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I’m not happy at all

Can someone please explain the workflow for using Essentials as a VST with one Kicks on one track, snares next etc. I am having a nightmare

I bought MPC Element as I make hip-hop beats. I saw the Akai demo vid of the guy with his kicks on channel one and padbank one, snares on track 2 padbank 2 and thought 'great'. But....I have got it working, have my MPC project made and saved a kit as a program. Have kicks on bank one and track 1 and so on. Sequence one if I'm careful works perfectly. Overdub my 4 bar kicks then snares then hats in Essentials then record as audio the first 4 bars, kicks on pad one, etc. BUT....Now I want to slightly change it so make sequence 2, copying over kicks, then snares and carefully saving thinking that I will have my second 4 bar sequence that I can change. BUT every time somehow something gets overwritten even though I am being as careful as I can be. Even though I did exactly as I did in sequence 1 the kick track has overwritten my snares. So I have no snare track in Essentials. Happens in some way EVERY time.

To make matters worse I now seem to have 3 versions of the same project. Akai tech support haven't replied. The manual is hopeless. No decent step by step tutorials on YouTube for this. Can anyone please tell me what is the workflow to do what I am trying to do. Akai have a video saying you can do this (if you couldn't I wouldn't have bought it.) I need them on different tracks for mixing, mastering etc. I am not recording as MIDI as that is even worse and sometimes works and sometimes doesn't and I like the grid editor in Essentials. Using reaper btw. Apologies for the writing on the screen cap. That's really hard to do!
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  • Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the post. Good question!

    I don't totally understanding what you're describing about the overwriting issue, at least the order that things are happening in. It sounds like the kind of thing that won't really translate well written on the forums anyway. Could you upload a video of it happening?

    It would probably be best to call the support team; much easier to get across step by step type description like this over the phone rather than back/forth messages. I've listed the phone numbers below.

    Here's an entirely different work flow you might like better, if you hadn't already considered it. It will take about the same time, but is certainly more organized/simpler during the important part; when you're doing the sequencing.

    1) Setup only one instance of MPC Essentials. Do all of your sequencing for the kit in this one instance.
    2) Make the song.
    3) When you're done or ready to bounce some tracks to audio, go the Program Mixer view.
    4) Solo one particular track that you want to isolate and print a separate audio track for.
    5) Go up to File>Export>Audio Mixdown and export that track individually.
    6) Repeat this for other pieces of the kit.

    If you want to use multiple sequences and/or stack the sequences together into a song, you can still do that. Create your different sequences, go into song mode to create the chain of sequences. When you get it how you like it, use the CONVERT>SEQ option, which takes your entire chain of sequences and merges/consolidates it to one new sequence. Now, just bounce the individual tracks like above.

    Many actually prefer this workflow where you're focusing on the composing the whole time, then you have the separate "prepare for the mix" stage when you consolidate and bounce the tracks individually. I like this better than trying to inject mix time considerations into the middle of my composing mind set.

    Let me know if this makes any sense!
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  • Hi Dan,
    I kind of makes sense. I have actually seen someone mention audio mixdown when getting tracks from Essentials into a DAW. I actually spoke to Akai tech in England not long ago and they said that the reason I am overwriting the snare and hats sequences when I do the second kick sequence is because I am doing it in the same instance and need to duplicate the Kick track then make the changes and save them in say sequence 2 or if I have done the snare and hats tracks sequence 4. This makes sense and explains why I am overwriting. I am trying this way first as I can then record the second kick sequence to audio. Move it to the main kick track and get rid of the second kick track.
    The reason I'm doing it in the DAW is because there's an Akai video showing a guy doing this and it's how I worked when I was using Poise which is a nice virtual MPC VST but has limitations like no 16 levels or note repeat. Problem is there's no explanation of the workflow using as a VST like I'm doing.
    I'm actually trying out the advice Akai UK gave me on a track at the moment so will see how it goes before exploring your option.
    Anyway thanks for the advice mate. It certainly gives me an alternative and may be a better workflow. I will prob try that way on another project and compare the two.
    Andy
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  • Is there anyway you can use your method and use audio mixdown to get the kicks, snares onto separate tracks in your DAW as that is the most important consideration for me for mixdown and mastering?
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    • Hi Dan, just tried out the mixdown way and worked perfectly. Wish I had known it before as it would have sped up the time I've spent on the track I'm trying to finish at the moment. Think I'll carry on dealing with samples in Reaper unless they are stabs that I put on a pad with the percussion. Does saving the project (in Essentials) save the latest sequence too as I make sure I save latest sequence and seem to end up with one called Sequence01.sxq or whatever and one called 1.sxq. Anyway thanks for the great advice. Finally feels like I'm working on a MPC 2000 :-) Andy
    • I like hearing that. Great!

      In MPC Essentials, saving the project saves everything involved (programs, sequences, effects, etc...). You don't really need to save individual programs/sequences separately in the process of making a song.
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  • Thanks Dan. I'll try both. The way you describe actually sounds better as in it's more like the classic MPC beatmaking workflow and I get a lot of hip-hop beat tips from YouTube vids of guys using MPC 2000s etc.
    Andy
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