Akai Pro MPC Live - Battery and Processor Management

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MPCLive Main

Your MPC Live is capable of handling complex processing when sequencing MIDI data and audio. Just like an operating system on your computer, steps can be taken to optimize your workflow to experience the best possible performance. This article will cover some basic guidelines for optimizing the MPC Live's battery life, getting the best performance from its CPU, and managing RAM usage. We will also touch upon managing storage devices with the MPC Live and transferring data both to and from the MPC hardware with a computer. 

 

Contents

 

Battery Management

Charging and Tracking Battery Usage

The MPC Live can be powered in two ways - via a wall power outlet or by the built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

To charge your MPC Live, connect the power input to a wall power outlet with the adapter that is included in the box. At the rear of the unit, you will see a charging indicator light behind the upper right portion of the vent above the power button - this will illuminate when the MPC is charging. The light will turn off when the MPC is disconnected from power or has completed charging. The MPC can remain connected to a power source after it has completed charging - this will not cause it any harm.

Depending on how much you are demanding from the hardware (sample and sequence processing, output, etc.) the battery can provide up to 4 hours of continuous use on a full charge. The MPC Live's battery status can be checked at any time by selecting the System Resources icon. System Resources is represented by a battery icon at the upper right portion of the display in the Main modes. In the Menu display, the battery icon and charge percentage will be displayed at the upper right portion of the display.

MPCLive Battery MPCLive SysRec

When the MPC Live's battery reaches 10% charge, it will prompt you with a System Resources popup. This popup notification will display the current level of battery charge, the current CPU usage level, and the amount of RAM being used. From this notification, you can save your project, purge samples in your project, and clear the notification. When the MPC Live reaches a low level of charge, connect the power adapter to begin charging the battery and avoid losing unsaved progress in your project.

 

Tips for Maintaining Battery Life

If you are using your MPC Live for extended sessions on battery power, you can optimize its display settings for the longest battery life. There are several settings that can easily be adjusted in the MPC Live's preferences that will help save battery power. Press the Menu button followed by the gear icon at the upper portion of the display to get to MPC's Preferences

  • Hardware > Screen options
    • Screen Dimming - Use this field to select the time interval at which the MPC's display automatically dims. The available settings are: Never, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes. For the best performance on battery power, select 1 or 2 minutes in this field.

    • Screen Brightness - Use this field to select the brightness of the display. The available settings are Day or Night. Selecting Day will yield a brighter display to help compensate for screen glare during the daytime. Night yields a dimmer display. For the best performance on battery power, select Night in this field.

    • Power On Screen - Use this field to enable or disable the Power On Screen. When Power On Screen is enabled, the user will have to press and hold a location on the screen when powering on the MPC in order for it to completely power on. If the user does not press and hold the location on the screen, the MPC Live will automatically power off after about 30 seconds. Enabling the Power On Screen setting will help prevent the MPC's battery from draining in the event that it is accidentally powered on. The options for the Power On Screen setting are: Never, When On Battery, and Always. For the best performance on battery power, select When On Battery or Always.

  • Auto Save
    • If you are running low on battery, the Auto Save function can be a lifesaver - Auto Save will automatically save your project at a set interval of time. Enable AutoSave from the MPC Live's Preferences menu under the Auto Save tab. The intervals for Auto Save are 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes.

  • Bluetooth and WIFI
    • If you are running the MPC Live on battery power and are not using the Bluetooth or WI-FI connections, it is advisable to turn these wireless connections off. You can edit Bluetooth and WI-FI settings from the MPC Live's Preferences screen. Every little bit helps!

 

CPU Management

Processor

Like MPC Live's battery status, its CPU usage can be referenced by selecting the System Resources icon at the upper right portion of the display in the Main modes. In the Menu display, CPU usage percentage will be displayed at the upper right portion of the display.

The MPC Live's CPU functions similarly to the way your computer's CPU functions - the more resources you use simultaneously and the more you demand from the CPU, the harder it has to work to process everything - this can affect hardware performance.

Using many tracks (both MIDI and audio), insert effects, and audio warping in your projects can restrict the performance of the MPC. While you should feel free to use tools like insert effects and audio warping creatively, just be mindful that they will use processing power. Using Audio warp algorithms is a CPU-intensive process as the MPC processes this audio as the project plays back. Warping many regions of audio can cause audio playback to dropout. Audio warping can be a very useful utility but it is a good practice to monitor how often and how much you use it. You can reduce the CPU resources required for these processes by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Minimize the amount of pitch adjustment (e.g., the Semi and Fine fields) used.
  • Avoid warping very small track regions.
  • Warp as few tracks or track regions as possible (i.e., reduce the total number of voices [of the polyphonic limit] that use the warp algorithm at a given time).

 

RAM

The MPC Live's RAM stores the audio samples that are contained in your project (in both programs containing samples and audio tracks themselves) as well as help host the MPC Live's OS and aid in various system processes.

The current RAM usage is displayed in the System Resources menu along with battery charge percentage and CPU usage. As you add audio content to your project, the RAM meter in System Resources will fill. Projects that use a greater amount of resources and show a high percentage of memory used will be more susceptible to performance issues. Like CPU usage, RAM usage should be monitored to ensure the best possible performance. If you find that you are working on a particularly demanding project, you can save it to a storage device, transport it to your computer, and continue working on your computer with the MPC software. When in Controller mode, the MPC will not use its own processor and RAM - it will use your computer's resources.

 

Storage Maintenance

Checking Storage Space

The MPC Live contains 16GB of internal storage memory. Some of this storage is allocated to the pre-installed factory sample content and the MPC's operating system but a user can save their projects, samples, programs, sequences, etc. directly to the internal storage.

To check the current capacity of the internal drive (or any drive connected to the MPC):

  1. Open the MPC Browser.
  2. From Browser, select Places and highlight Internal (this is the MPC's internal drive).
  3. Hold the Shift button and press Drive Info at the bottom of the display to receive a popup with drive information including the Drive's name, the size of the drive, and how much free space is remaining on the drive.

 

Using Additional Storage Devices

If you are continuously saving your projects to the MPC's internal storage memory, you will eventually run out of storage space. Fortunately, the MPC Live can accept several different types of storage devices including internally installed SATA drives (see page 208 of the user guide for SATA drive installation directions), USB flash drives, SD/SDHC cards, and external USB hard drives. You can use any of these types of storage devices as long as they are formatted in a way that the MPC Live can read from and write to. The MPC Live supports exFAT, FAT32, NTFS, and EXT4 file systems for read-write capability. It also supports the HFS+ format as read-only.

As of firmware version 2.0.5, drives can be formatted directly on the MPC Live. To do this:

  1. Open Browser
  2. Select Places
  3. Select the drive you wish to format from the list of storage devices
  4. Hold Shift on the MPC Live and select Format Drive at the bottom of the display
  5. The MPC Live will confirm that you want to format the drive - select OK
  6. The MPC will format the drive to exFAT

A few things to note:

  • The MPC Live must be connected to power in order to format a drive.
  • If a drive is write-protected, it cannot be formatted - the MPC will indicate whether a drive is write-protected by an icon that looks like a pencil with a slash through it.
  • In order to format a drive with the MPC, the drive you are using must already be in a format that the MPC can read as discussed above. 

Alternatively, you can use the MPC as a card reader for your computer while it is in Controller Mode in order to format a drive. See the video links below to learn more about formatting drives for use with the MPC with your computer:

 

Additional Content Management Resources

 

Further Technical Support

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an Akai Pro product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Akai Pro technical support team is available to help!

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.

 

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