The MPC is back! ….kind of. One of the most striking things about all the new gear announced at NAMM this year is the focus on virtual drum machines both with and without real hardware control. Native Instruments the Maschine, MOTU’s BPM, and OpenLabs Bump MP update, all have jumped (back) on the mpc-style pad bandwagon. With old-school hardware drum machines like the MPC, sampling time and more features were the dream. Software Sequencers like Logic & Cubase with millions of plug ins took us into outer space with limitless sounds and sequencing possibilities. Geeks (like me) rejoiced, but it took 10x longer to make beats since you had to audition at least 20 different snares and click through 5 different sub-windows just to truncate a loop (ahem… EXS24).
Thankfully, simplicity and speed are back on the radar and I’m hoping that these new tools can help us get back to knockin’ out 10 beats a day…we need to to keep up with rappers like Lil Wayne! These new tools are a perfect opportunity for Old Schoolers to come out of their caves and experience the ease (and cost savings!) of using a laptop. MOTU’s BPM combined with a keyboard/pad controller like Akai’s MPK25 or Korg’s padKontrol will open up a whole new world to any MPC addict. This is also a chance for laptop only producers to get physical and really bang out like the pioneers (think Primo, Pete Rock).
This has inspired me to take a hard look at simplifying my setup and workflow. I believe successful producers have to remember to be beat makers and not sound/plug-in collectors.
What are your thoughts? Do you like the MPC-style pad trend? Did you work faster on the MPC than you do now on a laptop? Check out the new stuff from NAMM below and tell me your thoughts?
Native Instruments – The Maschine