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MIDI Note Pad Mapping (in standalone mode) [MPCX / MPC Live]

Feature Request:
MIDI Note Pad Mapping (in standalone mode) [MPCX / MPC Live]

Issue:
There is currently no way to assign what midi note is generated by each of the MPCX drum pads (for recording and playback on midi tracks).

Blocker:
Lack of this feature, makes it impossible to sequence external drum module kits by finger drumming. This is because you cannot assign the MPC pads to trigger the midi notes needed for each midi drum module kit sound (B0=kick, D1=snare, Bb1=open/closed hat, C#1=crash, ... ).

Motivation:
Just like it is critical to be able to arrange sound samples to the desired MPC pads, one needs to be able to assign the exact midi note generated by each MPC pad for midi tracks.

Feature Request:
I would like the Akai development team to take this feature request into serious consideration. I feel this is not asking for much. Not being able to assign the pad note mappings on a 2017 drum pad interface, that costs several grand, is very disappointing. This is a blocker to my workflow, because I cannot finger drum midi percussion kits into my tracks, as I have done for decades on other MPC hardware.

Responses/Suggestions on this issue (as it may help others):

1) Always been this way - "MPC pad notes have always been harcoded in this same way and have never been assignable", which is simply not true. My MPC2000XL does not have the same default midi pad mappings as the MPCX and the midi notes per-pad can be set to taste and saved to a drum program for later use. Maybe this statement is true for the more-recent software-only MPC variations, where midi pad setup was not a concern.

2) Use the MPC software instead of your hardware - It appears that this pad note mapping feature is made (somewhat) available in the MPC software, but not in standalone mode. However it seems that even in software mode, your pad mapping setups cannot be saved for later use. So not very helpful there as a standalone MPC sequencer.

3) Step Sequencer & Hand Draw - I have been advised to use the step sequencer or draw in all drum notes manually by hand, bypassing the entire MPC pad interface. The problem is the step sequencer will always be quantized, making it impossible to make anything but completely robotic quantized X0X style drum rhythms. Drawing in all data by hand is about the most painful solution I can think of and honestly not a reasonable expectation.

4) Use "Performance Mode" - I have also been directed to "performance mode", which granted; lets you assign these pad mappings and much much more. But it is so powerful, you cannot use the MPC sequencer to record or playback anything while in performance mode. So this mode is completely unusable when creating tracks.

Prior Thread wIth some Additional Details and Examples:
http://community.akaipro.com/akai_pro...

Thank you for your time, it is much appreciated.
Cheers
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  • Hey T-Rex,

    Thanks for posting!

    This is a very well thought out and concise feature request so I would definitely recommend submitting it properly so that the Akai team can see. For this purpose, the MPC 2.0 software has a built-in feedback module with which you can submit feature requests. 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! Outside of the software, you can use the following links:

    MPC - Submit a Feature Request

    MPC - Submit a Bug Report

    Thanks for taking the time to submit your idea!
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  • Good to hear, thank you for the direct links. I have used them to submit a feature request.
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  • I’m frustrated
    4
    This feature is absolutely a must have.

    We NEED the ability to MAP MIDI NOTES as we see fit in standalone mode. In the current way of working with other plugins and interfaces, not having this ability is messy at best -- especially working with instruments that map across multiple banks.

    As a programmer myself, this should be EASY work for the dev team to implement in a software/firmware update.

    I would even go further and say that that midi note messages SHOULD also be transmitted in regular performance mode, so that we have the option of writing midi directly to a DAW midi track while playing the device line in, in real-time.

    This MPC X is NOT really "standalone" at all...

    These basic limitations are making me want to return my unit (which I really do not want to do).
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  • 3
    Hello and greetings to all the Akai developers for the MPC Live.

    I'm not sure if the following should be a bug or a feature request, but will appreciate that this be circulated with the dev team for their consideration.

    Akai removed (or neglected to add) one small but crucial feature in the MPC Live that is essential to the typical MPC work flows that I'm used to. Firmware 2.0.7 as of this writing.

    I never realized how the simple action of *editing a pad's corresponding MIDI note* is essential to working with an MPC because it was always there on my 2500 and is missing from the Live. Standalone mode is assumed for this message because the Live is supposed to work that way, and I bought it specifically as an upgrade to my 2500 in a hardware studio.

    There are three important music workflows that are impossible on the Live now that pad MIDI notes can't be edited within programs.

    1 - You are working with external MIDI gear that you want to control and sequence from MPC, where there are many different sounds triggered by many different notes. For example an old E-mu ROMpler or a drum machine or sampler.

    On an old MPC, simply change the MIDI note assignment across your 16 pads until you're triggering 16 nice sounds on that old ROMpler. Now start sequencing.

    New MPC Live? NOT POSSIBLE.

    2 - You have a Pad program nicely set up with 32 sounds across 32 pads on your MPC and want to trigger those pads from an external keyboard using only the white keys.

    On an old MPC, simply change the MIDI note assignment across your 32 pads.. and maybe even save that as a template program when you're done because this is such an awesome way to work with an MPC.

