What Are MPC Multisamples?
What is Multisampling?
MPC Multisampling is the attempt to recreate the sounds of another instrument within your Akai MPC. Take for example a grand piano. If you were to record every individual note from that piano, you could then map those individual sounds across your pads and then ‘virtually play’ that piano using only your MPC.
Why Multisample in an MPC?
Multisampling means your MPC is a completely self contained beat making powerhouse, with no reliance on external sound modules or computer software instruments. It also means you can apply MPC-specific effects and program editing to your multisampled sounds for the unique MPC feel.
This is a basic rundown on how to make a quick multisample program. First pick the instrument you wish to multisample (e.g. an electric piano). Now connect the audio output of the electric piano to the recording input of your MPC. Go the RECORD (or 'SAMPLE') screen, arm the sampler, and press the lowest key on the piano. Your MPC will begin recording. When the sound has finished playing, press STOP and KEEP. Now move on to the next key on the piano and record this sound, and so on.
You can now assign the samples to your pads. Most MPCs have 64 pads, so can accommodate 64 different notes from your multisampled instrument from pad A1 right up to the highest sound on pad D16.
A musical scale contains 12 notes per octave, so 64 pads can provide over 5 octaves of sounds for your multisample program, which in most cases is perfectly acceptable.
Most MPCs only have one type of program, the DRUM program so you would use this to create your instruments. However if you have an MPC4000, MPC5000 or run a ‘paid’ JJOS on an MPC1000/2500, you will be able to use special ‘keygroup’ programs which are designed specifically for multisampled instrument recreations.
One problem is that many MPCs simply do not have enough free memory to be using so many samples in a single program. The way around this is to only record 3-4 notes in every octave instead of the full twelve. For example, if you record C, E and G notes, you can make your own C# note by tuning a C note up one semitone (a +1 tuning on an MPC pad in most newer MPCs). A ‘D’ note would be a C note tuned up by two semitones, while a D# would be an E note tuned down one semitone.
For MPCs with keygroup programs, you would simply assign each sample to be mapped across a specified range of pads.
These methods requires significantly less memory – however the downside is that your program loses some element of realism as many of the notes have the exact same ‘timbre’.
As you delve deeper into the world of multisampling you can begin to take advantage of the more advanced features of the MPC to enhance the realism of your programs. Most MPCs allow you to assign multiple sounds to a single pad, either by layers (zones) or using the SIMULT function - by using these functions you can set up your multisample programs to output different 'takes' of each sound. So if you have three C1 notes on pad A1, each time you hit a pad your MPC can play a different 'take', giving a much better sense of realism.
Both the MPC5000 and JJOS 'XL' let you cycle all the sounds assigned to layers on a single pad - either in order of rotation or completely randomly. For other MPCs you can use velocity switching to play different sample layers.
Of course this method eats up memory as you can have three times more samples in memory! To save memory, you can sample in mono or use shorter samples which can then be looped to produce infinite sustain. You can then create an artificial release decay using the MPCs built-in envelopes.
Want To Learn How To Create Your Own MPC Multisamples?
You can learn all the techniques you need to know to make your own MPC multisamples from our award winning tutorial book, ‘Beat Making on the MPC’ available in a variety of MPC formats; MPC1000 (Akai and JJOS), MPC2500, MPC500, MPC5000 and MPC2000XL. You'll begin by learning how to make a basic bass multisample program, but eventually will learn how to more advanced multis (including keygroups for MPC5000 owners) and even how to make multisample programs from chopped loops.
Ready-Made MPC Multisamples
We also have created a range of ready-configured multisample programs for most MPCs which feature a useful selection of MPC-friendly instruments such as acoustic and electric pianos, guitars, basses and strings. All MPC5000 multisample programs are provided as 50k keygroups, while JJOS multisample programs are the correctly configured ‘INSTRUMENT’ programs. All other MPCs use the DRUM program format.
We’ve completed all the hard work for you and have rigorously tested all the programs and sounds in all the supported MPCs. These are not generic multisamples created for other samplers or software – these were all created within MPCs, for MPCs and to our knowledge, are the only true MPC multisample programs available on the market.
Simply load the programs into your MPC and instantly start creating realistic instrument performances. Go to our MPC multisample section for more information and demos.