- Akai Mpk Mini Laptop Production Keyboard Software Download Mac Installer
- Akai Mpk Mini Laptop Production Keyboard Software Download Mac Version
- Akai Mpk Mini Laptop Production Keyboard Software Download Mac Os
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2.0.1 Unboxing 2.0.2 Build Quality 2.0.3 User Interface 2.0.4 Styling
If desktop space is limited or you want something portable to quickly knock out beats while on the move, then there’s nothing finer than a compact MIDI keyboard to get those creative juices flowing. And, for a small-sized controller the Akai Professional MPK Mini MK2 packs a healthy set of features.
As well as a 25-note keyboard you also get a full-featured pad controller too making it a 2-in-1 MIDI device. The MPK Mini MK2 also comes loaded with other goodies too such as: 8 assignable control knobs, multi-function arpeggiator, and a rather clever programmable X-Y analogue thumbstick for controlling pitch, modulation and other types of MIDI CC parameters.
With all these features, can Akai’s multi-talented MIDI instrument entice you to buy?
Read this full MPK Mini MK2 review to find out in detail how it performs.
Overview First Impressions Unboxing
Unpacking the contents of the box reveals an Akai MPK Mini MK2 unit, USB cable (Type-AB), user guide, safety / warranty manual, and a software download card (no CDs or DVDs these days!)
The user guide is very basic and only gives you a quick overview of its features and essential modes of operation. However, Akai’s knowledge base has excellent content that goes much deeper with troubleshooting information and guides covering a wide range of topics.
The MPK Mini MK2 is constructed with a mixture of plastic and rubber components. This might sound a bit cheap, but actually when you look at the controller up-close it is quite well made. The plastic used for the casing is a decent thickness and the edges have been nicely bevelled too for extra reinforcement. This means the overall weight of the keyboard is reasonably light to carry around while at the same time being strong enough to deal with the usual knocks and bumps along the way.
Moving to the top of the device, the build quality looks good here too; all the components feel solid when used. The mini-keys are positive to the touch, have a decent width and are nice and springy as you would expect from synth-action keys. The rubber used for the pads and push buttons has good density which prevents that ‘squashy’ unreliable sort of sensation you can get on some music gear.
Akai have used a mini-joystick to save space which not only feels reliable, but also has a nice ergonomic design to easily control MIDI CC sends. Lastly, the 8 rotary controls have a smooth action, but there’s not much resistance present when rotating them. It would be nice if they had a little more bite to guard against accidental movement.
Akai Mpk Mini Laptop Production Keyboard Software Download Mac Installer
It’s sometimes difficult on some keyboards to decipher what to press in order to switch modes or select a particular function. However, Akai Professional have made it easy to see what is going on. There’s plenty of labelling on the interface, including the addition of white outlining to highlight important related functions.
The arrangement of the controls is intelligently laid out which offers a good workflow to the musician. Overall, the user interface is intuitive to use and makes music production an enjoyable affair.
Akai have gone for a striking red and black combination for their keyboard which gives it a nice modern, almost sporty look. Thankfully the red is mostly on the lower half of the keyboard’s casing to avoid colour clash with all the backlit buttons and pads.
The matte black finish on the top contrasts nicely with all the white detailing on the control knobs and labels. Incidentally, the back lighting is a great touch that not only has functionality but also adds style with flashes of green and red which really makes the MPK Mini MK2 come alive.
The keys and pads of course take the biggest punishment on a device like this, but the MPK MINI MK2 packs quite a lot more elements than this into its small shell. In no particular order, here is a closer look at the main features on offer.
25-note velocity-sensitive keys
As previously noted, the MPK Mini MK2 has a synth-action keybed which is ideal if you prefer a quick and light response for computer-based music production. Since there are only 25 keys this represents a two octave keyboard, but the total range you can access is ten which is pretty good for a mini keyboard.
The octave up / down buttons can be pressed four times (4-up and 4-down) to extend the range you can play. A neat feature worth noting is the octave buttons flash a certain number of times (up to 4) depending on how many octaves you have shifted.
If you want to regularly play chords and baselines simultaneously then you may want to explore a larger keyboard.
There are 8 velocity-sensitive pads on the MPK Mini MK2, but if you use the Bank A/B function then this effectively equates to 16 pads in total. This is the same number in fact as Akai’s MPC series of products. The rubber used for the pads (just like the other buttons) has excellent density and doesn’t deform when the pads are hit; this gives them a great tactile feel.
The velocity sensitivity of the pads is good which can also be bypassed if needed using the Full Level button. Another nice option is being able to continually repeat a sound by holding down the Note Repeat button and a pad at the same time. Incidentally, each pad also has back lighting when triggered which produces a nice red glow that surrounds each pad; this is a great touch that adds that much needed feedback.
