Drum Machine AKAI MPD232

Hello guys,

Was planning to upgrade my drummachine. Since years been using sp404sx, but it has 2 main problems for me: no velocity, no easy integration with DAW.

I am wasting a lot of time in my workflow to put samples on the sp404 and out of it. If I use it as MIDI controller, I hate a lot that I have to manually adjust velocities afterwards. So I decided to upgrade my setup a bit.

Having budget of 200$, I started to check cheap models of mk2 type, and ended up with idea that I don't need the keys on a drum machine (alrdy have an M-Audio keyrig 49 (1st gen)). And on the market I could not find a better choice then the Akai MPD series. Moreover, their most advanced model mpd232 matches my budget limit.

Does anyone has experience with it? Is it worth the money?

Just got it over the new year and started to play with it.

Very good Midi controller from what I can say sofar.

Pads are very sensitive and give that sweet feeling of humanized beat. After SP404SX it's incredible, how the velocity can change the groove feeling. It's warm now.

The included software is very useful and easy to configure. Both SoniVox Ultimate Drums and Cinematic Percussion are easy to install and map to MPD232 + they sound very nice.

A very comfortable integration with StylusRMX from Spectrasonics: by using Midi OUT's of the VST I can play 32 one shots using MPD232 (2 banks x 16 pads). Also, I configured 8 faders to match the 8 processing inserts of the VST and have access to a mixer, where I can correct the volume (fader) and pan (knob) of corresponding groove's one shot.

The transport buttons (Play -> Stop -> Record) work as expected. I am using Fruity Loops as a DAW and the integration is easy. I also assigned various buttons to control the mixer/current pattern/piano roll with quantizing/metronome/blended record/instrument switch etc, giving me full control on my DAW from the MPD232 to record a prototype.

I also reserved one fader for scratching the sample in FL Studio (Pitch control in the sample properties with decay mapped to a dedicated MPD232 knob), which is quiet fun to play with.

The step sequencer is quiet useful, if you cannot fingerdrum your beat. Easy to configure and use, also no problem in recording it afterwards in your DAW.

Note repeat is delicious, you can configure it from 1/4 to 1/32Triola for HiHats and other similar one shots. Knowing that you can pick the BPM rate from your DAW, note repeat is very powerful tool for what is serves for.

Also, the included midi mapping software allows you to save your presets and customize some patterns and workflows from your PC.

I did not use MPC Essentials or Ableton Live Lite, that were coming along side the package.


The Beat Hamster
*** ill o.g. ***
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Good to know! It's great that you can assign various buttons/knobs but I'm wondering - is it possible to configure the pads for step sequencing? That would be dope.
Good to know! It's great that you can assign various buttons/knobs but I'm wondering - is it possible to configure the pads for step sequencing? That would be dope.
Yo. There is a simple step sequencer (32 channel) out of the box. Important: there is no pattern sequencer. You will have to use your own DAW for pattern sequencing.

There are following workflows I tried sofar with Fruity Loops and MPD232 for step sequencing:
1) Record the finger drumming sequence into FL directly. If you need to re-record on top of that just use the Blend Recording option.
2) Record the finger drumming sequence into the MPD232 sequencer. Correct the velocities, order etc of your finger drummed sequence on MPD232. Then record it in your DAW.
3) Construct the entire sequence on your MPD232 using included step sequencer, adjust velocities, order etc. Then record it in your DAW.

From my understanding this is rly a great gear if you want to learn finger drumming and use the MPD232 to construct beats at the same time while you are learning.