NEW AKAI Controller MPK49

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Machinesworking
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Post by Machinesworking » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:03 pm

eclipxe wrote:False, it is definitely compatible with Kore (2 at least).

OK, I'm using Kore 1 hardware with Kore 2. It definitely loses connection to Audio/MIDI set up on OSX 10.4xx, and Leopard on my set up, and Kore loses audio and MIDI in stand alone as a result. It's quite possibly Ni at fault, but the X-Station, and an old MIDI keyboard run through a Midisport 4X4 didn't have this problem, and the only new thing is the MPK49 with class compliant drivers.... on two different OS versions.
Your set up is probably different than mine, we don't all use the same computer/audio card/MIDI controllers, therefore it's probably not wise to just think in terms of true/false when comparing set ups and bugs. :)

Machinesworking
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Post by Machinesworking » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:02 pm

Just to let people know, the most common thing it's doing is losing connection. I suspect it's because I have three bus powered devices here; PadKontrol, Kore 1 controller, and the MPK49. All are on a powered Belkin hub. I guess the power limit with USB2 is on my system at least is two devices.... I'll test without Kore and the PadKontrol to see what happens.

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:11 pm

Got my new one today. Doesn't rattle like the old one, but it rattles in other ways. I have to say I'm not overly impressed with the build quality. It's just a noisy unit in general. The keys are loud, the pads kind of rattle, and various other buttons/parts seem to buzz sporadically when I hit the keys or pads.

I don't expect the world for $400. But considering that all this is is a MIDI controller (with supposedly legendary Akai feel at that), I was hoping for it to be a little smoother/tighter, rather than loose/rattly. I often work at very low volumes, so this is bothersome.

Whatever. Beats my 61-key Evolution controller, in that it has pads, transport controls, and aftertouch.



(Hey, anyone want to buy an Evolution MK-361C for real cheap?)



-dave
Last edited by dave999z on Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:20 pm

Oh yeah - another annoying thing... no power button. WTF!

Machinesworking
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Post by Machinesworking » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:02 am

dave999z wrote:I was hoping for it to be a little smoother/tighter, rather than loose/rattly. I often work at very low volumes, so this is bothersome.
Funny part is that it's a better build quality than what I've seen with the Remote SL, the knobs and faders are much cheaper feeling on the SL, but the keys are better, and it has all those LEDs, plus I'm big on the mod/pitch wheel on the Novations. I think this thing is going back to the shop. I like it, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't have the advanced MIDI that the SL does, at least with the X-Station you could send different parts of the keyboard to different MIDI channels. So a patch in the X-Station could instantly be assigned to two tracks in Live.

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:21 pm

So, my replacement unit has problems too...

stupid mod wheel doesn't work. (no info displayed on the LCD, and it doesn't send any data out)

and the display just goes randomly haywire.


I think I'm done with this model - screw it.

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:05 pm

Returned it, didn't order another (from GC at least - forget them).

I might try ordering one from Sweetwater, but I have a bad taste on this thing now.

Can't really find another controller I want though.

jean_pierre
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Post by jean_pierre » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:27 am

@dave999z - sorry to hear you had so many bad units. i preordered one from guitar center back in early december, got it the second week, opened it up to see… faders bent sideways. i couldn't justify keeping it but it meant i had to wait several weeks for another. definitely soured things a bit but now that i have one (that doesn't rattle) i am pretty pleased. kinda wish i had the MPD32 at times as the pads can be a bit odd when used with kits, but that might just take some getting accustomed to. i say skip guitar center and give sweetwater a spin, if you still get a bad unit - get a MPD32 and a SL Compact Remote :)


now a few quick questions for those that haven been using the MPK49 with live:
- what exactly does the bank button do? when set to A, i can control the first 8 tracks, but changing to B or C, i can't control the next logical groups 9-16 or 17-24.

- how do people handle the missing pad column? do you just remap all of the presets then cycle through different pad banks?

- how are the knobs assigned to devices? it maps directly to the 2x4 knobs of device macro maps, but looking at the control surface reference in the MIDI Controllers lesson, it seems like selecting a device should expose all those device instrument mappings. how does one select say an analogue device and cycle through the 8 different banks of mappings it has to the encoders? only available on other controllers?

cheers.

Grappadura
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Post by Grappadura » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:57 am

I bought me a SL Compact, and I love it. The drum pads aren´t the best, you don´t get values of 127 when you hit them in the corners, and the feel of the knobs could be better, because they snap to the values instead of just sliding all the way up and down. The display is also not very clear, you have to look close to see the values. But whats great is the templates and the easy way of switching between them. What I also like is that you have 8 knobs and 8 sliders which can control up to 32 parameters, because there are 4 "group switches" for the buttons and 4 more for the knobs. The feel of the keys is quite good.

With the templates you can customize the control of each instrument or effect and you have 32 knobs and 32 buttons (8*4) to access all values that are important to you. Thats a lot of control!

The speed dial is also quite handy, even though you have to press the knob while turning it, which is not such a good feel. Nevertheless its a cool thing.

