM- [F2] to display the entire wave and set a rough start point then press ZOOM+ [F3]
several times to make fine adjustments.
When PLAY X [F6] is pressed, you can play back the currently selected sound at full velocity
according to the settings in the PLAY X: field.
binger0=also when want to finish and send it out to the pads, you goto EDIT then Slice Sound. If you want a new program the MPC will assign the sounds to the PADs. NO Program means you have to manul assign them in Program mode. The Decay parameter means how much of a tail it will leave when it cuts so it can fade out nicely. 0 means that it will play back exactly how you cut it. But it will sound choppy. I use 20-30 depending on the sound. Experiment

the 16 levels button. LEARN IT. It is used for a lot of different applications. One is tuning. You can use it to make a Pads pitch go up and down so you can play samples like an instrument.

Also the Auto Chromatic feature in Programs the Params
AUTO button in Params.
This is how you can map a lsample on all 64 pads like a piano. Very cool feature.

And "how do I get the sample to stop playin over it self so I can do stutters and ish?"
goto prog and params and turn POLY in the bottom right to MONO. YOu can also turn it to note off. And it will play as long as you are holding it down.

alright first thing is to put all your sounds on seperate tracks on the MPC. Makes everything easier than just doing a whole beat on S:Track 01

put your hats on

and down at the lower corner is velocity. you can lower the individual sounds like that./

But defientily turn Full Level Off when doing drumz, cause it gives it a better feel and dynamics. Full level sounds all robot like and human drummers swing and play different velocitys to accent the rhtym.

Also learn how to use Step Mode. It is the first Fkey up at the top.
You can manually edit and place notes in your sequnece.
Also change tuning, duration, attack, decay settings.

Note Variation Slider.
Very helpful way to automate things like pitch (tune) of a sample and things like velocity and attack and decay. These movements you make on it can be recorded.

This is for all the newbies who hook up there mpc to a keyboard and dont understand why their is no sound coming out of the MPCs outs. MIDI SENDS NO AUDIO DATA. The Device that is being controlled by the midi datas outputs HAVE TO BE CONNECTED TO WHERE THE MPC's OUTS ARE CONNECTED.
you can basically have 16 on each out so 32 devices daisy chained by one MPC. This all has with the gear you have and if there are thrus. Most professioanl midi gear has a thru port. MIDI holds sixteen channels. Thats why in track mode you see 1a, 2a,3a, excetra. Midi is pretty simple its just confusing to understand the basics. The M usic P roduction C enter. =MPC. is a MIDI sequencer. The only sounds that are coming from it are what the MPCs sequencer is telling the MPCs internal sampler. Hence loading samples. MIDI is basically remote control for all your stuff.
A midi controller keyboard or the MPC's pads would be control devices. The keys and pads are sending MIDI signals saying to the devices that HAVE the sounds in them to turn on and turn off at what velocity legnth the control device (pads, keys,) are played. People think that MIDI has anything to do with Audio. It is like if say I wanted to change channel 23 to 64 on the televison. I would type that into the remote control instead of getting up and pressing the actual buttons. MIDI is like that. So you can control then slave other device to the MPC. It will acts as the remote telling its sampler and your synth when to play that kick and sanre and those synth lines. The sequnecr means it records the MIDI data and plays back that data realtime. Thats what your doin when you are hit REC + Play You are sequencing.

Please read this if you own gear with MIDI ins and Outs and would like to incorrpetatr them into your production
This is the first thing a newbie should read about.
The MPC stands for MIDI production Center. You should know what a sequencer and MIDI is. That is a fundamental.

Please check out Lampdogs post. There are many good links for the new producer.
http://www.mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php ... f586776b71

Here is one on beefin up drums
http://www.mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php ... ory+filter

Also if you would like to post beats so others can hear your work get an account at
www.soundclick.com sign up and get a new account and u can upload beats for free.
Last edited by binger0 on Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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By Decepticon3107 Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:48 pm
Good sh*t... This should be stickied to eliminate a lot of the repeated newbie questions...
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By binger0 Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:51 pm
thats a good idea
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By DSTRUCT Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:24 pm
binger0 wrote:thats a good idea

very very good idea. extremely good idea
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By 16squarez Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:10 am
Yep, i agreeeee since im a newbutt..made sure i printed this one so when i get it i wont ask these topics!
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By jonloc Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:17 am
Binger you are a sav bro. good ****. I like reading your two page reports. you have some mad dedication.
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By Cheech Tue Apr 20, 2004 6:44 am
Also it should be mandatory for anybody who buys a XL to read through www.mpc2000xl.com

Along with Tutor's site, that is the best mpc site on the web.
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By dubmunkey Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:45 pm
agreed cheech, that site is the ****!!!

you could make it a sticky but half the noobs dont even read the 'PLEASE READ' sticky.....

