The new MPC Live makes the process of performing your studio inventions on stage incredibly seamless by combining the power of a production centerpiece with the portability and rugged design of an on stage workhorse. This article will walk through setting up a MIDI controller with the MPC Live.  


Syncing a MIDI Controller in Standalone Mode

You can connect any class-compliant* MIDI Controller directly to the MPC Live. Simply connect the USB Cable from your MIDI controller to one of the USB ports on the back of the MPC Live. The MIDI controller will automatically send a MIDI signal to the MPC Live. You can also connect a MIDI controller via MIDI cables to the MIDI ports back of the MPC Live. You can do this by connecting a MIDI cable from the MIDI OUT port of your controller to the MIDI IN port on the MPC Live. If you wish to send MIDI Clock Data from the MPC Live to your controller, you also want to connect a MIDI cable from the MIDI Out port of the MPC Live to the MIDI IN port of your controller. To activate the MIDI Clock (send or receive):

  1. Press the Menu button.
  2. Go to the settings menu (Settings is the gear icon at the top of the MPC Live Menu screen).
  3. Select the Sync tab.
  4. In the Sync tab, you can select to either receive and/or send MIDI Clock.
    *A class-compliant MIDI controller is one that does not require driver installation, i.e Akai Pro MPK mini mkII.


Syncing a MIDI Controller in MPC 2.0 Software

When it comes to syncing a MIDI controller with the MPC 2.0 Software, you have two options. You can connect any MIDI controller directly to your computer, or you can connect a class compliant MIDI controller to the MPC Live

(NOTE - the MPC Live's USB ports will serve as a USB hub when you are in controller mode). Follow the steps below to set up your controller using a USB cable. In this example, I will be using an Akai Pro MPK mini mkII.

  1. Attach the USB cable from your controller to your computer or MPC Live.  
  2. Put the MPC Live in Controller Mode. You can do this by pressing the Menu button and pressing the computer chip icon with MPC written in it at the top right-hand side of the screen.  
  3. Open MPC 2.0.  
  4. Windows users - Click the icon with the three lines at the top-left hand corner of the software, hover over Edit, and select PreferencesMac users - Click MPC at the top of your screen, click Preferences.  
  5. In the Preferences screen, select MIDI on the left-hand side, and click "Select All" under the Active MIDI Inputs 
  6.  You can send MIDI clock to your controller (for controllers with arpeggiators or other time-based features) by clicking the Sync tab. Select MIDI Clock under the "Send" section, and select your controller from the "To" drop-down box.

To use a MIDI controller via MIDI cables:

  1. First, connect a MIDI cable from your controller's MIDI OUT port into the MPC Live's MIDI IN port.   
  2. Connect a MIDI Cable from the MPC Live's MIDI OUT port to your controller's MIDI IN port (this will send MIDI Clock, needed for an arpeggiator if your controller has this function).   
  3. Open your Preferences in MPC 2.0, and select all the MIDI inputs, this will activate the MPC Live's MIDI Ports.  
  4. Next, if your external MIDI Controller has an arpeggiator, you will want to send MIDI Clock to the controller. The first step is making sure that your controller's MIDI Clock is set to External. For example, on the Akai Pro MPK225, you would press the GLOBAL button, press the right arrow on the cursor five times until it reads CLOCK SOURCE. Use the dial to switch your clock source to EXTERNAL.   
  5. In MPC 2.0, go back to the Preferences and select the Sync tab.   
  6. In the Send section, select MIDI Clock. In the To section, select MPC Live Port 1.
  7. You are now fully set up with your MPC Live and your External MIDI Controller.