On this tutorial we’re going to have a look at creating our personal MPC growth packs with the MPC Software program (utilizing MPC Software program 2.x, however many of the content material additionally applies to MPC Software program 1.9). We’ll additionally have a look at how we are able to export these expansions to be used in ‘standalone’ MPCs (MPC X, MPC One & MPC Stay). This tutorial is tailored from my hands-on tutorial course, the MPC Bible.

What Is an MPC Growth Pack?

There are literally two sorts of Growth pack; the primary is a ‘plugin expansion‘ which is a software instrument and is simply Akai’s personal model of a VST or AU plugin. The MPC Software program has the Hybrid growth pre-installed, however you too can obtain different plugin expansions out of your akaipro.com account such because the Financial institution, Wub and Noise. Plugin expansions are presently not appropriate with the MPC X and MPC Stay in standalone mode.

The second sort of growth are ‘sample expansions’ and these would be the focus of this tutorial. Pattern expansions are collections of samples, packages, sequences & initiatives, usually based mostly on a specific ‘theme’. Growth packs are designed for use within the MPC Software program ‘expansion browser’ and ‘media browser’, and provide a variety of options similar to grouping, tagging, program previews, demo sequences, and thumbnail photos. You too can view growth packs within the ‘expansion’ part of the touchscreen browser of the MPC X/MPC Stay/MPC Contact (albeit with restricted options in comparison with the MPC Software program browser).

We’ll have a look at all these options as we progress by the tutorial, so let’s get on with making our first growth!

Creating Your Personal MPC Growth Packs

You may make your personal pattern expansions very simply utilizing the separate ‘MPC Expansion builder’ utility that’s bundled with the MPC Software program installer.

On a Mac you’ll discover the growth builder utility in Purposes > Utilities > MPC Growth Builder.  In Home windows, it’s best to discover a shortcut in your Begin Menu beneath All Packages > Akai Professional > MPC Growth Builder. If there’s no shortcut there, you’ll be able to entry it immediately in C:Program FilesAkai ProMPCExpansionBuilder.exe.

If the MPC Growth Builder utility will not be put in, obtain the most recent MPC Software program installer from the Akaipro.com website and launch the installer. Choose ‘Reinstall MPC Software’ and after agreeing to the License phrases it’s best to see the next web page:

Be sure the MPC Growth Builder package deal is checked and proceed with the set up. After the set up is full, launch the Growth Builder:

The idea behind constructing an growth pack is easy – level the Growth Builder to a folder containing the samples, packages and sequences you want to make up the growth pack (that is the ‘Content Directory’) and the growth builder takes care of the remaining, making a single ‘Expansion Installer’ file (XPN) from the content material it finds contained in the folder.

You’ll be able to see that there are a couple of different fields to finish so we’ll check out these one step at a time. However a very powerful factor we want is a few precise content material to transform into an growth pack!

Obtain the challenge recordsdata for this tutorial and inside you’ll see two gadgets. First there’s a sub folder referred to as ‘MPC Bible Expansion Files’ which accommodates the sounds and MPC packages that we’ll use to create our growth pack.

You’ll additionally see a picture file, ‘mpc-bible-expansion.jpg’. That is the picture we’ll show within the Growth Browser to establish this growth pack. While you create your personal pack you’ll want to make use of your favorite picture creation software program to make a wonderfully sq. picture; it doesn’t should be a particular measurement as Akai appear to make use of varied sizes, though the most recent growth packs use photos which might be 1000 x 1000 pixels in measurement, so I might counsel sticking to these dimensions in case you can. Additionally it appears each JPEG and PNG format are accepted.

Optimising Photos

Do be sure to optimise the file measurement of your growth photos as they do dissipate worthwhile reminiscence when utilized in ‘standalone’ mode within the MPC X & MPC Stay – for extra info, take a look at my separate ‘Reducing MPC Memory Drain’ tutorial.

Configuring the MPC Growth Builder

To start out making our ‘MPC Bible Expansion’, enter the next particulars into the builder app:

  • Title: MPC Bible Growth
  • Producer: MPC-Samples.com
  • Model: 1.0
  • Description:  An instance MPC Growth pack from the MPC Bible
  • Identifier:  com.mpc-samples.mpc-bible-expansion
  • Identify Separator:(i.e. a ‘hyphen’)

Lastly for ‘Content Directory’ navigate to and choose the situation of the ‘MPC Bible Expansion Files’ folder.

