I’ve touched an MPC 2000 twice in my entire lifetime, played around with a TR-707 a few times, and sequenced out a track with an ASR-10. I was able to get my hands on them while my homies had it in their possession at that time. For me not knowing my way around these machines, it made the experience a bit frustrating for me and my homies, who had little patience to guide me through this audio hell. I’m too much of an introvert to flash out on them…for being lame and inconsiderate of my lack of knowledge towards these foreign objects. While they exited out to lunch, I stuck around aimlessly constructing a pattern that was good enough to rap to. I found myself distancing away from machines for a long time, focusing on this new videogame from Codemasters called MTV’s Music Generator. All it required was a playstation, memory card, TV, and a creative mind. Plus, it only hit me for $20. Well worth the price. This was my first introduction to a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).
Navigating through a machine can be time consuming…spending an hour flipping back and forth from menus just to select your desired sounds to put together. You’re mashing buttons to perform certain commands, just to lay down a simple beat pattern. If you’re not familiar with that particular process, you will lose your creativity. A DAW, in my opinion, has an advantage pertaining to navigation. You can see what you’re doing. All of your tools are on display for easy access. No need to push four or more buttons just to adjust an individual sound clip. MTV’s Music Generator, in retrospect, was limited to what I could do but I was able to produce tons of beats without losing any creative brain cells in the process. After a year of making beats on a Playstation, I was informed of a computer program similar to what I already owned. From what I heard, this was more intuitive, more engaging, and more sophisticated than a video game. And, it was right at my price point…free! With a little help from a classmate, he installed Fruityloops onto my E-M
achine PC. That summer was spent inside mostly due to this awesome program…totally transfixed.
If I was able to get Fruityloops, then everybody could get it as well. And that started the argument between the “real beat makers” vs the “Fruityloop fakers”. A few of my musical mentors found that the program was novice at best and couldn’t see the potential that it could provide. I was excused out of a studio session for mentioning that I used the program to produce. The common outcry was consistent with complaints of the visual aesthetic of the program, the poor sound library, and the fact that it’s accessible for no money down (illegally downloaded). “Machines were the industry’s choice for production duties…not no damn software with a fruity name.” I totally understood where the resentment came from. I would feel some type of way knowing that I paid several hundreds or close to thousands for equipment to better my production quality while a kid from nowhere became a beat maker overnight due to a cracked computer program. A “bedroom producer” was born everyday all thanks to Fruityloops.
This kid from Atlanta made a monster hit. This guy from North Carolina made beats for a top tier rapper of our generation. Both had used the software that was labeled “fake.” You’d be surprised to find that it’s now the software of choice for popular producers ranging from all different genres of music. Five of the current top ten rap songs on the radio were produced using this software. A “bedroom producer” with talent has a certain chance to become the sought after producer in today’s music industry using Fruityloops. It pissed a puritan off to find out that a “bedroom producer” with a laptop can set up anywhere, record anything, and export any format with ease. Now you can spend next to nothing to compete with the elites producing beats,thus setting an even playing field.
I’m not bashing those who prefer MPC’s over any DAW. I now have access to any production tool if needed. It’s just make sense for me to use a DAW for the visual component. If you use anything that can produce a final product when finished, stick with it. If it’s easier to navigate with your current machine or DAW, stick with it. DAWs like Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Fruityloops (now FL Studio), Garage Band, Studio One, Digital Performer, and a lengthy list of others can be used for all of your musical desires. Same with machines, too. There’s a plethora of machines out there besides MPCs that can give you necessary tools to make bangers. At the end of the day (Feefo’s tagline), it’s all about the “person” behind the machine or DAW. That kid who made that hit from Atlanta differed from the guy from North Carolina, but they used the same software. Don’t hate, create! And stop hating on Fruityloops.
What’s your production tool of choice?
The opinions and views expressed here are the opinions of the designated author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or views of any of the individual members of Dead End Hip Hop.
I used both MPC and FL Studio for years, have both, but I think FL vs MPC is not a really fair comparison. MPC is more like an instrument, FL is a DAW.
I used to bash FL studio for it’s “sound”, but now after years of FL –> MPC + Samplitude + Motif, I’m back in FL creating the best mixes of my life.
I think there are no plugin that can replicate the sound of an MPC let alone a Motif, but I simply love FL. It’s the fastest and most inspiring environment to create music in IMO.
I use.music generator 2 i gotta Roland mv 8000 boss dr 5 protools 10 etc but with mg2 I’m housing chumps i don’t got midi but i time record it in protools cause I’m bout it bout it
I’m an emcee and producer. I started off in the late 90s using the MPC, Triton, ASR, MoPhatt, etc.
Today I use a combination of FL and those in general. Anyone bashing Fruity Loops should also be those bashing Cubase, Pro Tools and so forth. Essentially, they provide the same function. You insert your sounds and work you magic. The same way I can load drums in the MPC is the same way I can load them in Battery in FL. I think people who have certain opinions about FL haven’t really dug deeply in FL to see what it can do. I think they are taking these mainstream simple beats and confuse them for FL Beats. In reality, nobody can tell whether a beat was made on FL or the MPC. A lot of these trap beats are made on MPCs. So, it’s the producer and not the product. I think people get upset because a 12 year old hops on FL and make a beat in minutes when it took producers from earlier years lots of time. Well, it’s about the plug ins and how one uses them. FL got smart and made studios compact now and people save lots of time and space. When I had the MPC I had to buy effects boards, mixers and so forth to get things done. FL simply outsmarted some people in that aspect. Instead of buying a synthesizer, I can purchase something like Komplete and go to work. No more figuring out which cable goes to where and being concerned about sound quality. FL produces crystal clear quality. At the end, producers shouldn’t bash another producers method of doing things simply because it’s not their way. FL is obviously working for people. Not everyone can afford MPCs and Fantoms and so forth. Should they not be able to make beats? I admit, it took me all types of bucks to pay for that. I had to layaway some at pawn shops, buy from friends, make trades and much more. FL saves the hassle. There are limitations to both. No greater or worse.
I am a producer/songwriter I enjoy making music from scratch period without feeling like a specific method matters. I prefer to use both Fruity Loops and live keyboards and drum machines sometimes I even Midi in both combining the sounds. There are no secrets it boils down to passion, patience and good ole elbow grease the key is to listen to the sounds and have a vision for them. I don’t feel there should be any limits to producing sometimes I even sample off vinyl or with my MPC 2000 XL. Do what you love and love what you do!!!! Everything else will work itself out the primary thing to remember is have fun and be creative that is the main factor of creativity well at least in my opinion.
I’m a mpc dude myself. I have the 2000xl, a dj mixer, turntable and a gang of vinyl. I haven’t ventured in the daw universe yet but my inspiration on going with hardware (and the 2000xl) was black milk and kev brown. I love Hittin on them pads mane and choppin them samples. The computers make it easier but the feeling of doing it manually made me better and more patient.
good fucking article