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?

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@jedi_kriks It looks good, but be careful about the "ghost notes" issue. I don't know if it's on the MPD232, but I know it's on the MPD218.

 
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.
 

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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.
 
Hey together,

I can show you, how you can use the MPD232 as a normal step sequencer but you can use it as a "pattern sequencer" too. I use them after reprogram some things on my own often and have to say, you can use it as a drum machine, as a step sequencer or as an pattern seqeuncer, the things are easy to use.

Can I post here videos? Before I rec I would to know, if gives problems ^^

Another thing is, jed_kriks which version of FL Studio did you use? If the FL 20, so could you tell me how did you fix the master sync issue from the step sequencer? Or didn`t you use it?
 
Hey together,

I can show you, how you can use the MPD232 as a normal step sequencer but you can use it as a "pattern sequencer" too. I use them after reprogram some things on my own often and have to say, you can use it as a drum machine, as a step sequencer or as an pattern seqeuncer, the things are easy to use.

Can I post here videos? Before I rec I would to know, if gives problems ^^

Another thing is, jed_kriks which version of FL Studio did you use? If the FL 20, so could you tell me how did you fix the master sync issue from the step sequencer? Or didn`t you use it?
Your video's are highly welcome man.

For the master sync -> just make sure to enable it in the MIDI options screen in FL. Then you will notice that the step sequencer is asynchronized with the master clock. To fix that: just press stop and play again on the MPD and it will be synchronized now.
 
Small update:

Playing a lot with configurations. Yesterday was testing it with SP404. Here are some interesting results:
- The sp404 forums are not right saying that the sequencer does not work with SP404 - I am able to use mpd232 sequencer with any pads on SP404
- The previous point allows me to create a sequence of chops on the sp404 and play it using mpd232. By using an audiointerface between sp404 and a DAW I can define the needed BPM of the project inside the DAW without (!!!!!) recording the chops into DAW (DAW sends the tempo info to mpd232).
- I was able to map 4 banks of mpd232 to sp404. As I checked you can switch the banks on the mpd232 and do not switch banks on sp404 -> the correct pads are still trigerred. So for fingerdrumming between switching the banks it's quiet an improvement in workflow too.
 

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