Whether you prefer to go computer-free or not, it can’t be denied that there are some fantastic sounding VST instruments and effects out there. For those times when you need your favorite plugins, the MPC X effortlessly goes from formidable standalone to high-powered MIDI controller, explicitly designed to run the feature-rich MPC Software 2.0 in your favorite DAW. This article will walk you through a full setup with the MPC X or MPC Live and Cubase, including hardware setup, opening MPC 2.0, and routing tracks in Cubase.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Hardware Setup
- MPC Live/X Audio Setup
- Transport Setup
- Scanning for MPC 2.0 Plugin
- Routing Audio into Cubase
- Additional Resources
Before you can use your MPC Live or X with your computer, put your MPC into Controller Mode.
- Press the Menu button
- Press the microchip icon on the top-right hand side of the screen (displayed below).
- Your MPC will ask if you want to enter Controller Mode, or cancel and go back to standalone mode. Press Controller Mode.
Your MPC will display a red screen saying that it is looking for your computer. This screen will be displayed until you open an instance of MPC on your computer, whether it be MPC 2.0 standalone or as a plugin.
MPC Live/X Audio Setup
Important: The MPC X and MPC Live both require an additional audio/MIDI driver. If you haven't already, please download and install the latest driver from the MPC X and MPC Live product pages, under the Downloads tab:
Once the driver has been installed, proceed with the audio/MIDI setup.
- Power on your MPC and use the included USB 3.0 cable to connect to an available USB port on your computer.
- Put your MPC in Controller Mode.
- Launch Cubase.
- Navigate to the Devices menu at the top of your screen, and select Device Setup...
- In Device Setup, select VST Audio System from the Devices list, and select the MPC Live/X from the ASIO Driver drop-down menu
- When prompted to change the ASIO Driver, click Switch
- To review buffer size, click MPC Live/X under VST Audio System in the Devices list, and click Control Panel
- If you wish to change the Sample Rate, go to the Project menu and select Project Setup
This will allow you to choose from a wide selection of Sample Rates.
In order to map your transport controls, download the corresponding .xml file. Click the link below to download the file
*NOTE* This download is a .zip file and will need to be extracted
- Click Devices, then Device Setup
- Click the + symbol and click Generic Remote
- Select MPC Live Public (or MPC X Public) for MIDI Input and MIDI Output, then click Import.
- Find the unzipped MPC X/Live XML folder, click the .xml file, then click Open
- Click Apply
Scanning for MPC 2.0 Plugin
If you haven't already installed the MPC 2.0 Software and plugin, make sure to follow our video tutorial for a full walkthrough downloading, installing, and authorizing the software.
Cubase will normally scan for plugins on startup. You can make sure that MPC was scanned properly (or scan for the MPC plugin if it was not) by following the steps below.
- Navigate to the Devices menu and select Plugin Manager
- Click the VST Instruments tab
MPC should show up on this list. If it does not, follow the steps below to scan for the plugin
- Inside of the Plug-in Manager window, click + next to VST 2 Plug-in Path Settings
- Use the following file paths to select the correct folder to scan.
- Mac - Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST
- PC - C:\Program Files\Steinberg\vstplugins
- Click the Rescan All button shown below
One of the benefits of using the MPC software as a plugin in your favorite DAW is the ability to individually route your MPC tracks directly out to your DAW for mixing. This means there is no need to export or explode tracks from MPC and import them into your DAW. As long as your DAW supports multi-out VST plugins, you'll have an option to do this.
- Click the Active Output button displayed in the image below.
- Select which tracks you would like to activate.
- Click the Show Automation button on your MPC track to see the tracks you have created.
- After loading your program in the MPC 2.0 Plugin, go to the Pad Mixer or TrackMixer. Use the output field to assign a new output for the selected track or pad. The output will then be routed directly out to the new track in Cubase where you can adjust the level, pan, add effects, and more.
Here are some additional links that may answer some other questions you may have about your MPC.
- MPC 101 - File Management Tips & Tricks
- How to Quickly Format a Drive or Storage Device
- Akai Pro MPC X, MPC Live, and MPC 2.0 Software Overview Video Series
- Akai Pro MPC Live and MPC X - Transferring Content to and from the MPC Live and MPC X