DAY 15 (1000 WORDS, 3rd attempt)

My favorite way of making music is on the MPC One. When I first started my music journey at eleven or twelve years old I started with FL Studio, since I was just a kid with a laptop and not a lot of money saved up that I could spend on gear. I had fun making beats for sure, focusing on old school beats, then experimenting with trip-hop and ambient music a lot, even trap beats, but I was never as into it as I am nowadays. Over time I stopped producing so many beats, making a beat only once in a while in FL Studio, using other plugins such as Nexus, but I was never really super into it, for the most part I just wanted to rap. I realize now that that’s mostly because of the way of making beats that involves using a mouse and keyboard. Once I got my hands on the MPC One I was hooked, and I haven’t stopped making beats ever since. The hands-on approach to making music is a lot more fun, and it feels like an instrument I’ve been learning and I never stop learning. Basically the MPC is a DAW (digital audio workstation) in a box. There’s lots of different kinds of MPCs, but I went with the One because of it’s compact size, and based off of everything I had read online. It truly does not disappoint in a way, and even know that I’m pretty comfortable with it and feel that I know it really well, I realize that there are still a lot of ways I could get even deeper into it, that’s how powerful this thing is. Of course, everything the MPC One can do can be done in a DAW, including FL Studio, which I still use, but it’s just a lot more fun using the MPC. Another thing I’ve been getting into a lot more because of the MPC is sampling. I used to sample beats in FL Studio, but everything seemed so complicated and I ended up just cutting loops that I liked from old jazzy tracks, or even reggae and classic rock, and adding my own drums and instruments to the beat within FL Studio. Those beats were not necessarily bad, but they were just very simple. The melodies were, for the most part, unchanged, although new instrument and drums were added over them. On the MPC, however, I’m chopping melodies into the pads and playing them that way, modifying them in all kinds of crazy ways, making all kinds of different patterns, and it’s just so much fun. Ironically, getting into the MPC also got me back into FL Studio and into learning how to do a lot of things in there that I had previously neglected learning about. It sort of just goes hand in hand with everything I’ve learned since getting the MPC, for example, mixing and mastering techniques in MPC One vs. mixing and mastering techniques in FL Studio. Of course, FL Studio, being a classic DAW, offers more possibilities, since you can even load third party plugins, for example. The MPC is limited to a few plugins that come with it, although those plugins have vast instrument libraries so there’s a lot to work with, apart from expansion packs and just classic sampling. With a specific cable which I have connected into the inputs of the MPC I can sample audio from any device with a normal headphone or earphone connection, so I can sample from YouTube or Spotify if I run the cable from my audio interface headphone output, or I can sample from my phone or iPad or iPod classic, or from music device really. It’s just impressive for what it is, there’s so many ways to create music within the MPC, and just for that I would recommend it to anyone who’s into making music or beats. A lot of the MPC sounds are really electronic so I make a lot of techno or house music on there, and also hip hop beats of course. Although the MPC One is definitely a beast in standalone mode, my favorite way to use it these days is to incorporate it into FL Studio. This is an interesting workflow because it allows me to make ideas on the MPC, with my hands rather than with the mouse, and then to pass on and polish those ideas within FL Studio, or just add more sounds on top of them or structure them better into a beat. The MPC One has song mode, which allows you to put different sequences, basically patterns of sounds, together to create a full song. For example, sequence two might follow sequence one, sequences can be repeated as many times as necessary, and so on. However, it’s definitely a lot simpler and faster to arrange the structure of a beat in FL Studio, looking at everything laid out across a big computer screen rather than the small MPC One screen. Don’t get me wrong, the touch-screen on the MPC One is amazing for the size of the MPC, it works perfectly and you can even access grid mode on it, basically a step sequences like in FL Studio. It’s just a lot faster to arrange the final beat in FL Studio and master it as well, to get the final product sounding loud, punchy and clear. It’s not a hassle to transfer things either. Basically, my MPC is on my desk so it’s always connected to my PC anyways. It’s not in controller mode though so I can use it in standalone even though it’s plugged in. The MPC has a software, basically Akai’s own DAW, MPC Beats, which can also be opened up as a VST plugin within other DAWs, so what I do when I select the controller mode option on my MPC is just open the MPC Beats plugin within FL Studio. The plugin recognizes the MPC and then I can load up whatever project I was working on while in standalone mode, and just drag the individual tracks from my MPC sequences into FL Studio, either as audio or MIDI files. The audio file is just the recorded audio itself, while the MIDI file is the actual notes you played, so you can even change the sound of the melody to be one of the sounds in FL Studio, or even Nexus or Omnisphere or any other third party plugin. I could go on and on about how cool the MPC One is, but I’ll leave it at that for now and maybe talk about it a bit more another time. If you’re into making music or just getting into it and are thinking about buying and MPC One though, trust me, it’s a lot of fun and you most likely won’t regret it.

much love

~ rebel eye


DAY 1 (1000 WORDS: 3rd attempt)

