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By visionset Thu Sep 09, 2021 12:55 pm
Hi, Should I just get a keystep37 and free mpc beats daw to learn workflow first before commiting to the mpc one? I'm interested in eventually doing full songs with just mpc / keystep / guitar. Or should i jump right into hardware, is the workflow the same or would i be making the learning curve harder? I am new to this, prev exp purely guitar. thx
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By NearTao Thu Sep 09, 2021 1:19 pm
Personally I find the workflow *mostly* more straightforward on the MPC, whether it is through the software as a controller, or in standalone mode. I've been using MPCs for 15'ish years though... so at this point the workflow is pretty engrained for me.

I've found it much easier to understand what is going on in the software by using the MPC in controller mode and then watching what it does to the Software, but that's just me.

At the end of the day the concepts between the MPC in Standalone mode, or used as a controller in Controller mode are nearly identical. Beats is free, and definitely a good place to just dip your toes in if you want to give the workflow a try. The best advice I can give you is to just download beats, and if it works for you then you'll almost definitely really enjoy the MPC workflow... but if the software doesn't work for you it may not be a sign that the MPC is wrong for you, just that how they implemented some things in the software might not make sense outside of the context of the MPC workflow... if that makes sense.

regardless, if you're looking for a keyboard without a synthesizer, it's pretty hard to go wrong with the keystep37, it will work on most any synth, drum machine, daw or any other device that can be controlled by midi.

Good luck, hopefully we can help you out around here!
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By MPC-Tutor Thu Sep 09, 2021 1:41 pm
The software doesn't really represent the 'MPC workflow' very well, as (understandably) the MPC workflow really centres around the actual MPC itself - without the hardware you are really just using what is quite a clunky DAW with a poorly developed UI. I use the software for building expansions and performing tasks that will take ages to complete in the hardware, but for making music the 'MPC way' it really has to be directly through the hardware.

You can certainly use the software to familiarize yourself with the general MPC 'ecosystem' and all its building blocks (sequences, tracks, programs etc) but if you want to experience the creativity and 'flow' of the MPC, buy the hardware. You can always sell it if you don't get on with it.