How to Use Akai MPC as a MIDI Controller

Written by ryan haas
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How to Use Akai MPC as a MIDI Controller
Control your MIDI-enabled keyboard with the MPC 1000. (midi controller image by Johann Dethloff from

The Akai Professional MPC 1000 is a powerful and compact device capable of functioning as a mobile studio. While the MPC 1000 is capable of producing a plethora of sounds on its own through stored samples, it is also capable of functioning as a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) controller that operates your external devices. This is useful if your external device has a particular sound you want to use, but you are unable to play the musical part yourself.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • MIDI device with sound module
  • MIDI cable

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  1. 1

    Connect a MIDI cable from the "MIDI OUT" port on the MPC 1000 to the "MIDI IN" port on your keyboard or other external MIDI device with a sound module. The MPC 1000 has four MIDI output connectors on the back panel; you may connect to any one of these. They are labelled A, B, C and D.

  2. 2

    Press “Mode” on the MPC1000 and then press “Pad 9” to open the “MIDI/SYNC” menu. You must sync the MPC 1000 with your external device in order to transmit tempo and other important MIDI data.

  3. 3

    Press “F2” to open the “SYNC” menu and then select the MIDI OUT that your cable is plugged into. You may select any one output or a combination of them if you are using multiple external devices. Any output you select would be synced to the MPC 1000.

  4. 4

    Press the “Main” button on the MPC 1000 to return to the main page. From here you may program in a MIDI sequence or load a previously programmed sequence.

  5. 5

    Sync your external device’s MIDI clock with the MPC 1000. This process will be different for every device, so consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions.

  6. 6

    Play your programmed MIDI sequence on the MPC 1000. On the main page, select the sequence you want to play from the Sq field and press “Play Start” to begin the playback. You will now hear the MIDI sequence playing through the external device.

Tips and warnings

  • Because the MPC 1000 is the master device, whatever tempo you set it at is automatically the tempo played through your external MIDI device.

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