    New MPC Live? NOT POSSIBLE. Although a dedicated MIDI controller template on a master keyboard would resolve this for that one program with 32 sounds, the controller template would have to be switched each time the MPC active track is changed, which is tedious.

    3 - You have a chromatic Pad program or MIDI program and want to experiment with melodic arrangements by assigning specific notes to the pads, then sequence it on the MPC. Great for finding sweet spots in complex FM patches.

    On an old MPC, simply change the MIDI note assignments and get exploring.

    New MPC Live? NOT POSSIBLE.

    Among all the different ideas and features that Akai was considering for the Live, I'm sure there were a list of 'essential items' and 'nice to haves' and 'things we don't need'. How did this simple and powerful feature get excluded from the core functionality? I mean.. have the developers never used an MPC in the above three ways or ever needed to change the MIDI note for a specific pad?

    This feature will be greatly appreciated in a future release, and is a very unfortunate limitation in the current one.
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  • I’m Stoked
    1
    I would like to extend this, with the addition of being able to save and load maps. Once a drum machine is mapped, I will probably want to use it in another project at some point.
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  • 2
    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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  • 2
    I am looking all over for midi note pad mapping for the mpc touch/live/X! Only find out that it is not on the newer mpc line. I used this for tons of hardware modules, synths, etc... To keep things in order midi wise for playback. Always used this on my older MPC's I've had in the past...

    Puzzled as to why this doesn't exists now!

    Used to do my mapping and save as a Program, so that i can recall when using a specific hardware or plugin mapping to my workflow..

    Please Put this Back!
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  • 1
    Ideally I would like the ability to map the MIDI notes for each pad individually while in standalone. At the very least the Hardware should reflect the software in being able to set the pads of a program to chromatic note mapping with the ability to set the octave.

    The lack of certain MIDI implementation is very frustrating especially coming from legacy MPC. As much as I want certain workflow hiccups addressed and improved it's the rigid nature of the MIDI control and configuration that I find gets in the way of the how I expect the machine to fit in my diverse set ups.

    I really really hope the shortcomings in the MIDI implementation are addressed
    • They have stated that they are actively working on it, so it's coming, we just have to wait it out. It's inevitable anyways, thinking about it, 2/4 hardware MIDI ports and USB MIDI on a standalone machine... there is little reason to permanently neglect the MIDI implementation on such a computer. They simply had to prioritize, one has to accept that.

      Now, expansion packs before basic MIDI implementation is beyond me, but then again, I am biased toward MIDI, and I make all sounds myself, never purchased a sample. Ok, I lied, because I have bought some, e.g. since I am not an ornithologist so I pay others for recordings of birds, they provide good material for sound creation. Especially using grain synthesis. (Hint!)

      Anyways, I have a small collection of MIDI machines, so I am somewhat crippled with the current MIDI implementation in the MPCX. More lies, I may be MIDI crippled, but that is because I have loads of MIDI devices. My big change was to remove computers (and obviously the DAWs) from the scene and go back to hardware. I got sick of the continual software upgrades and updates from every vendor out there. Bought a lot of plugins over the years, but they are now on the bench.

      As a customer, I expected full MIDI implementation for the hardware MIDI Ports as well as USB MIDI, all ins and outs. This also includes mapping pads to MIDI notes, because using the many drum machines I possess, is a pain. I have to use the Pad Bank buttons all the time. Shouldn't have to with drum computers that have less than 16 playable sounds, right? :)

      Akai is on track (enjoy that pun) and multi mode is coming at some point:
      https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showp...

      So, it is reasonable to presume that many of the other MIDI needs, such as pad mapping, will also materialize along the way. Like other mortals, they can only squeeze so many hours in a day, and still enjoy life.
    • Written 12 months ago and still no midi mapping. So sad.
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  • 2
    Same +1 what am I supposed to do with a tr-8 or any other drum machine? The crash and ride are on a separate pad bank so can't use them when finger drumming.
    And why have such nice pads if you aren't able to finger drum with your favorite sounds?
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  • I’m annoyed at akai, again
    this is why i got rid of all my MPCs. Akai always manages to make some really boneheaded decisions that really slow me down in the studio. of course I'm here now because I've run into this same issue AGAIN using the MPC VST in Ableton. you can find forums all over the frigging internet with people complaining about the shitty midi mapping of the pads (the funniest ones usually involve people trying to use akai controllers with akai software, only to find out the shit wont map right)

    the only reason I kept the software was for the crapton of samples/expansions I have and even thats not worth the frustration at this point
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  • I hear you. If there is ONE thing in a music instrument that should be virtually impossible to screw up, it's MIDI. I mean, it's old and simple, most undecided things of the past has been ironed out over the years.

    Back in the day (in the 1980's) it was a toss whether everything worked right off the bat, simply because of misunderstandings and companies wanting to add other cool things into the mix. But it mostly still just sort of worked.

