Akai MPC500 - Mapping to the Ableton Live Drum Rack

 

akai mpc500 mainThe Akai MPC500 is a portable but powerful version of the larger MPC series units. Not only is it a capable sampler and sequencer in its own right, but it can also serve conveniently as a MIDI controller for Ableton Live. The following article will walk you through how to map your MPC500 to be used with the Ableton Live Drum Rack.

MPC500 Setup

  1. On the MPC press [Mode] + MIDI/Sync[Pad 7].
  2. Using the Data wheel, scroll to Soft Thru. Use the cursor keys on the unit to move downward to on screen. Use the Data wheel to change the Soft Thru value to Off.
  3. Using the Data wheel scroll to Pad to Sampler and set its value to Off.
  4. Scroll to Sync and set it to Master.
  5. Under Default Assign we need to set the pads on the MPC500 to the corresponding notes in the Ableton Drum Rack. Pressing a pad will select that pad for editing on the MPC500's screen. Use the Data Wheel to set your pads to the corresponding note values below.
     
    Default Ableton Live Drum Rack mapping

    Pad 1- Note # 60
    Pad 2 - Note # 62
    Pad 3 - Note # 64
    Pad 4 - Note # 65
    Pad 5 - Note # 67
    Pad 6 - Note # 69
    Pad 7 - Note # 71
    Pad 8 - Note # 72
    Pad 9 - Note # 60 (On MIDI Channel 2A)
    Pad 10 - Note # 62 (On MIDI 2A)
    Pad 11 - Note # 64 (On MIDI 2A)
    Pad 12 - Note # 65 (On MIDI 2A)
    Pad 13 - Note # 67 (On MIDI 2A)
    Pad 14 - Note # 69 (On MIDI 2A)
    Pad 15 - Note # 71 (On MIDI 2A)
    Pad 16 - Note # 72 (On MIDI 2A)

  6. Press the Track button and then the Params button. Use the Data Wheel to scroll to Track Type. Change the Track Type from Drum to MIDI.
  7. Use the Data Wheel to scroll to MIDI Channel. Set to 1.

Ableton Live Setup

  1. Open Ableton Live and click on the Options menu and select Preferences
     

    akai mpc500 abletonrack setup 1

  2. Select the MIDI/SYNC tab on the left hand side of the window.
     

    akai mpc500 abletonrack setup 2

  3. Under Input select the MIDI input of your audio or MIDI interface that the MPC1000 is plugged into.
     

    akai mpc500 abletonrack setup 3

  4. Under the MIDI Ports section of the window be sure that your MIDI input has the TrackSync, and Remote values set to On.
     

    akai mpc500 abletonrack setup 4

     

  5. Drag a new drum program or Drum Rack to the main Ableton window. The Ableton Drum Rack has 8 banks of 16 pads. A blank Drum Rack defaults to the bank with C1-D#2, as shown below.
     

    akai mpc1000 abletonrack setup 4

  6. When loading a preset Drum Rack, you will no longer see these note numbers but rather the names of the samples. The default MIDI notes remain the same. The best approach here is to refer back to Step 5 of setting up your MPC 500 and manually change the notes the MPC1000 is outputting to your preference. 
     

    akai mpc1000 abletonrack setup 6

     

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