Jeremy Ellis – The Dopest Skills On 16 Pads

I get slightly obsessive over drum machines. The older analogue models especially, alongside the MPCs, Grooveboxes and variety of other electronic toys, have always been my favorite form of musical creation over computer synths and plug-ins. That said, I do bug out when manufacturers properly blend both worlds for ease of work flow.

Hence why I’ve been I’ve been researching the hell out of the Maschine, and with the new 1.5 upgrade I’m definitely on board as soon as I can free up the cash. From what I can tell it’s actually as close to the perfect machine for hardware beat fiends as you can get. But more on that once I lock myself in the room with it.

One of the top things to come out of this recent obsession has been the discovery of Jeremy Ellis aka Ayro, who’s been one of the artists in support of the new hardware / software kit. Before we get in to the bio check the sponsored promo video to see why he grabbed my attention.

Dope no doubt, but wait until you see his live show. Whoever hailed Shadow as the Hendrix of the 16 pads obviously didn’t see this man coming. There’s a brief bio below, and underneath that you can check clip of the man “freestyling” live on an MPD and MPC with some James Brown samples.

via Worldwide Festival
Jeremy Ellis, aka Ayro, has become one of Detroit’s freshest makers of electronic soul music. Becoming a frequent collaborator with Detroit producers, he has worked with such luminaries as Carl Craig, John Beltran, Recloose, and Alton Miller, providing a combination of vocals and keyboard. Even with all of the praise provided for Jeremy Ellis’ production, it is his electrifying live show that has solidified his dedicated fanbase. He dubs his sets “freestyle,” as they are improvised using only a combination of live gear, most notably keyboards and an MPC, with Ellis providing vocals. His one-man show (with John Arnold) has sent him globe-trotting, entertaining thousands around the world, “freestyling” in Puerto Rico, and bringing the future funk to Japan. Along the way he’s picked up more bits and pieces to include in his output, ensuring that his musical breadth will grow, along with his reputation.

If you head on over to his youtube channel at not only is there a load more live videos (including some Dilla tribute jams) but the dude’s also generous with his time. There’s a load of his own tutorials not only covering the technique behind playing the 16 pads like an instrument (sample pads, hand placement and rhythm technique) but also technical bits like using your MPC with certain programs. Much respect to the man.