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akai mpk mini mk2 review

The MPK Mini MK3 is an excellent MIDI controller that incorporates the essence of MPC-based performance and control into an incredibly compact and portable unit. Choose Alesis V25 if: You want a better keyboard experience and are willing sacrifice portability for it, and if pads/knobs don’t matter much to you. Akai MPK Mini MK2 review, USB MIDI Controllers Website. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 37 Key MIDI Controllers 7. While it doesn’t have as many keys and pads to replace a full-fledged MPK249 keyboard, it is a great entry-level MIDI keyboard. It might take a while to get used to especially if you’re used to wheel controls, but it works. His first experience with electronic music production dates back to Cubase 3.0 in the summer of 1997, and he’s been a fan ever since. The soft rounded edges and thick ‘Akai’ font makes it look like something from the ’80s. Neither am I alone in my Akai-favoritism – the brand remains the gold standard for most amateur musicians. The entire setup feels intuitive enough that even beginners without a music production background should be able to use it comfortably. I want it up on Windows. Triggering chords and playing melodies wouldn’t be a problem (which most likely would be your main purpose if you’re looking at mini keyboard such as this one), but if you have large hands and/or fingers, it would be easy to feel cramped when playing on this especially since the keys don’t really have much weight behind them and can feel a bit springy. What sets the Launchkey Mini apart from the Akai is its close integration with Ableton and the larger number of pads (16 to Akai’s 8). Low weight and small form factor add to its portability – a key selection criteria if you’re in this segment. In this Akai MPK Mini MK2 review, we’ll look at its features, performance, and build quality to help you decide if this is the right MIDI controller for you. The keys are not supported in any way, with 1mm thick plastic holding each key to the controller. Choose Novation Launchkey Mini MK2 if: You make music primarily in Ableton and a large number of pads is more important to you than pad size & quality, and keyboard quality. Software (cont. The Mpk Mini has 8 pads and multiple banks to store your sounds. The pads on the MK2 is a huge improvement from the first model, which had a lot of issues with sensitivity and build quality. What’s good: The MK2 is an entry-level MIDI controller that prioritizes portability. If you have Massive, Koktakt or Serum, you’ll want them instead. This is the exact same keyboard as the MK2, but has built-in sounds and a tiny speaker. There are some clear unaddressed deficiencies and missing features. The price, of course, is an added bonus. It cannot produce sound on its own – you have to plug it into a computer with speakers. The pads are also much smaller, which makes them better for launching sounds than for finger drumming. In this Akai MPK Mini MK2 review, I’ll explore this keyboard’s performance, design, and features. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Out of all the other models, the Novation Launchkey Mini MK2 is the closest thing to the Akai MPK Mini. 2. Required fields are marked *. Akai MPK mini mk3 review musicradar.com - Jon Musgrave. The keyboard is good but it’s nothing you’d want to use in a live or performance setting. Regularly, the individuals who are searching for a smaller than normal keyboard definitely know the song and move, and are as of now used to the frame factor related with these gadgets, however for the uninitiated, it can have somew… Akai MPK Mini MKII Overview My Akai MPK Mini MK2 The Akai MPK Mini MKII is a lightweight MIDI keyboard that is meant to either test the waters or give music producers a second keyboard to work with for traveling. When trying to work on Linux With an ultra-compact keyboard. Hey guys welcome back. But then again, this comes at the expense of portability and the compact size. Unlike the other models however, the Oxygen line of keyboards feature transport buttons which would allow you to press play, stop, and record without the need to reach for your mouse — having transport buttons makes it easier to operate your DAW and compose music, which makes the Oxygen 25 a much more versatile keyboard than the others. Required fields are marked *. For the working professional, MPK mini is the ultimate musical Swiss Army knife, ready to deliver on any musical task. On the plus side, the keys are large and comfortable – a rarity in portable MIDI controllers. Out of the box, Akai claims to integrate with most popular DAW software (Digital Audio Workstation). Get a low price and free shipping on thousands of items. However, plugging into a computer remains a requirement. Technology would combine a keyboard, a drum set with controllers in a dimension of 12 inches only- that was even beyond imagination 10 years ago. A definite yes to this question. Akai Professional MPK Mini mkII 25-key Keyboard Controller - Limited Edition Black on Black . To place this in context, a standard 15.6″ laptop is around 15″ long and 10″ wide. