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Double and Unwanted Triggers Plague this Device and the Company Knows and Doesn't CareI kept running into the triggering problems that seem to plague this product. Often a pad would trigger twice when tapped and, to a lesser extent, pads that weren't tapped would trigger when another pad was tapped, even though I was using the device on a solid desktop that's 1 1/2" thick. For me, this made the product useless as a virtual drum controller as I was spending a lot of time editing out unwanted triggers.But the real problem came when trying to contact Akai to find out if there was a fix available, or at least one in the works. After receiving no response from the company when contacting them through their website, I gave them a call. The support person seemed to be put out by having to speak to an actual customer and informed me that the company knew about the problem and had no intention of fixing it. He couldn't even be bothered to suggest any possible solutions. His attitude was that this is the way it is and I need to deal with it.These two problems seem to be quite common with numerous complaints about them in their own forums and elsewhere on the web. I get that products sometimes have issues and I'm willing to work with a manufacturer to address them. But to not even make the slightest effort to work with a customer to fix a known problem in your product is just unconscionable. It's a shame, really. If this product had worked properly, it would deserve a five star review. Instead, I'm sending it back.1Horrible double triggering issue do not buyI had previously been using a MPD218 which also has a double triggering issue, but the MPD226 I received has the same issue but much, much worse. When you hit a pad it registers as a double tap, or falsely triggers another pad that wasn't hit. In addition, some of the pads trigger with the lightest tap and others you need to hit much harder resulting unequal velocities (extremely unequal) rendering this unit pretty much unusable. Adjusting the threshold, gain, and curve settings do nothing to alleviate the issue. Sad because it could be a great unit with some minor software/hardware fixing that, according to those who have contacted akai, the company isn't interested in making. Junk!1Plug it in and go!It arrived yesterday, and setting it up was extremely simple. Just plug it in, and it's on. No hassle or ridiculous, messy cords to deal with.I started playing around in Acoustica Mixcraft, just to get a feel for this pad. It got along with Acoustica quite nicely. I did some very basic beats in that program as well, which was a lot of fun.Setting up MPC Essentials was a bit of a pain for some reason. Not exactly sure why, because I rarely struggle with installing software. Ableton Live was much easier to setup, and is a blast to use with this pad. It's amazing how easily this pad gets along perfectly with two very different kinds of software.One thing I will say is that there's a learning curve with how hard you have to hit the pads. This is my first pad, so it could just be me, but I've got pretty strong hands from a life of painting and sculpting, so it surprised me how hard I had to hit the pads. It does annoy me a little that I can hear a loud thunk noise each time I hit a pad, in addition to the beats I'm making. Throws me off a little, and it can be distracting. Maybe I'll get used to it over time. I wouldn't say this makes this MPC bad, it's just something I noticed.4Amazing product! But...I ve been using this product for the past couple months and I ve been loving it. I use it almost every single day for producing music, and it is a workhorse. I ve used it for music production, finger drumming, and even live performances at my church. The 360 dials work great and give me a more tactile experience when automating filter sweeps and other effects. There is one caveat. The pad sensitivity is an issue that several other people have had, and I ve dealt with it as well. Often times, the pads will register one hit as two. So when using on full velocity mode, there may be flams as you play. This bodes several issues. In finger drumming, when triggering samples, a double stroke can mess up the flow of the performance and create issues. When recording MIDI input, a double stroke means I have to search through the session to find the extra hit before I can quantize. In addition to double strokes when playing, sometimes other pads will actuate when not pressed. I may hit pad 1, and pad 9 may trigger as well. It also causes problems with finger drumming, as triggering a sample in the middle of the drum pattern ruins the flow of the session. If this was remedied, it would be a flawless product. Despite whatever issues I ve had, I must say that I am in total love with this product! It s portable, fun, and an efficient tool to get drum ideas into my Logic session! So much fun! Just wish the pad issues weren t there...4great responsive midi controllerjust got this, and wish i'd done it sooner. it's great for drum parts (and basslines, and triggering samples). have only used the knobs a little so far (and only 1-at-a time). but great to have them. a no-frills device, but it's all i needed.the pads feel great; they do like dust though, a minor nuisance. i wanted a sleeve for it, and found a site called mpcstuff with a case, and parts as well.am having fun with the 218 (AND getting work done). so, a great investment (and better than banging out drums on the keyboard). 5Electrical Tape is Your FriendEDIT 7/14/2019:*There is 3/8" black cloth "pickup coil tape" on Stewmac.com. I use this for guitar work, so I had some on hand, but it just so happens it's the perfect width for this job. I also recommend the Double Stick tape, also available on Stewmac, and using this on the bottom of the black cloth tape. This ensures good adhesion to your rubber MPC pads. The black cloth tape seems to be more consistent than traditional electrical tape, and is easier to work with. Simply cut it into one inch strips and layer them together as needed, with double stick tape on the bottom.*I'm using 2 strips for most pads. Add more and see if you like the feel or not. Adjust accordingly.*I've found that setting these up is a balancing act. Every single screw makes a difference: installed/not installed, and how tightly installed, both on the circuit board itself and the red shell/cover that fits over the device. As for the tape: more tape can actually reduce the velocity range/sensitivity, which can be a good thing. Hyper-active pads that are triggering with too much velocity compared to the others may benefit from extra tape, not less. Balancing act.*Currently I'm using no screws on the circuit board at all. On the hard red plastic cover, I'm using only the 4 outside screws, and have them slightly backed off, about 1/4 turn. This seems to be enough to hold everything in place, and gives great sensitivity response with the least amount of accidental triggering.