How to Use the Akai MPD 24

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The Akai MPD 24 is a MIDI controller and a drum pad that allows you to map sounds to specific buttons on the device, then digitally control those sounds. You can connect the MPD 24 directly to your computer using a USB cable, connect an external MIDI device through the MPD 24 or connect the MPD 24 to a separate MIDI output device. Regardless of how you want to use the device, connecting it requires plugging the associated connection cables into the correct ports on the device.

Things You'll Need

  • USB cable
  • MIDI cable

Basic Setup

  • Connect a standard USB cable to the back USB port on the Akai MPD 24. Plug the other end of the USB cable into a free USB outlet on your computer. The USB cable powers the MPD 24, making it unnecessary to plug in the power adapter.

  • Connect an optional five-pin MIDI cable into the "MIDI IN" port on the back of the Akai MPD 24, lining up the pins on the cable with the slots within the port. Connect the other end of the MIDI cable to the "Output" port on a device that you wish to run through the MIDI controller.

  • Connect an optional five-pin MIDI cable into the "MIDI Out" port on the back of the Akai MPD 24, lining up the pins on the cable with the slots within the port. Connect the other end of the MIDI cable to the "Input" port on any external sound module. Note that you can only plug the device into an external sound module, but doing so requires that you connect the included power adapter into the "Power 9V" port on the back of the MPD 24 and then plug the adapter into an available wall outlet.

  • Open any software on your computer that you wish to use to record or edit the output from the MIDI device, if you connected the device to your computer. Select the MPD 24 as the MIDI input device using the options in the program.

Basic Operation

  • Press the "Preset" button on the MPD 24 to choose from a list of programs previously set up and saved to the device.

  • Press the "Edit" button to change the behavior of the sliders, pads and knobs on the device. Press the pad you wish to change and use the "Value" dial and right and left arrow buttons to change the parameters of the sound.

  • Press the "A," "B," "C" or "D" "Pad Bank" button to swap between saved pad banks. Each pad bank can store up to 16 sounds -- one for each pad on the device -- for a total of 64 preset sounds.

  • Press the "Full Level" button to activate Full Level mode. This makes each pad play at maximum volume (velocity). Alternatively, press the "16 Levels" button which maps the last sound you pressed on the pads to all 16 pads, each one having a different maximum velocity, which increases in eight increments with each pad.

  • Press any of the 16 pads on the MPD 24 to trigger the beat saved to that pad. Turn any of the eight dials or six sliders to change the assigned continuous controllers, such as modulation wheel, volume, stereo balance or pan.

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