I will be taking you through the process of custom skinning your Akai Professional MPD218. It's easy and fun to do! For those of you who are worried about breaking your MPD in the process, don't worry. You'd really have to try to break it.
And yes mine is already done and I am documenting this after I finished it. I apologize but at least I can say that I have had no problems with my MPD and it functions as normal.
List of Tools/Parts
Philips Head Screwdrivers
Tray to put screws in
Safe/clean area to place internals
Spray Paint (choose the color)
Vinyl stickers if you want some fun designs
Soft pads for the feet (optional)
DISCLAIMER: I do not take responsibility for any damages that your MPD incurs. It's your fault...
Once you have acquired these items move on to the next step. You don't have to move on if you want though. Your choice. WARNING! THIS WILL VOID THE WARRANTY OF YOUR MPD!
Step 1: Potentiometer Knobs
With your MPD facing up start to remove the knobs. These will take a little pulling but as long as you pull up and not out they should pop right off.
Step 2: The Potentiometers Themselves
You will need a screwdriver for the next part. After removing the knobs you will find 6 metal twisty things (potentiometers). At the bottom of the shaft you will find nuts that we need to remove. Simply use a screwdriver to nudge one edge and it should start to turn. Remove the rest. (There are metal washers under the nuts so remove those as well)
Step 3: Back-Plate
After fully removing the nuts and washers from the potentiometers flip your MPD over so its backplate is showing. Using a screwdriver remove all 11 screws and pop the plate off. (to remove the screws I put lego pieces under all four corners of my MPD to keep it off the ground )
Step 4: Internals
After removing the backplate you will be greeted by the green boards you see in robot movies. (the red stuff is to protect my serial number its not actually there) Simply Remove all the little black screws and pull gently up on the boards to remove them. I suggest doing the upmost board first. DO NOT UNPLUG ANY WIRES!! k
Step 5: Buttons and Pads
After removing the internals you will have a membrane-ish thing with a bunch of squares on it. Simply lift it straight up and place the side that is facing up, down onto the board you pulled out. The glossy black squares should be facing up. (if you go to use your MPD and the pads aren't working it means you didn't flip this correctly)
After removing the membrane remove the pads and buttons, step back, and release a sigh of relief. You have finished the hardest/scariest part!
Step 6: Customizing
Take the buttons, the backplate, the knobs, and the front shell and spray paint any color you want. Wait for the paint to dry and move onto the next step. I kept my front plate black and spray painted the backplate blue. I then painted my buttons and knobs an alternating maroon and sky blue.
Step 7: Vinyls
After the paint has dried take your desired piece of the MPD, front shell in my case, and apply the vinyl. As you can see I use an x-acto blade to cut out around the holes for the knobs. Do the same if you are customizing where I am or where the pads go.
Step 8: Soft Feet (Optional)
Place the soft feet that you got over there rubber feet on the backplate. This will prevent the MPD from scratching your desk.
Step 9: Finishing Up
Once you have fully customized your MPD and everything is dry follow these steps. Do everything your did to take it apart except in reverse. Clean up your mess. Plug your MPD in and start making some sick beats. ( in the event that your MPD doesn't work sit down on your bed and act frustrated and remember that you just have to flip that membrane thingy over )
Thanks for reading through and any questions that you have please ask!