The Art of Music | Covid Journal
A common theme throughout the pandemic era for myself has been finding ways to stay creative and not falling into the self-loathing thought loops I usually do. I recently purchased the MPC Live 2 – a complete standalone music production center and am learning the new workflow with it and a new way of making music has been a driving force as of late. For those that don’t know what the MPC is, it’s a line of music production hardware made by Akai Professional that has been around for decades. In the early years, It was a platform to record, cut, and chop samples from vinyl records and other previously recorded media. It was centered around 16 finger pads in which you could assign sounds and samples to those pads and trigger them by pressing each pad. Many artists from J Dilla, Pete Rock, and even Kanye West are just some of the names that have used these devices to make full-fledged masterpieces. In the modern age, Akai Professional has a new line of MPC devices that feature the same 4×4 grid of 16 pads that the MPC has always been known for, with the edition of a built-in software for recording tracks, putting together multiple sequences, adding MIDI instruments and so much more. The model that I purchased has a built-in 7-inch touch screen display, a rechargeable battery, and built-in speakers that allow you to take the music production anywhere you go.
Prior to this, I have been the type of musician that sits with an acoustic guitar to write songs, only later adding drums, bass, and other instrumentation. The MPC flaunts a much more versatile workflow that has been a bit of a process to notice. There is so much to learn and with only so much time it can be challenging, but nonetheless, I am excited to start diving headfirst into the world of sample-based production and recording vocal and instrument tracks directly into this minicomputer. The MPC still allows you to sample from vinyl, but also offers I/O for microphones, guitars, effects units, MIDI devices, and even USB ports to connect storage devices, controllers, and USB-based audio interfaces. The more and more I use the device the more I realize the endless possibilities it presents and while that feels daunting, it brings so much more excitement into my life as a musician and artist.