Akai Pro MPC – YouTube answers – Automation


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MPC YouTube answers – Automation

Through the YouTube comments on my channel, and by visiting music stores I have noticed a need for a video covering MPC automation.  Automation is a way to refine your mixes.  You can add performance tweaks like pitch control or filter sweeps, or you can dip volume or move around panning.  Inside of the MPC if you see an automation tab in the top right of your screen then the features that you are looking at are automatable.  This is how you can get your mixes to move.

I consider this article to be at the intermediate level so if you are just getting started please check out my Videos on the MPC Touch and MPC Live.  These videos will cover the basics.

The way that automation works is you engage automation record and any knob twist that you do is recorded.  In the past with others DAWS there were a few steps to getting this set up.  Within the MPC environment it is as simple as turning on automation record and twisting this knob.

This is great, however sometimes I find myself performing and tweaking and then I realize that everything I have been doing has been recorded and my mix is all of a sudden a chaotic mess.  There are a couple of ways to delete automation in the MPC environment as well if you are not happy with your first results.

In this video, I demonstrate how to make a beat from scratch using MPC stock sounds.  I then do a quick demonstration on how to slip a performances timing off of the quantize grid for varying results.  I included this because it is something that I often do, but have yet to include it in my video series.  When the track is down and manipulated I then show how to automate the pitch of a Kick sound. I do a pretty dramatic shift in the video to fully demonstrate it.  However, when I am using this feature while making music I keep it very subtle.  Having the kick tuned is super important.  Especially once you start adding a bass line.  The bass is always the hardest part of a song to mix.  If there is not enough going on it feels empty.  If there is too much going on it feels chaotic.

After I show how to tune the kick I then do a quick synth performance using the stock MPC sounds.  I then go into the program edit / filter tab and automate the cut off.  Not every sound has a filter assigned to it.  Because of this, I also show where you assign the filter.

One thing that I want to note is that this demo is applicable to any current MPC environment.  Whether you are using the MPC X, the MPC Live, The MPC Touch or the MPC studio, this video will show how to control automation.

MPC is a very honed experience.  Once you have figured out how to navigate through the environment the music will start to flow. I have found the process of creating this videos very rewarding.  The MPC community is very committed and passionate about their craft.

I have found out that all kind of different musicians are delving into this recording environment.  I would love to see how you are using the MPC.  If you have any video links feel free to leave them in the comment section as well.  I want to start expanding these videos to all genres to truly show its diversity.

If you are a Canadian and want to meet up in a store you can find my travel schedule on the main page of this website.  I travel from Coast to Coast so chances are I will be in your area soon.