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Akai MPD218 Control Surface Defn


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I just picked up a cheap/used MPD218 for $50 for use with an iPad, but was just testing it out with Logic 10.7.4. In control surfaces | add - there are some Akai definitions but nothing for the MPD218.  The pads work fine with DMD and other instruments, and I can manually add the encoders to Controller Assignments, one at a time… but it would be easier if there was a control surface definition and maybe some ‘Auto’ assignment for Smart Controls.  Anybody else playing around with an Akai MPD218?

Logic 10.7.3 / MacOS Monterey / 2021 MacBook M1 Max w 32GB RAM, 4TB SSD / Novation LaunchKey 49 MK3/ Novation LaunchPad X / UA Apollo Twin X / MOTU 8Pre / Adam T7V pair + Adam sub / Inspiration

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Posted (edited)

The MPD218 is probably not a control surface, it's likely just a generic MIDI controller that you set up manually to do what you want.

(It's not a supported MIDI device for auto Smart Controls either - or at least there is no device script for it.)

Edited by des99

mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio | Legacy Logic Project Conversion | Logic 10.7.4, MBP 16" M1pro

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Yep. Official word from Akai is no Logic control surface defn.  It's been such a popular and inexpensive device since its release in 2015, I just thought maybe somebody would have created a defn.  Truth is, I use a Novation LaunchPad X most of the time with Logic.  I bought this used MDP218 super cheap, for use with iPad.  Overall though, it's a pretty flexible and programmable - amazing for the price.

Logic 10.7.3 / MacOS Monterey / 2021 MacBook M1 Max w 32GB RAM, 4TB SSD / Novation LaunchKey 49 MK3/ Novation LaunchPad X / UA Apollo Twin X / MOTU 8Pre / Adam T7V pair + Adam sub / Inspiration

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Third-parties can't create control surface functionality on their own - it would have to be something Akai design in (eg for MCU or HCI support), or something they'd need to arrange with Apple to create a custom control surface module which requires access to a restricted development kit etc.

It's just a dumb MIDI controller, so can only really be used in that context with Logic at this time.

mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio | Legacy Logic Project Conversion | Logic 10.7.4, MBP 16" M1pro

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Yep. Sure.  My LaunchPad X is much better supported, but the MPD218 is surprising still useful for $50 used.  It's inspired me to dig into Akai's strategy behind MPC devices, look at the workflow and compare it to NI Maschine.  Full disclosure, I've always questioned groove boxes and beat midi devices that still require laptop or computer software.  I get the full standalone device benefits, but Akai MPC Studio and NI Maschine Mikro require a computer to run the DAW-like software!  Well... if you have the computer, why not just use Logic or Ableton?  I prefer the step editor, piano roll, sampler and broad capabilities of Logic - whereas Maschine is small, can't be re-sized, and MPC Beats/Studio is also crunched into a 1 screen view.  I guess price, maybe?  Also, I've always found it harder to learn NI and Akai software than using Logic (which is the opposite of their sales pitch).

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Logic 10.7.3 / MacOS Monterey / 2021 MacBook M1 Max w 32GB RAM, 4TB SSD / Novation LaunchKey 49 MK3/ Novation LaunchPad X / UA Apollo Twin X / MOTU 8Pre / Adam T7V pair + Adam sub / Inspiration

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