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[MPC X / MPC LIVE] - Assign specifc notes to pads when using MIDI Tracks

[Background]:
So I just replaced my MPC2000XL with the MPC X, and I am surprised to find out that I cannot assign specific Midi notes to the MPC pads when using a Midi track. The pad note layout seem hard-coded in Midi Track mode.

[Issue]:
I would like to play an external MIDI drum module (that uses the standard general midi drum note layout) using the MPC pads to trigger sounds on the drum module. The MPC X appears to have hard-coded pad assignments when using Midi Tracks and are unable to trigger all the most-basic general midi drum sound set of: {kick, snare, closed HH, open HH, ride, crash} from a single pad bank.

[Work Arounds Attempted]:
I tried the below work arounds, but none were very usable form my perspective.

1) Switch across the various (hardcoded) midi pads and banks to find and play a single sound at a time. This makes something like hitting a crash, followed by an open/close HH recording impossible, since you have to bank switch to access all 3 of these sounds. You also cant assign colors to the midi track pads either, so you have to memorize which banks and pads make what sounds.

2) I had tried to use the performance/play mode which gives various musical scales, but none of them fit the most basic general Midi drum layout on a single pad bank. I tried transposing, different scales, and none can seem to play the general midi drum set, from a single pad bank; that covers: {kick, snare, open HH, closed HH, ride, crash}.

3) I can use my old MPC2000XL as an external MIdi controler into the MPCX, and map the drum sounds on the MPC2000XL pads instead. This is not ideal as I bought the MPCX to replace the MPC200XL machine (and the drum pads are on their last legs and don't trigger well). Also having two different MPC's just so I can play the intended drum notes I need from the pads, seems a bit overkill. I can also use an external Midi Keyboard in a similar fashion, but then whats the point having those nice MPC X drum pads in the first place.

[Feature Request]:
Is there a way I can make feature request directly to Akai Pro? This seems like a huge oversight and critically needed feature to me. Below are my suggestions for a fix.

1) IDEAL FIX: Allow Midi Track pads to be assigned user-defined notes (ex: BANK A:PAD 1 = C1). Pad color assignment should also be available in Midi Track mode, to color-code you pad layout, like you do with sample track pad assignments.

2) HACK FIX: A performance mode "scale" could be added that is "general midi drums", so that you can select this scale and play {Kick, snare, open HH, closed HH, ride, crash} from a single pad bank.

3) EVEN MORE HACK FIX: If there are not enough dev cycles to make an User interface for such a things, can we get a manual hack of some sort? Like a way of editing a project or program file in notepad on your PC and then copying it over to the MPC X as a file to load and leverage user-defined midi track pad mappings? I hear this is possible for sampled drum pad programs, but not the midi track pads. Bummer.

If you made it this far, congratulations. Thank you for your time and help! Does anyone know how to solve this problem?
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  • Hey T-Rex,

    Thanks for posting!

    If you are sending MIDI data from a MIDI program, the pads will utilize the traditional MPC style layout so this would make playing GM drums tricky if they are not using the same layout like you mentioned. In a MIDI program, you can still draw a sequence into the grid itself and send those notes from the sequencer - this would allow you to send whatever notes you want to your drum module.

    If you want to send specific notes to a drum module while performing though, you can use MIDI Control mode instead of a MIDI program. MIDI Control mode can be accessed by pushing the Menu button and selecting MIDI Control at the lower right corner. With MIDI Control mode active, you can customize the MIDI messages that are being sent from the MPC. Each pad can be edited to send a specific note so the MPC can be tailored specifically to send the exact messages you need.

    Once you have configured MIDI Control mode to work with your external MIDI device, you can save that project as a MIDI Control 'template' for the MIDI device because the pad note assignments save within the project!

    For example, say I am working with an Akai Pro Rhythm Wolf and I want to make a template project for MIDI Control. I could do this:

    1. Open an empty project.

    2. Enable MIDI Control mode.

    3. Assign MIDI notes 36, 38, 40, 42, and 44 on MIDI channel 10 to the MPC's pads. These MIDI notes (on channel 10) will trigger the RW's drum voices.

    4. Save the project as 'RW MIDI Control'.

    Now, each time I open this project, I can enter MIDI Control mode to send the correct MIDI notes to the RW. I can also exit MIDI Control mode if I want to use the MPC's sequencer again and if I make a project that I want to keep, select Save As... to create a new project file and preserve the 'blankness' of the RW template project.

    I hope this is helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.
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  • I’m hopeful
    Thank you for your time and advice NIck, much appreciated.

    I toyed around with the Midi control mode as you suggested, but this mode only gets me part way there. The midi control mode does allow me to control which specific notes , but I cannot record those performances into a midi sequence for later playback.

    To better define what I am trying to accomplish...

    [Use Case]:
    I would like to hit record on a midi track sequence, and then finger-drum a pattern in; using the MPC X drum pads. I want to record this finger drum performance with note quantize turned off for a more human feel and to produce non-quantized drum rythmes. I do not want to trigger the local MPC X sound engine while recording my finger-drumming patterns. Instead when I hit the drum pads on the MPC X, I need it to to control my Novation Drum Station (a midi drum sound module) and have it trigger its own drum sounds. I would like to record this as I am finger drumming it, into a single midi track sequence (on MIDI-OUT-10B); so it plays back to me exactly as I played it on the pads.

