Akai MPD24 pad controller

Akai MPD24 pad controller

Before getting a Roland vDrums kit, I used this pad controller for programming drums.  Now I've got it configured as a control surface for Reaper.

In stock form, the pads are not particularly sensitive.  I fixed this by pulling the unit apart and adding several layers of electrical tape under each pad to take up the free space that is normally there.  This results in a much more responsive pad surface.  Now I just use the pads for toggling options like arm recording, fx on/off, solo and mute in reaper.  Because you have 4 channel banks, you can effectively control up to 16 channels this way.

Using MPD24 in Reaper

Its not particularly difficult to get going in Reaper, but there are a few steps to make it happen:

  • go to Options -> MIDI Devices and enable the MPD24;
  • go to Options -> Control Surfaces -> Add;
  • select 'Mackie Control Universal' and choose MIDI input and output from the MDP24.

To configure Reaper to accept control input from the MPD24, set the MPD24 into a default config (load a blank preset like #13) and then in Reaper go Actions -> Show Action List.  This gives you a window that allows you to create and manage shortcuts to any Reaper action.  For example, if you want to assign a fader to the volume action for track 1 then enter in the Filter box 'Track 01', select 'Track: Set volume for track 01' and then under 'Shortcuts' click the 'Add' button.  Move the relevant fader on the MPD24 and Reaper will then assign its CC signals to that shortcut.  Repeat for any other assignments you want to make.

Drivers for the MPD24

In Windows 7 and above no drivers are required. Just plug it in via the USB port and away you go.

Latest firmware for MPD24?

The latest firmware seems to be v1.10.  I'm using v1.09.  The Akai patch editing software provides a mechanism to upgrade the firmware, but there seems to be no way to get firmware anymore.  It used to be available via the AkaiPro website, but there are no longer any firmware downloads for the MPD24.

More info on the MPD24?

More info is available on the Akai website MPD24 page;

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