Best Way To Output MPC Projects To DAW?

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  • Updated 6 months ago
What is the best workflow for tracking out a song created inside the MPC software? I wish to do this for tracking vocals, as well as for mixing in Logic Pro X. Im finding this very difficult to do seeing as the MPC doesn't support multi-output plugins. As well as the MPC plugin not supporting MIDI within Logic. Id even be open to using another DAW if it would make this easier.

I basically use the Live as a sequencer and normally have:
• Multi-channel drums from Kontakt, which require 8 or so individual outputs.
• 6-10 MIDI tracks of external synths
• And maybe 1 or 2 other plug-in synths.
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Dean Phelps

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Posted 6 months ago

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Monotremata

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Well the Kontakt issue is only going to be solved by exporting the track to a MIDI file and doing it in Logic. Thats what I would do. Not trying to be negative but it doesn't seem like third party plugin support is very high on the priority list for any of it. I still dont use anything non-Akai because I cant trust it to be stable from one session to the next with the plugins I use. How is Kontakt in there by the way? That can get pretty heavy resource wise, so Im afraid to even open it in there haha.

Once Kontakt is taken care of...

Bounce all the stuff done in the MPC Software and use the 'Explode Tracks' option. This will give you a wav file for each track in the MPC. If you use any drum programs, I believe there is even an option to explode those tracks and you'll get a wav file and track per pad for those. The plugin synths, will be included in those tracks so that takes care of those. Any others you wish to use as multi-out will have to go the same route Kontakt did.

Now for your MIDI/synths.. Two options, assuming you also want to use Logic to capture the synths and not with your MPC sequences..

The easy route, just do the same thing you did with Kontakt. Make sure any patches are saved right then and there so you have the current up to date sound you want on your hardware. Then export those tracks as MIDI files, load em up in your Logic Project (which should now have all of the MPC's tracks in it to start you off) and track em the same way you would any other time.

Or for fun, and probably the way I would do it.. Since you have the MPC tracks, and the plugins now taken care of, that part doesn't matter. Move a copy of it over to the Live and get out of controller mode. You lose all the software instruments, and third party plugins, but theres your MIDI tracks on a real MPC you can sync to your Logic project and just hit play and record them into Logic the old fashioned way.

Chicks will totally dig it because you look like one of them studio pros with your fancy drum box and synths hehe.
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Dean Phelps

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Thanks for such a thorough answer! Makes a lot of sense. So Im guessing doing the MIDI track exports is pretty straightforward. I tried doing the Explode Tracks and it worked great for the audio and other 2 channel instrument plugins.

Im using Kontakt v6, and the only instrument I use is Abbey Road Drums. To be honest there are problems with it glitching and 'dropping time' even with a 256 buffer. When I look at the MPC CPU it isn't even near 1/4 being used. Im also at 24/441 which should be a cakewalk for it considering I have 16GB of RAM and a very fast and 1TB SSD. I also only have the MPC software running with nothing else active. The thing is it will work great for days w/o a glitch and then when say I need to lay back a rough mix it will be as if the clock is being disrupted during playback. I have a ticket open with Akai but for some reason they have just abandon my last two trouble tickets. One note: I am using a UA Apollo 8 interface for the AD/DAs, and hence is the master clock. None of my other audio apps (Logic, Audacity) exhibit this behavior.
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Monotremata

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Yeah lately here its been pretty erratic almost like a bomb went off inside it or something hah. Just today twice I had my MPC Studio stop responding while the software was running, had to turn it off and back on. Ive had my AMT8 MIDI Interface hang now a couple times in the last week or so, and had to turn that off and power it back up in the middle of a session. The software will work great like you said for days on end, and then two or three days in a row decides to do nothing but crash. Last night I had playback stopped, went to go browse for a ride cymbal to add to a drum kit, crashed just looking through the browser for samples. Of course, I went to go send the crash report in, and the bug submission webform once again doesn't even work.

I mean the software is great and all that but Im trying to move over to it from Logic. Im gonna have to seriously put the MPC5000/4000 and 2500 back on the top of my list over the Live if it keeps up this way.
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Dean Phelps

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I hear you. If Logic had a playlist style song mode, like the MPC, I would just work in that. But alas it doesn't, and I don't like to work in a linear fashion. Makes rearranging the song much more complex. Also the ability to easily try out different arrangements which I think is important.
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Monotremata

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Thats actually why I didnt get a 2000 way back in like 1999 hahaha. I was DONE with pattern based sequencers and thought there was no way I could work with anything less than Logics linear sequencer.

It actually made things slower and take ALOT longer haha. For whatever reason I tried out the software earlier this year, it clicked and I bought a Studio right away haha. You can technically set Logic up to work sort of like the MPC, but Im thinking it would require a lot of markers and you would have to keep up and manually keep track of your sections and whatnot.. Big PAIN, the MPCs laid out just ready to go.. And jumping back and forth from the sampler to the sequencer when you want to throw a new loop or instrument, or just using the sampler in general, is unbeatable compared to the EXS. Now I open Logic and sit and stare at it heh, Im pretty much all MPC now and really dont want to go elsewhere!
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Eliza, Employee

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Hey Dean,

Thanks for posting!

Happy to see that Monotremata already gave you great advice on exporting to Logic. Another method you may want to try is exporting directly from the MPC plugin within Logic.

If you're ready to move MIDI and audio stems to Logic you can Explode the track in the MPC VST to create new tracks for each individual sample. Now, each track can be dragged and dropped right into Logic. To do this, just click the Export Audio or Export MIDI icon at the top right. When the icon turns red click on it again and drag the file on to the desired track in Logic.



Let us know if you have any questions!

Thanks for your help, Monotremata!
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Dean Phelps

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Thanks, will have to give that a try. Didn't realize you could drag and drop from within Logic. Any word on being able to use MIDI from within the plugin inside Logic?