Akai MPK2 Series - Complete Download, Unlock and Setup in MPC Essentials


akai mpk249 mainThe Akai MPK2 series controllers combine deep software integration, enhanced workflow, and core technologies from the iconic line of MPC workstations.  The MPK225, MPK249, and MPK261 are engineered to be all-in-one controller solutions for comprehensive interfacing and manipulation of virtual instruments, effect plugins, DAWs, and more.  This article walks through how to set up the MPK2 series controller with the MPC Essentials software.


 

Content

  1. Downloading, Installing and Unlocking MPC Essentials
  2. MPK2 Series Hardware Setup
  3. MPC Essentials Software Setup
  4. Virtual Instruments and Plugins
  5. Additional Resources
  6. Further Technical Support

 

 

Downloading, Installing and Unlocking MPC Essentials

If you haven't already, start by creating an account at AkaiPro.com and registering your MPK225, MPK249, or MPK261 with it's included serial number. Please be sure to include the (21) and capital letter when entering the serial number. When you're ready, use the instructions below to download, install and authorize MPC Essentials.
 

  1. To download MPC Essentials, select MPC Essentials 1.8.2 (PC) or MPC Essentials 1.8.2 (Mac) depending on your operating system.  This will downlaod as a file called Update-MPC-Essentials-1.8.2.


     
  2. After the download is complete, we will need to extract the files before installation. To do this, make sure you have an unzipping program installed on your computer and right-click in the white space of the folder in which the download is stored. After doing this, select Extract All... to extract the files. Make sure you remember this location so we can retrieve it afterwards.

    MPK Mini MKII MPC Essentials Extract
     
  3. After the files are extracted, selec the file named Update MPC Essentials to run the setup. The software may notify you that a previous version of MPC has not been installed. Just click "OK" to continue and the installer will install the full version of MPC Essentials. 

    Install MPC Essentials

     
  4. Follow all of the prompts to proceed with the installation.

    Important: While some MPC Essentials products do require drivers, this one will not. Please ignore any prompts to install drivers.
     
  5. After the installation is completed, you will be prompted to unlock your software. Select Unlock Now to continue.

    Welcome to MPC
     
  6. To unlock the software, make sure you're entering the serial number for MPC Essentials found within your Akai Professional account. This will be a 15-digit code containing a mixture of capital letters and numbers, preceded with a "(21)". You will want to make sure you're entering this number exactly as it appears in your account. To make the process easier, we recommend copy/pasting the code from your account into the software.

    Fill in the rest of the information and select Unlock Now.

    Unlock Your MPC 4
     
  7. After this, you will see a box saying you've successfully unlocked your MPC!

    Your MPC is unlocked
  8. Congratulations, you have successfully installed the latest version of MPC Essentials!

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Hardware Setup

  1. First, connect the Akai MPK2 series controller to an available USB port on your computer using the supplied cable and power the controller on.
     
  2. Press the PRESET button and use the data dial to scroll to Preset: 2 MpcEsnt1.  Press the PUSH TO ENTER knob.

    Note: The presets, preset names, and order of presets may vary depending on the specific model.

    akai mpk2 mpc essentials preset
     
  3. Next, press the EDIT button and then tap a transport control such as STOP, PLAY or REC.  Use the data dial to change the Type: to MMC.  Then press the PUSH TO ENTER knob.

    arrow mmc-midi   arrow  arrow mmc
     
  4. Press the PRESET button to get back to the main preset screen.
     
  5. Press the GLOBAL button to enter the Global settings menu. Press the right arrow key until the display reads Clock Source:   Use the rotary knob to select External.

    akai mpk2 mpc hardware 3
     
  6. Hit the right arrow key until the display reads Save Globals.  Press the PUSH TO ENTER knob to save the settings.  The display will flash .  When this is complete, the display will read .

    akai mpk2 mpc hardware 4
     
  7. Press the PRESET button to return to the MpcEsnt1 preset screen.


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Software Setup

  1. Launch the MPC Essentials software.
     
  2. Open the Preferences window in MPC Essentials.  In the Audio tab, choose your Audio Device Type and Device which is dependent upon your audio interface.

    MAC:
    Select MPC Essentials > Preferences
    or use the key command shortcut - [Command + comma]

    PC:
    Select Edit > Preferences
    or use the key command shortcut - [Control + comma]

    akai mpk2 essentials preferences1

  3. Choose the MIDI tab and activate the MPK2 series controller in the Active Midi Inputs box as shown in the image below.

    akai mpk2 essentials midi
     
  4. Select the Sync tab from the left side of the window.  Under the heading MIDI Machine Control (MMC) click on the boxes next to Receive and Send to add a check mark to each box.  Also, to ensure synchronization for functions such as the Arpeggiator, choose MIDI Clock from the Send drop-down menu and the MPK249 from the To drop-down menu.

