Akai Pro MPD218 - How to Download and Use the Included Sample Content

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akai mpd218 mainThe MPD218 is a MIDI-over-USB pad controller perfect for producers, programmers, musicians and DJ's alike. Its intuitive blend of MPC controls and technologies mesh with easy USB connectivity to bring the feel of classic beat making into the world of computer music production. This guide walks through downloading, installing and using the included Sample Content. 



  1. Getting Started
  2. Mapping Out The Pads
  3. Downloading and Installing the Content
  4. Where to Find the Content
  5. What is included and how do I use it?
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Further Technical Support



Getting Started

Before diving into the sample content, you will first want to make sure that your MPD218 is registered to your Akai Pro account and you have the MPC Essentials software unlocked. For a complete walk through, please make sure to go through the guides below before continuing:



Mapping Out The Pads

  1. Before opening the software! Plug your MPD218 into your computer. This will automatically power it on.

  2. Now press and hold the PROG SELECT button and hit PAD 5 to select the MPC preset. This will ensure that the MPD 218 pads line up with the pads in MPC Essentials.

    akai mpd218 mpcmode

  3. To make sure the MPD218 Note Repeat stays in time with MPC Essentials, set the MPD218 clock to External by holding down the NR CONFIG button and pressing PAD 15.

Important Note: When you hold down the NR CONFIG button, you'll notice that at least three pads light up. This is because there are three different Note Repeat settings that can be adjusted: Clock, Swing, and Time Division. Each pad will be labeled with it's setting option.

  • To adjust the clock setting (External or Internal/Tap Tempo) choose either PAD 15 or 16.
  • To change the Note Repeat swing amount, choose a pad between PAD 9 and 14.
  • To choose the Note Repeat time division, choose a pad between PAD 1 and 8.



Downloading and Installing the Content

  1. Log in to your account at AkaiPro.com.

  2. Find the MPC Essentials Sound Content packs in your list of downloadable content beneath your MPD218. These are the Elements of UK Dance, Elements of House and Elements of Dystopia:

    akai mpd218 Loginpage

  3. Click on the link for each pack to download the content. It's recommended to download these one at a time to avoid any issues while downloading. When finished they should appear in your Downloads folder.

  4. Find the folders in your Downloads folder. If on a PC, make sure to unzip/extract the folder before running the installers inside. If on a Mac, just double click on the folder to unzip it.

    MPKMiniMKII unzip

  5. In the unzipped folder, run the Elements of Dystopia Setup file to install on a PC. On a Mac, run the ElementsOfDystopia.dmg. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.

    MPKMiniMKII Install

  6. Repeat the steps for the other sample content packs.



Where to Find the Content

Once the content is installed there are a few different ways that you can access it from within the MPC Software:

The MPC File Browser

This is on the left side of your MPC software and is essentially the same as the file browser for your computer. You can use this to navigate your hard drive and find samples or files that you've stored anywhere on your computer, including your newly downloaded sound content. To find the content packs, simply click on the drop-down menu at the top and you should see them all listed there:

MPKMiniMKII Dropdown

Once selected, you'll then see the browser fill up with the included content from that pack:

MPKMiniMKII browser

Important Note: To help you better organize and search through your content with the browser, use the filters at the top. The browser will only show files that match the filter selection. You can filter by Project files, Sequences, Programs, Samples or No Filter (shows all file types).

MPK Mini MKII filter


The Expansion Browser

This is a special browser that allows you to view MPC Expansion packs in an organized manner to more easily sort and browse through your samples. To get there select View > Expansion Browser at the top or click on the arrow icon in the bottom left corner of MPC Essentials:

MPKMiniMKII expansion

From here you will see your new sample packs and their icons. Click on their icons to show the included content separated into full programs, samples (organized alphabetically) and sequences:

MPKMiniMKII dystopia



What is included and how do I use it?

Each sample pack comes with a variety of different files:

  • Samples: These are the actual sounds and will be labeled as .WAV files. These are your kicks, snares, cowbells, synth stabs, etc. Drag this to a single pad in MPC Essentials and hit the pad to play and record the sound into your sequence. When you drag and drop multiple sounds across the pads you are creating a Program.

  • Programs: These are full collections of compatible sounds and will be labeled as .XPM files . This could otherwise be considered a drum or sample kit, or your instrument. When you load a program, you'll see multiple samples assigned across the pads. Now your samples can be played together and used to record a beat, otherwise known as a Sequence.

  • Sequences: These are the pre-recorded MIDI files that will trigger the sounds in your program when played back. To put it simply, this is your beat. These files will be labeled as .SXQ files and can be dragged over to the sequencer section (the grid area) to be added to your project. Most users will end up creating their own sequences with the sample and program content, but these can act as a good jumping-off point if you are just getting started.



Additional Resources

For more information on using the MPD218 or MPC Essentials, you can always refer to the MPD218 User Guide, the MPC Essentials User Guide (Help > MPC Help) or some of the additional guides and tutorials below:



Further Product 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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