*I still get double triggering if I use the "Full Level" button, and I still get some accidental triggering of other pads, though they're usually at such a low velocity you can't hear it. My main problem was the Snare triggering the Closed Hi Hat pad(s), so when I'd do Snare and Open Hi Hat together, often the Open Hi Hat would be completely cancelled out by the Closed Hi Hat pad triggering. Setting up the pad as I've explained here fixed that. It may be that a lot of these pads are defective. But defective doesn't mean "not salvageable." It's a ton of work, and a major pain, yes -- but salvageable, and beyond that, transformable into a great pad controller. Now, back to my original review:I carefully disassembled the MPD218 and cut electrical tape to fit over the pads. This is a well-known trick online, and the simple idea is this: it reduces the force you need to strike the pads with in order to trigger them, and especially to trigger them fully.As others have mentioned, the other setup option is to very slightly back off on the screws that hold the circuit board down. You can even leave only the 4 outer screws attached and remove the 4 inner screws. Or remove all the screws on the circuit board completely. I've had the best luck so far by removing all of them completely, and only using the 4 outer screws on the hard red plastic back cover.Tape method:Step 1: Remove the screws holding the cover on. You're gonna want a magnetic holder or well-sealed plastic bag to keep the screws in as you remove them...trust me. Now take the cover off.Step 2: Now remove the smaller screws that are holding the circuit board in place. Then carefully lift the circuit board and place it out of harm's way. You'll see a thin plastic sheet underneath with squares on it. Remove the conductive plastic sheet once you get to it. Remember: it needs to go back on the right way, i.e. the conductive side facing the circuit board, or else it won't work when you plug it back in. Shiny side = insulated side. That goes down on top of the rubber pad. Make sure the conductive Matte finish side is facing up when you're all done.Step 3: Now you can easily remove the pads. It's literally just a floppy mass of rubber, all one piece, that you can just lift out. Take it out, and get some electrical tape and some scissors or an Xacto knife ready.Step 4: Cut the tape, similar to how I did it in the picture. On the MPD218, the LEDs are dead center. So if you cover them with tape, the LEDs will be obscured and your pads won't light up.You can customize it however you want. I'm using two layers of tape. You may like more. You may like less.Step 5: Reassemble. And you're done! Good job. Now test your MPD218 for responsiveness.Now I'm enjoying my newly set up MPD218 much more than before. Very, very light touches also seemed to trigger nothing before, whereas now they trigger exactly what I want: very light, soft sounds.Just be careful with the screws and the circuit board when dismantling and reassembling this thing, and you'll be fine. It's a very easy fix. Just a bit time consuming when it comes to dialing it in perfectly.Overall I'm very happy with this unit. It looks good, was very easy to work on, and with a couple tweaks, it's performing extremely well. It needs to be set up properly just like any other instrument. Which is always a pain. But it's to be expected. The only major issue is the "Full Level" button, which I simply don't use. Akai really needs to address whatever is going on with that.5not what I expectedI expected something atleast equivalent to analog lab lite, instead you get a program that lets you choose the snare and bass pedal, and a drum kit, its not very versatile, and you have to set up the pads yourself information on this is hard to find and you'll probably have to wait a day or 2 before tech support replies other than that it works pretty good, the software isnt very good for beginners, you really have to like your sound to be able to write something, what your writing can sound like crap if you cant get the sound mixed properly, also this software can't be opened by itself, has to be opened in ableton or mpc essentials (they gave us two DAWs cinematic drums and this virtual drum kit that you can only select which snare and bass pedals without being able to modify the rest of the kit, you can pick "grunge kit" or (insert genre name) kit but you cant change whats in the kit, I would've been way happier if they just gave ableton and ONE good drum software instead of wasting some of the budget on MPC essentials and cinematic drums, is this a good controller? yes its extremely good, will you need more software? Yes you will, which is why I rated it so low.3Great most of the timeThis was exactly what I was looking for to trigger sound effects easily during live theater productions.The form factor is small and easy to fit alongside other equipment. The pads of course feel typically great of Akai's MCP/MCD lines.My only complaints are that it the pads do occasionally double trigger. For my use this is generally not an issue but I was at one point using this as transport controls for software and I had to stop for fear of it double triggering one of these controls.Also, It would be really great if there was a way to have the pads lit until you hit them (or just always lit). In a dark theater it's hard to see them and since they only light up when you trigger them it's easy to accidentally hit the wrong one. Maybe this is a possible configuration in the software (I haven't looked at that yet). If not, maybe they'll add this to the firmware at some point.41 star reviewers don't know what a screwdriver is.Guys seriously, this is the absolute best controller you will find for under $100. Pads are high quality, heavy duty, and the controller plugs and plays perfectly. If you find yourself "double-triggering", it means you're hitting the pads too hard. All you need to do is unscrew the back panel and loosen the screws connected to the pads. Every instrument requires some measure of tuning to your playing style, don't blame the manufacturer because it doesn't fit yours perfectly out of the box.5WISH I HAD MADE THE PURCHASE A LONG TIME AGOas a producer for many years i have always simply been a cheap skate and used my piano midi controller for the input of ALL of my sounds..... lets just say that after only a single day of owning this wonder it is clear to me now that i have only been cheating myself and my own beats by not owning a finger drum MPD.... the ability to convey percussive ideas into the DAW is unmatched IMP ... its a game changer for me and for a price that is more than affordable for what you are getting..... VALUE OVER COST ALL DAY!!!! you NEED THIS so stop stalling and get it!!!!5
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AKAI Professional MPD218 | 16-Pad USB/MIDI Controller With MPC Pads, 6 Assignable Knobs, Production Software Included