    Specifically, I would like the general midi drum notes for: {kick, snare, open HH, closed HH, ride, crash} to be all assigned and trigger-able from the same pad bank; so I can play them all at the same time to create a drum sequence. As of right now, I am unable to accomplish this, because I cannot assign what specific midi notes the pads both trigger and record on the MPC X, while recording a midi track sequence.

    [Use Case On MPC2000XL]:
    On my older MPC2000XL, I can assign what midi note that each pad is assigned to, which in turn sends/plays/records that midi note when the pad is hit. I hit record: I finger drum on the pads, they each trigger the desired midi drum notes on my outboard gear, these midi notes also get recorded into the mpc sequencer. You can then of course play this midi track back, and what was just recorded as midi notes, triggers the outboard gear again, recreating your pad/midi performance.

    [Why Midi Control Mode Did Not Solve My Problem]:
    So worth mentioning is Midi control mode seemed very powerful. I was indeed able to setup the pads to play the specific midi notes form a single pad bank. You could also assign each pad to a specific midi channels 1-16 (which I don't need but is still cool). However, my blockers using this mode are:

    1) MINOR: I was unable to find a way to to choose a MIDI-OUT other than MIDI-OUT-A. All my drum modules receive MIDI on MIDI-OUT-B (I have lots of MIDI gear). I suppose I could switch my midi setup around.

    2) THE BIG ONE: While using Midi Control Mode, I was unable to record the midi notes of the pads, into a midi sequence for later playback. This is the main reason using Midi Control Mode, did not solve my problem.

    [SUMMARY]:
    I appreciate the suggestions, midi control mode did allow me to assign specific midi notes from each pad. This allowed me to trigger my midi drum module sounds/notes all from a single pad bank. However while in that mode, I was unable to record any of these midi notes, for later sequence playback. I should have been more specific that I am trying to record a midi drum track sequence.
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  • Please confirm.

    There is no way to assign what midi notes trigger from the pads and record them on the MPC X ?
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  • Hi. I look for this on MPC live for two months and I cant find it. I realy want map Volca beats to only one bank. Now I have these few sounds over 3 banks. I must use another HW sequencer for smooth work with beats over midi. For me it is crucial for my workflow. Is there will be some change for this isue? In SW on PC I can use EDIT - PROGRAM - NOTE MAPPING but cant save it to stand alone mode (same on PC - cant save these setings) or I dont know how. Maybe I miss something this is my first MPC. Thnx for reply.
    • Hello Karel,

      Thanks for posting!

      If you are using MIDI Control Mode (sending MIDI data to an external MIDI device), you can assign the notes on the MPC's pads to the corresponding MIDI notes that the Volca uses to keep them all contained in one pad bank.

      Note Mapping cannot be assigned in standalone MPC like it can in the MPC Software. If you are interested in this function, be sure to submit this as a feature request with the MPC 2.0 Software's built-in feedback module. The feedback module is represented by a smiley icon at the lower right side of the software next to the browser icons. This information goes directly to the Akai team for consideration!

      Thank you for your feedback!
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  • 1
    Anyone stumbling upon this topic please consider upvoting this as a feature request to akai here:

    http://community.akaipro.com/akai_pro...
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  • I’m dysfunctional
    Just bought the MPC Live on a Boxing Day sale, loaded 2.07 and immediately started working on my master studio template which, on my MPC2500 JJOS 128XL has one program for sample based percussion and the rest for MIDI control of my other machines.

    I am shocked that Akai would not have implemented MIDI note pad editing as an essential feature of the MPC workflow, which allows a producer to control drum machines and bring all synths into an agreeable chromatic range that plays well on the pads. This is one of the first things I looked for within the first few hours of powering up.

    Melodic sequences on the pads are one of the MPC secret weapons. This feature is something that Akai users should just take for granted.. not as a surprise defect on a 2017 unit with the latest firmware. Akai please get this fixed on 2.08! Thanks to previous posters for your observations.
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  • I’m frustrated
    1
    This is lame. I have fought the change to Maschine due to years of using MPCs but pad feel aside I'm not sure my MPC Live/Love is worth it any longer. I know I can transpose fairly easily in Ableton or even ProTools but that requires brain power I really shouldn't have to. Should be easy enough to say Pad1 Bank A receive midi note 81, PAD2 note 82 and so on. Nick, any thoughts on the possibility of this happening? I sent a request via the smilely happy face but I'm getting less smiley about my MPC...
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  • Same issue for me, although my intention was to sample in a couple of octaves of chromatic samples of various instruments to play via MIDI keyboard.

    This seems like a pretty reasonable expectation for one of the most powerful samplers ever, but ot seems unable to perform this basic function.

    As you say, a simple mapping of the pads to MIDI notes would be the perfect fix, so hopefully something is in the pipeline.
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  • I've run into similar problems, building a drum kit on bank A of a 2000xl, only to find that bank A on the MPC X doesn't line up with it.

    Our work around is to load the sounds into the 2kxl, where you can change the incoming midi note to receive from the pad you want to play from on the mpc X. You've gotta be careful with the send and receives tho as you can easily create a midi trigger feedback loop where the pad on the X triggers the pad on the 2k, which then triggers the pad on the X again.

    Just make pad A1 on the X trigger Pad A1 on the 2k. Or maybe release some midi program templates to line up with other MPC's.
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