Overdubbing from USB Source (AKAI MPD226) without overdubbing issues

Hey all, I’m hoping ya’ll can help me. I recently got an Akai MPD226 and would like to do some live finger drumming parts on it for a record I’m making. I want to do this live (it’s quicker and easier for me than putzing around with sequencing a beat I could finger drum in 60 seconds) in Audacity, of course (Version 2.1.3 on an Asus Laptop).

So here is my dilemma: I use a Presonus Audio Box USB as my interface (that’s what I plug my guitars, keyboards, etc. to connect my preamps to my laptop). The Akai MPD226 is ALSO a USB connection, which is no big deal–I plug it into a different USB port than the Audio Box and use them both simultaneously (ie I can hear my live MPD drumming on my headphones which are plugged into my Audio Box). My problem occurs when recording the MPD 226. I want to be able to layer live finger-drummed parts on top of each other via overdubbing, but since the MPD226 is a USB input and not a LINE input, I can’t figure out how to get it set up where I can record a part, then play back what I recorded whilst overdubbing new parts on top.

I am able to record audio from the MPD if I set my sound settings to WASAPI . . . but the problem with that, of course, is that it also records ALL the audio that is audible–so instead of just recording a single track overdub, it also records the previous tracks I am trying to overdub on top of. This makes me unable to do overdubs.

So can anybody help me figure out what settings I should have set that would enable me to record from my USB source (the MPD 226) without using WASAPI? What settings do I need to tweak to make this possible. When I plug the MPD in and power it on, Audacity does not list it as a sound source option in the little drop down menu. Can anybody point me in the right direction?

Thank you all in advance for your time, help, and expertise.

Audacity can only record from one device at a time, so you can overdub like this:

  1. Record the MPD first,
  2. Then select the Presonus Audio Box as the recording device in the device toolbar
  3. Then use “Shift + R” to record the Audio Box to a new track

Steve, thanks so much for your reply man! I don’t think you quite understood the nature of my problem, though (that’s my fault–I am still learning all this stuff so not very good at explaining things).

Let me try it a different way. I use the Presonus Audio Box USB as my interface. And I want to record live playing from my Akai MPD. The problem is, my Audio BOX USB does NOT have an input for my Akai MPD, so I have to plug my MPD into a separate USB port on my computer. This enables me to HEAR my MPD, but it does NOT show up as a recording source in Audacity’s drop down menu. The only options that show up are the Audio Box Speaker and Audio Box Line. The MPD does not show up as an instrument or input source I can select. SO, what I did was started recording the MPD on the WASAPI setting, which works fine . . . until I have to overdub. With Wasapi selected, not only does it record the new track I am trying to overdub on top of the pre-existing tracks, it also re-records all the pre-existing audio that I am trying to record on top of (because it captures ALL the sound currently happening on my computer, not just the new track I am trying to record on top of it). So instead of getting a track with just a single drum part, I get a track that has ALL of the pre-existing audio in addition to the new drum part.

So what I was hoping to find was a way to add overdubs with my MPD without also re-recording ALL the previous audio. The only settings that show up aside from Wasapi are Windows Direct and MME. Any ideas on how I can get Audacity to recognize my MPD as an audio input source even though it is plugged into a separate USB port from my Presonus interface?

Thanks again for all your time and help.

even though it is plugged into a separate USB port from my Presonus interface?

The separate USB port is the problem. In Audacity you only get one.

So lay down your simple backing track, roll it back and play it into your headphones while you perform the second instrument or sing. Repeat.

There is no get half from this USB and half from the other USB at the same time.

it also re-records all the pre-existing audio that I am trying to record on top of

Make sure you are recording from one of the USB connections, not Stereo Mix or What-U-Hear or other software. It has to be a connection you can reach over and touch.

Make sure Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Recording > [_] Playthrough is not selected.

When you overdub, the headphones need to be plugged into your USB device. You can’t listen to the computer because of transmission delay and echo problems.


It has to be a connection you can reach over and touch.

That’s not a bad test. Right now I show two things I can record from. Built-In Microphone and SoundFlower. I can touch the built-in microphone. It’s right there just to the left of my left-hand Shift key. Soundflower is a “fake” device that allows me to record internet audio. It’s a sound management and routing app. It’s not a thing and I can’t reach over and touch it. It can give me odd sound if I don’t know what it does and how it works.