Midi triggering live

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I've got zero experience with using midi in any setting. My covers band have some songs that would benefit from additional noises and I'm wondering if a midi controller would fill the gap. Something like an Akai MPK Mini hooked up to my MacBook.

What software do I need? Are there any free or low cost options, or does the Akai come with something usable if bought new?
I want a Jew's Harp, some synth sounds, samples, cowbell, strings. Can I download free or bought packs which will work with the software?

Finally, we sometimes use my Roland Go 88 which advertised that it does midi. Any thoughts on using that as the controller? It's a bit bulky but already paid for.

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