MPD, MPC and MIDI Keyboard
In the music industry market we have many kinds of machines that produce or manipulate music.
You have probably heard about , MIDI controller , MPC, MPD, MPK etc., well i will clear that for you and explain to you what they do and the differences between them.
Lets start .
(Akai MPC 2500)
First things first MPC stands for “Music Production Controller” (or MIDI production center).
The controller has been invented in the late 80′ .
The MPC has sounds like drums etc. built in and it can produce sound by it self , without any music software installed in your laptop or PC.
You can load and chop samples straight from the MPC on to your pad. This will obviously give you a limited library of sound and samples. You will have to load your own sounds or samples on to the MPC to give you colourful sounds in the library and consequence, better music producing . The MPC’s these days can also connect into your laptop so you are able to load your sounds straight from it .
MPD stands for “MIDI Production Controller“.
MPD hasn’t got any pre built-in sounds like the MPC.
It works with data messages (MIDI) that the controller will send to a music production software installed in your PC or laptop like Ableton, FL Studio, Pro Logic etc. .
From your software you can MIDI map the controller, that means that you can assign to any fader or knobs to track volume, pan, effect and much more.
Basically you’ll be able to control your music software straight from the controller but before that, you will have to set and map your controller to the music software that you are using. You will load all the sounds like snares, hi hats, kicks etc. from your music software straight on to the pads. Easy.
The MPD offers many function like the note repeats, After touch, time division and a lot more , everything is depending on which MPD you have, they are pretty much the same but sometimes they can have less or more function.
The pads are configurable as well . You can set the sensitivity and the tone.
(Akai MPK mini)
MPK stand for “MIDI Production Keybord“
The MPK doesn’t have any built-in sounds, exactly like the MPD.
The MPK as you can see has a keyboard , which is simply an add-on to the pads.
You will control the MIDI Production Keyboard with your music production software installed in to your laptop or PC, pretty much the same procedure of the MPD’s. It has faders and knobs which you are allowed to map with your software.
As i mentioned in the MPD’s article before, every MPK can have different function but pretty much every machine is the same. Lately in the market there has been a release of mini MPK’s, which are really useful, easy to use and portable. The mini keyboard obviously is small so it has less piano keys to play all at once. We are able to change octave through the controller if we want to, going to a higher or a lower octave only by pressing the button on to the controller or through your PC (depending on the controller that you are using), but having more octave fiscally onto the keyboard is always better.
Be careful not to get confused between Digital piano and keyboard , they are not the same thing. The Digital Piano plays like a real piano and it has been built by following the piano structure. The keyboard is different and has a few thing that you need to know.
- the keys on the piano normally are 25, 49, 61 or 88.
(49 keys) (88keys)
2. every note (or key) can be ;
The weighted key feels like a real piano. Thanks to the weighted key you can literally imitate the sound of a real piano as they can recognise through data messages send into your music software, how hard you are pressing the note is giving you a dynamic and more expressive sound. Despite this, the real piano sound is unbeatable.
The semi-weighted keys are similar to the weighted . They are lighter and easy to press. They don’t have the same feeling as playing the piano but if you are producing your own music at home or you are starting to want to get bigger with your music and purchase a keyboard, this will be the right choice for you. The semi-weighted keys are good for playing any instrument on it and not only piano, so if you are going to use a synthesizer and make your own sounds, well the semi-weighted key is what you need. With this key you’ll get a similar sound of a piano but less responsive and is naturally harmonic.
The synth key doesn’t have any weight. They are really light keys . So how will the sound be? Well the sound will be pretty much like a static melody , that means that every time you press a key doesn’t matter how hard you press it, the amount of sound produced will be the same.
Example: let’s say that i play two note randomly from the keyboard. Let’s also say that the first note i press will be with 20% of pressure so really low volume, the second note i press will be with 80%of pressure so really high volume.
What will happen?
Well the amount of sound that will come out of the speaker will be maximum volume for both notes. Because the synth key doesn’t have any weight and they can’t recognise how hard you are pressing the key, but they will recognise a ON/OFF message every time you press or release a key.
In the market many MIDI Keyboards that have Synth Key, have also the velocity sensitive function. This function makes the keys recognise through data messages and how hard you press the key.
The velocity sensitive function makes the Synth Keys Semi-weighted keys, because when you play, they are dynamic. Many MIDI keyboard have the possibility to turn the function on and off, so you can decide if playing with semi-weighted keys or synth keys.
The Pitch Wheel and the Modulation Wheel.
They are a function that the keyboard can have. Not every keyboard has these two functions. They are really useful as they can manipulate the sound and can give more style to what you are playing.
The Pitch wheel:
every time you bring it up, the tone of the note playing will be higher, vice versa if you go down it will be a lower tone.
The Modulation Wheel:
every time you increase the wheel the sound will vibrate, you can decide how much the sound will vibrate by increasing or decreasing the wheel.