Chris Lyons DJ

VirtualDJ mapper for AKAI LPD8

mixing kitSince I travel much for tourism and often have spare time, I thought to use my AKAI LPD8 for mixing with VirtualDJ.
LPD8 is a very compact and lightweight piece of kit, and has enough buttons and knobs to fit the purpose of a decent mixing gear for basic use.

The LPD8 device is supported by VirtualDJ and there is also a mapper available. But if you look closer at the mapping it seems that it has been designed to serve as an add-on tool to control pad boards (samples/stems/ etc) rather than act as a full-featured mixing tool. Apart that in order two use two devices simultaneously you have to use a very expensive license, the default mapper provided by VirtualDJ was actually not what I needed.

So I tried to fill the gap and defined my own custom mapping, which I share in this page. This one can be used to mix without any problems.

Please note:
  • Since the LPD8 does not implement a soundcard, I use an additional mini-soundcard for pre-listening, while the Master is outputted from the PC's ordinary output.
  • Using LPD8 might require an additional license (cheap, I think it costed something like 29 euros). Anyway you will be able to use it without limitations for 14 days as a trial before you are prompted to buy a license.

Installing the mapper: Just download the ZIP file, then unzip it and store the resulting XML file inside your VirtualDJ\Mapper folder.

Using the mapper: With LPD8 plugged in, start VirtualDJ and after the device has been reckognized, go to Settings/Mapping and then select the mapper: Akai LPD8 - Akai LPD08 Lyons 8

Below you have a snapshot of what the various pads and knobs do:

Pad 5/6 - Play/pause A/B (flashes when paused)
Pad 1/2 - Selects cycling between cue points A/B (lit=deck is playing! don't touch)
Pad 7/8 - Beat-skip (inactive deck only): Skip song 16 beats left or right
Pad 3: Loop ON/OFF (inactive deck only) - length of loop can be changed on screen with mouse, 16 beats is ok
Pad 4: Master/Pre-Listen (lit=Master off=prelisten)

Knob 5: Crossfader
Knobs 1/2: Filter decks A/B
Knobs 7/8: Bass decks A/B
Knobs 3/4: Treble decks A/B
Knob 6: Mid, active deck

Check Audio set up in VirtualDJ Settings/Audio section before beginning the mixing session.
In my own setup:
  • Master is mapped to Laptop's internal soundcard, channels 1&2. You can send the output to a power amplifier and loudspeakers.
  • Headphones are mapped to an external, USB-shaped mini-soundcard I bought from a chinese store (also Wish sells it) worth 5 dollars. channels 1&2.
This is not the only setup you can use. One might use a "Y" split cable, or even just one headphones set: simply you use left speaker for master, right speaker for prelisten, but this one is to me a very poor solution and it might be suitable for recording the session only, not for playing live.

Before starting your session, you need to perform a few simple checks:
  • Can you pre-listen before mixing tracks? Test by pressing the pre-listen button (pad4) on the LPD8. If the button is lit up, then you are listening to the master. If light is off, then it should be pre-listen. Verify that on VirtualDJ screen both prelisten icons are active.
  • Is volume OK both on master and on headphones? Remember that under Windows each soundcard's volume can be adjusted separately. Click on the loudspeak icon on the Windows taskbar to choose which soundcard will be controlled by keyboard's Volume up/down controls, then adjust master and headphones.

Download LDP8 Mapper

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