Syncing an Akai MPK, an MPC2500/5000, and Reason

MPC5000 FrontEveryone wants more.  If you are lucky enough to own an Akai MPC and an Akai MPK, then you should know that these can be synced together using MIDI Clock.  This allows for perfect timing and instantaneous messaging between all synced devices and programs.  Check out the guide below on how to sync an Akai MPK, an MPC, and Propellerhead's Reason software.  Once you do this, beware!  The dangers of such unlimited potential may be hazardous to your health!

 

Connecting the Hardware

Power Supply

The MPK uses an optional MP6-1 6V, DC, 500mA, pin-positive power supply. This power supply is required for the setup described in this guide. To purchase, please visit the Akai product page at www.akaipro.com.

USB Connections

Connect a MIDI interface to a rear USB port on the computer and install as the manufacturer suggests. A separate MIDI interface is required for the setup described in this guide. The referenced MIDI interface used throughout this guide is an Alesis iO4.

MIDI Connections
  • Connect the MPC MIDI OutputA to the MIDI Input on your MIDI interface.
  • Connect the MPC MIDI Output B to the MIDI Input on the MPK.
  • Connect the MPC MIDI Input1 to the MPK MIDI Output.
  • Power on the MPC, the MPK, and the MIDI interface.

 

Hardware Settings

MPC Setup
  1. Press the MAIN button on the MPC to get to the main screen. Use the CURSOR arrows to get to MIDI option on the bottom right corner of the main screen (see below). Use the DATA wheel to change the MIDI setting from OFF to 1A.

    MPC_setup_1  
     
  2. Next, press the MODE button and then the MIDI/SYNCpad. The correct pad will show the text “MIDI/SYNC” in alternate coloring just above the pad.

    The MIDI/SYNC screen will now be available in the MPC window. Press the F1 button to access the MIDI screen.
     
  3. Within the MIDI screen, set your options to the following:

    Active track receive channel……………………     ALL
    Soft thru………………………………………......    *OMNI-A
    Sequence change by program change………..    OFF
    Pad to internal sound……………………………     ON
    *In order to access the MPK through the MPC MIDI port, ensure that the MPK MIDI Out is connected to the MPC MIDI Input A. If you have it connected to a different MPC MIDI Input, set Soft Thru to the port you have it connected to or set it to OMNI-ALL.
     
  4. Press the F2 button to access the SYNC screen.
     
  5. Within the SYNC screen, set your options to the following:

    Sync in…………………………………..     OFF
    Sync out…………………………………     ALL(Master)
    Mode…………………………………….     MIDI CLOCK
    Send MMC………………………………     ON
     
  6. Press the MAIN button to return to the MPC main screen.

The MPC is now set up to send the Master clock information to both Reason and the MPK.

 

MPK Setup

Next, set up the MPK to be able to receive MIDI clock information from the MPC so it will sync correctly.

  1. Press the PRESET button to access the MPK preset options. Turn the knob labeled “Push to Enter” until the Reason preset is available in the MPK LED window. Press the “Push to Enter” knob to choose the Reason MPK preset.
     
  2. Press the Global button on the MPK. Now press the > button until the MIDI CLK screen appears. Turn the knob labeled “Push to Enter” to set the MIDI clock to EXTERNAL.
    *Note – Once this setting is changed to External, the TAP TEMPO light on the MPK will stop blinking.

    MPK_Setup_1

     
  3. Press the Edit button on the MPK. Next, press a transport control (such as the STOP button). This brings you to the Set TRNS screen. Press the knob labeled “PUSH TO ENTER”. This brings you to the Setting screen. Turn the “PUSH TO ENTER” knob until the Settings screen is set to MMC. Now press the “PUSH TO ENTER” knob again.

    MPK_Setup_2
     
  4. Finally, press the PRESET button to get back to the main menu and allow tempo control.

The MPK is now set up to receive the Master clock information from the MPC as well as send transport control messages to the Reason software.

 

Software Settings

Installing the Reason Remote Files (Controller Preset Files)

Both PC and Mac must have Reason version 3.04 or later installed in order to use the included Akai Reason Remote Files and for the playback controls to work with Reason.

The latest version of Reason will have most or all Akai MIDI Controller preset files pre-installed. If you have the latest Reason version installed, or can update to it, the installation of the Reason Remote Files may not be necessary.