    In 2018, over 30 years of MIDI, with way more advanced concepts, especially in audio, one would expect a company like Akai with it's background to have a solid grasp on expectations regarding MIDI, particularly on the MPC side. Old habits die hard.

    I haven't had a lot of personal experience with Akai in the past, only owned a couple of devices (never an MPC until the X). Interestingly enough I ALMOST bought a whole lot of Akai machines, e.g. S900 and Z8, but somehow always ended up getting something else.

    Having spewed my opinions around, I really have to tip my hat to Akai, simply for their willingness to invest in advancing the hardware arena. Few sizable companies have the cojones to do that anymore, and in my book, that is a fantastic thing.

    Because of this, I am really trying to keep my patience about the MPC X and it's slow progress to become complete. This does not mean I have to keep my yap shut and not express my thoughts. :)
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  • I’m upset
    WTF!!!!!!!!!! Really...this is ridiculous. My cheapest and most basic drum machines have the ability to receive midi sync data without accepting all midi note data that comes in.
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  • 1
    Just picked up a Live, and I need this feature, it's on all my other MPCs and part of my standard workflow..
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  • Seems to me that the solution would be to be able to save performance mode setups as presets and be able to assign one of these presets per midi track.
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  • 2
    Over a year and still no update for custom MIDI mapping pads...
    • No but you got splice integration - I for myself sample rather than acquiring ready made samples except for quick ideas for which I got a few expansion packs
    • Yes, ridiculous, and so is the Ableton stuff. What if you are using Steinberg, BitWig, ProTools, FL, S1, DP, Acid, Cakewalk, Logic, Performer, etc. Let's get the X/Live into a full fledge standalone before the stupid "deals". Then worry about other things. One wonders how many people bought an X/Live so that they didn't have to use a computer (or don't have one), how they feel about specific "software and services" on a standalone machine. BS!
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  • 1
    It would be nice with midi going both ways, really would use this. Really hoping these midi woes get dealt with does create limits which really shouldn't be there.
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  • Is there any progress on this, it's coming up to 2 years now. Or is this getting to Akai that Live and X users want midi mapping of the pads? Specifically, the outgoing MIDI note per pad should be able to be user-defined, as was possible with all the original MPCs - it's key to using the MPC to control the rest of my studio gear.

    If this isn't on Akai's to do list, is there workarounds to achieve this using the MPC, without using the MPC Software?
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  • 1
    2) Use the MPC software instead of your hardware - It appears that this pad note mapping feature is made (somewhat) available in the MPC software, but not in standalone mode. However it seems that even in software mode, your pad mapping setups cannot be saved for later use. So not very helpful there as a standalone MPC sequencer.
    This is simply not true. You CAN edit all the note mapping you would like and save this is a program. Then you can use this program ALSO in stand alone mode, which includes the saved note midi mapping.

    So if you would like to have a different note mapping of the pads, just spend a little time in the MPC desktop software, select a MIDI program, click on Edit -> Program and change the mapping to your likings. Then export the mapping to a program and use it in stand alone.
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  • 1
    We need to be able to do this WITHOUT using the software.

    I really wish people would stop pointing to the software. Many of us who are asking for this feature don't want anything to do with that heap of junk software. SMH
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  • 1
    I really wish that people would stop being rude to those who just want to help. This forum is for sharing knowledge and workarounds as well, it’s not here just for you to express your irrational demands to Akai.
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  • Do you feel better now that you've gotten that off of your chest? Great.

    I won't be drawn into any personal attacks, however, using the word "irrational" is just plain shortsighted in this instance. I own/run a record label group with over $2M's worth of gear between our three studios. We have studio kit of various different types going back over three decades and we know what type of (basic) features are required to facilitate an efficient workflow for ALL types of musicians, producers and engineers.

    The case is pretty simple. We only need ONE primary DAW. I'll state that again differently: the people here commenting on the need for this feature (the "WE") only want or need ONE primary DAW. Kit of this intended stature and cost should have the basics. Midi mapping internally on this machine is the basics. We should not need to fire up another software to achieve the basics.

    AKAI wants to push it's own DAW, we all know that. It is a substandard software program with an immensley clunky workflow, the PROS know this. They will eventually have to cave on this, and until such a time happens we will keep making noise. If they don't come through we will abandon their kit.

    Nobody is knocking you helping out. You are a good Samaritan, we can respect that. However, the person that started this thread and the people like myself who intrinsically understand the need of the ask, know what we need and what should be provided to us at this price point...
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  • I think Akai has made it clear with "standalone" and "studio centerpiece" on their marketing page. They ought to live up to it, so I agree fully, don't keep referring back to the software as a possible solution/workaround, fix it instead.

    Also, the perception of people's behavior is subjective and different parts of the world differ quite a bit when it comes to social interactions. If you get offended, you have a problem. People aren't "attacking" anyone, they are just words, so ignore them (or engage them, if that's what you like).

    I don't like people being rude either, but hey, there are 8 billion opinionated primates of various level of intelligence on this ball, and all have a relatively short time to spin it, so there will be heat. ;) Don't like it? Well, better adapt and get used to it.
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