The ‘Model‘ area will inform the MPC Software program what model of this growth is being put in. If you happen to ever replace your growth be sure to increment this model quantity when constructing the brand new model in any other case the MPC Software program will refuse to replace the growth till the present model is uninstalled.

The description area is used throughout set up to tell the top consumer what the growth is all about.

The ‘identifier’ is a novel identify utilized by the MPC Software program to establish your pack and its contents on the system and must be in a ‘reverse-DNS-style’ format. When you have a site identify, enter it in reverse, e.g. com.mpc-samples; in case you don’t have a site identify, simply enter private.yourname. Then enter the identify of the growth, changing any areas with full stops. We’ll have a look at the Identify Separator slightly later within the tutorial.

Now drag the supplied growth picture out of your laptop’s file system (through Finder or Explorer) immediately into the place it states ‘Drag Image Here’ within the Growth Builder.

To this point, every little thing ought to appear like this:

Hit Do It and also you’ll get the next warning:

Right here the MPC is providing you the chance so as to add a demo sequence for every program in your growth pack. That is fully non-obligatory so you’ll be able to omit this step if you want – nevertheless as we’ll quickly see, I’ve already created some demo sequences for 3 of the kits in our growth pack, so I’ll clarify how to do that appropriately later on this tutorial.

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Hit Create and also you’ll be requested to provide the file a reputation and choose a location to save lots of your XPN ‘installer’ file to. Name the XPN file ‘MPC Bible Expansion Installer’ and select any location in your laptop (it doesn’t matter the place you save this).

Hit Save and after a couple of seconds your XPN file will likely be created and positioned within the chosen location.

Putting in an Growth Pack From an XPN File

To put in the growth into the MPC Software program, merely drag the XPN file immediately into the MPC Software program GUI – it shouldn’t matter the place within the GUI you drag it, however I often simply drop it into the grid.

Bug Alert: Double Clicking XPN Information

It’s essential to notice that you just can’t set up an XPN file by ‘double clicking’ the file from Finder/Explorer, as you’ll get a ‘Cannot Load Project’ warning (this can be a bug within the MPC Software program).

After dragging the XPN into the grid, it’s best to see the next:

Hit Import to put in the growth. At this level the Growth will seem in your Growth Browser

Click on on the MPC Bible Growth entry to see the contents:

As you’ll be able to see, the growth accommodates three classes; Packages, Samples and Sequences. Click on on the triangle to the left of the ‘Programs’ class to broaden:

You’ll see there are three additional sub classes – click on on ‘Acoustic’ to point out the three acoustic kits on this growth.

Nicely check out the varied options of the growth browser later within the tutorial.

Creating Program Previews

While you click on on a program in some expansions you’ll hear an audio preview of that program; that is known as a ‘Program Preview‘ and is a feature available in both software and hardware UI browsers. Select the MPC Bible Expansion in the expansion browser. If you don’t have auto audition enabled, click on on the speaker icon on the backside of the Browser:

Now click on on any of the packages on this growth, both within the ‘HipHop’ group or within the ‘Acoustic’ group and it’s best to now hear an audio demo play.

To create a program preview you’ll first must create a sequence that makes use of the sounds from a specific program – fortunately we have already got these three demo sequences I made beforehand, so I simply used these to create the audio previews. Together with your demo sequence loaded and energetic, go to File > Export > Audio Mixdown and render your sequence right into a stereo grasp (mp3, 192 bitrate will likely be tremendous, however you should use wav recordsdata in case you choose):

To make use of this mp3 file as a program preview, it’s essential that you just give the audio file a reputation that precisely matches the full file identify of the unique program; so not solely the ‘name’ of this system, but additionally the ‘.xpm’ file extension.

So for the Moody Equipment demo:

  • this system ‘name’ is HipHop-Equipment-Moody Equipment
  • this system’s ‘full file name’ is HipHop-Equipment-Moody Equipment.xpm
  • therefore the ‘mp3’ program preview have to be referred to as HipHop-Equipment-Moody Equipment.xpm.mp3

If you happen to create a WAV file, then append ‘.wav’ as an alternative: HipHop-Equipment-Moody Equipment.xpm.wav

Do remember that since MPC 2.1, packages pulled from a challenge ‘ProjectData’ folder have the time period ‘.keygroup‘ appended to the program ‘name’, giving a ‘full file name’ of e.g. ‘abc.keygroup.xpm’ (drum packages could have .drum’ appended). Nonetheless the rule continues to be the identical; merely add ‘.mp3’ to the total file identify; abc.keygroup.xpm.mp3.

