NEW AKAI Controller MPK49

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
condra
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Post by condra » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:31 am

By the way, (FYI), because the information is absent from the manual, this is how to do a FACTORY RESET on an AKAI MPK49:

1. Press [>] - this will open the SAVE screen.
2. Press [>] again - This will open the PRESET NAME screen.
3. Press [>] to move past each letter in the current program's name
until the last character is reached.
4. Press [>] one more time - The FACTORY will be displayed.
5. Press [ENTER] to restore factory defaults

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:07 am

condra wrote:<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.
I agree with everything you say about it being a bit noisy. But I stick by my assessment of the pads. I have changed all three of those parameters. Still have to hit the pads too damn hard to get a 127.

Another annoying thing is that it does not save its global settings after power down.

another annoying thing is it should have one more fader (separate from the bank of eight) to map to the master track volume.

yes, 12 instead of 16 pads is annoying (especially for all those drum rack presets). anyone thought of a good solution, short of dragging all samples out of the fourth column in drum racks?

another annoying thing is that the tap tempo button won't output midi. i do not use the arpeggiator or note repeat or anything on this thing, so i have no reason to sync its clock with Live's. for users like me, it'd be nice to put that tap tempo button to use by mapping it to Live's tap tempo (you know, given that the button is labeled "tap tempo" and all).

the MOST annoying thing is that Ableton's native automap support for this controller currently only covers bank A of the sliders. It would be nice if banks B and C on the MPK49 automatically controlled tracks 9-16 and 17-24 in Live. And yes I know you can manual map those. But that is nowhere near a substitute, for a number of reasons. How hard would it be for Ableton to code it to support banks B and C? I don't get that kind of, well, cursory attention to detail.

other than that, I like the controller. but the banks think is making me seriously consider something else, like a novation or something.

condra
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Post by condra » Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:50 am

Heyman.
I stick by my assessment of the pads
Admittadly, I don't have much experience with pads. I always thought I would like pads that felt more like the buttons on an arcade machine.
Pads are still a bit of a novelty to me. I find drumming on keys to be just as much fun, even if it's not "keeping it real"
:lol:

Global settings is a problem on the MPD too. I sure hope they get it sorted in a firmware update.

About the drum rack thing. I don't need a visual cue so I'm happy just to send 36-47 like in the Reason preset. More detail/tips here..
http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic. ... 233#761233
Maybe you could ad some tips there if you have any.

As far as Abletons support for the controller goes, I agree, unfortunatly it's not good at this point in time.
I wonder if perhaps they left out the other banks to allow users to assign the parameters themselves. it would be nice if Ableton hosted a more formal discussion on this matter, like they have done with other controllers such as the MPD24.

Despite these teething problems, I'm rather pleased so far with my MPK.

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:42 am

condra wrote:I wonder if perhaps they left out the other banks to allow users to assign the parameters themselves.
I doubt it. You can always use manual maps to override any automaps that you don't like.

Baron von Case
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Post by Baron von Case » Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:45 pm

The keys are absurdly heavy in my book, and not in a good way. If you're a soloist, bypass this one.
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condra
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Post by condra » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:59 am

I've found setting the buttons to MOMENTARY as part of the Live template works better for my needs.
I've also edited the pad settings to be like those in the Reason template, giving me control over the 4th column in a drum rack!

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:48 pm

condra wrote:I've found setting the buttons to MOMENTARY as part of the Live template works better for my needs.
Isn't that the default in the "LiveLite" preset? That's where it just blinks while you press it, rather than toggling on and off, right? That should be the default.
condra wrote:I've also edited the pad settings to be like those in the Reason template, giving me control over the 4th column in a drum rack!
PLEASE elaborate!

condra
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Post by condra » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:22 pm

dave999z wrote: Isn't that the default in the "LiveLite" preset? That's where it just blinks while you press it, rather than toggling on and off, right? That should be the default.
I had to set mine to MOM from TGL
On toggle mode, you could have an unarmed track indicated by a lit button, and visa versa - pretty confusing. On MOM mode, I just get visual cues from Lives display, and hit the buttons accordingly.
dave999z wrote:
condra wrote:I've also edited the pad settings to be like those in the Reason template, giving me control over the 4th column in a drum rack!
PLEASE elaborate!
With the Live Template on the MPK, the pads skip every forth pad in a drum rack, meaning if you have a full drum rack, the whole 4th (right) column cant be triggered.
I have set them to go from note 36 up, a semitone at a time. One could just as easily simply switch to the Reason template (2) when working with Drum Racks.