The pads aren’t just for sending MIDI notes either. You can also assign these to MIDI Control Change messages too using the CC button in the Pad Controls (located underneath the control knobs). The Prog Change button also adds a further layer of functionality by enabling you to use the pads for sending Program Change messages. You can also have four different setups using Akai’s excellent MPK Mini MK2 Editor software and the Prog Select button (using pads 5 to 8).
Hp envy 4520 software download mac. Being bright red you can’t really miss this part of the MPK Mini MK2. This 4-directional mini-joystick is a space-saving controller for different MIDI CC parameters. If you are accustomed to the traditional pitch bend and modulation wheels found on larger keyboards then this thumbstick may look a bit weird at first. However, after a short while it feels quite natural to use and in some ways is easier. You can also assign other MIDI CC effects using the MPK Mini MK2 Editor software if you need to.
Overall, a brilliantly engineered and fun feature to use.
8 Assignable control knobs
For controlling VST instruments and mixing Akai have included 8 rotary encoders on their MPK Mini MK2. Each one can be rotated about 270 degrees to send specific MIDI CC messages. The feel of the rotary encoders is reasonable, with a nice smooth action but as mentioned previously they don’t have much resistance. That said, they are sufficiently spaced out so the chances of accidentally altering their positions should be rare under normal circumstances.
This is perhaps one of the most fun things to experiment with using the MPK Mini MK2. It is a fully programmable arpeggiator that has a wealth of useful settings such as: arp up / down, inclusive / exclusive looping, random note sequencing, latch mode, and various swing presets.
It’s easy to set any of these functions by holding down the Arpeggiator On/Off button and selecting one of the presets labelled on the keyboard. The tempo is also a cinch to control using the built-in time division presets or custom-tuned with the Tap Tempo button.
Sustain pedal input
You can use a sustain pedal via the ¼” TS jack on the back of the unit. There’s not much to comment on here, however it is a handy feature to free up your hands which not all MIDI keyboards have at this price point.
Once your MPK Mini MK2 is registered on the Akai Professional website you get a very generous amount of software to download. 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. For example, the pads can be configured to send different notes, CC messages, or program changes. You can even select how they behave when hit. The great thing about this free tool is you aren’t limited to just 4 programs. You can store an unlimited amount of configurations on your computer to suit different software programs and setups.
• MPC Essentials – This is a slimmed down version of the full MPC software. However, there is a surprising amount of features for producing music sequences using samples and VST plugins. It comes as a stand-alone program and a VST plugin (32/64-bit) so you can use it in your favourite DAW. Even though you’ve only got one track to play with you can have several instances of it for multi-track sequencing.
• VIP 3 – Short for Virtual Instrument Player, this clever piece of software is used for managing the instruments spread across your VST 2 plugin collection. You can search for particular instruments and then fine tune this by timbre, style, etc. The control knobs on the MPK Mini 2 are mapped (Prog 1) to easily tweak parameters and VIP 3 can be run in standalone mode or as a VST plugin (32/64-bit).
• Wobble 2(SoniVox L.P) – Billed as a dubstep grime generator, this plugin helps you to create jagged electronic sounds for your beats.
• Hybrid 3 (AIR Music Technology) – A very versatile virtual synthesiser with over 1200 built-in presets that cover just about every type of sound you can emulate including complex multi-layered effects.
• 3 x MPC Essentials Music Packs – You also get three bonus addon sample packs for MPC Essentials. At the time of writing this review, they are: Elements of Dystopia, Elements of House, and elements of UK Dance.
- Dimensions (W/D/H): 12.5″ (31.75 Cm) x 7.13″ (18.11 Cm) x 1.75″ (4.45 Cm).
- Weight: 1.65 lbs (0.75 Kg).
- Compatibility: Mac / PC.
(4.7 / 5)
Akai Mpk Mini Laptop Production Keyboard Software Download Mac Version
If you are looking for a small MIDI controller then it’s difficult to ignore Akai Professional’s MPK Mini MK2. This keenly priced keyboard which also sports a full-featured pad controller and eight rotary encoders is packed full of features. It’s ideally suited to be ultra-portable or where desktop space is limited for music production.
However, it’s not without its downsides. The unit is well made, but the rotary encoders feel a little light on resistance which makes it feel like they could accidentally be moved. Having said that, during testing this didn’t happen. Another consideration before you buy may be the 4-axis thumbstick. If you prefer separate pitch bend and modulation wheels then the X-Y thumbstick might put you off, but actually it is a joy to use after a little practice using it.
The generous software bundle that Akai Professional provide is well balanced and covers practically everything you need to get started in music production. If this is the case then this could be the deal clincher.
If you are looking for a total solution then the MPK Mini MK2 is worth a serious look.