Please be aware: in case you save your program ‘individually’ (proper click on ‘save program within the MPC Software program, or File > Save present program) then .keygroup will not be appended to the file identify.

All of your ‘program preview’ audio recordsdata should go right into a particular sub folder within the ‘content’ listing that you just use to create your growth pack. Navigate contained in the MPC Bible Growth Information folder. Right here I had already created a sub folder referred to as [Previews]:

Right here you’ll see this system previews I created for all of the packages within the growth; for the chopped break packages I simply transformed the precise unique breaks themselves into mp3 format. When the Growth Builder app put in the growth pack it makes use of this ‘[Previews]’ folder to arrange this system previews all through the pack. Program previews are nevertheless fully non-obligatory – in case you omit a preview, clicking on this system within the growth browser will merely play nothing.

Program Previews within the Commonplace Browser

The ‘Program Previews’ folder technique additionally works when looking folders with the usual file browser – simply observe the identical arrange with a Previews’ folder containing audio demos named after this system file identify itself.

Utilizing Identify Separators (MPC Software program)

When establishing the growth pack we entered a ‘name separator’ (within the form of a hyphen).  This identify separator serves two functions within the MPC Software program; firstly it’s used to supply ‘tags’ within the Media Browser, and secondly it permits us to ‘group’ sounds and packages into classes throughout the Growth Browser.

Within the {hardware} browser there isn’t a tagging or group help, nevertheless as tagging is included into the file identify of this system or pattern it may be used for search filtering.

Increase the ‘Programs’ group to disclose three ‘sub’ teams; Acoustic, HipHop and Keys. Increase the HipHop group to disclose the three hip hop ‘kits’:

Load the Spooky Equipment by double clicking it or by dragging it into your challenge. Now check out it within the Challenge Panel:

Discover how its identify isn’t just ‘Spooky Kit’? It’s truly referred to as ‘HipHopKit-Spooky Kit’.

If you happen to set a reputation separator when creating your growth pack, the MPC Software program will have a look at the textual content earlier than every occasion of that identify separator and can create a gaggle from this. The construction is as follows:

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<major group identify><separator><secondary group identify><separator><equipment identify>

So with our hyphen (-) performing as a separator, the MPC sees ‘HipHop’ as the first group identify for this file and ‘Kit’ because the secondary group – these are then displayed as classes/teams throughout the Growth Browser.

It’s the identical for the ‘Samples’ class – broaden ‘Samples > Acoustic > Hat’:

Now load the CPM1 h1 pattern and examine it within the Challenge panel:

This hat pattern is definitely referred to as Acoustic-Hat-CPM1 h1, however is displayed within the Growth Browser as CPM1 h1 throughout the teams ‘Acoustic’ and ‘Hat’, thus putting all of them throughout the snare group.

You’ll be able to place a file in as many teams as you want, simply use a hyphen to separate all of them.  Now, whereas you should use any group names you want it’s essential to know that these teams even have a twin objective as they’re additionally used as ‘tags’ within the Media Browser.

Utilizing Tags within the Media Browser

Hit B in your laptop keyboard to open up the Media Browser.

The Media Browser offers an interface to seek for particular sounds or packages inside your total Growth pack library – principally if the Growth is put in in your system, be it an Akai or a 3rd celebration growth, it’s sounds, packages and sequences will likely be included in Media Library search.

A search field permits you to seek for a particular phrase or key phrase, however the ‘Filter’ part permits you to filter your Growth assortment by particular tags.

For instance, be certain that the ‘PROGRAM’ filter is chosen, after which choose TYPE: Equipment and GENRE: HipHop and also you’ll see a filtered checklist of all ‘Hip Hop kits’ in your Growth library (or at leat, all those which have been tagged as HipHop kits) – right here you’ll see Spooky Equipment, Epic Equipment and Moody Equipment from the MPC Bible Growth.

