Thursday, July 10, 2014

iMPC Pro MIDI Input Details

MPC Element is a great controller to use with iMPC Pro and iMPC. But its not the only way to control these apps. I’ve had a lot of success in my personal experience utilizing other controllers for mastery of all hardware/software in my live and studio setup. My go to software controller is Touch OSC. And as far as hardware goes, I like the Korg nanopad 2 and Arturia Beatstep.

I went ahead and included layouts for a couple popular hardware/software controllers i.e Korg Nano Pad 2 & Touch OSC, Arturia Beatstep, Arturia minilab. Download the layouts here.

If you’d like a hands on hardware experience using other controllers, see below for the scene mappings to send from whatever tools you are using.

For a given bank (say, bank A), the app's pads are arranged in a Grid:
A13  A14  A15  A16
A09  A10  A11  A12
A05  A06  A07  A08
A01  A02  A03  A04

Send note on/off messages on channel 10. The notes are laid out on the Grid like this:
C#4  G4   D#4  F4
C4   B3   A3   G3
E3   D3   A#3  G#3
C#3  C3   F#3  A#6  

Its worth noting that some proprietary editors create different standard octave numbers. For example C4 traditionally is note #60. But impc pro takes note #48 for C4. However in touch osc editor and other programs note #48 translates to C2.

So to control iMPC pads, make sure you are sending the following note numbers:
49   55   51   53
48   47   45   43
40   38   46   44
37   36   42   82

Also note when you plug in some equipment, it will trigger features like mute, etc. from ch. 1 on startup.

Other features in the app can be controlled with the following note on/off messages on channel 1:
Tap=         96   (C8)
Full Level=  39   (D#3)
16 Level=    40   (E3)
Undo=        53   (F4)
Erase=       09   (A0)
Note Repeat= 43   (G3)
Main=        48   (C4)
Rec=         67   (G5)
Overdub=     73   (C#6)
Stop=        81   (A6)
Play=        80   (G#6)
Play Start=  83   (B6)
Solo Track=  51   (D#4)
Mute Track=  50   (D4)
Track Down=  15   (D#1)
Track Up=    14   (D1)
Pad Bank=    49   (C#4)


  1. Im trying to get the pads on my MPK mini to work with iMPC Pro. I have the the MPK Mini editor. it shows me that note # 48 translates to C2. So what would I put for the CC# or PC#? Also is Channel 10 correct?

  2. Is there any additional controls. Control the amount of note repeat? I have a Quneo and it would be fun to be able to map that to something.

    I also can't get the Pad Bank to work.

    1. I was able to program both a latching and unlatching (momentary) note repeat button on my QuNeo but I have given up trying to do what you were asking about. I was also hoping that the slider in the app could be mapped with the ability to switch between Filter/Velocity/Tuning/Length as this would make the app/hardware combo incredibly expressive but again no luck or support help..

    2. How did you manage that? Remember the CC # by any chance? Thanks!

  3. WIth the Arturia BeatStep and it's Midi Control Center, you'll have to use values two octaves lower than given here, i.e. C#2 instead of C#4 for the Pad Bank Select command.

    In case you're wondering how to use Bank Select: Program keys for the drum pads 1-4 (channel 10 C#1, C1, F#1, A#4), program a Bank Select key (ch. 1 C#2), then press and hold Bank Select and push one of the drum pads: pad 1 to select bank A, pad 2 to select bank B etc.

    Sorely missing the "Next Sequence" or "Song" button.

  4. Is this information in the app anywhere? If not, is there a good explanation for why not? I didn't even know iMPC supported MIDI until I read about it online.

    1. No but Akai does have the MPC Fly which is a MIDI controller for iMPC so that showed that the capability existed. As these apps are published by companies that make hardware I don't see a future where Akai "opens up" the midi functionality fully. If you could use a $20 app along with a $100 Midi Controller fully who would be left to buy the $500+ products sold?

  5. It has nevever been a good strategy to limit a good product in order to sell bad ones, and I hope Retronyms will eventually realize that (or go bust and deserve it). Give me MIDI control, and more important, proper MIDI sync, even as an IAP if you like, but I won't use Tabletop, or the MPC Fly, period. TT is bloated and insular, and I won't buy a controller which I cannot use for anything else. So when somebody asks me what I think of IMPC Pro, the truth is: Great product, but do not buy it - it just doesn't play along with anything else.
    It is madness: Within Tabletop, IMPC Pro seems to be capable of perfect sync, but there is no proper way to sync IMPC Pro via MIDI beyond Tap Temp. What do you think, Retronyms, do you expect me to sell my hardware synths in favour of Tabletop?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This criticism is fair. I fully agree with Jan

    3. To be fair, it has gotten a lot better since Retronyms enabled Ableton Live sync and MIDI Learn. But iMPC Pro still seems to hate MIDI Sync. Come on Retronyms, everybody else is doing it, no need to be shy!

  6. I wish , there will be some midi settings (in/out) so i could my push too through alesis dock and using max for live!

  7. Anybody knows how can i do to make the iMPC pro like a Midi slave?
    I have some machines linked by midi. I push play on my MPC2500 and every machines starts. I think maybe the iMPC Pro can be a slave too. I have the iPad in a socket with midi ports. I have experience on midi but the Apps never have too much options. Anybody knows some trick?

  8. can i control the pitch slider with a midi cc ? i hope so :)

    1. @Bersh I bought the WEJ and with impc Pro I can assign through Midi Learn the K1 - K8 knobs to handle pitch on an MPK Mini II. So if you turn the knob the pitch will stay still, no more holding down a finger on the ipad to experiment with samples. Theres no way to do it with just an Element, but I basically bought an MPK Mini just so i would have that ability.. so its a $100 pitch knob in the form factor of a keyboard lol

  9. Hi all,

    Does anyone know if the new midi learn feature (my iPad updates itself automatically, so I’m not sure how long this feature has been there for), is more or less the answer people have been looking for?

    Based on what I have been reading, before MIDI learn, there was a lot less capability in mapping specific pads to the exact keys you want (or pads – depending on what kind of controller you are using. I’m using an M-audio keystation49).

    Is there a way to assign any key to any pad? I ask because it appeared to me certain keystrokes controlled random functions such as note repeat or whatever. My work around was just to assign another key that wasn’t automatically “mapped” if you will.

    Does anyone know If there is a way to change that? So that I can map any ANY key to ANY pad, and not run into something where a certain key controls a certain function, like I mention directly above.