How to Drum on an MPC

MPC systems produce the sound of live instruments, including drums. A music production center -- or MPC -- includes drum sounds that can be activated through a simple graphical interface. Learning to use one of these systems is similar to learning to play a musical instrument. It takes practice and a little bit of talent. With just your fingertips and the sides of your hand, you can accurately produce the sound of real drums.

Step 1:  Press the "Shift" button located near the middle of the MPC system, and then hold down the "Song" button. This creates a song, so you can save a group of sequences into a single unit. This allows for pushbutton recall of extended sequences.

Step 2:  Use the wheel in the center of the system to scroll through a list of drum sequences, and listen to a sample of each one by stopping on the sample and pressing one of the grey buttons on the side of the console. Each button will play the sequence at a different pitch. You will have to experiment to learn what all the sequences sound like.

Step 3:  Stop turning the wheel when you get to a sequence you like. Select the sequence by clicking on it with the wheel.

Step 4:  Select the "Wraps" button and use the data wheel again to adjust the number of times you want the sequence to repeat. You can continue adding to the sequence by navigating to the end of the current sequence and then selecting a new one, or by looping the sequence. Once you have selected the appropriate sequences, press the "Song" button to save them as a complete song.

Step 5:  Play the song you created by selecting the song bank that you saved in the previous step. To play the song, just press the song button. The song banks are located on the left of the keyboard. You can save up to seven different songs on the pad.

Use the drum boxes on the right of the system to change the notes in a sequence. Each box will interact with each sequence in a different way. You will have to experiment with the pads to learn how each one effects sequences. You can improvise by selecting a sequence and then simply hitting the drum pads with your fingertips. You may also use the record option to record your sequence or simply play the drum system in real-time.


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