So you’ll be able to see how the Growth file ‘groups’ we arrange are additionally being utilised as ‘tags’. The tagging system employed by Akai truly requires you employ very particular tag names, though presently there isn’t a official checklist of accepted tags from Akai so the one technique to know which of them to make use of is to look at the tags used within the official Akai expansions. For instance, right here’s the ‘Program’ tags generated from expansions similar to The Vault 2 and Important Devices:

And right here’s the ‘Samples’ tags:

So most typical instrument sorts have a tag however style tagging appears pretty restricted. There could also be different tags you should use however I’ve not discovered any but.

To be clear, you’re after all free to make use of any tags in your naming construction, however solely a particular set of tags can seem as selectable choices within the ‘Filter’ part of the Media Browser. For instance the file Acoustic-Guiro-CPM1 gui is an acoustic ‘guiro’ pattern within the MPC Bible Growth, however as you’ll be able to see, the tag Guiro doesn’t seem within the recognised tag checklist, whereas different percussion devices do (e.g. Timbale, Shaker and many others). You’ll be able to nevertheless nonetheless manually seek for the time period ‘Guiro’ utilizing the search field.

Utilizing tags is after all fully non-obligatory, it’s numerous work to should rename all of your recordsdata simply to get them ‘tagged’ so I believe most individuals merely received’t trouble. Hopefully sooner or later Akai will introduce a tagging system like Maschine, during which tags will be batch utilized  to a number of recordsdata concurrently.

Demo Sequences

Demo sequences are ready-made sequences that showcase a specific program.  Head again to the Growth Browser (X) and go to the ‘Sequences’ class; broaden the teams to disclose the Epic Equipment sequence:

Double click on (or drag and drop) this sequence to load it into your challenge. Because the sequence hundreds you’ll see that the MPC additionally concurrently hundreds the Epic Equipment program.

You’ll be able to hit PLAY START to right away to listen to the demo.

Making a demo sequence could be very easy. Begin off with a clean sequence and cargo up this system you want to create a demo with. Now, merely get sequencing and write a brief demo with the equipment – there’s no restrict on the size of the sequence, it may be 1 bar or 1000 bars, it’s as much as you. When you’ve completed it go to File > Save Present Sequence and provides the sequence the very same identify as this system it’s demoing.

So, the Epic Equipment program is known as HipHop-Equipment-Epic Equipment.xpm; its demo sequence should due to this fact be referred to as HipHop-Equipment-Epic Equipment.sxq. Save the demo sequence to your growth pack ‘content’ folder. When the Growth Builder creates the growth XPN it’ll see there’s a demo sequence for this equipment and it’ll affiliate them collectively accordingly.

If you happen to navigate to the unique content material listing we created the XPN from you’ll be able to see my demo sequences have been already there:

Keep in mind the ‘nag’ display screen we had when creating the XPN file? We obtained this as a result of the Growth Builder observed there have been no demo sequences for our chopped break packages – that’s tremendous, demo sequences are non-obligatory and the MPC will create the growth pack regardless.

You’ll be able to after all embrace different sequences in your growth pack – principally every other sequence file included in your ‘content directly’ will even seem beneath the ‘Sequences’ class, however until they’re precisely named after a specific program, the MPC will simply deal with these like every regular sequence, so will load it purely as a sequence (it is not going to load any related packages concurrently).

The {Hardware} ‘Expansion’ Browser

The MPC {hardware} (touchscreen) UI for the MPC X, MPC Stay and MPC Contact has very restricted Growth pack help, however it’ll recognise put in Growth packs and organise them by thumbnail picture (though looking performance isn’t any totally different to the usual file browser, for instance, there’s no file grouping).

In ‘Controller‘ mode, the Expansions listed in the browser are the ones already installed in your computer. In ‘standalone‘ mode you’ll see the pre-installed manufacturing unit expansions (‘Vault 2‘ and ‘Essential Instruments 2‘) plus any third party expansions you have installed directly on any attached MPC disk (I’ll present you the way to do that within the subsequent part)

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To view the Expansions from the {hardware} UI, go to BROWSE and click on on the ‘Expansions‘ tab on the left facet of the display screen:

Click on on the Growth you want to view on the contents will seem on the fitting facet of the display screen. At this level the looking expertise is equivalent to looking folders, so that you’ll want to make use of the ‘file type filters’ and key phrase search for additional filtering. For instance within the following screenshot I’ve chosen the ‘Samples‘ file filter and a search filter for ‘Hats‘:

Putting in Third Celebration Expansions in Standalone Mode

The pre-installed expansions in ‘standalone mode’ are saved in a folder referred to as ‘Expansions‘ on your 16GB internal drive (‘INTERNAL’). Entry to this inner drive is restricted so we can’t copy further expansions to this location; as an alternative we now have to put in further expansions to ‘attached’ disks.

