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Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Music Gear | 0 comments

Akai Mpk Mini Review: Best Bang For Your Buck?

 

mpk mini reviewI’m a huge fan of midi controllers, mainly because they’re inexpensive, they come in a variety of sizes/builds and most have awesome features. Oh, and did I mentioned they’re inexpensive?

I don’t suffer from gear lust, but if you put a midi controller in front of me at the right price, I’m adding it to my arsenal.

I own a few different models (brands), mostly Akai and what I carry around daily is an LPK25 and the LPD8. I received both as a Xmas gifts back in 2010/2011 and they’ve been with me ever since.

One controller that’s always looked attractive to me was the MPK Mini.

So, I purchased it, gave it a few days and here’s what I think:

 

Review: What I Like About The Mpk Mini 25

1) Portability: Fits inside of any backpack and most laptop sleeve cases. It’s a tight fit stuffed into a sleeve (with the laptop), but it works. It fits best in a regular backpack or a Namba bag.

2) LPK25 + LPD8: You get the 25keys and 8 drum pads all in one unit. It’s like they had a baby!

3) Built In Arpeggiator. This is a great feature, you have a choice of mapping it to a custom temp (using tap temp) or the standard global tempo. Normally, on compact units features get stripped, I’m glad they’ve kept this one.

4) Octave Functionality: Two buttons allowing you control scale settings.

5) Program Mode: I love this feature because it allows you to choose between 4 programs. This allows you to assign the same knobs to multiple parameters. In Reason 7 Reason 8, I like to have a program for Re-Groove, SSL Mixer and a few parameters within my mixing suites.

6) Price: it’s affordable, anywhere between 90 and $100 depending on where you’re buying it from of course. My LPK 25 and LPD8 were a little over $100 (not including shipping).

The Mpk Mini is currently on sale for $99 free shipping and handling

 

What I Hate About The Mpk Mini 25

1) Pad Sensitivity: It sucks! IMO that was one of the main selling points! Keys and pads merged together in a compact solution. The pads work, but sensitivity ruins the user experience.

If the pads were as responsive as the LPD8, it would be perfect. Can’t believe they messed that up..

2) Mod & Pitch Wheel: I know, it’s a mini controller, but having these two features could of really put this unit over the top. Even if they built in a cheap pitch/mod strip, that would have done the trick.

 

Final Thoughts On The Mpk Mini

 

Who this controller is for

This mid keyboard is perfect for the person he moves around a lot or likes the flexibility of being able to work on the go. I like to toss this puppy in the backpack along with my macbook and head off to Starbucks, the park, friends house etc.

It doesn’t have the stability of my Mpk49, but the Akai mini serves it’s purpose and it does it well.

Who this controller isn’t for

Those looking for grade “A” stability for a cheap price. The producers likes hammering the life out of their keys. Composers expecting a good feel from the keys. They aren’t full size (width).

I hope this review has brought some things into perspective. If you’re using any mini midi controllers let me know which models, and what you think about them.

 

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