Ableton | Live | Setting up the MPK49 and MPD32 with Ableton Live

Akai MPD and MPK Series – Setup With Ableton Live
Contents
Configuring as a Control Surface ...................................................................... 2
Input Output Options ......................................................................................... 4
Custom Assigning Controls ............................................................................... 8
Value Scaling vs. Pick Up Mode...................................................................... 10
Using Note Repeat /Arp with the MPD or MPK’s Internal MIDI Clock ............. 11
Using Note Repeat /Arp with Ableton as Master ............................................. 12
Using a Virtual Instrument in Ableton .............................................................. 13
Technical Support and Warranty Service ........................................................ 16
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Note: These screenshots were taken on Ableton Live 7.0.15, while there are new
features in 8 the selections that pertain to this setup should remain the same.
Also note they were taken using the MPK on a Mac. All of the options are the
same for the MPD short of the Arp option. So if you own an MPD follow these
same steps. The only difference is you will see MPD instead of MPK. PC users
will see USB Device rather than MPD or MPK.
Configuring as a Control Surface
1. First open the software and go to the Live Menu (File Menu on a PC) and
choose Preferences.
2. In the Preferences screen choose the MIDI Sync tab, and then drop down
the Control Surface menu. In here you should see MPD or MPK.
If you do not see these options in the Control Surface menu please upgrade
to the latest version of Ableton 6. Ableton 7 and 8 should have these options
already.
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3. After choosing the appropriate Control Surface, turn your attention to the
Input and Output drop-down menus.
On the Input drop-down choose the 1st midi input. (Note: on PC’s you may
see USB Audio Device not MPD or MPK)
4. After choosing the first input drop down the Output menu.
On the Output drop-down menu choose the 1st midi output.
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Input Output Options
The MPD or MPK should now be selected as the control surface.
Now turn your attention to the MIDI Ports section below. You will see 3 inputs
and 2 outputs. You will also notice the Track, Sync, and Remote options.
* Please ask download our MIDI IO Details Guide from any MPD or MPK
controller’s product page for an explanation on the differences between the 3
inputs and 2 outputs.
1. The Track option will control any midi notes being sent by the MPD or MPK
or being sent back out to the MPD or MPK. (i.e., the keys and the pads for
playing instruments).
When using the MPD or MPK to trigger virtual instruments in Ableton,
you will want to turn Track On for the 1st input.
If you need to route midi notes from output B on the MPD or MPK then
choose Track On for input 2.
If you would like to use the physical midi in to route midi from another
controller then choose Track On for input 3.
You will see you can do the same on both outputs. Generally you will
not need to turn Track On here. However if you need to route midi
notes back out to an external device, you can do so by turning Track
On for output 2.
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2. The Sync option is specifically for routing Midi Clock between devices. This
will come into play with Note Repeat and the Arp option.
When using the MPK you may want to use the Note Repeat function on
the pads or the Arp with the keys. The MPD will also allow Note Repeat
with the pads. Both of these options repeat notes at a specific time
division following a specific tempo.
The MPD or MPK has an internal MIDI Clock and the ability to use an
external clock source. This means the tempo of your project, and
inevitably the tempo of Note Repeat and the Arp, can be chosen by
tapping the Tap Tempo button on the MPD or MPK or by having the MPD
or MPK listen to Ableton’s tempo. This is purely based off personal
preference.
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3. The Remote option is used to send/receive Control Surface commands. i.e,
the transport controls, the knobs, and the faders. (see Custom Assigning
Controls for more on this)
To use the knobs, faders, and transport to control Ableton turn Remote
On for the 1st input. This will route these messages into the software
enabling you to use the knobs, faders, and transport to control different
functions in the software.
By default they are assigned to their best controls already. If you have the
knobs or faders assigned to midi port B on your MPD or MPK then you
would turn Remote On for input 2.
If you would like to use another controller via the MPD or MPK’s MIDI in
port then turn Remote On for input 3. To route Control Change messages
through the MIDI out port on the MPD or MPK, turn Remote On for output
2.
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Custom Assigning Controls
1. It is also very easy to customize Ableton to respond in any way you’d like.
On a Mac hit CMD + M to bring up the midi assignment options. On a
PC press CTRL+M. You’ll see it puts a blue sheen over all assignable
options. Any option you see highlighted can learn any knob, fader, or
s-button on the MPD or MPK.
2. First click an assignable option on screen. In the example below I chose
Send A on Track 3. You’ll see it puts brackets around the option chosen.
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3. After selecting the assignable option (Send A in this example), simply move
the knob or fader you would like to assign to it on the MPD or MPK.
As you can see in the screen shot below it will show a number for the
assignment it learned. This is the CC (Control Change) number
assigned to the particular knob or fader you moved.