Everytime you connect a disk to your MPC, be it a USB drive, SD card or inner SATA disk, the MPC instantly seems to be for a folder within the root location referred to as ‘Expansions‘. If it finds any expansions inside this folder it will display these expansions alongside your factory expansions in the MPC browser ‘expansions’ tab.

Exporting Expansions By way of The MPC Software program

These best technique to arrange your expansions on an hooked up disk is to first set up the growth into the MPC Software program. First join your MPC disk to your laptop; you might do that through controller mode (a requirement if transferring to an inner SATA disk) or you’ll be able to connect a detachable disk on to your laptop.  To enter controller mode out of your {hardware}, go to MENU and press the MPC ‘chip’ icon:

Now choose CONTROLLER MODE. It is best to now see the MPC drive seem in your laptop as a detachable drive.

Then within the MPC Software program go to ‘File > Export > Growth‘.

Choose your MPC disk because the ‘Drive‘ in the ‘Destination’ part after which examine all of the expansions you want to export to standalone mode. Hit Export.

After export your MPC disk will now comprise a folder referred to as ‘Expansions‘ and inside there will likely be a folder for every growth you exported – these folders comprise all of the growth content material recordsdata:

The subsequent time you’re in standalone mode, these expansions will seem within the browser – however provided that your MPC disk is hooked up.

Different Export Methodology: XPN Archive Extraction

If you happen to choose to not use the MPC Software program you too can simply create a ‘standalone’ model of the growth immediately from the unique XPN installer itself. An XPN file is simply a typical compressed archive – it’s principally a ‘.zip’ file with a distinct file extension and will be opened with most traditional ‘zip’ functions.
For instance on a Mac I can merely drag the XPN file immediately into ‘Archive Utility‘ (or right click and select ‘Open With’) and it’ll instantly extract the contents of the XPN installer to a folder. You’ll be able to carry out an analogous process utilizing the archive utilities constructed into Home windows. When you have any issues opening the XPN file, strive renaming the file extension from ‘.xpn’ to ‘.zip’.

After extraction, merely rename the extracted folder to match your Growth identify. Now go to your MPC Disk and if it doesn’t exist already within the root location of the disk, create a folder referred to as ‘Expansions’ and drag and drop your growth folder inside it. That’s it!

Uninstalling/Eradicating Expansions

To take away an growth from the standalone browser, go to the Locations tab on the left facet of the BROWSER display screen and choose your MPC disk. Enter the Expansions folder and single faucet on the folder regarding the growth you want to take away. Maintain down SHIFT and choose DELETE FILE > DELETE. Alternatively merely delete that growth’s folder out of your laptop’s file supervisor the following time you’re in controller mode.

Within the MPC Software program you’ll be able to handle the put in growth packs by going to Instruments > Growth Supervisor:

If you happen to want to briefly take away any growth, simply uncheck its pink examine field – this leaves the growth in your arduous drive however makes it now not seen from the growth browser.
If you happen to want to uninstall an growth pack, click on on its entry and an ‘uninstall’ button will seem – nevertheless, this selection is barely obtainable for third celebration ‘XPN’ put in packs.

Official Akai packs can’t presently be uninstalled utilizing the growth supervisor. If you happen to want to fully uninstall an Akai growth pack you’ll must manually delete the pack from within the following places in your arduous drive:

Mac: Library > Software Help > Akai > MPC
PC: C:Program FilesAkai ProMPC

As soon as inside you’ll want to have a look at two totally different folders; ‘Expansions’ accommodates the pack picture and the pack configuration file (XML), whereas ‘Content’ accommodates the precise sound content material folders for every pack. To take away an official Akai pack it’s essential to delete its particular ‘content’ folder and it’s essential to delete it’s XML file within the ‘Expansions’ folder.

Additional Resourses

If you happen to need assistance utilizing your MPC to create your personal sounds, kits and beats, take a look at my MPC Bible programs, a set of hands-on tutorials for all the most recent MPCs, together with the MPC X, MPC One, MPC Stay, MPC Contact, MPC Studio & MPC Renaissance.

And don’t overlook to take a look at my epic vary of MPC Expansions, together with my distinctive vary of multisampled acoustic devices.

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