AKAI Professional

MPC 101 - Creating A Keygroup Program


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Article updated 07-24-2017

Keygroups allow you to take a sample and map it across the keys of a MIDI controller, essentially creating a custom virtual instrument. This guide walks through creating a simple keygroup using the MPC software.

 

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What is a Keygroup?

A keygroup is a type of program in MPC that will take a sample and pitch it across all of the keys on your MIDI controller or pads on your MPC. For example, you could turn a single bass note sample into an entire playable bass program by creating a keygroup with the sample. 

Keygroups are useful for adding melodic elements to your songs without using plugins or instruments, or for adding pitched layers to your drums.

 

 

Creating A Keygroup
  1. Choose a sample to start the key group with and drag it into the Project Information window.

    akai mpc ren keygroup 1
     
  2. Open the Sample Edit window and set the root note of the sample. This can be found by comparing what note on a keyboard sounds closest to the sample.

    akai mpc ren keygroup 2
     
  3. In the Main window create a key group program on an unused track.

    akai mpc ren keygroup 3
     
  4. In the Program Edit window choose the sample as the first layer.

    akai mpc ren keygroup 4
     

Congratulations! You've created a keygroup program!

Keep in mind: If using an MPC to trigger your keygroup, your Pad A01 will play a C-2 note which is very low in pitch. In order to play higher notes, switch to a higher Pad bank like Banks C, D or E. 

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Playing Chords with an MPC

Chords are combinations of notes played simultaneously that can add fullness and depth to any track. For example, a C chord combines C, G, and E notes to create a more complicated and meaningful sound. So to play chords with an MPC you'll need to hit multiple pads at once. In order to make it easier to find chords with the pads on your MPC,  you can use this handy web app to locate and save your favorite chord formations:

 

MPC users also have the option to use the Pad Perform mode which will assign full chords and patterns across the pads to make it easier to find and play chords. To jump into Pad Perform mode:

  • MPC Studio, Studio Black, and Renaissance - Press the Pad Assign button while using a keygroup program to access Pad Perform
     
  • MPC Touch - Press Menu and select Pad Perform when using a keygroup program

 

 

Additional Guides & Videos

 

 

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.