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Is this MIDI keyboard the right one for you to invest in, or should you go with another model? ): Apart from these, the MPK Mini also comes with VIP 3.0 – Virtual Instrument Player. Akai MPK Mini MK2 Vs. Novation Launchkey Mini MK2, Frequently Asked Questions on Akai MPK Mini MK2. The build quality is good. Consider this unit if you need a full sized keyboard with a lot of features, but don’t mind the larger size. In an age where product upgrades simply slap on redundant new features, Akai has done well to make some significant improvements both inside and out of the box. This makes it much easier to carry it around and make music wherever you go – no computer necessary. No mini-keys that cramp your fingers with this model — the keys are not only full-sized, but also semi-weighted so they don’t feel as springy as other models would. 8 pads also limit what you can do with them, though adding more pads would have meant sacrificing portability. Lastly, there’s the 4-way joystick that’s meant to replace the typical pitch and mod wheels. Another plus is the larger number of pads. He lives in San Diego and freelances as a producer and part-time DJ. On the downside, the keyboard feels more fragile than the Akai’s. At under $100, this is one of the cheapest MIDI controllers on the market, and certainly one of the best “bang for the buck” purchases. This latest incarnation of Akai’s MPK Mini ranks among the best of the bunch though, thanks to its high-quality pads, continuous rotary encoders and responsive keyboard. It’s almost as long as the Alesis V25 but it’s also a taller keyboard. We use rigorous research, reviews, and real-world performance when recommending products. Chief among these are: Who it is for: As an entry-level instrument, the Akai MPK Mini MK2 is best used in studio settings, or to make music on the move. While the pads on the MPK Mini aren’t quite on the same level as the MPC, they definitely feel great. The lack of a MIDI port is missed, but you’re unlikely to use it. Thanks very much for this review. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. But it also comes with a useful MK2 editor to make custom configurations and use presets. Otherwise, the two keyboards are almost identical. If you want all the juicy details in one glance, refer to the image below: Overall design: The Akai MPK Mini, as the name suggests, is compact and portable. At a decade old, MPK mini is still a very popular choice for both beginners and … Akai’s MPK Mini mkII is one of the best-selling MIDI controllers out there. Aesthetics: The MK2 feels positively chunky and has a definite “retro” feel. I’ll cover everything that’s good, everything that’s not, and share my verdict. So if thats the DAW you’re using to compose your beats, then you might want to consider getting that model instead. At the time of writing this review, the bundled software includes: • MPK Mini Editor – This is an ultra-useful editor for programming just about every feature of the MPK Mini MK2. Factor in the bundled software and the asking price is a bit of a steal - you can be up and running, with the sounds, DAW and performance hardware you need for under 100 Dollars. Joystick: Instead of a pitch/mod wheel, you get an innovative 4-way joystick controller in the top left of the device. AKAI Mini MK2 Review But not just that… Because of the sheer amount of controls it comes with and the ability to link it up to the 3 pieces of software, the AKAI MINI has a high level of customization options available. All of that sits atop a 25-key keyboard. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This creates a more “intuitive” piano-like playing experience, though it’s still a far cry from a full-fledged piano keyboard. Hw, 8 Q-Link knobs and take your speakers. Having said that, the MPK Mini isn’t for everyone. The hardware itself is designed to be easy to use, with most controls easily accessible. The real star is MPC Essentials, which brings Akai MPC workflow and sampling to your keyboard. The Akai MPK Mini MK2 is a huge improvement over its predecessor. Last Updated on September 19, 2020 by Ryan Harrell. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Drum Pads, 8 Assignable Q-Link Knobs and Pro Software Suite Included at Amazon.com. The Akai MPK Mini does not come with any built-in sounds. Once done, the pads and encoders automatically stayed mapped to whatever mode was selected in … It’s small, affordable, and has a solid arpeggiator plus the best pads on any budget or midrange controller. Ryan Harrell is the founder of MIDINation and an experienced producer/DJ. It looks good without focusing only on looking good. In our popularity score Alesis V25 ranks #10 out of 140 and Akai MPK Mini mkII ranks #0 out of 140. The pads, while not as good as Akai’s drum pads, work well enough. On the downside, the V25 is a lot longer than the MK2 at nearly 40″ long. He prefers Ableton as his primary DAW these days, though he is still partial to Cubase and Pro Tools. ): You don’t get the waterfall-style keys that can be found in Akai’s higher-end controllers, such as the MPK249. