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Sidechain Workaround (no extra hardware required)

Ok guys I found a workaround! The MPC is such a creative tool with so many sound design and workflow possibilities.

I found a way to get rid of kicks and snares on samples and also simulate that side-chain pumping effect. This might not be exactly what you are looking for but learning the principle behind it could help you get there with just few adjustments to the formula.

We are going to remove those big transients and make space for our own percussive sounds. We can even remove high end information and make space for our own hi hats. Once you memorize the process, it could take you seconds or few minutes to get it done; that depends on how precise you want to be.

Ok let's get into it:

Preparation: Select a Sample

You need the right sample to try this out first. I would recommend the first 4 bars of Patrice Rushen's Forget Me Nots (I just love it). Any sample that contains a Kick, Snare/Clap, Keys/Guitars/Mids and Cymbals (Hats).

1. Chop your Sample

Chop in 1/4 notes! Each pad should be a Kick and a Snare. This is might be the lengthiest part of the process. Try to be accurate, you want each slice/pad to start from the beginning of the kick/snare/clap and finish just before the next percussive sound is about to start. See the photo attached.
The next step will affect all slices, so you want to make sure you set the start point as precisely as possible.
Once you have done the chopping, create a program containing those slices.
2. Program Edit
Apply the following setting to ALL pads:
On the Filter/Env page:
Filter> Low1
Env>127
Filter Envelope Attack> from 70 to 90
Amp Envelope Attack> from 0 to 80

Explanation:
Filter Envelope is basically filtering out the SNARE/CLAP of each slice and just leaving the low end content (bass). Try to increase the Attack (Filter Envelope) as much as you can hear the snare/clap. Sometimes you will still want to leave the tail but the goal here is to kill the snare/drum big transient.
Amp Envelope’s attack is for you to make space for your Kick’s transient. Get as much space as you need for your own kick. You are removing low end content (of each slice) the more you increase this value so here the goal I would say is to find the sweetspot.
Think of the above 2 values as your THRESHOLD.

3. Make it Pump (optional)
On the LFO Modulation page of Program Edit apply the following parameters to all slices:
LFO
Wave> Saw
Sync> 1⁄4
Destination
Filter> Start from zero and increase the value as much as you want for a more dramatic effect
Explanation
Think of it as your RATIO. Find your sweetspot by selecting the SAW wave, synced in 1⁄4 notes and then increasing that Filter value to taste.

You should have enough space to play your kick, snare and one of this slices at the same time without clipping. I usually add an EQ and a compressor to my “Sample” program just to find the sound I want.

4. Bonus: Remove High end content (hi hats)
Simply go to Program Edit and while selecting ALL pads on the Filter/Env page, reduce the amount of the Filter Env value (the one we set to 127 in the first step).
This is going to give you enough space to add your own cymbals, reverb... high end frequencies in general. I usually hear results just before 100.

Guys let me know what you think. It is not as tedious as it seems, once you create a program template with these values, you can record samples with PAD TAP mode and just adjust start/end points of each slice within the program.

JorgeCDS
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