4. Once you see this on screen press CMD+M on the Mac (Ctrl+M on the PC)
again to take the midi learn assignments off screen. Move the knob or fader
you assigned and you will see it now moves the assignment you chose on
screen. You can do this for virtually anything in Ableton. Feel free to set up
your controller any way you’d like.
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Value Scaling vs. Pick Up Mode
There is one more thing to be aware of on the MIDI Sync tab in your
Preferences menu. You will see a Takeover Mode drop-down menu. Your two
options are Pick Up and Value Scaling.
1. When set to Pick Up the knobs and faders will only start moving there
counterpart on screen when that particular knob or fader moves past the
location of the on screen knob or fader.
i.e., Fader 1 on the MPD or MPK is all the way down. You open
Ableton and Fader 1 in the software is halfway up. When set to
Pick Up the fader on screen will not move until the fader on the
MPD or MPK goes past the halfway up point. It will “Pick Up” from
this point and move along with the fader on screen.
2. When set to Value Scaling it will do the opposite.
i.e., Fader 1 on the MPK49 is all the way down. You open Ableton
and Fader 1 in the software is halfway up. When set to Value
Scaling the fader on screen will move as soon as you move the
fader on the MPK49 without waiting for the fader to be halfway up.
So rather than waiting for the fader on the MPK49 to pass the point
where the on screen fader is set, it will move immediately from its
original location by the amount the fader on the MPK49 was
moved.
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Using Note Repeat /Arp with the MPD or MPK’s Internal
MIDI Clock
1. First turn Sync On for the first input. You will see Sync Type. Drop down
this menu and choose MIDI Clock.
This is telling Ableton to listen to the tempo from your MPD or MPK.
You choose this tempo by either tapping the Tap Tempo button or by
pressing Edit and then Tap Tempo to manually scroll to the desired
BPM. The Tap Tempo light will blink at the chosen tempo.
If you have an external device that sends MIDI clock that you would
rather use as your source for midi clock, connect it to the MPD or
MPK’s MIDI in port and choose Sync On for the 3rd input.
When you do this you will notice Ableton will switch to Ext where you
normally would see Tap. This confirms it is listening to the external
MIDI clock.
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Using Note Repeat /Arp with Ableton as Master
1. To set the MPD or MPK to listen to External clock press the Global
button and then page right until you see MIDI/CLK. Set this option to
External. Make sure you are on the latest firmware to be able to save this
change.
The Tap Tempo light will stop blinking which confirms it is no longer using
Internal Clock.
2. Back on the MIDI Sync tab under the MIDI Ports section turn your
attention to output 1. Turn Sync On for the 1st output in order to route
Ableton’s MIDI clock to the MPD or MPK.
If you would like to send the midi clock to an external device via the MPD
or MPK MIDI out port then choose Sync On for port 2.
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Using a Virtual Instrument in Ableton
1. To set up a Virtual Instrument in Ableton the first thing we need to do is
choose one from the Ableton Device List. (You can also use 3rd party
VST’s, consult Ableton’s documentation)
2. Choose the option highlighted in the screenshot below to bring up a list of
your Live Devices. In this example I chose Billy the Kid under the
Instrument Rack. To add this to the project simply drag it from here and
drop it to the right where it says “Drop Files and Audio Devices Here”.
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3. You will see the track appear on the right. Notice at the bottom there is a
red button. This is Record Enable, this must be activated to hear what
you are playing.
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4. Below you will see the drop down menu for the midi input. It will be labeled
MIDI From. Generally you can leave this set to All Ins, however if need
be choose the specific input for the MPK49/MPD32 from the drop down
menu.
5. If you have something set to a specific midi channel that you would like
only this instrument to respond to you can choose the channel by dropping
down the menu below. Generally this will stay on All Channels.
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Now if you play the MPD or MPK you should hear the audio from this Virtual
Instrument track. There is plenty to learn with Ableton as it is an advanced
DAW(Digital Audio Workstation), so we still suggest reading the manual and
going through the tutorial videos. You’re MPD or MPK should be configured and
ready to use!
Technical Support and Warranty Service
Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a Akai Pro product, or if you just have
pre-sales questions, our experienced technical support team is here to help!
Visit us online:
Each product we make has a dedicated support page on our
website where you can find manuals, specifications, software
updates, drivers and troubleshooting guides.
http://www.akaipro.com/mpk25
http://www.akaipro.com/mpk49
http://www.akaipro.com/mpk61
http://www.akaipro.com/mpk488
http://www.akaipro.com/mpd26
http://www.akaipro.com/mpd32
Contact us by Phone: 401-658-4032
Hours of Operation:
We are available to help you 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM EST Monday
through Friday (except holidays).
Contact us by email:
http://www.akaipro.com/contact
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