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Do you want to be able to trigger drum samples using the pads on the MPK series controller keyboard, while simultaneously playing a bassline or melody on the keys? This article provides insight on the basic concept of how this type of configuration works, along with a few examples of applying it in your DAW.
The idea here is rather simple. Make the drum pads trigger drum sounds, while being able to simultaneously play notes of a different instrument using the keyboard. As basic as this may sound, there are a few things to note, and some settings to adjust to make it happen.
Suppose you load up a drum patch on the first track of your sequencer. If you arm the drum track, you get sounds when striking the pads, and also when pressing the keys. Now, you create an instrument track, load your favorite synth, and switch the record-ready button to this track. In this arrangement, both the keys and pads now trigger the synthesizer.
The thing to be mindful of is that by default, the controller and your software will generally be communicating over a common global MIDI channel. Think of this as "the software is listening to everything the controller is saying". Simple enabling both tracks to record will essentially stack the sounds, triggering both the drum and the synth track regardless of whether striking a pad or a key.
So, how can we play both at the same time without interfering with each other?
Setting this up is actually much easier than it may sound. Note the steps below, and see examples in the following section.
With so many DAWs available today, your platform may look a bit different, however the concept will be the same. Here we demonstrate this setup using Ableton Live 9. We'll be looking into adding more examples in various applications in a future update.
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