Here is a rough demo of how the MPK MINI can be programmed to switch between MIDI Channels to control different iOS Synths at a time. Please be gentle, this is my first time playing live. In fact I bungle it up towards the end but what the hey. Active iOS apps are:
- DM1, triggered from the ipad
- Chord PolyPad
To set up different channels on your Akai MPK Mini, download the MPK Mini Editor here.
Setting up the MPK
- Plug in your MPK Mini into your desktop computer and launch the editor.
- Press ok when the editor detects your MPK. If it doesn’t, you might have to quit the editor, replug the MPK into your desktop, and relaunch the editor.
- Click on Preset 1 to get the preset stored inside your MPK.
- Change the value in the “Key + Knobs MIDI CH” to 1
- Change the Pad MIDI CH to 1.
- CLICK ON UPLOAD. Remember to do this first before you click on other presets, otherwise you’d have to start over.
- Click on Preset 2 to acquire the preset stored in the MPK.
- Change Key + Knobs MIDI CH to 2, and change Pad MIDI CH to 6 (yes, 6). CLICK ON UPLOAD, press ok when done.
- Click on Preset 3 to get the current preset 3 stored in the MPK Mini.
- Change Key + Knobs MIDI CH to 3, and change Pad MIDI CH to 3. On Pad 4 click on “Momentary to change it to “Toggle”. CLICK ON UPLOAD, press ok when done.
- Click on Preset 4 to get the current preset 3 stored in the MPK Mini.
- Change Key + Knobs MIDI CH to 4, and change Pad MIDI CH to 8.
- If you wish to use Chord Polypad on the pads, set the notes of pads 1-4 as follows: E3, F3, F#3, G3.
- Click on Upload and press ok when done.
Setting up the iPad Apps
- Sunrizer. Tap on Utils button at the top of the screen > Midi > Channel > set to 1. I’d say this is one of the most ideal iOS synths for live use because it has the ability to change presets using the MPK’s pads, apart from having selectable MIDI input channels. The synth presets are numbered according to their position in the list, so that Program Change + Pad 1 calls up the very first prset from the top of the list, and so on and so forth. The beauty of Sunrizer in this area is that you can drag presets up and down to make them correspond to the pads of the MPK. The banks are also positioned alphabetically so that User banks can be named “01 – Live Gig” for example, and the presets in this bank will most likely end up being the first presets in the list. Instantly, the first 8 presets in Sunrizer will be mapped to the MPK.
- Alchemy. Menu > Settings > Midi in/out configuration > MDI in > Un-highlight everything but MPK Mini and channel 2. Midi Out > Un-hihglight everything. Menu > Settings > Background Audio On
- iMini. At the top right of the screen, tap on Connect > MIDI > Select Midi Channel 3, Tap On for the MPK Mini. You can use MIDI Learn for the knobs and the toggle switches available (delay or arpeggio on Pad CC# + Pad 4 on the MPK Mini).
- iGrand. At the top right of the screen, tap on Menu > Set MIDI Channel to 4, tap on MIDI Controllers to enable the MPK mini to send notes and other midi signals to the iGrand. Note that lower 3rd knob on the MPK Mini corresponds to Volume in iGrand.
- Chord PolyPad. On the upper right of the screen, tap on the MIDI icon > tap on Midi Out > Select iGrand Piano. Tap on Midi In > Select Mpk Mini. Tap on setup > tap on “Selected Group From C3”. Since we selected E3, F3, F#3, G3 for pads 1-4, you will have to place your desired 4 chords at the bottom row of the 4×4 grid in Chord PolyPad. Since this app does not have selectable MIDI input channels, you will have to be creative in placing your chords in the grid, or use the 3rd bottom knob on the MPK to turn the volume of the iGrand all the way down when not in use. Tricky! 😉
- With this setup, you can still trigger other synths using the top 4 pads (5-8) on preset 4 and all the 8 pads on Bank 2 in Preset 4 of the MPK Mini (Midi Channel 8). Also, Preset 2’s Pads can still be mapped to drum apps (Midi Channel 6).