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I’m excited

Pro Advance 49 questions about assign functionalities to pads and buttons

I just bought an advance 49; so far I am loving it (I came from an old M-audio 49 key and an Akai MPK mini Mk2, but I tried also the NI S series keyboards before getting the advance 49).

Now I am trying to find some answers but the videos out there show all the same thing; everyone is in love with the browser and with the multi feature; although very little videos focus on how you actually use the other functionalities of the keyboard.
I did scrub quickly the pdf manual and still it is not clear to me if what I want to do is even supported; so I thought to ask here.

Basically, I can load instruments and plugins, that's all great; although what I want to learn about is how do I assign the pads and buttons on top of the pads, to create a sort of patch that include different instruments or one shots.

The user case is mostly for studio purposes; I may like some one shot, loops or instruments, and I want to save them, although I don't want to load them on the main keybed, nor I want to make zones; because either they are samples (so make no sense to play it on the keybed, since altering the pitch alter the speed too), or they are chords, that I may have created by multilayering some instruments.

In that way, I could play the keybed with one or 2 instruments, and use the pads (8x4 banks for a total of 32 sounds), for specific one shot samples or specific instruments.
Ideally if I could reconfigure the buttons right above the pads, and use the for something else instead of time division, that would also be awesome. Maybe I can use those as toggle for solo or mute for example, or trigger some effect.

A real case scenario to give you an idea, would be to use instruments like the NI acoustic strum or the violin ones; which require not only the split on the keyboard to play the actual instrument, but if you want to switch for example the style played or play one of their many pre-made sequences, you can't do that unless you loose keys on the keybed; which feel like a waste. The small keyboards with 25 keys are too small to do this, so I opted for a 49 keys, but since I have the pads and buttons too, I would like to use those to actually trigger changes in those instruments. The fun part is that even with an S49 from NI, you can't do that, so I hope that the Akai Advance 49 is able to do this.

A second question I have is: how do I save a preset (like for ableton, cubase), and have it load when I turn on the keyboard? I see that no profile is selected automatically, until you actually do so; and that is annoying.

Last but not least; is possible to customize the color of the LED on the pads? when they flash in certain color combinations they just give me epilepsy; I am pretty sensitive to flashing lights so I would like to choose colors that are more mute and don't flash when you tap them. Blue and purple are a great combo; while red and blue is just hurting my eyes :)

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  • Hey lumberjack,

    Thanks for posting!

    Glad to hear that you are enjoying the Advance! You can assign different virtual instruments to the pads and keys. To do this, you will need to first create a Multi. Load a few plugins in the Multi view. For this example, I loaded 4 different Hybrid presets. I assigned two of the plugins to send on all MIDI channels and the other two to MIDI channel 1.

    Open the Keyboard view and select the Plugin tab. You will see the Advance's pads displayed below with their receiving MIDI channels. Choose channel 1 for all pads.

    Now, when you play the pads only two of the plugins will sound and the other two will be triggered by the keybed.

    In regards to the Time Division buttons, you can configure them to control different parameters of the plugin. Open the Control Panel and click one of the virtual buttons shown. A menu will appear with all assignable plugin parameters. You can also configure these buttons to send general MIDI CC commands as well for additional MIDI control.

    You can adjust the pad colors in MIDI Edit Mode. To do this, hold down the Advance's Shift button and press Control. Navigate through the available parameters till you reach On Color/Off Color. Press and release the pads while selecting your preferred color to see how they look.

    Lastly, VIP does not have a template recall like Ableton. That said, you can still save your Multis for later use or save a combination of Multis within a Setlist.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions.
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  • Hi Eliza,

    Thanks for the info! It seems that these features should be in a video or in some sort of training material, because beside the multi; which seems to be the feature that every single video about the Advance keyboard mention, the rest is pretty much not on the documentation.

    I will try it out; thanks for the answer!
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