Akai Pro MPC5000 - Using Q-Links to Sequence External Synths

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akai mpc5000 mainMany external synthesizers and modules have parameters such as filters, envelopes, and oscillators that can be controlled by MIDI Continuous Controllers (CCs). You can use MPC5000 Q-Link controls to send and sequence MIDI CCs to control these parameters. You save a program with Q-Link assignments and recall them for later use.


  1. Create a new SAMPLE program by going to the PROGRAM mode and pressing the WINDOW button while the program name is highlighted. Name the program so that you will be able to recall it later. In this example, you are controlling a MicroWaveXT.

    mpc5000 qlink guide 1

  2. Go to the MAIN page and check that your new program is selected for your current track.

  3. Set the MIDI port and channel to control the MIDI module you want to control.

  4. Press MODE + Q-LINK to go to the Q-Link page. Different Q-Link settings are stored in each PROGRAM.

  5. Press WINDOW to open the Q-LINK edit screen.

  6. Check that the right program is selected. You can change the program by selecting it using the data dial.

  7. Move the cursor down to Ctrl. This is where you set the MIDI CC number to send.

    NOTE: some synths have a preset MIDI map, while other permit assignment. Check your synth’s manual.

  8. The MicroWaveXT has a predetermined set of MIDI CCs and ability to define four CCs within each program. In this example, MIDI CC 50 has been selected, which corresponds to Filter Cutoff on the MicroWaveXT.

  9. Turn the Q-Link knob you want to assign next to select it.

  10. When all of your Q-Links are set, test them and sure to save the PROGRAM.

  11. Now you can record your Q-Link performances and automate your external synths.


Bonus Tip 1

  • MPC5000’s arpeggiator can also be used to play external modules.


Bonus Tip 2

  • You can edit which notes the pads play in your program.
  • Press MODE + PROGRAM, then F3. Select the notes you want to play from the pads. 



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