Sub-forum for discussion about the DAWs and mobile apps that you use with your MPCs
By Clint Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:44 pm
This tutorial concentrates on triggering chords from Logic instruments using the MPC pads, but if you know what you are doing you can also get this to work with any hardware synths. The method has several advantages over sampling chords and assigning them to pads. I wont spoil your fun and tell you what they are, but you will find out very quickly once you set it up and play around with it. If you have Logic and an MPC you’re gonna love it!

To avoid repetition, this tutorial will begin where my last one ended. ‘Using Logic Pro 8 With Your MPC4000’ can be found here:


It may be useful to copy/ paste/ print both tutorials for reference, i've tried to break it down into simple steps so anyone who can read can do this. Ok, let's do this......

So we begin with the standard Logic Pro 8 'Electronic' template with the minor modifications I gave you in the last tutorial which should allow you to sequence on the MPC and use Logic as a sound module/ midi recorder.

In the Logic arrange window select track 15 and then add another (blank) instrument track so there are now 16 tracks. On channel 16, insert the instrument that will be used to play the chords triggered from the MPC. A decent acoustic piano patch is a good choice.

Record-enable track 16 (and all others) to check that it can be triggered from the MPC just like tracks 1-14.

Open the environment window and select the ‘clicks & ports’ layer. You should see a PHYSICAL INPUT object cabled to an INPUT NOTES object, which is cabled to an INPUT VIEW object, which in turn is cabled to the SEQUENCER INPUT.

What we want to do here is click on the ‘New’ tab and create a CHANNEL SPLITTER. Place this somewhere below the virtual keyboard of the input notes object. Drag a cable from the top right corner of the INPUT VIEW object and drop it onto the CHANNEL SPLITTER to link them. Next from the New Tab we need to create a CHORD MEMORIZER object and place it to the right of the channel splitter. Drag a cable from channel 16 of the channel splitter (the lowest triangle) and drop it onto the chord memorizer object to connect them.

Alt click on the small triangle to the right of the chord memorizer and navigate to MIXER / SOFTWARE INSTRUMENT and select the chord-playing instrument (piano) we set up earlier on track 16. The chord memorizer is now connected exclusively to this instrument. Adjust the chord memorizer ‘key limit’ parameter to C1 to B1, this corresponds to Bank A pads 5-16. This allows you to trigger 12 different chords from the MPC pads 5-16 in Bank A.

At this point, save the Logic project and name it something like “MPC with Chords”.

The MPC should have a blank sequence loaded and tracks 1-16 assigned to Midi Out X (to Logic) channels 1-16. In this example we will use channel 16 only to trigger chords. If you already have some drums/ samples on the MPC tracks you don’t need to send any midi out from these they should be assigned to PARTS as usual. For this exercise you’ll want your MPC pads in CHROMATIC mode. It’s worth saving this blank MPC sequence and giving it a suitable name for future use.

The global settings are now in place, but we still have no chords! Let the fun begin……..

Obviously, you will need to know some chords/ chord progressions to make the most of this exercise. Luckily you don’t have to play them, just find out the correct notes or better still download a chord chart from the Internet.

If you have the Logic Pro 8 manual head to pages 906-907 for detailed instructions on using the chord memorizer.

Put simply, go into the environment (clicks & ports layer) and double-click on the chord memorizer object. The top row of keys represents the input note or MPC pads; the lower row of keys is used to map out your chords.

On the top set of keys highlight note C1, on the lower set of keys highlight the notes of the chord to be triggered by C1 (Bank A, Pad 5). I used E2, G2 and B3. Assign another chord to D1 (Bank A, Pad 7) using the same method. I used F2, A3, C3 and E3 for the second chord. I don’t know the chord names, but they sound good! Click OK to close the chord memorizer window. Close the environment window. The chords you just input will be saved if you save the project.

Go to your MPC and try it out. If you followed my example, MPC track 16 will play chords if you use pads 5 and 7 to trigger them. Use the drumkits on tracks 1-4 on the template (and on the MPC) to program a quick beat into the MPC sequencer, now drop some chords from the pads. Change the instrument on track 16 to anything you like to play chords with.

Yo this is dope! Experienced users will begin to unravel the possibilities quickly. Newbies and intermediates this is a tip worth learning together with my other thread ‘Using Logic Pro with your MPC4000’ which can be found in the Studio Environments section of the forum.

Peace Clint :wink:
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By peeping tom Mon May 28, 2012 7:58 am
beach_break wrote:i just use simult -- have one pad to play three of four pads, each with one note of the chord. works for external synths, samples of the mpc, whatever.

learn me your ways son. i tried triggering chords on rack synth but apears its only outputting one midi note. which aint gna trigger a chord?