How do you setup the MPD218 on android phone?

I want to connect my Akai MPD218 to my android 10 phone (Motorola One Fusion) to play some beats with it, I have the Akai’s original USB cable and an USB C OTG adapter, but I can’t get it to work, it doesn’t recognize it as a MIDI device, does anybody know what I’m doing wrong? maybe the phone can’t get to power the MIDI controller or something? I can’t find anything on the manual, it just says how to connect it to iOS and i’ve seen videos of people using it with android phones but they haven’t answered me, thanks for your help.

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I did manage to use an ipad with the mpd218 some time ago, but I don’t have any experience with doing this on android. I hope somebody from the community will know. Mobile finger drumming is still pretty niche and finger drumming itself is also still pretty niche so it’s hard sometimes to get stuff like this working because there’s not much help out there.

it’s amazing the things you can do with mobile devices these days (aside from ruining your life through social media), not at a professional level, but you don’t really need to buy external sound cards or a mac if you want to start doing music or design digitally.


I agree! I also think we’re not far away from getting the pro level stuff on mobile devices. Sort of like moving from big tower pc’s to laptops for music production. That also was impossible until it wasn’t :slight_smile:

Right now I’m not the best guy to ask about this because I am “pro” and therefore I cannot deal with having to take a step back. That messes with my workflow and what I’m used to. For me, it’s basically like if Addictivr Drums 2 works on my phone with super low latency, I’ll switch to mobile first :slight_smile:

you can try dowload caustic 3 on Android to play.

You can try for free and test if you have a decent latency

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@Motoko_San - The principles of Midi still apply really, Midi in goes to a Midi out etc. You might need to find an app that will emulate Midi over either Wifi or Blue Tooth. I did it on my Android Tablet with an App that emulated a Pad Controller similar to a LaunchpPad (Launch keys I think ti was called), but it ran through the PC which had the emulator running that simulated the Midi. I used it a little for Controlling Ableton LIve some time ago now, I don’t think it works on the latest version of Ableton. I would guess that your Motorola needs something to convert the USB in to a Midi in.

Hope this helps, I don’t know what App you need. You will have to have a dig around the Google App Store.


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You might be right about your phone not supplying enough power, but I’ve only encountered this issue with controllers with a lot of LEDs or a large screen. The MPD218 is such a low power device that I don’t see that being an issue with OTG enabled phones. With motorola phones, they typically use a slightly modified stock version of Android and seeing that your phone does support OTG, it should usually be plug and play with most midi controllers. If it doesn’t work right off the bat, it might be the app that’s being used. I’ve seen people using the MPD218 and other Akai controllers with Koala Sampler- which has a midi learn function.

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I’ll try that and get back to you, thanks.


Sorry to bring back old post, but did you ever figure the mpd to Android? Power isn’t the issue I can power 2 launchpads one the mk2 and the other the x on just otg power from Motorola g stylus 5g 2022. Does caustic work with the pads? I can’t find any that do and on a whim I was looking at midi and Android for dual support in an app and fell across this. My mpd218 has just been collecting dust please tell me you found something or a point in the right way

not really, I tried something else but I gave up.

Yoo what’s up,
I when true the same, trying to find a way to use the midi with android
So im using
•android galaxy s23 ultra
•Developers option enable
•koala sampler
•Akai MPD218
And Bluetooth to my spkrs from my phone.

To enable “Developers option”

Koala Sampler App
Its a paid app
Open Settings, Open midi settings.
under settings double check to have the right settings on/off.
Keep, External midi control sink Off, in the Koala app.

Record something in the pads and play with it. It worked for me. Ill be uploading a video YouTube.

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Thanks for sharing this!

Nice to see there are possibilities if you’re willing to mess around and tweak things.

The fact that you have to enable developer mode in android does tell me that this is at least a little bit “hacky” still and not for technical noobs! I guess most finger drumming is not for technical noobs tbh. It’s such fringe thing :slight_smile:

Looking forward to the musical demo video.

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Allthough I wonder how you can get any reasonable latency with Bluetooth Speakers.

I wonder if it would also work if you have a USB C hub where you can connect both the MPD and has an audio interface included to connect a speaker via wire? Unfortunately Android is in general not good for low-latency. I think from all the available OS, it’s got the worst latency…

Yeah latency is the biggest problem on mobile devices. ios / macos does get better and better though