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By gertie Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:21 pm
Nice one Binger!

they could also pm greg :lol: - only kidding
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By binger0 Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:48 pm
I had to post this one more time

How to Loop and Find BPM beat per minute, tempo

You need to go into trim and edit the sample. Sample two bars of a beat. Go into trim (shift + 5). Set the St: to the downbeat (first kick in the bar, the 1) and then goto End: hold shift + note varition slider. Find the end point. Use the data wheel to get up on the next 1 (begining or bar 3) and press open window to get a clean zero point. Now goto edit and "loop from start to end". Press do it. Goto LOOP (f2) on the trim screen. Turn LOOP:OFF to LOOP:ON and hold the pad down. Does it loop right? If so hit discard to get rid of the excess sample. Then turn loop off if you want.

Then you gotta find the BPMs of the sample. You can use timestrech in edit if you have an XL. Just press BPM and select how many beats the loop is. Change the new tempo to desired tempo. Or just note the BPMs. You can also turn loop on and loop from st, to end. And then go into the PARAMs to see what the BPMs are. By tuning it you increase/decrease bpms.

Then after it is looped you might want to "zone it"and cut it up.

How to find tempo using tap tempo button
Go into the other option
cooocooo1 wrote:Make sure to change tap averaging from 2 to 4, it will give you a more consistent bpm.

This makes the tap tempo button VERY accurate.
You can also find beats per minute with winbpm
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By binger0 Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:25 am
comeon people we needs to contribute a little. Do it for the youngins

By cashstill Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:45 am
good thread you started Binger

here is a lil sumthin I had post on a thread on how to build sequences/songs

A Recipe For Typical Songs

Start with Drums

Start with one or two bars of Hi Hat, on a quantized grid, input notes with different velocities. (eighth notes typically for rock, 16th notes for dance)
Lay down the same bars of bass drum. (Beats 1 and 3 for rock, ballads, etc., 1,2,3,4 for dance) (Go ahead, add leading notes, experiment--you are building a house, make the foundation strong and weather-worthy.)
Position and choose the snare. (Normally to beats 2 and 4) (Yes, add a frill, a flam, and flirt with this essential backbeat). Don't add the Toms yet, or anything else.
Copy this sequence to bars 1-8 (verse), then copy it again to 9-17 (chorus)
Using Audio Loops? No Prob. Just find the beat you like and lay it down. TIP: Even if you have the same loop repeating you should put it down a least every 5 bars. Even the best cut loops go out of sync if you try to run them 16 or more bars.

Doing Trance? Many pieces that have made a lot of money just start with a kick for 4 bars, and the hats the next few bars, then the snares all culminating in a snare roll. The rest of the rules below don't necessarily apply. Trance works by building up elements and dropping them out and adding new ones. Sort of like driving your car on the expressway with an every changing landscape, with the throbbing of the motor keeping it all unified.


Add Bass for Chorus

Back to a standard song. Do a baseline for the chorus. Take your sweet time and experiment till you find something you really like--do not settle for "anything", and avoid tweaking reverbs, FX--just get the bass right. You do not have to sound like Jaco the Great here. The most powerful basslines in our music are very simple play-offs of octaves and fifths. Or its a simple walk up or down the scale. Or in some Trance music, just playing the same note in a straight run of 16th notes, deleting a couple at random and raising one note a half step. Make sure you LIKE what you have given birth to. Groove it, twist it, torture it. When your inner censor says "Wow, Cool!" move on to....
Using Loops? Then find the bass loop you like. Note that it will probably take you longer to find one you like than making one from scratch.


Add Melody for Chorus

Add a simple melody line, same as above, to the chorus. (Note we do the chorus before the verse). Play around a long time. What possibilities does the bass open up? Don't like it? Fire the Bass player and get a new one. Try different tempos. What's your mood? Try to match it with your inner rhythm of the moment. You are looking for a statement, so listen for it. its very common for sudden little sparks and flashes of meaning, but the hand might not know how to get there. Keep at it. When you are close, if you are not adept at keys, take a look in the grid editor and see what you have and move things around till they speak. In traditional rock, country, ballads, etc., the melody is the part sung. If you are doing something dancey, a one or two bar looped pattern of 8th or 16th notes go here.
Keep it simple, even if its stupid and sing-songy. Dude, think about jingle bells or yankee doodle. Or the Beatles "She Loves you Ya, Ya Ya." Stupid melodies WIN HEARTS BIG TIME! If you have any doubt, just turn on the radio to ANY channel and listen to melodies. They are simple, catchy, easy. Even you jazz buffs, go watch a concert of avante gard players and watch the AUDIENCE. They only clap when someone does something simple (or finishes an overly long solo, thank god).

Using loops? Here you have to do major digging to find something that is going to define and carry the piece. Keep you bassline running as you audition different arpeggios, (Arps). As above, be patient and try lots of things. you are looking for something to "lock". If you don't have to use loops, here is the place you want to try your hand at the keys and come up with something fresh.