    Remember: MPC Essentials will need to be playing back in order to send MIDI clock to the MPK and trigger the arpeggiator. 

    akai mpk2 mpc sync 4

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Virtual Instruments and Plugins

Default Plugin Installation Locations 

For Windows users, pay attention to the location where the 32 and 64 bit plugins are being installed. You will need to know this later on in order to scan the plugins into MPC Essentials. By default, these will install to:

AIR Hybrid 3 Default Installation Locations:

 

Windows:
32-bit: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins\
64-bit: C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTplugins

Mac:
(AU): Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Plugins > Components
(VST): Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Plugins > VST


SONiVOX Twist 2 Default Installation Locations:

 

Windows:
32-bit and 64-bit: C:\Program Files(x86)\VSTPlugins

Mac:
(AU): Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Plugins > Components
(VST): Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Plugins > VST


SONiVOX Eighty Eight Default Installation Locations:

 

Windows:
32-bit and 64-bit: C:\Program Files (x86)\VstPlugins

Mac:
(AU): Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Plugins > Components
(VST): Macintosh HD > Library > Audio > Plugins > VST

It is common practice to put all of your plugins into a single folder in order to keep track of your plugin library, so you may want to consider changing the install location of one or both of the plugins to a single location. Note: It is ok to install both 32 and 64-bit versions to the same folder, but be aware that your DAW will only be able to recognize one and may fail the other.

 

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Adjusting the MPC Essentials Plugin Sources

Note for Windows users only: If you have difficulty locating a plugin in your VST folder within the MPC Essentials software, be sure to check the section above and make sure MPC Essentials is scanning plugins from the correct location where your plugin is installed. To do this:

    1. Open the Preferences menu.

      Mac:
      Select MPC > Preferences...
      or use the keyboard shortcut - [Command + comma]

      Windows
      Select Edit > Preferences...
      or use the keyboard shortcut - [Control + comma]
       
    2. Choose the Plugins tab.

      akai mpk2 mpcessentials preferences
       
    3. Add a check to the box at the beginning of one of the rows under the heading VST Folders, then click on the browse box akai mpk2 mpcessentials browse box at the end of that row to browse to your plugin installation location. 

      akai mpk2 mpcessentials check
       
    4. Click on the drop-down menu to browse and then select the correct location of your plugin.  Press Open.

      akai mpk2 mpcessentials browse
       
    5. Click on Rescan All, allow the MPC Essentials software to scan all plugins in the selected location and then press OK.

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AIR Hybrid 3 Setup

  1. Press the PRESET button and use the data dial to scroll to Preset: 3 Hybrid.  Press the PUSH TO ENTER knob.

    akai mpk2 hybrid30
     
  2. At the bottom-center of the MPC Essentials software just next to the pads, is a column of options titled SEQUENCE.  Within that column, click on the drop-down menu next to TYPE and change it to Plugin.

    akai mpk2 sequence type
     
  3. A number of alternate options become available just below once Plugin is chosen.  Click on the menu bar next to PLUGIN.

    akai mpk2 plugin
     
  4. In the window that opens, click on the + (plus) button next to VST to view your available VST plugins.  Locate Hybrid and click on it to highlight it.  Choose Select to load Hybrid into the MPC Essentials software.

    akai mpk2 hybrid vst

    You will notice that Hybrid populates to the menu bars.

    akai mpk2 essentials hybrid
     
  5. To view the Hybrid 3 virtual instrument interface, click on the button labelled akai mpk2 e located next to the PLUGIN row.

    akai mpk2 hybrid?

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SONiVOX Twist 2 Setup
 

  1. Press the PRESET button and use the data dial to scroll to Preset: 4 Twist 2.  Press the PUSH TO ENTER knob.

    akai mpk2 twist2 hardware
     
  2. At the bottom-center of the MPC Essentials software just next to the pads, is a column of options titled SEQUENCE.  Within that column, click on the drop-down menu next to TYPE and change it to Plugin.

    akai_mpk2_sequence_type
     
  3. A number of alternate options become available just below once Plugin is chosen.  Click on the menu bar next to PLUGIN.

    akai mpk2 plugin
     
  4. In the window that opens, click on the + (plus) button next to VST to view your available VST plugins.  Locate Twist 2 and click on it to highlight it.  Choose Select to load Twist 2 into the MPC Essentials software.

    akai mpk2 twist2 3

    You will notice that Twist 2 populates to the menu bars.

    akai mpk2 twist 4
     
  5. To view the Twist 2 virtual instrument interface, click on the button labelled akai mpk2 e located next to the PLUGIN row.

    akai mpk2 twist2 main

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SONiVOX Eighty Eight Ensemble 2 Setup 

Note: Eighty Eight Ensemble is only provided for MPK261 users. 

  1. Press the PRESET button and use the data dial to scroll to Preset: 4 Twist 2.  Press the PUSH TO ENTER knob.

    akai mpk2 eighty eight hardware
     
  2. At the bottom-center of the MPC Essentials software just next to the pads, is a column of options titled SEQUENCE.  Within that column, click on the drop-down menu next to TYPE and change it to Plugin.


     
  3. A number of alternate options become available just below once Plugin is chosen.  Click on the menu bar next to PLUGIN.

    akai mpk2 plugin
     
  4. In the window that opens, click on the + (plus) button next to VST to view your available VST plugins.  Locate EightyEight 2 and click on it to highlight it. Choose Select to load EightyEight 2 into the MPC Essentials software.

    akai mpk2 mpcessentials 88 3

    You will notice that EightyEight 2 populates to the menu bars.

    akai mpk2 mpcessentials 88 3b
     
  5. To view the EightyEight 2 virtual instrument interface, click on the button labelled akai mpk2 e located next to the PLUGIN row.

    akai mpk2 mpcessentials 88 4

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Additional Resources

 

 

Further Technical Support

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