Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII Controller REVIEW

 

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key Ultra-Portable USBMIDI Drum Pad and Keyboard Controller with Joystick Review

 

 

Product: Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

Price: 99.00$

Cheapest Place to Buy: www.amazon.com

Guarantee: 2-year-protection for 11.63$ via Amazon

Add-Ons: Virtual Instruments (Hybrid 3, Wobble), Standalone DAW MPC Essentials

My Rating: 8.2 Out Of 10

 

The Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is a MIDI controller designed to record, compose and perform music wherever you want. It has both Keys and Drum Pads.

Due to its size (12.36 x 1.8 x 1.8 inches, with smaller Keys than normal ones) it is easy to carry or to put on an already stuffed table – that means you can easily build a home recording studio with it. It is designed for any beginner in creating Beats (which doesn´t mean it´s not also for professional use). So, if you want to start out it delivers the possibility to record both melody and rhythm.

The 25 Keys are velocity-sensitive and there is also a 4-Way-Knob for Dynamic Pitch and Modulation Manipulation. If you wonder what this is: you can easily alter the pitch of single notes, or of full patterns of notes (modulation).

The Pitch Manipulation lets you also bend a guitar if you have this kind of Plugin installed (most of DAWs have).

There are 8 velocity-sensitive backlit MPC-Style Drum Pads with which you are going to create Drumbeats (an MPC is a “Music PC”, the so-called beatmachines from the brand AKAI). The 2 integrated banks scale the number of 8 Drum Pads up to 16. With this function you can use up to 16 different Drum Sounds.

Next to the Drum Pads, there are 8 assignable “Q-Link Knobs”, which is a product name for an assignable MCC or MIDI Controller Command. It means you can assign different commands to the MIDI Controller (to one of the knobs) which then are sent out to the software you use. Basically, it is like using several filters (equalizer functions) on the sound the MIDI Controller is sending out.

MIDI Controller

More features of this piece of Hardware are:

 

  • An USB 2.0 connection (the cable doesn´t fall off easily) with no need to install any special Drivers (Plug&Play). There is also no need for an Extra Input because the Controller powers itself off of the USB input.
  • An Arpeggiator which makes it easy to compose complex melodies.
  • As an extra feature of genuine Akai Technology, there are also the Functions “Note Repeat” and “Full Level”, which means when activated everytime you hit a Drum Pad, it responds with the full level of strength, not reacting on how hard you hit.
  • 4 Memory Banks which enable the User to save their own Presets and easily set up the MPK Mini and the Computer.
  • MIDI Editor (Preset Management Software): this piece of software allows you to manage your hardware and software Setup on the PC or MAC. You can create your own Presets for Virtual Instruments and Plugins and then store it on the MPK Mini MKII. This way, you will save a lot of time setting up your Gear.
  • Three pieces of additional Software: the VSTI (virtual instrument) “Hybrid 3”, by AIR Music Tech, and the VSTI “Wobble” from SONiVOX. The first one is a synthesizer which can create lots of different sounds from the Past and the Present. The second one is good for creating fat Basslines. The third one, MPC Essentials, is a beat production software which can be run as a Standalone or be incorporated into your DAW of choice. It can add up to the power of the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII, having up to 8 Pad Banks (memory) with 4 Samples and Insert Effects per Pad.

 

MIDI Controller

 

 

 

 

 

 
All of these features, together with the low price of 99.00$ make this MIDI Controller an investment which is worth every penny!!!

6 Comments

  1. Rhianna

    Before I visited your site I had never heard about the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII Controller before, I found this very interesting and neat how it can compose music! I like how you put your rating for it and how you put the features list! That caught my attention, your website is great and has some great information! Good luck to you! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Fabian (Post author)

      Thank you for commenting Rhianna and have a nice day!

      Reply
  2. Jim

    FabianB,
    I really like your site. Pretty easy to follow.
    I used to play music and that is how I came to live in Tennessee. I have used MIDIs before while recording some stuff and just laying down some tracks for later. Great inventions for musicians that’s for sure.
    I don’t play often anymore, but I still pick around a little.
    I am going to bookmark your site and return later to find out some more information.

    Reply
    1. Fabian (Post author)

      Hi Jim, thanks for stopping by! MIDI keyboards really are a convenient way to lay down your musical ideas, that´s why I reviewed this relatively cheap controller. I wish you lots of fun in picking around, maybe you pick it up again! Cheers, Fabi

      Reply
  3. Christopher

    Hm. Interesting review. I’ve never actually ventured into the world of composing using technology like this; however, a lot of this does seem comparable to other software, such as where you mentioned presets. I imagine using a machine such as this is like editing a movie in Premiere or audio in Adobe Audition. Maybe not, but this still opened my eyes to the other categories of technology out there. Thanks for the read.

    Reply
    1. Fabian (Post author)

      Hi, in fact the controller itself is a device to translate musical ideas into digital signals, at least thats how I view it. The software which is delivered together with the controller (a so-called Digital Audio Workstation) is probably a pendant to software like Premiere or Adobe Audition. This kind of software lets you edit and compose the music you want to create and is often like a complete recording studio on a computer.

      Reply

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