Do the same as above for the Verse

Go to the verse and do the bassline and melody line. Same process as above. Lots of new composers have a little trouble here. The trouble begins usually when you start thinking of how these things must be different. Think of the melody as a friend you have that you want to introduce. The verse is the part that gets everyone ready for the chorus. Now if you were a chorus (stay with me now) what would you want the verse to do? Of course, you egotist, you would want it to build you up, roll out the red carpet, say all kinds of great things about you. That way, when you the chorus takes the stage you can fly. Tension/Release. Question/Answer. These metaphors don't always hold. (Hey there's NO Rules), but they will get the new composer over the hump. Once you have a few successes with music, you will feel a freedom and all of this will become second nature.
Consider the basic form of the Arrangement

Now let me introduce the basic structure of the Arrangement. The Verse is sometimes called the "A" Section. The Chorus is called the "B" Section. There is usually a "C" Section too. We'll get into that in a bit. There is also an Introduction and and Ending
Your homework assignment: Do you really want to get good at music? I mean really? Then you will do this painless exercise at least once. Get our your favorite CDs. Get a pencil and paper. Write down the structure of your favorite songs. Count out how many bars each section goes. It's easy. And in the space of one hour you will have MUCH more songwriting wisdom than you had before you did this. This is better than any book you can buy. Want to know what the top arrangers are doing? Sheesh, the secrets are all out there plain as day! All you have to do is count the piece out. Want to get your Tweak on fast? Go straight to Britney Spears, Madonna, Christina Aguilera. Open your mind. Those arrangers are in the bux big time cause they know how to hook you. Count out their little secret. You will have new respect for them and how they play with the hidden rules in our minds of what contemporary music must be.


You don't really have to start with drums, then bass then chorus, etc. Learn more about musical inspiration. Sometimes the bass will give you the hook. Sometimes you just get a hum-able melody. Then you add drums and get a major Eureka! But to get a new composer up to speed, try my little method.


Mechanics of Building the Arrangement

Copy bars 1-8 to 17-24 (These are the "A" Sections)
Copy bars 9-16 to 25-32 (These are the "B" Sections)
Your "core song" is now complete. Evaluate. Do you like it? If so, Continue. If not, start over. Don't waste another second on something you don't like. A good song will "pull you in" at this point. A great song will feel like time has stopped and you'll feel irresistible elation, a willingness to throw yourself on the alter of humanity, and a desire to stay up all night to cull this out. As funny as that sounds, experienced composers know its true. When you stumble upon a great song, you will know it and you will be in total awe as its beauty reveals itself to you.
Go ahead and orchestrate (i.e., add different instruments that "go together") some instruments with the melody. Find the best patches, experiment with contrast, put a different sound in each frequency range. Avoid sounds that compete with each other. Imagine they are people actually playing the instruments. Make them earn their union wage, but don't piss them off with incredibly unrealistic passages, except when you have to. Remember, you are the boss, here.

Develop a "break" (The "C" Section) or counter melody or variation to fit into bars 32-48. It is OK to copy the drums from the verse section, just remember to change them a bit later on. Don't forget that drummers need a little break.
Orchestrate the break
Move the entire construction so it starts at bar 9
Develop an introduction.
Develop an ending. Congratulations! Your song skeleton is complete.
Go back and listen to the whole thing a few times. What are you hearing? How can you make the piece unforgettable?
Adjust the tempo

Work on each sequence till it does what you want it to do. Break the rules of form if necessary. If it doesn't "fit" you need...
Transitions! Add gaps, pauses, extra bars. This really adds drama and excitement.
Fix the drums--add and delete parts so it does not sound mechanical, unless you are writing disco .
Add frills, ornaments and transitions, double parts that need emphasis.
Set the midi volume and pan for each channel. Give each instrument is own sonic space. Pretend you are in the front row and you are looking at the stage. Always center the bass and kick drum to get started.
Go through each track, cleaning up bad notes, trying alternate patches
Start setting up FX patches and mixing board EQ, gain stages, etc.

Every Song has a Story

Q What does it mean when someone calls their music "Ambient", Drum 'n Bass", "Jungle" "Trance".
A) Here's a good page which defines them all.

Sit back and listen. What does this song Mean? What is its message? What is it Like? If you really like it, a word or a phrase or some kind of meaning will pop up. Think of the whole song in light of the new found Meaning.
Ask yourself what it would take to make the piece truly memorable. The meaning will tell you what to do.
Do that. The song will start sounding like a story. Now you are ready for the...
Climax! Copy chorus 2 to chorus 3. Double instruments. Possibly write a new variation on the melody. Possibly put the melody and countermelody on top of each other--see what happens.
Tweak the climax, add, delete, transform, extend. You are the boss. Make a Statement. Go all out. Triple instruments if you have to, stack them sounds up.

Write the Ending again if necessary
Go back to each part, starting at the last, this time, and tweak it all down to where you are happy
Add slight tempo changes, track offsets--especially the snare---, and add humanization if appropriate to quantized parts.
Listen. What needs to be changed to make the story a good story. Do it. This may take an hour, or a week.
Turn on the master deck, set levels, and do a rough mix.


For More Tips & Info, peep em out