Akai Pro MAX49 - Setup for Reaper

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akai max49 mainThe MAX49 provides versatile options to control virtually all industry standard Digital Audio Workstations. However, sometimes users seek a DAW that will provide industry standard features at a price that won't break the bank. Cockos Reaper is certainly that DAW. On top of having one of the lengthiest trial periods for DAW's, you'll find the price to be very affordable considering the feature set. In this tutorial we'll cover Reaper's industry standard features for MIDI controllers by setting up a MAX49 for keyboard, control surface and transport control, as well as MIDI mapping and MIDI Sync.


 MAX49 - Setup for Reaper


Enable Keyboard, Generic Control, and Sync Out in Reaper

With the MAX49 connected to a USB port and powered on start Reaper.

  1. Select Options > Preferences

    Reaper 1

  2. In the window that pops up select MIDI Devices from the left-hand column

    Reaper 2

  3. Right Click on Akai MAX49 in the MIDI inputs... section, and select Enable input, and Enable input for control messages

    Reaper 3.1

  4. Right Click on Akai MAX49 in the MIDI outputs... section, and select Enable output, and Send Clock/SSP to output

    Reaper 3.3


Setup Transport Control, and Mackie Control in Reaper

  1. Still in Reaper Preferences select Control Surfaces from the left-hand column and select the Add button

     Reaper 4

  2. In the window that appears select the dropdown menu for Control surface mode, and select Mackie Contrl Universal

    Reaper 5

  3. In the dropdown menu for MIDI input and MIDI Output select MIDIIN4/MAX49 Mackie

    Reaper 6

  4. Your window will look like this, and you can select OK, and Apply in Reaper Preferences.

    Reaper 7


MAX49 Settings

Now that Reaper is set up for keyboard control, generic device control for MIDI mapping, MIDI sync out for external devices, transport control, and Mackie device control, let's talk about the settings on the MAX49

On the MAX49 press the GLOBAL button.

Use the Cursor Right button to navigate to page 6, and change Clock Source to External. This will allow Reaper's sync clock to work with the MAX49.

We'll be using 2 MAX49 presets in Reaper:

Program: 31 Mackie C 
Program: 30 Generic

Program: 31 will provide transport contol, touch fader and button funtions from the MAX49 for editing Reaper's tracks. The following are MAX49 touch fader, and button functions, by Bank, for this Program.

  BANK 1-8 BANK 9-16 BANK 17-24 BANK 25-32
Faders Track Volume Panning Master Volume Track Volume
Buttons Mute Solo Arm Record Track Select


MIDI Mapping Plugins in Reaper

Program: 30 will be used for MIDI Mapping MAX49 fader, and button fuctions to be used for Generic MIDI control. The following is the MIDI mapping setup for a Virtual Instrument Plugin.

  1. Select TrackInsert virtual instrument on new track...

    Reaper 8

  2. In the window that opens select Instruments from the left-hand column, and double-click the plugin name from the list the populates to load the virtual instrument to a track.

    Reaper 9

  3. In the virtual instrument window that appears, select and manipulate a parameter in the plugin window, and select the Param button in the upper right-hand corner, and select Learn.

    Reaper 10

  4.  The window that appears indicates that Reaper is waiting for a MIDI CC message from the MAX49 to be mapped to the control in the plugin we last manipulated. On the MAX49, manipulate a fader, or press a button and the corresponding CC message will populate into the Command line. Press OK, and test that the MAX49 control message now manipulates the plugin's parameter.

          Reaper 11

Setup is complete! Test out how the MAX49 function with Reaper. Feel free to contact Akai Pro directly, or check out the other great articles on noterepeat.com if you have any questions about setting up your MAX49 with other DAW's

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