September 6, 2013

Japan and Jeremy Ellis Show Us How Maschine, MPC Can Be An Instrument

Finger drumming and pad drumming sort of gets a bad rap, because it is constantly compared to the likes of real drummers, DJs, and musicians.  A drummer does more than just strike a stick on a drum head.  They have to understand the timbre of their instrument, what type of notes it can produce when struck differently, and also the dynamics of each drum.  When that is boiled down into a sixteen pad controller only inches long – you would expect that it takes much less energy to mimic what a drummer does.  But the truth is that more is expected from a finger drummer than a live traditional drummer.  It is not easy, but some of the artists out there make it look like a piece of cake.

A drum machine like the MPC or the Maschine starts with four rows of four buttons – but each scene can be expanded upon to create difference scenes.  So in essence, you have an exponential number of buttons to play with.  This buys you options, but it also increases the expectation of the listeners who know what is going on.  Physical dexterity is key here, and no about of muscle will take precedence to clean execution.