It’s the little things that keep you happy sometimes. The Sunday Soundtrack blog has an interesting idea for tracking work on the MPC — write it down. (I have to say, I miss having paper notes as I did when I was making hard-copy patch diagrams of my Moog and Buchla modular creations in college.) This fellow has a printable template you can use yourself if so inclined – and, of course, it’d work with any 4×4 grid, not just the MPC.

Music Production on the MPC
Full-sized image for use as a template

Keep anything on paper in the studio yourself – music notation? Lyrics? To-do lists? MIDI maps? Doodles of made-up creatures to keep you company? I’d love to hear how you work.

Previously: A Brief History of the MPC

  • pierlo

    link please?!

  • Sorry about that — had accidentally left out the links. Thanks for the catch; fixed. 😉

  • I keep a chart of note frequencies (in Hz) taped to the top of my monitor. I use it more often than you'd think.

  • I write down a lot. I carry a pocket-sized notebook to jot down ideas when they come to me, and at home, I keep a notebook for all sorts of things: compositional ideas, sketches of setups, preliminary plans of things to build, "traditional" notation, whatever. I also keep a binder with handwritten notes on sequences and multitrack recordings. For those, I use pre-printed sheets.

  • I use Evernote to take screenshots of settings, which I can then annotate and tag. This makes it easy to pull up whatever notes I have about a particular track.

  • Jake

    I often work out midi controller assignments for live performances with ableton using pen and paper while I'm supposedly doing my day job. I find it really helps to plan out suitable layouts instead of just wildly assigning and hoping. Plus it sure makes the days go quicker working in a call centre…

  • pierlo

    Being my MPC1000 the center of my setup i'm really using a lot of paper and pen especially to remember synth patches numbers – so something like this could really be a good idea. But i dont understand what the blue pads are for… writing sample names on top? dont get it…

  • divbyzero

    The whiteboard on the wall of my studio always has a few lists on it. The "theme bucket" has descriptions of themes yet to be developed into songs. The "song bucket" has names of songs yet to be tracked on an album. When I'm in the middle of an album, it gets its own list with progress indicators for each song: composition finished, what parts are recorded, edited, mixed, etc.

  • Brian Comnes

    I use a Roland Handsonic HPD 15 and I developed a hard copy patch notepad that is in the files section of the Handsonic Yahoo Group – it’s available in 4 versions, tif, jpg, bmp and powerpoint

    find it at