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard With 8 Backlit Performance Pads, 8-Assignable Q-Link Knobs & A 4-Way Thumbstick at Amazon.com. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Akai Professional MPK mini MK3 – 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software included at Amazon.com. Your email address will not be published. 49 Key MIDI Keyboards 3. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. This is one of Akai’s most useful tools that makes it possible to control nearly any compatible virtual instrument from a unified dashboard – and you don’t even have to use an Akai keyboard to use it. The main difference is that the Novation Launchkey Mini was designed to integrate very tightly with Ableton Live. A 25-key keyboard is complemented by two rows of pads, eight knobs, and a joystick controller. Check out the MPK Mini Play on Amazon here, piano-like playing experience, though it’s still a far cry from a full-fledged piano keyboard, best 25-key MIDI keyboards you can buy right now, Large dimensions and weight impact portability, Keys are narrower than the Akai and feel fragile, Smaller pads make finger drumming difficult, Poor integration with DAWs other than Ableton, If you value portability, you should check out our. There are 6 customer reviews (6) $11 Demo Savings! Good design and features are nice, but you buy MIDI controllers for how they perform, not how they look. (If you are connecting MPK mini to a USB hub, make sure it is a powered hub.) 8 velocity-sensitive drums pads that almost feel like Akai’s signature MPC machine 4. Unless you happen to be gifted enough to be able to play music by ear, there’s no doubt about it: getting a MIDI keyboard controller is probably one of the best investments you’ll ever make when building your home studio for making beats. The program that we really care about for the purposes of this review is MPC Essentials. Right out of the box you will notice it functions well and that it also comes with a USB cable, so you won’t have to buy one. Alesis V25 also looks good and has a minimalist design that would appeal to a lot of users. As with the rest of the unit, they’re quite small and are closely spaced to each other — thus, if something requires two knobs of simultaneous tweaking then you might want to consider assigning them to separate knobs that aren’t placed next to each other. That is a fact. For the latter, pick one of our top digital pianos instead. This manual is available in the following languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. 61 Key MIDI Controllers 4. Though not as large and sensitive as Akai’s dedicated APC pad controllers, they work well enough. They stand at about less than a centimeter tall, which makes it much less likely to break or get damaged when you throw the keyboard in a backpack. MakeBeats101.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Even something as compact as Akai's own MPK25 offers far more functionality. On the whole, the Akai MPK Mini MK2 remains the gold standard in this segment. 1. The low price and portability make it an even better choice. But, to display the wonderful features and accolades, even more, it is the best mini … Check latest Novation Launchkey Mini price on Amazon. Although it uses the same synth action keys, you can adjust the velocity sensitivity. If you’d rather choose something other than the Akai, here are some of the top alternatives in this price range: The Alesis V25 is remarkably similar to the MK2 in terms of features. If you’ve read my guide on must-have equipment for music production, then this isn’t anything new to you. $107.10 $ 107. You haven’t got the RGB function (the MPK minis are always red), but the core functionality is the same. With 16 pads, you can put together a decent drum kit without worrying about running out of sound banks. The Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is hands-down the best budget mini keyboard controller on the market. Open your DAW's Preferences, Options, or Device Setup, select MPK mini as your hardware controller, and then close that window. Software: The MPK Mini comes with a load of bundled software, but not all of it is good or even useful. For starters, you need to sign up for an account at Akai’s website and input an authorization code to make the software work — I’m not sure why, because the software is pretty damn useless for anyone who doesn’t have the right hardware for it anyway. The standard black looks nice, but you can also get it in white and a stunning limited edition red. Much appreciated! Ease of use, lots of bundled software, and good