How My Mackie Mixing Console And Akai MPC 4000 Saves The Day
|By Amir Said (Sa’id)|
Readers familiar with my setup know that I’m a staunch supporter of a mixing console-based tracking system, as opposed to a computer-based tracking system. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against software or a computer-based tracking system, I use Pro Tools, so I certainly use a computer (Mac user to the fullest). However, I do NOT like to track just two tracks at a time, nor do I go directly into my Digi 002 interface from the outputs of my gear! Instead, I go through my Mackie (32 channel) mixing console first, then from there I go into the Digi interface.
Usually, when I make beats, I never utilize more than 8 tracks. This works out well, since the Digi 002 only has 8 ins (8 individual Inputs). However, lately, I’m finding that I using 9 to 11 tracks per beat. I think the additional tracks are a result of a new percussive strategy I’ve been developing for a while… So anyway, last night I was making this beat that had 9 tracks. Come time for tracking into Pro Tools, it was no problem. Why you ask? Because of my tracking system and MIDI Beat Clock!
Now, the big debate about whether to use the main outs or individual outs usually comes down to one supposed ‘trick question’: If you use the individual outs, how do you track a beat that uses more than 8 tracks? Typically, that question stumps most. However, my setup actually presents a simple solution. Let me break it down…
Tracking More Than 8 Tracks, Using a Mixing Consoled-Based Tracking System
I route EVERYTHING through my 32 channel Mackie board: that’s my Akai MPC 4000, Akai S950, Roland Fantom S, Numark DM 1200, and my Tascam CD-RW901SL. When it comes time for tracking, I simply route the first 8 tracks of the beat into the Digi 002. Specifically, I go from the direct Outs of the Mackie into the Ins of the Digi 002.
Inside of Pro Tools, I go to:
Setups> MIDI Beat Clock>
Enable> Port I
MIDI Out Port I
Then inside of the MPC 4000 I go to:
In the SYNC IN, I set the Mode to: MIDI Clock
Then in the SYNC out I set the MIDI In to “On”, and I set the MIDI Out to “A”, (reason being, I’m triggering my S950 with the MPC 4000).
Finally, I set SYNC to “On”.
Having done this, when I’m ready to track into to Pro Tools, I press “3” to record, and Pro Tools automatically triggers my MPC 4000. It plays and records instantly! After I’ve recorded 8 tracks, I simply hit “return” on the computer keyboard, which takes me back to the beginning of the beat. From here, I just arm (setup) new tracks for recording, assign the corresponding input, then press “3” again. The whole beat plays again, only this time, it records just the tracks that I have armed. Thus, theoretically, a 4 minute song with 16 total tracks, only takes me 8-10 minutes to track out completely.Articles, Beatmaking, BeatTips, Drum Sounds and Drum Programming, Arranging, and Composing, Editor's Choice, Music Education, Recording, Mixing, and Mastering, Themes, Theories, and Concepts