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Akai Professional MPK Mini 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller (OLD MODEL)
- 25-key, 8-pad, 8-knob USB MIDI keyboard controller provides the most portable groove-infused command over computer-based digital audio workstations, sequencers, and more
- 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys are highly portable; writing sessions, capturing ideas and studio use with nearly all music creation software
- 8 backlit, velocity-sensitive drum pads send MIDI data such as notes and program changes
- Eight Q-Link knobs for controlling virtually any MIDI-assignable parameters in software
- Plug-and-play USB connection for Mac and PC; no driver installation required. Perfect for Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Studio One, Reaper, Digital Performer, Ableton, etc
- USB-powered; no additional power cable needed
- Sustain button, octave up and down, and tap tempo controls ensure your ideas translate from head to hardware
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The Akai Pro MPK mini is an ultra-compact mini-keyboard with an impressive array of buttons, knobs and pads to provide "hands-on" performance and production control no matter your location. MPK mini strikes the perfect balance between portability and comprehensive software control by melding together the complete control offered in the popular Akai Pro MPK family with the grab-and-go convenience of the LPK25 and LPD8. With a 25-note keyboard, 8 back-lit, MPC-style pads and 8 Q-Link knobs, the MPK mini is the ultimate portable controller to get your music moving.The MPK mini keyboard is ideal for quickly entering notes and phrases into your computer. The velocity-sensitive keys allow you to accurately express dynamics, while accessing different pitch ranges is done instantly through dedicated Octave Up and Down buttons. Create sparkling, staccato leads and driving bass-lines in a variety of time denominations and patterns with MPK mini's built-in Arpeggiator. A Tap-Tempo button gives you the ability to quickly adjust the Arpeggiator clock which is essential if you're looking to stay in sync with a band. A Sustain button holds notes after releasing your hand from the keyboard allowing you the opportunity to easily pound pads and twist knobs, with no pedal required.
Top customer reviews
---------WHAT I LIKE-----------
1) 8 Pad buttons with 2 banks (8 X 2 = 16 notes)
2) Small form factor. This is one of the few keyboards that I can pop into my bag. Makes a great travel companion.
3) Built in Arpeggiator. You can chose to sync to the global tempo or tap your own tempo using the 'Tap Tempo' button. You can chose repetition intervals of 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 or 1/32 and have triplets in each one. You can also change pattern of arrpegiation.
4) Octave up and down buttons. Although you can only control two octaves at a time because it has 25 keys, you can use these buttons to give you a full range.
5) Program mode: So this button can help you choose between 4 programs. So I can assign the same knob to different parameters depending on the program I am in. For example, I usually reserve Program 1 to the master mixer. And Program 2-4 to the VST's or Plugins I use. So in a sense they give you 8X4=32 knobs. But you can control 8 at a given time.
6) Sustain button: gives expression when playing keys like Piano or a Fender Rhodes.
7) So the program comes with an editor where you can edit all your presets. In this I like the transpose function a lot. I am used to playing the C scale as compared to any other scale. So depending on the song that I am composing, I transpose everything down or up so that C is my base note.
8) Lit buttons and pads: Adds to function and oomph factor.
-----------WHAT I DON'T LIKE----------
1) My biggest gripe is the sensitivity of buttons. A lot of people have complained that the pads are extremely insensitive. And they couldn't be more right. The pads have to be tapped pretty hard for them to even register. You get used to it eventually but because of that your velocity range is pretty small. My friend has a M-Audio trigger finger, and the pads in that are so responsive, values 1 through 127. My pads only register certain values. Hopefully this is a software issue and Akai can fix it through a firmware update or something. If velocity responsiveness is important to you, readily discard this as an option. Go for the LPD8.
Same goes with the keys, they aren't really responsive. This is exemplified when you are playing acoustic instruments where you want a tight control on velocity like piano.
2) Lack of a mod wheel: I do know that this is a small budget keyboard an all, but the option of having a mod wheel would be a solid addition for future models. It adds so much expression in many instruments.