condra
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Post by condra » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:27 pm

By the way* Anyone using the MPK49 with OSX Leopard??
My iMac 10.5.5 isn't detecting the MPK at start up. It must be (re)connected when the computer is on.

rubberbaby
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Preset not working

Post by rubberbaby » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:12 pm

Hi,

When I use the LiveLite preset with LiveLite 7.x only the pads and keys are recognised but the sliders, knobs and transport buttons are not assigned. After I set the controller up in the preferences I can manually assign them though.
Has anybody else had this problem? I'd really like to use the preset.

edit:
I had this problem on Windows XP SP3 and on the latest Leopard that came with the new MacBook Pro.

thanks

emptypond
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Post by emptypond » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:50 am

just picked up one of these up today, its great, gonna sell my other controllers since this does everything in one handy unit..the only problem I had was the chassis would rattle when playing keys in the lower octaves or using the mod wheel. I opened up the case and saw that the arp/latch/note repeat buttons had a little bit of give between the buttons and the contacts causing the rattle anytime a note was played hard. I slid a thin strip of cardboard between the buttons and the contacts and made it long enough so that the screws on either side would hold it in place.. now it works great and doesnt rattle / buzz , woohoo :P

dave999z
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Post by dave999z » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:55 pm

I'm still very disappointed by the lack of automap support for slider banks B (9-16) and C (17-24). the reason it bugs me so much is because it is so incredibly awesome for bank A ( 1-8 ). i love being able to hit the track arm button and instantly control the instrument on that track, without touching the keyboard or mouse. I got a very long explanation from Ableton tech support about this limitation, but was not satisfied as to *why* this could not be addressed in an update. (Whether it's a high enough priority is another question. But the explanation I got is that it basically could not be done.) BTW, I know I can manually map slider banks B and C. That's not good enough - because if you do that, and then reorder your track columns in Ableton, the mapping is all screwed up. Automapping (as occurs for bank A) is smart in that if I swap the positions of tracks 4 and 5, slider 4 will now control what is in the new track 4 position.

The other thing is that i don't like having only 12 pads, and the pads suck. Given that the pads make this unit so big, and i don't like their action, i'm definitely on the lookout for something better. may actually divide it all up, get a novation zero to control tracks with proper automapping and for transport, get a keyboard with decent keys, and get an MPD for drum programming.

My last nitpick is the inability to save global settings (especially the damn external clock setting so that thing stops blinking at me), but that i can live with.

and it is a rattly unit, and either my desk is warped (quite possible) or the feet on this thing aren't on an even plane, because the whole unit wobbles around like a bad chair in a restaurant.

i also wish you could map the MPK's tap tempo button to Live's tap tempo "button". it's like a perfectly-labeled useless appendix sitting there on the mpk. (i haven't synced the mpk with live's clock or used the mpk's arpeggiator. so i'm not using that button but wish it was midi-mappable. maybe akai could fix that in a firmware update. but whether they could or not, they won't.)

TRS80
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Re: NEW AKAI Controller MPK49

Post by TRS80 » Sat May 09, 2009 12:23 am

Just ordered the mpk49. Thanks for the informative thread.
Ableton Suite 8.2.2 suite; OS 10.6.7

flashy12
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Re:

Post by flashy12 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:40 pm

jean_pierre wrote:
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...
pair that mpk with the apc 40 and an mpd32 and you have everything you need

just lock the mpd32 to drum racks lock the mpk to a simpler/sampler or operator and the apc 40 will handle clips and transport
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Tarekith
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Re: NEW AKAI Controller MPK49

Post by Tarekith » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:53 pm

That's pretty much what I do with my MPK25 and the APC40. The APC handles transport, clips and macro control, while the MPK is more or less a midi input device for playing synths.

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