1000 Words, Day 1 once again. My last post of the 1000 Words a Day series was Day 81, back in August of 2019, so it’s been three years! Wow, time sure flies by. I hope I can stay on track and keep on writing for a much, much longer consecutive period of time this time around. I also plan to write in a bit of a more stream-of-consciousness fashion, just to get more ideas out of my head and onto the blog. I feel like I have a lot of cool or important thoughts floating around in my mind, some of them for quite a while now, that maybe I just don’t know how to adequately express, so I just kind of avoid writing about them, and I feel that if I don’t stop to think so much anymore about having everything all organized and about the exact structure of a post and about where everything should be written or if it’ll all make sense, that I might be able to let more of these ideas out into the light. I have to keep resisting the temptation to read back on what I’ve written so far, and just keep on writing! Before I get into today’s main topic I just want to quickly apologize to anyone who may have been following this series of mine a few years ago and then I suddenly stopped writing. I know it’s probably not many people if any at all, but I just thought I should mention that just in case. So the main thing I want to let you guys know about today is what I’ve been up to for these past three years, since it all comes down to something I’m currently super excited about and hope to share with the world. I’ve always loved music, I have some music reviews on this blog, and I especially love creating music, since I was about 10 or 11. I started with rapping because I liked the flow and the beats and everything about it, and also because I felt really inspired by some of the lyrics, mainly 2Pac lyrics. I started making beats on FL Studio early on as well, just to have my own beats to go along with my rhymes. I have a bunch of my music out everywhere, but to be honest, I never took it as seriously as I should. I mean, I thought I was taking it seriously, but recently I’ve realized that I wasn’t. I was always partying too much back in the day, and even when I completely stopped partying because I started getting into philosophy and spirituality, I was still not doing all that I could for my music. I’ve sure learned a lot throughout the years because I’ve kept making beats and rapping, but other than making a lot of music, I really should have promoted myself a lot more and got my music out there, plus I’m not making as many songs as I used to back then, at least on the rapping side. I’m still relatively young, but I know I definitely would have had an advantage if I went hard twelve years ago when I first started actually recording music at fifteen. Some of my favorite raps of mine are even from back in those days. Anyway, that’s just to provide some history, not to whine about the past. What I’m excited about now is that I finally decided to change that. Nothing is getting in my way this time, I’m no longer constantly immersed in a weed high, I’m setting goals not to get baked a couple days a week, and I’m not partying or drinking at all, or even hanging out with anyone at all, really, other than my amazing wife. I know it’s not necessarily the healthiest, not to hang out with any friends, but at this point I feel like I really just need to make this happen while I still have a bit of time. For a while I was actively avoiding even promoting myself, because I felt like, and I still feel like, fame is not necessarily the best thing that can happen to someone, especially if you have a lot of personal problems to solve or demons to face. My mind changed simply because I’d rather spend a lifetime doing what I love, which is creating music, writing, sharing ideas, than to be stuck at a 9-to-5 job forever, so I absolutely have to make it happen. On a deeper level though, I’ve been feeling like it’s important to put positive ideas out into the world, that if I have positive things to say I shouldn’t keep quite, I should say what’s on my mind, even if it might interfere with my peaceful happy life. So lately I’ve been writing rhymes, but not quickly like before, I’m trying to write inspirational rhymes, taking my time so that what I write and record is something memorable and motivational, not just another rap about all the trash most modern rappers are always yapping about. I’ve also learned the MPC workflow on my MPC One pretty well so far so now I’m creating my own beats in FL Studio and on the MPC. I put time into learning the basics of studio equipment to make sure I’ve got a clear sound, and I upgraded my gear and I’m finally recording on and audio interface with studio monitors and everything, rather than a laptop and USB mic like back in the day. If you believe in yourself you have to invest in yourself. The main thing I’m excited about though, is that with all this learning I’ve been doing, I’ve come up with the idea of making tutorials to show others how to set their equipment up and even how to make beats also, so I’ve got this whole idea for a YouTube channel unfolding. So yeah, big things are on the way! I’ve also recently started making music with my bro Kalvonix again, now that I’m back in Canada, and we recently released a mixtape together on all streaming platforms, The Come Up 10! It’s a continuation of our old mixtape series The Come Up, which we started about 11 years ago when we first met in high school. I’ll be going into everything in more detail as I keep on writing, and I appreciate anyone reading, I hope you’re as excited as I am! Much love fam.

~ rebel eye

“Instrumental Inspiration” Volume 1


I’ve been making beats for basically as long as I’ve been rapping, about 10 years now, and one of my favorite things to do to create chill jazzy beats at times is to sample old records. Back in 2012 I released a few mixtapes where I was rapping over those chill, jazzy kind of beats, and honestly it’s some of my favorite music of mine up until today, and I feel like those beats brought the best out of me as a writer, and even as a rapper, since I flow more naturally on those beats anyway.

I’ve always wanted to rap over my own instrumentals but most of my best ones are electronic, synth-heavy beats, and I’ve always preferred rapping over smooth, soulful sampled rap beats, which I never really felt like I perfected… maybe until recently. The beats on this beat tape, Instrumental Inspiration Volume 1, are some of my earliest sampling experiments, from way back in 2012, so right at the start of my music career. I never rapped over these beats, and they’re much simpler in structure and sound than the chopped-up, multilayered sampled beats I’m creating nowadays on my MPC. These are usually just repeating a loop that I liked off a track, and adding some drums and other sounds on them.

I feel as if I finally might have what it takes to create some kinds of those beats for myself, those chill kinds of beats which I feel at home on. I’ll be releasing all my sampled beats under the Instrumental Inspiration series from now on, and the first few volumes will consist of my older beats, like these ones, and then I’ll be moving on to the newer ones. I still felt like these beats needed to be released. They’re chill, and also dope in their own simplistic kind of way. They’re also nostalgic to me of the time when I mainly made beats in FL Studio, nowadays I feel like I’m having much more fun on the MPC, and it’s a whole different feeling, creative-wise. Anyway, here’s the collection of my 11 earliest sampled beats. A lot them are remakes of some iconic rap beats, like Many Men, Dead Presidents, Juicy, etc.

Stream or download the full beat tape here:



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