MPK mini mk2 and Garageband on iPad

Hello!

I bought the MPK mini mk2 to add a physical keyboard (and more!) to Garageband on my iPad. From random Youtube videos, I learned that I would need a powered USB hub and a Camera Connection cable from Apple as well, so I bought those, too.

I cannot make the Akai keyboard work with Garageband no matter which order/sequence I plug it in. Based on more internet back-alley research, I even bought an app called "Midibridge" to see if that could help, but it is not intuitive and I still haven't solved this problem.

This should be easy--right?

Can someone from Akai please provide clear/detailed instructions on how to make this work? Thanks!

Best regards,
Jason
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  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting!

    The MPK mini mkII does not have a low power mode and does not officially support use with iOS devices.

    There is a free app you can download from the App Store called MIDI Wrench to test the MIDI transmission from the MPK to your iOS device. Please download this app and test to see whether the iPad is receiving MIDI data from the MPK.

    I have submitted a low power mode as a feature request for consideration in an update for the MPK mini mkII.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions!
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  • Corey, I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but you submitted this feature request over 3 years ago:

    http://community.akaipro.com/akai_pro...

    So far, nothing has come of it.
    • I'm sure we have! We love hearing about what customer's like to do with the products and will try to help in some scenarios by submitting requests like this.

      But, in the end, not all requests will make the cut or even be possible to implement. In this case, I'm not sure if it's possible to retroactively make the MPK MIni MKII low-power compatible with a simple firmware update.

      And with that being said, while it's not "officially" supported, we still see tons of cases where users can get up and running by using a powered USB hub to power the MPK instead of the iPad, such as the video Jason shared below.
    • Corey,

      I find it a bit troubling that since this problem was brought to Akai's attention over 3 years ago they have released several revisions of the MPK Mini MK2. A Limited Edition Red and Black version and most recently another Limited Edition White version. Even if a low-powered mode was not possible via firmware update it seems that the low-power mode chips or circuits used on larger MPK controllers could have been implemented on the smaller MPK Mini Mk2 if Akai had made it a priority. Instead, the priority is clearly form/style over function.
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  • Corey,

    It won't hurt to try MIDI Wrench, so I'll give it a try.

    CoolDham: you seem like an expert on here! Can you recommend a solution for me? Folks like this guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQZVq...) make it look so easy, but I bought the same parts and it didn't work.

    Best regards,
    Jason
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  • Corey, CoolDham,

    I should send a photo, but I'm in the office. Here's the setup:

    Male to Male USB cable:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...

    USB hub:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...

    Apple USB camera adapter:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01...

    Original set-up: The camera adapter connects to the iPad. The male-to-male USB cable connects to the camera adapter. That cable plugs into the USB hub. The Akai's USB cable connects to the MPK mini mk2. And that cable plugs into the USB hub.

    Bonus round set-up: Rhe USB hub plugs into a 5V USB wall-charger. And that charger plugs into an AC outlet.

    Switcheroo set-up: I removed the male-to-male cable and plugged the camera adapter into the USB hub's already attached USB cable.

    None of these configs work.

    MIDI WRENCH update: that didn't work either. I was hoping to see... something... on one or both of the MIDI WRENCH status windows. Instead, I got nothing.

    Maybe it's the USB hub?! I'll try your little one next, CoolDham.

    Best regards,
    Jason
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  • 1
    Success!

    I got the really-small USB hub that CoolDham recommended... and it worked right away. Thank you, CoolDham! I snapped a photo of my set-up for others.



    And here are the parts for anyone else interested:
    Apple USB camera adapter:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01...
    Tiny USB hub:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...

    Best regards,
    Jason
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