I've been using an MPC longer than I've owned a computer and something that never appealed to me was "finger drumming". It evoked thoughts of shitty 80's outdoor music festival wankery, dudes with offensive looking devices strapped around their necks (see above) and lots of synthetic "tom tom" fills. Even recently speaking, "live MPC" usually implied super played out "battle" routine style stuff. Fortunately, a new generation of talented producers and performers decided to reclaim the drum machine's potential as a realtime performance instrument (right around the time MPC's were kind of running out of steam I'll add).
After seeing cats like Jeremy Ellis, Jel, Exile (shout to Aarab Muzik) and others do their thing with my own eyes, I finally got it. The point is not to replace the drummer, it's to do shit they can't. It's also a great way to speed up drum programming (1 take, vs clicking in a piano roll for 20 minutes).
After some trial and error, I came up a little mapping system for myself that was ergonomic, versatile and most of all, natural (my thing was I wanted to be able to play anything I could already play on the real drum kit, plus stuff I couldn't) and practice it constantly.
I noticed people don't seem to share too much when it comes to their methods and technique, so I made a little video and a mapping chart for anyone interested in how to get started.
If you have any questions, criticisms, whatever, please let me know.
Till next time...