Machinesworking
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Post by Machinesworking » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:58 pm

Returned the MPK49 for the Remote SL 61. Too many reasons for 61 keys, and the LCDs, plus the X/Y pad, plus Automap.
The only real advantage to the MPK IMO was the note repeat and pressure sensitive pads. Though I have a PadKontrol, and even if the pads aren'r pressure sensitive, the feel is better, larger, and hitting anywhere on the pad makes sound.

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:41 pm

jean_pierre wrote:@dave999z - sorry to hear you had so many bad units. i preordered one from guitar center back in early december, got it the second week, opened it up to see… faders bent sideways. i couldn't justify keeping it but it meant i had to wait several weeks for another. definitely soured things a bit but now that i have one (that doesn't rattle) i am pretty pleased. kinda wish i had the MPD32 at times as the pads can be a bit odd when used with kits, but that might just take some getting accustomed to. i say skip guitar center and give sweetwater a spin, if you still get a bad unit - get a MPD32 and a SL Compact Remote :)


now a few quick questions for those that haven been using the MPK49 with live:
- what exactly does the bank button do? when set to A, i can control the first 8 tracks, but changing to B or C, i can't control the next logical groups 9-16 or 17-24.

- how do people handle the missing pad column? do you just remap all of the presets then cycle through different pad banks?

- how are the knobs assigned to devices? it maps directly to the 2x4 knobs of device macro maps, but looking at the control surface reference in the MIDI Controllers lesson, it seems like selecting a device should expose all those device instrument mappings. how does one select say an analogue device and cycle through the 8 different banks of mappings it has to the encoders? only available on other controllers?

cheers.

i think i will try one more unit, this time from sweetwater. if it craps out, I'll know it's either the model, or my luck, but I'll still blame GC. :twisted:
Last edited by dave999z on Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jean_pierre
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Post by jean_pierre » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:30 pm

jean_pierre wrote: now a few quick questions for those that haven been using the MPK49 with live:
- what exactly does the bank button do? when set to A, i can control the first 8 tracks, but changing to B or C, i can't control the next logical groups 9-16 or 17-24.

- how do people handle the missing pad column? do you just remap all of the presets then cycle through different pad banks?

- how are the knobs assigned to devices? it maps directly to the 2x4 knobs of device macro maps, but looking at the control surface reference in the MIDI Controllers lesson, it seems like selecting a device should expose all those device instrument mappings. how does one select say an analogue device and cycle through the 8 different banks of mappings it has to the encoders? only available on other controllers?

cheers.
one more question to add to this list - how do people handle recording into slots? the record button on the keyboard's transport controls obviously sets recording up into Live's arrangement, but what i'm hoping to be able to do is kick off recording into a slot.

bonus question - is there an easy way via the keyboard to trigger tracks/slots? maybe i need a different controller huh...

Mr Man
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Post by Mr Man » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:16 pm

Grappadura wrote:I bought me a SL Compact, and I love it. The drum pads aren´t the best, you don´t get values of 127 when you hit them in the corners, and the feel of the knobs could be better, because they snap to the values instead of just sliding all the way up and down. The display is also not very clear, you have to look close to see the values. But whats great is the templates and the easy way of switching between them. What I also like is that you have 8 knobs and 8 sliders which can control up to 32 parameters, because there are 4 "group switches" for the buttons and 4 more for the knobs. The feel of the keys is quite good.

With the templates you can customize the control of each instrument or effect and you have 32 knobs and 32 buttons (8*4) to access all values that are important to you. Thats a lot of control!

The speed dial is also quite handy, even though you have to press the knob while turning it, which is not such a good feel. Nevertheless its a cool thing.
Are u talking the new sl compact? It doesnt have sliders see!

davec1
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Post by davec1 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:12 pm

anyone else have some experience with the mpk49? I'm thinking about getting it. I also read on another forum that you had to play the pads a bit for them to become ok, "break them in".

Has anyone made the same experience that the pads' feel improves over time?

condra
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Post by condra » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:12 am

<Hey Dave.

I've been messin around with my new MPK this evening and I'm very impressed by it.

Regarding the pads, I don't know why people say they are stiff and unresponsive.
I suspect many of those naggers haven't taken the time to mess with the 3 parameters which make playing the pads more enjoyable, namely "Pad Sense", "Pad Curve" and "Pad Threshold".
As far as their "feel" goes, drum pads generally seem to wear down and loosen up over time. This happened with my MPD pads, and the pads on my old Axiom, and I presume it will be the same for the MPK.
FWIW I think they feel, and respond very well, once set up properly. More than adequate for basic drums or hip hop cuts.
I would have liked 16 pads, but thats just my OCD acting up.

Faders are big and sturdy, as are the rotaries, buttons and pitch/mod wheels. The chassy is pretty badass too. Its made from plastic, but thick strong matt black plastic.

My only criticism would be that the keys can be a little noisey, and that playing the keys and pads can resonate into the chassy and onto the surface of my desk, but overall, it's a great controller in my opinion.

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