Akai MPK mini MKII - Setup in MPC Essentials

akai mpkmini mkii mainThe MPK mini is an ultra-compact keyboard controller designed for the traveling musician and the desktop producer. With an array of hardware controls, MPK mini lets you record, compose, and perform with virtual instruments, effect plugins, and DAWs whenever inspiration strikes. This article walks through setting up the Akai Pro MPK mini with the MPC Essentials software as well as SONiVOX Wobble 2 and AIR Hybrid 3.

 

Contents

  1. MPK mini mkII Editor - Mapping
  2. MPC Essentials Software Setup
  3. Virtual Instruments and Plugins
  4. Additional Resources
  5. Further Technical Support

 

 

MPK Mini MKII - Mapping

  1. Download the MPK mini mkII MPC software mapping file from this link.  
     
  2. Once downloaded, unzip the contents to your Desktop.
     
  3. Install the MPK mini mkII Editor.  It can be downloaded from the product page linked here.

    akai mpkminimkii map1
     
  4. Once installed, connect your MPK Mini MKII directly to a USB port on your computer. Close or quit all other audio or MIDI software.
     
  5. Open the Editor and choose File > Open.  Navigate to the unzipped file that you previously downloaded titled mpc.mk2 and then choose Open.

    akai mpkminimkii map2
     
  6. Now, in the Editor, choose click on the PROGRAM 1 SEND button to send the map to the controller.

    akai mpkminimkii map3a?
     
  7. Next, on the MPK mini mkII controller itself, press the PROG SELECT button, then press PAD 5 (PROG 1) to load the map onto the controller.
     
  8. Finally, close the Editor completely.  The Editor cannot be open while using the MPC software or any other DAW.

Remember:  

    • On the MPK mini mkII, when the BANK A/B button is illuminated green (indicating that Bank A is active), the MPK mini mkII pads are mapped to the bottom two rows of the MPC Essentials software (Pads A1 - A8).
    • When the BANK A/B button is illuminated red (indicating that Bank B is active), the MPK mini mkII pads are mapped to the top two rows of the MPC Essentials software (Pads A9 - A16).

 

MPC Essentials 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_preferences
     
  3. Choose the MIDI tab and add a check to the box next to MPKmini2 in the Active Midi Inputs box as shown in the image below.

    akai mpkmini essentials 3
     
  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 MPKmini2 from the To drop-down menu.

    akai mpkmini essentials 4
     

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Virtual Instruments and Plugins
 

Authorizing AIR Hybrid 3 and Sonivox Wobble 2

Before scanning the plugins into MPC Essentials, make sure that they are fully authorized and ready to go. The plugins will install a software called the iLok License Manager that will help keep track of your plugins and allow you to move them later on if necessary. Here's a quick and easy way to Authorize your plugins by using the ilok License Manager.

  1. Open the iLok License Manager. You can find this in your Applications folder on your Mac and under All Programs  on Windows.




     
  2. In the top left corner, click on Sign-in to sign into your account. If you do not already have one, click on Sign-in and the select Create New Account in the window that appears to create your new account.
     
  3. Once you have signed in, click on Licenses > Redeem Activation Code


     
  4. In the window that appears, enter the authorization code for Hybrid. You will find your authorization codes on your Akai Pro account page, directly above the download links for the plugins. You can copy and paste this if you like. Click, Next once the code has been entered completely.


     
  5. In the following window, choose the location where you would like iLok to store your license. For most users, we recommend to store this directly onto your computer. To do so, select the icon that represents your Mac or PC, and click Activate.


     
  6. The iLok software will scan the license and will ask you to confirm one last time. Click OK and your license should be fully activated to your computer. Repeat the process for Wobble and you will be ready to scan them into MPC Essentials.

 

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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 the MPC Essentials program is reading 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 Scan New, allow the MPC Essentials software to scan all plugins in the selected location and then press OK.
       

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Default Plugin Installation Locations

AIR Hybrid 3 Default Installation Locations:

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

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

 

SONiVOX Wobble 2 Default Installation Locations:

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

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

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AIR Hybrid 3 Setup

  1. 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
     
  2. A number of alternate options become available just below once Plugin is chosen.  Click on the menu bar next to PLUGIN.

    akai_mpk2_plugin
     
  3. 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
     
  4. 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 Wobble 2 Setup

  1. 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
     
  2. A number of alternate options become available just below once Plugin is chosen.  Click on the menu bar next to PLUGIN.

    akai_mpk2_plugin
     
  3. In the window that opens, click on the + (plus) button next to VST to view your available VST plugins.  Locate Wobble 2 and click on it to highlight it.  Choose Select to load Wobble 2 into the MPC Essentials software.

    akai mpkmini wobble2 3a

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

    akai mpkmini wobble2 3c
     
  4. To view the Wobble 2 virtual instrument interface, click on the button labelled akai_mpk2_e located next to the PLUGIN row.

    akai mpkmini wobble2 3b
     

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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