3) Lack of a sustain input: Same as above, would be a solid addition for future models. Some people are complaining that the sustain button needs to be held down and cannot be locked. I mean the sustain button was to make up for the lack of an input. Why the hell would you complain that you need to press it down! If anything, you can add sustain as an effect in your DAW if you want it for a whole section.
4) Only 4 presets. The nano key comes with 200 presets which allows you to control so many more parameters.
I think this unit has no real competition (offering same features) as of the moment in its price range. The Korg Nanokey: As good a device as it is, it has transport controls, knobs and sliders; missing out on the all important piano keys. The M-Audio Oxygen 25 is excellent too, but is $30 more. If the piano keys are all you need, the the Alesis Q49 is a solid keyboard giving you a fuller range, and it has a modwheel and pitch bend too. The Alesis Q25 is great too. M-Audio E-Keys 37 is useless lacking the octave change option and it isn't even touch sensitive.
Consider: I use Fl Studio 10 and it doesn't have a preset for the MPK mini yet. And this is not the case with Oxygen 25. So if you need the perfect out of the box experience and if you are using FL studio, then consider the latter. At the same time I would say that mapping out keys in FL Studio is a hassle free experience and can be done with MPK manually fairly easily.
Excellent beginner keyboard. For the price range, the features can only be a surplus. It seems like it is well constructed, and has the backing of an industry stable by carrying the name Akai. Some people seem to speak the opposite, but in my 1 month experience with the product it seems extremely well built. Looks and sounds like the first time I opened it.
This device does have a few flaws. But if you were expecting a more refined product, why not stretch your budget? If dynamics on keys or pads are very important to you, DON'T BUY IT!!! I don't mean to sound like an apologist for this product, but I don't want the naysayers to deter the intentions of the average buyer like me who would benefit SO MUCH from a product like this. With hope for a better world, signing off for now.
The pads themselves are convenient enough... but there is a good delay between the input and the output. Not sure why it's such a significant delay but it is what it is.
Overall, if you really want this, do not spend over $100 for it. This is a McDonalds happy meal toy that pretends to be a mini keyboard and really shouldn't cost more than $60.
Would get 3 stars but the price is a bit absurd for what it is.
If you are looking to buy this, then you know it has mini keys. For mini keys, the action is great (low, but expression is still there!) and the feel is fine. I thought they would not be so useful, and got this over the LPD8 because the price difference is so small, but they're great. I will use this with an Oxygen 49 instead of an LPD and Oxygen 61.
Little flourishes are quicker and easier on the mini keys because they're slightly closer together so you can move about more quickly, and take the octave down, and for a slow moving bass line, who needs keys anyway, that's easy enough on a computer keyboard, so it's just bonus at that point!
As for the pads, they are tough, and I'm not sure if they will "break in" or if I will get used to them, but they require punchy fingers. The LED inside is a great feature because it lets you know when you hit it (sometimes your finger hitting the pad is louder than the sound coming from your speakers) But this is easy and simple to remedy (research LPD pad mod).
The knobs are low, but you can still use two fingers on them, though it's almost nicer to only need one. Smooth action, and white on black is very readable.
Onboard ARP and program changes (which I can't figure out, manual is worthless, and can't find anything online) aren't useful since the arp tempo doesn't sync with the computer (slaves, but doesn't line up beats) and they could have pitch/mod instead of these extra buttons. I know they can be assigned to knobs, but 8 knobs gives 2 sets of 4 for envelope settings, and as for all the program changes and arp features, this is not a performance instrument - it's for writing in bed, or at the park, as an extra desktop controller, etc. There is no MIDI port, so you need a computer, and that's not a problem, but it should imply that pitch/mod would have been more desirable than all the extra features that nobody can figure out. This loses a star. Nice try, AKAI, maybe next time.
This unit is so sturdy, though, that I can bang on the keys almost as hard as I hit the pads and it doesn't have any give or flex. Feels solid straight through to my desk.
Love it, and even though I feel like I don't *need* it so much, I can't bring myself to return it at this price!
Most recent customer reviews
The problem with the usb ports is inexcusable.Read more