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Akai MPK

Akai MPK49

User reviews on Akai MPK products

It just gets the job done (Akai - MPK mini)

By kondwanikaphaizi, 15/07/2014
For over 8 years I made music with only my computer mouse and keyboard, but as time went by and my skill developed I felt it was time to buy a MIDI keyboard just to add a new dimension to my creation process. I decided to get a small keyboard to start with since I'm not an expert player. After a bit of searching I came across the AKAI MPK Mini which I purchased.

The unit is a USB MIDI controller which has 25 standard piano keys, 8 drum pads and 8 knobs for assigning to various controls. It has a dedicated buttons for changing the octave up or down, a built-in arpeggiator and a sustain button for holding notes. The 8 pads have a backlight. Power and MIDI data are both sent via a single USB cable.

Installing the keyboard is a breeze. It doesn't need any extra drivers to work. You simply plug it into the USB port on your computer and the drivers are automatically installed. It should work on both Windows and Mac, though I've only used it on my Windows 7 machine with no issues. It also comes with a software to help you assign the keys on the keys to various functions.


UTILIZATION

The best thing about this keyboard are the velocity-sensitive drum pads. This doesn't come as a surprise because the controller is made by AKAI, the same company which makes the MPC. They make for a very enjoyable experience when programming drums. To really enjoy it though you have to have your latency setting set as low as possible on your host so that you can enjoy the instant feedback. I've personally used it for composing drum patterns and for triggering patterns in FL Studio's performance mode and it is very enjoyable. There's a bank button on the unit which you can use to assign an additional 8 sounds to the pads, so in essence you can assign a total of 16 sounds to the pads.

Another handy feature is the memory bank which allows you to program the keys & knobs to suit your DAW. So every time you use the keyboard in your DAW you don't have to reassign the keys. You can save the settings of up to 4 different DAWs, meaning you can quickly switch from DAW to DAW without having to re-program the keys. This particular feature is very convenient for me because I often work in 2 DAWs (FL Studio and REAPER), sometimes 3 (Studio One) so I never have to re-program the keys when I switch.

The piano keys themselves are sometimes unresponsive which can be quite frustrating as well as the USB connector which is not of good quality. I've damaged mine due to its flimsiness and have to sit carefully with the keys to make sure they don't move around too much which is annoying.

OVERALL OPINION

Overall the controller does the job that it's meant to do, the drum pads are great and it comes with a decent amount of features. As a production keyboard it meets my needs. If you're a mobile musician this keyboard will come in great when you don't want to take your bigger gear along with you. It's best feature as far as I'm concerned are the drum pads. It also works great in FL Studio's performance mode. I'd have to think twice before buying this product because of the fragile USB connector and the keys which are sometimes unresponsive. I have come across some better keyboards such as the SubZero SPC Mini Key which has a lot of the same features and is more durable.

Pros:
- Highly portable
- Packed full of features
- Beautiful design

Cons:
- Keys are springy and sometimes unresponsive
- The USB connector is easy to break
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Reliable Keyboard (Akai - MPK49)

By tom808, 24/07/2014
Akai is know for quality, so this has 49 keys, on left side comes with pitch bend and modulation wheel which are very smooth and comfortable to use. You have 12 pads and modifiers for the pads which is usually used for sampling drums and sound loops, pads are very solid and if you have used any other Akai pads you know their well made. In the middle of the board you have the LCD screen which is clear to see, below you have buttons and knobs to adjust the Octaves tap tempo and setup the sound. On the right side you have 8 faders and 8 knobs to control different effects/parts of your DAW which can be all set up to your needs. This is a USB controller which makes it very easy to plug and play, it can be used for MAC and PC it includes Avid Pro Tools Express which i don't use

UTILIZATION

The basic part of it is the plug in and play keyboard with your DAW, it gets more confusing trying to connect the pads with sounds you need especially if you never used a MPC or MPD pad before, filters and knobs are easy and conformable to use, the selection is understandable and quick to process, this board is my secondary board currently because i found the pads to be uncomfortable over the top of keys, i bought a MPD32 to use for pads and i use a basic midi keyboard all my sounds are form the DAW plugins. The manual is Clear and easy to follow, the keys are good amount of soft i enjoyed them. Overall for a newb the setup might be confusing at first which you have to learn all the parts of it but after some hours you will understand all of it.

OVERALL OPINION

The price is great considering how much this board has to bring, i think personally its too much on a keyboard i like to have things separate like my pads controllers other keyboards but i did really like the Faders and the feel of the keyboard, i downgraded to a basic M audio 25 key and i bought the MPD 32 separately this feels better for me but i still keep the MPK49 for live use, I can had all my patches and settings set in one keyboard that makes it great, so the quality is very high I'm a big fan of Akai products but at the same time i like to keep it simple.
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GREAT COMPACT MIDI CONTROLLER! (Akai - MPK Mini MKII)

By HalfSquid, 01/09/2014
The AKAI MPK mini is a 2 octave midi controller with a size that is perfect for you to take everywhere with you. But although it has a small size it still pack a BIG punch, containing 8 pads in 2 banks for a total of 16 programable pads as well as 8 programmable knobs. What really drove me to this purchase though, was the integrated arpeggiator within the controller which is great for live performances. Also, since it is connected via mini-USB you can be sure that it won't be taking up much power. GREAT PURCHASE!

UTILIZATION

Very simple Plug & Play setup. It is a very user friendly piece of equipment. Works perfectly in sync with all mayor DAWs.

OVERALL OPINION

It is very affordable and given the price you are getting more than what you paid for. The size and weight was really what did it for me. You can easily fit this keyboard in any backpack or gig bag. Not what I would consider a primary midi controller at all. But it is a really good purchase as a secondary controller, something to take on the road. Overall I would recommend it and I give it an 8/10!!
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Very good, but lacks features (Akai - MPK61)

By Godly75, 18/06/2019
Pro
- Very good keyboard, perfect action and real semi weighted
- Solid built
- Overall quality is top

Con
- No CC on the pads
- No panic/all notes off button
- No software editor
- missing a 9th fader
- Top screen should show more data


I was looking for the MAX version, but that seems to be discontinued.
Especially for the touch faders. Why Akai?
»

News Akai MPK

AIR & Akai special offer to MPK and MPD users

Published on 02/24/15
Akai offers owners of the MPK MIDI keyboards and MPD pad controller a discount off the AIR Music Technology AIR Instrument Expansion Pack.

[NAMM] New Akai MPK MIDI keyboards

Published on 01/28/14

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