I suggest trying to conceptualize the MPC as a MIDI looper of sorts. So you have a loop that has a time signature, BPM and a bar lenght. Then, from an empty sequence (MPC name for patterns), you start loop playback with the metronome on. While the metronome plays, feel free to experiment with different programs to find what you want to play into the loop…
Next, decide the “grid” for the first event recording pass you want to do. Ok, let’s start with a simple 16th hihat pattn, so we will set recording grid to 16ths. To do this, hold down NOTE REPEAT and select the “16th” value, then let go of the NOTE REPEAT button. Now your rec quantization grid is set to 16th notes… so, playing along with the metronome, hit OVERDUB at the point where you want to start recording events (my preference is hitting overdub just before the loop resets in order to be on time for the first downbeat when the loop resets). If you fuck up the event recording, dont worry, just press UNDO once and try again… Once you are happy eith the recorded events, press OVERDUB to exit event recording.
You can add as many overdubs as you like, setting the rec quant grid before going back to overdub with NOTE REPEAT like above. For recoding totally unquantized into the loop, hold NOTE REPEAT and press any time division until the light goes out on it (this neans unquantized). You can also erase any events from the loop by holding ERASE and then holding a specific pad in the exact monent where you want to remove notes at.
While all this is happening, you can double or halve the playing loop on the fly from the main menu (sequence sections pencil icon). Doubling the loop works like on the elektrons ie, events will automatically copypaste themselves into tye extended lenght.
For recording stuff in more layers than one, just jump to the next track. Everything you do on this track (besides sequence doubling/halving) will now only record onto this track.
This workflow becomes gloriously efficient if one has an MPC with a footswitch control connected to OVERDUB. you can just play whatever and start recording/overdubbing on the fly. Such a shame only the MPC X supports footswitch ctrl (old MPCs all did this)
There are 16 submenues for all the stuff not related to the sequencer side. Access these 16 menus with MENU + pad. Once you have used this for a while your muscle memory kicks in and jumping between things like TRACK MUTE and PROGRAM EDIT becomes a breeze.