The MPK mini mkII is an ultra-compact controller designed for the traveling musician and desktop producer. Along with MPC Essentials, the MPK mini mkII comes with three content packs to help you get started producing beats and making music. This guide walks through where to find those content packs and how to use them.
- What is included and how do I use it?
- Getting Started
- Mapping Out The Pads
- Downloading and Installing the Content
- Where to Find the Content
- The MPC File Browser
- The Expansion Browser
- Additional Guides & Videos
- Further Technical Support
What is included and how do I use it?
Each sample pack comes with a variety of different files:
- Samples: These are the actual sounds and will be labeled as .WAV files. These are your kicks, snares, cowbells, synth stabs, etc. Drag this to a single pad in MPC Essentials and hit the pad to play and record the sound into your sequence. When you drag and drop multiple sounds across the pads you are creating a Program.
- Programs: These are full collections of compatible sounds and will be labeled as .XPM files. This could otherwise be considered a drum or sample kit, or your instrument. When you load a program, you'll see multiple samples assigned across the pads. Now your samples can be played together and used to record a beat, otherwise known as a Sequence.
- Sequences: These are the pre-recorded MIDI files that will trigger the sounds in your program when played back. To put it simply, this is your beat. These files will be labeled as .SXQ files and can be dragged over to the sequencer section (the grid area) to be added to your project. Most users will end up creating their own sequences with the sample and program content, but these can act as a good jumping-off point if you are just getting started.
Before diving into the sample content, you will first want to make sure that your MPK is registered to your Akai Pro account and you are up and running with the MPC Essentials software. For a complete walk through, please make sure to go through the guide below before continuing:
During this guide, we will also be using the MPK Mini MKII editor to load a preset file on to your MPK Mini MKII. This is very important to ensure that your pads line up with the pads in the MPC Essentials software. Please make sure that you have downloaded and installed the editor from the links below:
Mapping Out The Pads
The best way to use the included sample content is with the pads on your MPK Mini MKII. In order to make sure that your hardware pads will trigger the pads in the software, we want to load the MPC Essentials preset on to your MPK mini mkII by simply holding the Prog Select button and pressing Pad 6. The pad will flash to confirm the selection and the pads will follow the assignments described later in this section.
If this does not work, you may have an early model or have already overwritten the preset accidentally. But don't worry! We have a preset file already mapped out for you and ready to be loaded onto your MPK mini. Here's how:
- Download The MPK mini mkII MPC Mapping file from this link. Please make sure to unzip the folder to your desktop once the file has completed downloading.
- Close all other audio/MIDI software (including MPC Essentials), connect your MPK mini MkII to your computer, and open the editor software.
- Select File > Open and navigate to the unzipped folder from Step 1. Select the file named mpc.mk2 and click Open. The preset settings will then be loaded into the editor.
- On the left side of the editor, click on Send under Program 1. This will send the preset information to the first preset/program on the MPK.
- On your MPK Mini MKII, hold down the PROG SELECT button and press Pad 5 (Prog 1) to select preset 1 on your MPK. The pad should flash to acknowledge the preset selection.
Now you should be ready to play samples with your MPK mini mkII pads! There are a few things to keep in mind here:
- Make sure to close the editor when you're finished. The editor cannot be open while using MPC or any other DAW to ensure that the DAW is able to acces the MPK.
- Use the BANK A/B button on the MPK to access all 16 pads in the MPC software.
- When lit Green, bank A is selected. The pads will trigger pads A1 - A8 in the MPC software.
- When lit Red, bank B is selected. The pads will trigger pads A9 - A16 in the MPC software.
For more information on using the editor, make sure to check out our walkthrough guide.
Downloading and Installing the Content
- Log in to your account at AkaiPro.com.
- Find the MPC Essentials Sound Content packs in your list of downloadable content beneath your MPK mini mkII. These are the Elements of UK Dance, Elements of House and Elements of Dystopia:
- Click on the link for each pack to download the content. It's recommended to download these one at a time to avoid any issues while downloading. When finished they should appear in your Downloads folder.
- Find the folders in your Downloads folder. If on a PC, make sure to unzip/extract the folder before running the installers inside. If on a Mac, just double click on the folder to unzip it.
- In the unzipped folder, run the Elements of Dystopia Setup file to install on a PC. On a Mac, run the ElementsOfDystopia.dmg. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
- Repeat the steps for the other sample content packs.
Where to Find the Content
Once the content is installed there are a few different ways that you can access it from within the MPC Software:
- The MPC File Browser
This is on the left side of your MPC software and is essentially the same as the file browser for your computer. You can use this to navigate your harddrive and find samples or files that you've stored anywhere on your computer, including your newly downloaded sound content. To find the content packs, simply click on the drop-down menu at the top and you should see them all listed there:
Once selected, you'll then see the browser fill up with the included content from that pack:
Important Note: To help you better organize and search through your content with the browser, use the filters at the top. The browser will only show files that match the filter selection. You can filter by Project files, Sequences, Programs, Samples or No Filter (shows all file types).
- The Expansion Browser
This is a special browser that allows you to view MPC Expansion packs in an organized manner to more easily sort and browse through your samples. To get there select View > Expansion Browser at the top or click on the arrow icon in the bottom left corner of MPC Essentials:
From here you will see your new sample packs and their icons. Click on their icons to show the included content separated into full programs, samples (organized alphabetically) and sequences:
Additional Guides & Videos
For more information on using the MPK mini mkII or MPC Essentials, you can always refer to the MPK mini mkII User Guide, the MPC Essentials User Guide (Help > MPC Help) or some of the additional guides and tutorials below:
Further Technical Support
Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an Akai Pro product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Akai Pro technical support team is available to help!
Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.