Old 06-04-2017, 12:10 PM   #1
bobruzzo
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Angry Need help with Akai MPK mini /assigning pads

I just picked up an AKAI MPK mini MIDI keyboard. I installed software and it is working perfectly as a midi controller. For example I can play chords/notes using software pianos and synths. The unit has 8 rubber PADS that you can assign things to. This is where I am lost. I never used gear where I had to assign things to knobs or pads. I looked online for help but I am an extreme NOOB at this. I can't make sense out of the directions and I don't understand the terminology. I have many years experience using MIDI composing music and creating regular MIDI tracks. But thats it. I don't understand how to ASSIGN a button or knob. I'd like to assign drum sounds to the pads. I have a few drum VST's but no clue how to do this. The manual for this unit is not very clear. How does the unit know I want to assign a kick drum from any particular vst? I don't use any advanced features in Reaper. I just simply record each track one at a time, and layer them, balance them. The Akai also has 8 knobs that dont do anything on their own. You have to assign "midi events" whatever that means. I really need step by step hand holding on this.
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Old 06-04-2017, 12:26 PM   #2
solger
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The Akai usually comes with an editor software (available on the product page) where you can configure the MIDI parameters of the pads, knobs, etc.

Depending on the VSTi you are using, you'll basically have to map or match the MIDI notes of the AKAI pads to the MIDI notes of the VSTi plugin.
As simple example:

- Akai Pad #1 sends MIDI note C1
- The Kick in the plugin is triggered by MIDI note C1

Some plugins might also provide a learn function for assigning MIDI controls (pads, knobs, etc.) of the AKAI direclty.
Or you can have a look at the Learn function in Reaper's plugin window (see links below).

In addition, some videos which should be helpful in general:
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVPVY7LYAMs
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkCNbRNa1nU
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0E6qieRaPQ

Last edited by solger; 06-04-2017 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:10 PM   #3
bobruzzo
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Default Akai controller

Thank you Solger, I will have a look at the videos. The unit came with an editor but I don't know how to use it. The instructions are useless and vague. I am using Reaper and I have a bunch of VST's. But I can't find anywhere on my drum vst how to assign for example a snare to pad 1 and a kick to pad 2. The editor has a place to change the values but this stuff is all greek to me! I did get the unit to work fine as a general MIDI controller. Like I can play keyboards, synths, drums etc and record tracks just fine. Thats all I know how to do. But I will watch the videos and see if that helps. The problem is most help files / videos assume you know the terminology and how this stuff works!
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:12 PM   #4
Fubarable
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Keep experimenting, keep reading, and you will gain experience and abilities.... don't give up!

I don't have your Akai unit but I do have an Alesis vi61 with 16 pads. One problem is that the pad midi codes overlap with the lower key midi codes, and in my controller editor software, I assigned all pads to channel 10, leaving the keys on channel 1, and within the VST fx I likewise set the drum VST's to respond to channel 10 while my synth and piano VST's respond to channel 1, and perhaps you will want to do the same. Again, keep experimenting -- these things are hard to break from tweaking the software, so you've nothing to lose. Good luck!
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:53 AM   #5
slipstick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobruzzo View Post
Thank you Solger, I will have a look at the videos. The unit came with an editor but I don't know how to use it. The instructions are useless and vague. I am using Reaper and I have a bunch of VST's. But I can't find anywhere on my drum vst how to assign for example a snare to pad 1 and a kick to pad 2. The editor has a place to change the values but this stuff is all greek to me!
Your drum VST has the different drum sounds triggered by different MIDI notes.

The AKAI pads send MIDI notes just as the keys do. All you need to do with the AKAI editor is to match the notes the pads send to the notes the VST expects. If you open the Editor, all the pads are there each with it's note e.g. Note# C-2. Just click on the note name and type the note you want from the drum VST (probably more like C1, D1 etc). You may also need to change the MIDI channel at the top because many drum VSTs use Ch10 whereas the AKAI defaults to Ch1.

Forget about the knobs for now, until you think of something definite to WANT to use them for.

Steve
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