Windows XP
  1. Download the AkaiReason Remote Files from the Akai product page at www.akaipro.com. Find the updated Reason Remote File download under Downloads and Documents and download it. Follow the steps suggested in the Installation and Setup Instructions included with the download to install the update (see below).
     
  2. The Akai Reason Remote Files folder contains two folders: Lua Codecs and Maps. Open the Lua Codecs folder.
     
  3. Copy the folder titled Akai into the following directory on your computer: C:\Documents and settings\All Users\Application Data\Propellerhead Software\Remote\Codecs\Lua Codecs.
     
  4. Next, in the Akai Reason Remote Files folder, open the folder titled Maps.
     
  5. Copy the Akai folder to the following directory on your computer: C:\Documents and settings\All Users\Application Data\Propellerhead Software\Remote\Maps.
Windows 7 / Vista
  1. Double-click the Computer icon on the desktop, then double-click Local Disk (C:).
     
  2. Towards the upper-left of the window, select the Organize menu, and choose Folder and Search Options.
     
  3. At the top of the window that opens, select the View tab.
     
  4. In the list titled Advanced settings double-click the Show hidden files and folders option.
     
  5. Click Apply and then click OK. The Folder Options window will close.
     
  6. Download the AkaiReason Remote Files from the Akai product page at www.akaipro.com. Find the updated Reason Remote File download under Downloads and Documents and download it. Follow the steps suggested in the Installation and Setup Instructions included with the download to install the update (see below).
     
  7. The Akai Reason Remote Files folder contains two folders: Lua Codecs and Maps. Open the Lua Codecs folder.
     
  8. Copy the folder titled Akai into the following directory on your computer: C:\Program Data\Propellerhead Software\Remote\Codecs\Lua Codecs.
     
  9. Next, in the Akai Reason Remote Files folder, open the folder titled Maps.
     
  10. Copy the Akai folder to the following directory on your computer: C:\Program Data\Propellerhead Software\Remote\Maps.
Macintosh
  1. Download the AkaiReason Remote Files from the Akai product page at www.akaipro.com. Find the updated Reason Remote File download under Downloads and Documents and download it. Follow the steps suggested in the Installation and Setup Instructions included with the download to install the update (see below).
     
  2. The Akai Reason Remote Files folder (the same folder where you found this guide) contains two folders: Lua Codecs and Maps. Open the Lua Codecs folder.
     
  3. Copy the folder titled Akai into the following directory on your computer: Macintosh HD\Library\Application Support\Propellerhead Software\Remote\CODECS\LUA CODECS.
     
  4. Next, in the Akai Reason Remote Files folder, open the folder titled Maps.
     
  5. Copy the Akai folder to the following directory on your computer: Macintosh HD\Library\Application Support\Propellerhead Software\Remote\Maps.

 

Reason Settings

Lastly, set up the Reason software to receive Master clock information from the MPC as well as Transport Control and other MIDI information from both the MPC and the MPK.

  1. Start Reason and choose the Edit option from the top toolbar. In the drop-down window that opens, choose Preferences.

    Reason_Step_1           Reason_Step_1b

     
  2. Once the Preferences window opens, choose the Keyboards and Control Surfaces page from the Page drop-down menu.

    Reason_Step_2  
  3. Within the Keyboards and Control Surfaces window, choose the Add button to create a new control surface.

    In the Control Surface window that opens up, choose Akai as the Manufacturer and the MPKcontrol surface that you have as the Model.

    Reason_Step_3
    In the same window, ensure that you choose your MIDI interface in the menus labelled In Port and Out Port. In this example, we have chosen the Alesis iO4 because that is the MIDI interface we have connected to the computer via USB. Then press OK.

    Reason_Step_3b  
  4. Back in the Preferences window, choose the Advanced page from the top drop-down menu.

    Reason_Step_4  
  5. In the MIDI Clock Sync section, change the Port to your MIDI interface In this example, we have chosen the Alesis iO4 because that is the MIDI interface we have connected to the computer via USB.

    Reason_Step_5  
  6. Close the Preferences window.
     
  7. In the main Reason toolbar, choose Options from the top of the Reason window. Scroll the mouse cursor over the Sync option and then choose MIDI Clock from the window that appears.

    Reason_Step_7

Reason is now set up to receive MIDI Clock information from the MPC, as well as Transport and other MIDI information from both the MPC and the MPK.  You Akai MPC, MPK, and Reason are now sync'd!

 

 

AKAI Technical Support and Warranty Service

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an Akai Pro product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Akai Pro technical support team is available to help!

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.

www.akaipro.com/support