The MPK mini mkII is an ultra-compact controller designed for the travelling musician and desktop producer. In this guide and video we cover setup with the MPK mini mkII with the included MPC Essentials software and the AIR Hybrid plugin. We walk through downloading, installing, and authorizing the software and how to quickly get up and running and making music.
The MPK Mini MKII is a class-compliant MIDI device. A class-compliant device is one that doesn't require extra drivers to connect your Windows or Macintosh computer. Class compliant devices use drivers which are built into the host (i.e. the computer) operating system.
Begin by connecting the MPK Mini MKII to a free USB port on your computer. We recommend going into the back of your computer, as this is closest to the power supply. This will provide the most power necessary to the controller for optimum performance.
After connecting the controller to your computer, Windows will install the driver necessary for the MPK Mini MKII to communicate with your computer.
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, and underneath My Account, select login or create to login to or create your account.
After your account has been accessed, you will be presented with a page that says My Order History and My Product Registrations. Your registered products and related software downloads will be listed below.
We will want to select Register a product now to register.
Next, you will be presented with a screen to enter your information and register your controller.
Select MPK mini mkii from the drop-down menu.
Make sure you enter the serial number exactly as it appears on the bottom of your controller.
Important: Neglecting the "(21)" and failing to capitalize the "A" will result in a rejected serial number.
There is no software version for this controller, so this field can be left blank.
Include your purchase date and place of purchase, then select Register Product to complete the registration.
Downloading, Installing and Unlocking MPC Essentials
After successfully registering the controller, you will be presented with the serial numbers and download links for MPC Essentials, Hybrid 3, and Wobble. To download, install and unlock 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.
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.
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.
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.
After the installation is completed, you will be prompted to unlock your software. Select Unlock Now to continue.
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.
After this, you will see a box saying you've successfully unlocked your MPC!
Congratulations, you have successfully installed the latest version of MPC Essentials!
Return to your Akai Professional account, and select AIR Hybrid 3 Virtual Instrument (PC) to download Hybrid. Repeat with the download link for Wobble to download Wobble.
After the download is complete, we will need to extract the files before installation. To do this, 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.
After the files are extracted, select Install Hybrid to run the setup.
Follow all of the prompts to proceed with the installation.
For Windows users, pay attention to the location where the 32 and 64 bit Hybrid and Wobble 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:
Hybrid 3 32-bit: Program Files(x86) / Steinberg / vstplugins 64-bit: Program Files / Steinberg / vstplugins
Wobble 32-bit and 64-bit: Program Files (x86) / VSTPlugins
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.
Restart your computer once the plugins have been installed.
Authorizing Hybrid and Wobble
Before scanning and opening the plugins in MPC Essentials, authorize the plugins with the iLok License Manager:
Find and open the iLok License Manager from your Programs or Applications folder.
Click on Sign-In in the top left corner. If you have used iLok before with other products and have an account, sign-in to your account. If you have never seen or used iLok before, click on Create New Account in the Sign In window and follow the prompts to create an account.
Please note: We recommend using an iLok account. Signing in is not always necessary to utilize an iLok license, but having and using an account to keep track of your licenses is free and provides additional features and options for managing and moving your licenses when necesary. You can see our Managing Authorization Codes and Licenses guide for more information.
Once you are logged in, click on Licenses at the top of the window and choose Redeem Activation Code.
A window will appear with space for you to enter an authorization code.
Navigate to your Akai Pro account page, highlight and copy the Authorization Code for Hybrid. Paste this code into the first box on the left and the code will fill out the remaining fields. When you're ready, click Next.
You will be prompted to choose a location for your license. You are free to choose an iLok dongle if you have one, but for most users, just choose your computer (this will be the option with the computer icon on the left) and click Activate.
You will be asked to confirm this one more time. Click OK.
Finally, iLok will notify you when the activation is complete!
This process (steps 3 - 8) can be repeated for any other plugins that utilize an iLok license, including Wobble.
First, navigate to the Prefences menu, find the MIDI tab and check off the box next to your MIDI controller (i.e. your MPK Mini MKII). This will tell the software to listen to incoming midi data from that device.
In the center of the MPC Essentials software, to the right of the pads, you'll find your Sequence/Track section. Click on the drop-down menu next to TYPE and change it to Plugin.
You will then see a drop-down menu labeled PLUGIN. Click on this menu to browse for your plugin.
To open Hybrid, click on the "+" next to VST to view your available VST plugins. Find and open Hybrid from this list by double-clicking on it, or highlighting it and clicking Select in the bottom right.
To view the plugin interface and change sounds, click on the button next to the PLUGIN drop-down menu.
And that's it! You are ready to make some noise with Hybrid and your MPK Mini MKII.
Difficulty Loading Wobble and Hybrid 3 in MPC Essentials - Having trouble getting Hybrid and Wobble to appear in Essentials? The plugins aren't coming up when you scan for them? This guide walks through this process more in depth, pointing out common misconceptions and how to overcome them. If you're feeling lost, this guide will point you in the right direction.