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MPC arranging tips Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 26th September 2009
Gear Maniac
Jarkko's Avatar

MPC arranging tips

It would be interesting to hear how people arrange tunes with the MPC. In terms of tracks/sequences/songs, how to build up a complete song. Do you use multiple sequencies or build up with just one sequence? Do you use track mutes/unmutes, etc.?

So far the most simple strategy I've come up with is to build up everything in a single sequence, say 8-16 bars for example, and then just copy that sequence and mute/unmute tracks in the copied sequencies. The song is then arranged using these copied sequencies. Works, but requires careful planning. Adding or removing something from the song is difficult etc.

I'm making mostly electronic stuff using MPC1000 with JJOS 4.99.
Old 27th September 2009
Gear Maniac
Shim's Avatar

I think this is really dependent on the person, but here's what I do on my MPC 1000 (JJ Free):
Generally I'll start a song from some late-night beat I've written, usually an 8 bar loop or something.
I'll stack up all the sounds into one overly-complicated 8 bar loop, then start copying the sequence and deleting sounds to strip them down to interesting variations on the same beat.
Then I'll go into the song menu and arrange the sequences into a song.
I'll sync the MPC to logic and arrange in logic with the MPC playing the "song01" sequence (or whatever you've called it) until I'm relatively happy, switching back to the sequences and dropping the odd note, changing the swing % on the hats etc. and then re-converting the song in the song menu.
Then once I've got the skeleton of the song feeling good, I'll convert the song a final time and add fills and edits within the full song sequence itself. *You really need to be sure on the arrangement here because changing any of the 8 bar sequences will necessitate converting another song and you'll lose any edits (fills etc.) you made to the previous song sequence.
Then it's all done and you can record and mix it, do further edits, throw it through a guitar amp, or whatever tickles your ITB fancy.

wow...I confused myself. sorry.
Old 27th September 2009
Gear Maniac
Jarkko's Avatar

Shim, thanks! I like the idea of converting the song into sequence. That way it is easy to add little variations, add some material that doesn't fit in any sequence boundary etc.
Old 27th September 2009
Gear Maniac
Shim's Avatar

It's one of the few ways to stop the sound of "loopitus" syndrome when working with 4-16 bar sequences!
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