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 a formidable standalone to a 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 Pro Tools, including hardware setup, opening MPC 2.0, and routing tracks in Pro Tools.
- Hardware Setup
- MPC Audio Setup
- Transport Control Setup
- Routing Audio for the MPC Plug-in to Pro Tools
- Routing MPC MIDI Data from the MPC Plug-in to Pro Tools
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.
Important: The MPCs will require an additional audio/MIDI driver that can be installed from the MPC 2 Software installer package. If you haven't already, please make sure to create an account and register your MPC at akaipro.com. Once the product is registered, you will find the MPC 2.x installer in your Downloads menu under your Registered Products. This will contain the drivers for your MPC.
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 Pro Tools.
- Navigate to the Setup Menu at the top of your screen and select Playback Engine.
Note: This will require you to restart Pro Tools after selecting a new Playback engine.
- Navigate to Setup then I/O to set the input and output to the Default paths.
- Open the MPC Plug-in Preferences by navigating to, Edit, Preferences...
- In the Preferences Window, select the Hardware Tab. In this window you can set Record/Overdub to control the MPC Plug-in or Pro Tools, you may find yourself switching back and forth between these settings. If you want the Record/Overdub to be enabled in Pro tools, set to "To Host DAW", if you want it enabled in the plug-in set to "To MPC Plug-in".
- Navigate to and select the spotlight tool, and type Audio Midi Studio.
- With Audio Midi Studio launched select Window, Show MIDI Window.
- With the MIDI Studio open, select and open the IAC Driver by double-clicking the icon labeled IAC Driver.
- Check off the box next to the text Device is online
- Add a new port, and rename it MPC MMC
- Go back to your Pro Tools session and select Setup, then Peripherals...
- Select the Machine Control tab and select Enable for the MIDI Machine Control Remote(slave)
Your MPC X or Live will now control Stop, Play, and Record within Pro Tools!
- Create a new Audio track to record audio from the MPC Plug-in by navigating to Track, and selecting New...
- In the settings dialog that appears select Stereo, Audio Track, then Create
- Open the MPC Plug-in window and load a Program
- Navigate to the channel mixer and select Out 3,4 Note: By selecting different outputs for different programs, you can separate your MPC project into separate tracks into Pro Tools .
- In the Pro Tools Edit Window, select the Edit Window View selector button.
- Select I/O from the following menu.
- On the Audio Track, select the Audio Input path selector
- Select plug-in, MPC - Inst 1-Insert a, MPC 3-4
- Arm the Audio Track, and test playing the MPC Program to ensure audio from the MPC plug-in is passing to the new Audio Track.
- To create a new Instrument Track in Pro Tools navigate to Track, New...
- In the settings dialog that appears select Stereo, Instrument Track, and Create
- From the Mix Window, select an empty Insert Slot, and select multichannel plug-in, Instrument, and select a plug-in instrument. Note: In this guide, we are using Velvet.
- From the MPC Plug-in's main window select a new track, and change the Type to MIDI. Note By default the MPC MIDI Track Port is A: DAW and the MIDI Channel is 1
- In the Pro Tools Edit Window, select the Edit Window View selector button
- Select Instrument.
- In Pro Tools Edit Window, in the new Instrument Track, select the MIDI Input selector > MPC Out > all channels
- Arm the new Instrument Track. When you play the MPC Pads, the MIDI note data will now be triggering the plug-in found in the new Instrument Track.
Note: You can use the MIDI Control mode on your MPC hardware to further personalize what MIDI messages are being sent by the MPC to this new instrument channel.
Your MPC and MPC 2 software is now completely set up and routed through Pro Tools!