Tips for using the Akai MIDI Keyboard in Your Final Project Performance:
1.) Tip 1: First, Test for MIDI Data Communication
Be sure the MPK 261 MIDI Keyboard is turned on and that you can see MIDI data from the MPK 261 MIDI Keyboard in the MIDI lane of a MIDI instrument track. Test this by clicking the red Focus button on a MIDI instrument track and playing. Be sure to load a MIDI instrument!
2.) Tip 2: Trigger Impulse Pads
You can trigger individual Impulse Drum Machine pads with the first 8 percussion pads on the MPK 261. Load an Impulse on a MIDI instrument track, click on the red Focus button, then play the 8 pads on the Impulse Drum Machine. You should hear the pads right away. You can also play these 8 pads directly on the MPK 261 MIDI keyboard's white keys starting with C3. Also consider using Note Repeat with Impulse.
3.) Tip 3: Trigger Drum Rack Pads
You can trigger individual Drum Rack pads with the 16 percussion pads on the MPK 261. Load a Drum Rack instrument in a MIDI instrument track, click the red Focus button, then play the 16 pads on the Drum Rack instrument. You should hear the pads right away. If you use the Bank A, Bank B, Bank C, and Bank D switches, you can also play samples 17-64. You can play these same 64 samples directly on the MIDI keyboard's keys starting with C1. Remember, you can play up to 128 samples in Drum Rack directly on the MPK 261 MIDI keyboard. Also consider using Note Repeat with Drum Rack.
4.) Tip 4: Use Volume Faders and Pan Pots
In the upper right hand corner of the MPK 261 MIDI Keyboard, you can use the 8 volume faders and the 8 pan pots to control volume levels and panning.
5.) Tip 5: Play Any Other MIDI Instrument
You can play any bass line, lead synth, pads, or other MIDI instrument directly on the MPK 261 MIDI keyboard. If you need to adjust octaves, look for the Octave Down and Octave Up buttons located centrally on the MPK 261 MIDI Keyboard.
6.) Tip 6: Use the Pitch Bend Wheel
The Pitch Bend Wheel is the furthest on the left. When you play a bass line or lead synth, you can glide at the beginning or end of the note with the Pitch Bend Wheel. Be sure that you have clicked the red Focus button on the track that has your MIDI instrument on which you want to use glide. In your MIDI instrument, you will be affecting the Pitch Bend Controller Data.
7.) Tip 7: Use the Modulation Wheel
The Modulation Wheel is to the right of the Pitch Bend Wheel. An especially good place to use the Modulation Wheel would be with Operator. Be sure you have clicked the red Focus button on the track that has Operator. In Operator, click on the bottom right panel, the Global Controls. Look in the black control panel, and find "Mod Wheel". Pull down the menu marked "Off" and you'll see that there's a wide variety of parameter settings that you can change in performance with the Modulation Wheel: LFO Rate, Panorama, Volume, LFO Amount, Filter Cutoff, and many more.
8.) Tip 8: Use the MPK 261 MIDI Keyboard’s Own Internal Arpeggiator
The MPK 261 MIDI Keyboard has its own internal Arpeggiator. You can use it with any MIDI instrumental by hitting the Arpeggiator Switch, then playing a chord on the MIDI keyboard. You can adjust the rate of arpeggiation by clicking the Time Division Switch, and then selecting to the right of the Time Division Switch your note value for arpeggiation. If you turn on the Latch Switch, you can trigger arpeggiation, lift up your hands, and the arpeggiation will continue until you play another chord or disable Latch. Note that if the Latch Switch is on, you can change the note value for arpeggiation without disrupting the arpeggiation itself.