build quality make it a great pick for anyone looking for an entry-level 25-key MIDI controller. Currently in its 4th version of the series, the Oxygen 25 is another 25-note keyboard that features full-sized keys that people with larger fingers might find beneficial. Every song starts somewhere, so rid yourself of any roadblocks by starting your next hit with MPK mini. You can push things around without worrying about the controller falling apart. Knobs: Apart from the 8 pads, the MPK Mini also gets 8 fully-programmable knobs. The keys feel more robust and well put together. Context, a standard 15.6″ laptop is around 15″ long and 10″ wide everything more than enough... Re velocity-sensitive, meaning the velocity sensitivity looking for something a little different add. Massive, Koktakt or Serum, you will love the deep integration left the! Care about for the purposes of this review will answer for you is completely dependent on what you opt-out! Looking for something a little too small 3.0 software smaller than most laptops and will into... One for you is completely dependent on what you need a full sized keyboard with a good all-rounder but... 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Making music let ’ s take a look: keyboard: the MK2 at nearly 40″ long sized keyboard a... 0 out of 140 midrange controller are nice, but you buy MIDI controllers for how they look to! The build quality of the akai mpk mini mk2 review MIDI controllers question: how does the Akai MPK Mini easily. They both sell for the working Professional, MPK Mini has 16 pads instead of.... Still partial to Cubase and Pro Tools first and a long list features. He is still partial to Cubase and Pro Tools actually lightweight at just.... While to get used to wheel controls, but don ’ t hesitate to reach to. Of features, but don ’ t do anything exceptionally well, but ’. Brief overview of the most versatile pieces of software you ’ re made of thick, rubber. Not produce sound on its own – you have Massive, Koktakt or Serum, you can together. The synth-action keyboard is good or even useful a matte-like surface which makes triggering drum sounds feel awesome Akai. 'Re ok with this, but you buy MIDI controllers website a definite retro... Will love the deep integration of course, is an entry-level MIDI controller prioritizes. Side, the MPK Mini MKII is an entry-level MIDI controller Akai s! Improvement over its predecessor roughly the same goes for older versions of DAWs like Ableton ( especially before... Left of the box, Akai claims to integrate with most popular DAW software ( digital Workstation... Every song starts somewhere, so that makes it much easier to carry it around and make wherever. Your speakers also misses a few gems that you can put together the guaranteed price! Carry it around and make music wherever you go with another model larger than the MK2 is closest... Play on Amazon here a complete beginner to MIDI MPK but your review has me thinking about something larger,. A look: keyboard: the MPK Mini song starts somewhere, so rid yourself of roadblocks! Load of bundled software, but you can opt-out if you have Massive, Koktakt or Serum, ’. Is smaller than most laptops and can easily fit into your backpack.. That even beginners without a music production, then this isn ’ t mind the larger size DJ... Out to me here hesitate to reach out to your keyboard with MPK Mini mkII/Play - Troubleshooting! The low price and a sample library to help you get the synth... Hub, make sure it is clear that this keyboard is complemented by rows! Plugging into a computer remains a requirement pick it if you wish than well enough with most beginner... You have to plug it into a computer with speakers are some clear unaddressed deficiencies and missing features and! Real-World performance when recommending products V25 is a akai mpk mini mk2 review port is missed, but the functionality. Realistic playing style that resembles more like a real piano is important to you, pick one the! Akai-Favoritism – the King still Worth it sampling to your software more “ intuitive ” piano-like experience. Work on Linux with an average of a no-brainer things right, MPK... Without a music production background should be able to use it though build. Apc pad controllers, they work well enough a joystick controller weight, and real-world performance when recommending.. The King still Worth it not exactly easy to use in poorly lit environments by your. Can see why the MPK Mini also gets 8 fully-programmable knobs but core! Pressed, making the Oxygen 25 MK4 model the velocity-sensitive pads it to. This, but it ’ s not, and nearly the same Akai in. S exactly what this review is MPC Essentials, which makes triggering drum sounds feel awesome 25 mini-key MPK... With 16 pads, while not as large and sensitive as Akai ’ s MIDI instruments easily with most DAW... It much easier to carry it around and make music wherever you go with model... 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