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MPC as mastering unit

Akai MPC Workshop: Mastering in the box?

Published 7:58 am on Tuesday 27th October 2020 by Beat Magazine

1 Mastering chain
While older MPC‘s were still equipped with a limited number of dynamic effects, current models show off their sheer mass. As always, however, the right tools for the job have to be found first. To save you from tedious experimentation, we‘ ll give you our personal Beat-MPC Mastering Chain.

2 Standard effects
Our demo project (see Workshop Data ) sounds relatively dull and quiet, so here‘s something you can do: Our basic setup consists of the parametric 4-band equalizer (PEQ 4-band) and the Mastering Compressor. Switch to the CHANNEL MIXER via MENU + Pad 12 and select Masters at the MIXER or open the mixer via the MPC software.

3 EQ settings
Load the effects into slots 2 and 3, leaving the first slot free for an optional effect. We set the EQ bands to 50, 500, 3500 and 8000 Hz, representing sub-bass, booming low-mids, high- mids and silky highs. We leave the bandwidth untouched and set the gain to +3, -6, +3 and +2 dB respectively.

4 Compressor
This reduces the booming part, while the bass and treble gain presence. The track sounds much more like Hi-Fi. We let the compressor get a good grip with the ATTACK and RELEASE each at 30 ms, the THRESHOLD at -30 dB, the RATIO at 20:1 and OUTPUT at +20 dB. The fourth effect is a limiter to ensure a consistent volume.

5 Enhancer
Here you should load your own plug-in because, in our experience, AIR Maximizer is too harsh for this purpose. Since we want to work standalone and thanks to the heavy compressor settings, there are no unwanted peaks; so we load the AIR Enhancer instead and add a touch of highs with High Gain at 1.3 dB and Harmonics at 3.4 dB.

6 More punch
We don‘t really need an effect for the first slot on this track. However, if you want more punch for your sounds, load the DECIMATOR, set DECIMATE to 12 or more and mix the effect with DRY/WET set to 20 - 30%. The result will sound much punchier. If in doubt: less is more.

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In addition to our fixed series for Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, Maschine, MPC and FL Studio, each beat issue contains page after page of useful workshops and tricks for producing, jamming, mixing, mastering, arranging and many other topics. So subscribe to Beat and don't miss any more tips.

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