They help you make sense of the MPC in no time. All in all, I think there is something in here for everyone. I must certainly say that MPC-Tutor has put in blood ,sweat ,and tears into this book! Great job, Tutor! This book is quality Thanks so much for such a useful, essential tool.
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Notice of RightsAll rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, resold, stored in aretrieved system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without priorwritten permission of the Publisher. Notice of LiabilityThe author and publisher have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of theinformation herein.
However, the information contained in this book is soldwithout warranty, either express or implied. Neither the authors nor Publishers,nor its dealers or distributors will be held liable for any damages to be causedeither directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book, or by thesoftware or hardware products described herein.
I wrote this bookbecause I thought the manual that comes with the MPCXL was very poorand assumed a lot of previous studio knowledge. Hope you enjoy the book! That said, you may be surprised at some ofthe additional knowledge you pick up from the early chapters as there are somany little features that tend to get skipped over by even experienced users.
My advice is to go through each tutorial a few times so that you completelyunderstand all the functions explained within it — remember that many of themore advanced tutorials actually require a strong knowledge of the earlierchapters.
Tutorial FilesMany of the tutorials in this book have associated files that are used to explainthe concepts more clearly to you. All tutorial files are included in folders thatcame with this book and each folder is clearly labelled with the tutorial numberand name so you should have no problem finding the files you need. Chopping SamplesLearn how to chop and zone drum loops - by doing this you can re-arrange loops,change the groove and remove individual hits to make your own kits.
Looping a drum beat is fun, but using that same 2 bar loop within your wholetrack can be pretty boring. By chopping up a break beat loop, we can createsomething unique, something that can change throughout the track. We can alsoget rid of vinyl pops and crackle by selecting only certain elements of a beat -and finally we can create some interesting special effects. Methods for Chopping BreaksWhy do we want to chop a break? We may also wish to perform special tricks to the break or we may simplywish to extract a particular drum sound from the break to use in one of our ownbeats.
Perhaps your break contains some nasty pops and scratches that youwould like to remove, or maybe you just want to make a boring old 2 bar loop alittle more interesting. So how do we go about chopping a break? So in theory, you could keep selecting different sections within yourbreak and creating new samples from it.
Eachzone is completely editable using the same trimming techniques discussedin previous tutorials. After creating your set of zones, they are automaticallyassigned to a new program in running order so you can immediately startcreating a new groove out of them. The easiest way to see how the zone functionworks is to work through an example. This beat has been trimmed and looped already for you using the techniquescovered in previous tutorials.
Keep your finger on a padand listen to the beat looping. This is the Zone screen, where we can slice our loopup quickly into smaller parts. Looking at this screen shot, you can see that the name of the sample is shown inthe usual place at the top left corner. Initially, this will be set to ALL.
What you are doing here is simply running through all the existingzones that our MPC has set by default. How does an MPC decide where to place the zones?
The MPC on the other hand does not do this -in fact it is blissfully unaware of the exact position of your drum hits. The MPCsimply takes the length of the sample and divides it into equally spaced zones. Soif a sample was samples long and we sliced it into 10 zones, each zonewould be samples wide. Here you can change thenumber of zones available. Using the jog wheel or the number pad, change thenumber of zones to 4 and press DO IT.
Now if you spin the jog wheel on the zoneparameter, it will show all the zones available as being 4. As you can see, eachzone is a lot larger now, as the beat has been evenly sliced into 4 rather than 16zones. As this loop is 4 beats or one bar long as shown in PARAMS we cansafely assume that each of these slices can represent one beat. This is what our first slice will soundlike. Looking at Zone 2, we can see that the start of the third beat is actuallycontained within zone 2. Why is this? Well most drum beats are played by realdrummers.
So, the MPC divides your loopinto equal parts based on the number of zones you select. This is why some hitswill get cut off and this is why you need to adjust your zones. Adjusting ZonesThis is pretty simple. Then go to the end point of the same zone, hit openand repeat the procedure. Lets adjust the zones in our sample now.
The end point is currently at , and asyou can see, this is slightly cutting off the start of the next zone. Move the jogwheel until you are at the start of the hit, around and return to the MAINscreen.
Select Zone 2, select its end point, andrepeat the adjustment for this zone, making sure that the end zone of zone 2does not fall on the drum hit that is supposed to be at the start of zone 3 around Go through all 4 zones to make sure everything is as perfect as possible. Adding an end margin is supposed to helpstop gaps forming in your sequenced beats due to the abrupt way that your slicesget chopped.
It will also take 30 sample points from zone 3and add it to the end of zone 2 and so on. Unfortunately, this is not the ideal solution to the problem of cutting off the endof slices too abruptly - it leaves a small click at the end of each sample which canbe noticeable in certain situations. This tells your MPC to create a new program out of yourslices. This is myversion of the chopped up beat you can use your version if you wish. Go to a blanksequence and set the BPM to Now, rememberthat we chopped our break into 4 slices and our break was exactly 4 beats long -that means each slice is one beat.
So beat 1 is represented by Beat 2 is represented by Beat 3 is Enter yourfirst slice here pad A1. Now navigate to Enter your second slice here pad A2.
Enter pad 3 at Alternatively, you can load the sequence BEAT1. MID from the tutorial files. Some of the beats seem to come in a little too late Why it sounds weirdRemember that we had to adjust our zone positions earlier. To recreate our original beat, we cannotsimply place all chops exactly on the beat, we would need to place some slightlybefore in this case, as the original drummer was playing slightly ahead of thebeat - remember, drummers do not obey strict quantise points - this is whatgives real drum performances their feel.
Load up BEAT2. It sounds a lot better. Chopping Samples Part 2Take chopping a step further by changing the feel of a loop, and creating choppybreak effects in the zone screen. Well,we tried placing all our chops exactly on the beat with BEAT1. MID, and it did notsound quite right. A good place to start is trying to adjust the tempo of your sequence. Go back toBEAT1. First off, if we listen carefully try headphones we can hear smallgaps between each chop, suggesting that if we increase the tempo, things mightsound a bit better.
Try it at By stretching it out, we willincrease its length and thus remove the gap between it and the third zone. Sohow do we stretch out the length of a sample? Well there are two ways this canbe done. By decreasing this number we basically slow down the sample on this pad. Well,slowing down a sample results in a longer sample - so what if we tune down thesample on PAD A2? Go to Program shift 6 and select pad A2. Change this to-5 and press play on your sequencer.
The sample is definitely slower, but at thesame time, you can definitely hear there has been a change in pitch of thissample - it sounds lower compared to the other samples - mainly on the hi hatsound. This is always a problem with tuning samples like this. The solution is totune all your samples down by the same amount - the problem this time is thatthis will tune down samples that were okay in the first place! Time StretchingTime stretching lets us lengthen or shorten a sample without changing its pitch.
This was a new feature for MPCs which until then, had to make do with the tuningmethod. Time stretching has its limitations, especially when trying to increasesample length - samples can start to sound metallic, but generally, this feature isa really useful addition to the MPC arsenal.
Whenever your MPC time stretches a sample, it creates a completely newsample the time stretched version and it leaves the original sample untouched. Initially try a ratio of about Change this field to match the type of soundyou are time stretching. A is the lowest quality, C is the highest although it takes longer to process. For a short sample like this, the processingtime is not an issue so set it for best quality, C.
This allows you to tweak the time stretch preset alittle. For themoment, leave this at 0.
Beatmaking on the MPC2000XL - Look Inside