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Chapter 18: MIDI Designer Pro 2 on Mac

Beginning with macOS 11 (macOS Big Sur), MIDI Designer Pro 2 will run on Apple Silicon (M1 or higher). This brings all the functionality of MDP2 to your laptop or desktop computer.

Loading on Mac

MIDI Designer is an iOS app, even when used on the Mac. You must select the iPhone & iPad apps tab in the Mac App store, not the Mac Apps tab. See image below.

Option 1

Open the Mac App Store, enter MIDI Designer Pro 2 in the search bar. The search should return this screen:

Select the MDP2 icon to load or purchase.

Option 2

If you already own the iOS version, in the Mac app store, click at the lower left on your user name, click on iPhone & iPad Apps, scroll down in your apps until you see MDP2, click on the cloud icon to download.

If you previously purchased MDP2 for the iPad or iPhone, you must be signed in to the same Apple ID to access the prior iPadOS or iOS app purchase to use on your Mac.


Version 2.3200 adds access to the Mac file system with traditional Mac FILE commands:

The MORE → CONFIG Save and New actions have been removed. Use the File menu to save existing layouts and create new layouts. MORE → CONFIG → LOAD and Delete are still available to access files that remain in the sandbox, but you cannot save back to the sandbox location.

Starting with 2.320, you will use the Mac user file directory, allowing you to organize your MDP2 layouts in logical folders within the user directory structure.

You can open a .mididesigner or .mididesignerpage file by double clicking on the name (or ⌘ + O) in the Mac file manager.

Copy Sandbox Folder Path to Clipboard provides a link to the hidden folder used for autosave, config and other temporary files. To to view this folder, copy the link, open File Manager, select GO → GO TO FOLDER, paste the path ⌘+v, and press ENTER. If you often access this location, create a Finder shortcut.

Prior to 2.3200, user files were stored in the Sandbox folder. If you used an early Mac release, for easier access, move any named layouts or pages from the sandbox to a user folder. Note: do not move files with backup, autosave, config, or hints in the filename.

Loading and Saving Pages
- Page save will open the Mac file save dialog to allow saving the .mididesignerpage file anywhere in the file system
- Page Load only points to the sandbox file location. As a workaround, use Finder to load .mididesignerpage files.

If you are a Beta tester, you will have separate sandboxes for both MD Next and MIDI Designer. Ensure you check both locations to relocate your layouts to your user folders.


  • The Mac window is now dynamically resizable. Layout size follows the overall window horizontal size. No more small layouts in big black windows.
  • iPad MORE vs Apple Mult-tasking (…) menu workaround is removed
  • MIDI Designer again generates a virtual MIDI interface, simplifying connection to other apps. The virtual connections are switched on & off in the MORE / CONFIG / CONNECTIONS menu.


MIDI Designer needs permissions to access Bluetooth (for MIDI connections) and Photos (to import images). These settings are in System Preferences → Security and Privacy.



When connecting via cable from an iPad to the Mac, the iPad must first be enabled in the Audio Devices before the MIDI connections are available to configure in MIDI Studio.

To simplify connections, use an app that manages MIDI routing, such as MIDI Patchbay (Free) or Audeonic's MIDI Fire, which provides several useful MIDI tools.


The Mac trackpad does not normally provide multi-touch to MDP2. However, you can turn on Touch Alternative in the MIDI DESIGNER → PREFERENCES menu. The trackpad becomes a virtual touch screen while the Option key - ⌥ - is pressed.

It takes a little practice to align track pad presses with the screen.

The Multi-Touch option is required to access pedal boards in Play mode. Pedal boards can be accessed in Design mode with a single-touch action.


Future releases may provide more Mac usability, such as ⌘ + V, C X (cut, copy and paste), mouse multi-select for move, and others.

manual/18_mdp2_on_mac.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/15 21:05 by jkhiser