Akai Pro MPK Mini MKII - Complete Setup with Garageband

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akai mpkmini mkii mainThe new MPK Mini MKII is an ultra-compact keyboard controller designed for the traveling musician and the desktop producer. With an array of hardware controls, MPK Mini MKII lets you record, compose, and perform with virtual instruments, effect plugins, and DAWs whenever inspiration strikes. This guide will walk you through setting up your MPK Mini MKII with Garageband, along with the included plugins: Air Hybrid and Sonivox Wobble.



  1. What is Garageband?
  2. Setup in Garageband
  3. Downloading and authorizing your included plugins
  4. Accessing plugins inside of Garageband
  5. Mapping your MPK Mini MKII knobs
  6. Additional Guides & Videos
  7. Further Technical Support



What is Garageband?

GarageBand is a whole music creation studio right inside your Mac — with a complete sound library that includes software instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and virtual session drummers. An intuitive interface makes it easy to learn, play, record, create, and share your hits worldwide. It’s never been easier to make music like a pro. Garageband is not available for Windows. 

For more information regarding Garageband, visit the official Apple page below:


Setup in Garageband

Connecting your MPK Mini MKII to Garageband is a quick process:

  1. First, connect your MPK Mini MKII to an available USB port on your computer. The MPK Mini MKII should power on automatically.

  2. Locate the Garageband icon on your taskbar or in your Applications folder and click it to open the software. 

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup gbicon2

  3. Once Garageband is open, select Empty Project.

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup emptyproject

  4.  Select Software Instrument from the available options. 

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup softwareinstrument

  5. Garageband will then open up a new project with a Classic Electric Piano on the first track.

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup electricpiano

  6.  Garageband will recognize your MPK Mini MKII automatically, so hit some of the keys to hear some electric piano!



Downloading and authorizing the included plugins 

The MPK Mini MKII comes bundled with two plugins to further expand your sound library. These plugins can be opened as a software instrument inside of Garageband.

To access these plugins, you will first need to create an Akai account and register your MPK Mini MKII. Once registered, there will be download links and authorization codes. For a complete walkthrough on installing and authorizing the plugins, please make sure to follow the articles below before proceeding with the rest of this guide:



Accessing your included plugins

Once your plugins are installed and authorized, we can open them inside of Garageband. 

  1. Hit the Smart Control icon located in the upper left of the software. You will see the Smart Control windows open at the bottom of the screen.

    akai mpkminimkii garageband smartcontrolicon

  2.  Hit the Inspector icon to open a new window.

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup inspectoricon

  3.  Click on Plug-ins to open a new set of options. 

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup pluginlist

  4.  Select the Instrument category and hover over AU Instruments to browse your installed plugins. For this example, let's select Hybrid which is listed under AIR Music Technology

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup selecthybrid

  5.  Once selected, the Hybrid interface will open, which allows you to adjust settings and select different presets. 

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup hybridinterface



Mapping your MPK Mini MKII knobs 

While Garageband does not have a MIDI learn feature, you can still use the MPK Mini MKII knobs by mapping them to control parameters inside of Hybrid and/or Wobble.


  1. Open the Hybrid plugin interface as described above

  2. With the interface open, select a parameter. In this case, I will be mapping the Shape knob under the category OSC 1

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup shapeknob

  3. Hold down the Control key on your keyboard, and then click on the knob. You will see a list of options appear. 

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup shapeknoboptions

  4. Select the Learn CC option. 

  5. Now, move the knob labeled K1 on the MPK Mini MKII from left to right. You will see it reflect in the Hybrid interface, as the Shape value changes and the value moves from 0-100%. 


  1. Open the Wobble plugin interface as described above

  2. With the interface open, select a parameter. In this case, I will be mapping the Width knob for Channel 1. 

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup widthknob

  3. Select the Learn icon in the upper right of the interface to enter the MIDI learn mode.

    akai mpkminimkii garagebandsetup learnbutton

  4. Left click on the Width knob, and then proceed to move the K1 knob on the MPK Mini MKII from left to right. You will see it reflect in the Wobble interface, as the Width knob moves left to right. 

  5. If you would like to map another knob, first click the Learn icon to get out of MIDI learn mode. Then click it again, and you can map a separate knob. 



 Additional Guides & Videos


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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