In a previous post, I outlined why I got rid of most of my music hardware. After a few months without it, I realized that perhaps my musical creativity has evolved and hardware is actually exactly what I need. I just need the right hardware.
Up until this weekend, I had never learned how to use a groovebox. My computer recently died, so I decided that instead of spending money on a new computer, I'd spend it on an MPC One. I'm glad I did. I have not put it away since it arrived.
I've already made multiple sound sketches with it. I'm exploring how to create Ambient music with the MPC. I haven't used a sampler since the 1980's when I had a Casio SK-1 Digital Sampling Piano. I also never really got the hang of working with samples (outside of Kontakt), so this is a creative evolution for me.
In my 40+ years of making music with electronic devices, I find the MPC to be the best workflow, so far. It makes me regret not discovering the MPC earlier. I was always under the impression that you could accomplish more with a computer, so I've always used them for music production. The MPC introduced me to a quick way to lay down my ideas and get the sound I'm looking for without being distracted by email, instant messages, and notifications on my computer.
Prior to the MPC One, I was using a combination of the Native Instruments Maschine and various DAWs on my PC and Mac computers. The workflow on the two devices is similar, but I found the MPC to be slightly more intuitive. Things just made more sense to me than they do on the Maschine.
I also briefly gave the Circuit Rhythm a try, but I soon realized I'd want a screen and more functionality. However, it was the device that helped me discover that I was looking for a standalone device.
However, the Maschine has access to a lot of high-quality drum kits and expansions from Native Instruments that can't be overlooked. I have Komplete Ulitmate, so I have a lot of kits. I used a program called Kit Maker to convert my favorite kits to MPC format (as well as folders full of numbered .wav files).
One of the great things about the MPC is how little physical space it occupies. My desk is now very tidy. I just have the MPC, my Korg Wavestate, and my studio monitors. It makes it very easy to focus on the music.
I'm looking forward to creating more music with it and discovering how to improve my musical workflow.