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4.0 out of 5 stars37
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on 9 February 2013
I've been using midi controllers for nearly 15 years now and have tried most major brands. When I decide to go traveling I needed a midi controller that is compact enough to fit in a backpack, have 25 keys and 8 controller knobs to use with the 8 macro control sets in Ableton Live. The drum pads are an added bonus but not entirely necessary for me as I do own a Korg PadKontrol which I keep in my room wherever I'm currently staying. The keys are the typical spring action synth style keys which are to be expected of this size/price range. They do feel solid and not cheap.

MPKmini Pros:
It's Light weight and compact.
Offers plenty of midi control for such a small size.
The height of encoder knobs, pads and keys are set just right. This means they are unlikely to catch on my bag as I transfer it in and out or catch on other items in my bag during transport. This is huge plus over other controllers in the market.
Feels solid / well made.
Is USB buss powered - Yay!
Built in arpeggiator, although Ableton Live has this feature in the software and is far more sophisticated.
Two bank modes for the 8 pads: so a total of 16 pads :Useful for Live's Drumracks.
It comes with a discount voucher for Ableton Live (wasn't useful for me as I already own the full suite version).

Cons:
No pitch or modulation wheels but these could be assigned with the encoder knobs but still not practical. Compared to other small midi controllers out there, this seemed like the only compromise.
Drum pads aren't as responsive as I would have liked. This can however be modified by opening the MPKmini and placing some tape between the pads and the sensors (this is easy and the instructions on how to do this can be found on the internet) Be warned that this will void the warranty though. The pads on my Korg padKontrol are far better than the ones on the MPKmini but still not a problem now I have modded it.

Over all I'm very pleased with the MPKmini. It serves as a great travel controller with plenty of controls and useful features for getting ideas down and mucking around with automation. It is well built and light weight which is ideal for someone who travels a lot with a single laptop bag.
0Comment3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 July 2013
I have had this item for around 6 weeks and was enjoying using it, especially the drum pads. I noticed one day when plugging the micro usb lead in, that the micro usb socket on the keyboard had started to wobble. I thought nothing of this until i plugged the usb lead in last week a little heavily and the micro usb socket broke off inside the case. As I am a bit techy i thought "ok well lets have a look and see if I can fix it", so I took a look inside the case. The micro usb socked is basically only held in place by the black plastic outer cover and four rather puny pieces of solder that attach it to a circuit board. There is no bracket or screws to hold the socket firmly in place onto the circuit board and frankly having looked at it, I am surprised it didn't break sooner. This piece of kit is great fun, but in my opinion is poorly made in regards to its micro usb socket, which lets the whole keyboard down. As the soldering is very fine I am not sure if it can be easily fixed either. I hope you don't have these issues but I felt I should let you know my experience.
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on 1 December 2010
I'll start this review by giving praise to The Production Room, the seller. These guys got this thing dispatched and to my door the next day. If your planning to buy anything related check with these guys first. I even got a text message to say when it would be delivered. Impeccable service.

On to the keyboard. I've seen very few reviews so this might be fairly long. Out of the box the comes with a USB cable. PC picked up drivers straight away and although Reason 5.0 could not find the keyboard, it's easily added. It's very light. And fits into the front pocket of my laptop bag, ultra portable.
I don't play piano or keyboard as a first instrument, I bought it because production is a hobby and I needed a smaller controller for travel. Because of it size, the keys are a fair bit smaller than a standard midi keyboard for instance, the M-Audio Oxygen. Its hard to get decent dynamics out of the keys. One touch normally produces one velocity so for anyone looking for something with velocity sensitive keys or aftertouch this may not be the best keyboard.
The drum pads are assignable and nicely spaced to easy to use. No slipping or miss hits. Again,not very velocity sensitive. The knobs can be used in conjunction with the pads or the keys. I found the lack of a pitch bend/mod wheel to be minor as these knobs can be used for that purpose.
The inbuilt arpeggiator is great. Tap tempo based or duration assignable (1/16 or 1/8T etc.) Also comes with a sustain function. Not as versatile as a VST arpeggiator (e.g. RPG-8 in Reason) but it does aid in versifying dynamics and production. Octave shift is present to compensate for small number of keys.

All in all although it may not be as powerful as other similar controller keyboards (e.g. M-Audio Axiom 25/49/61) but it is a buy I would recommend. Immense fun and really useful to add to any collection of analog or digital synthesisers.
22 comments28 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 April 2011
My main worry with ordering a controller of this size was the key action. I'd heard that some have keys which are almost like those on a computer keyboard, but I'm happy to report that with the MPK Mini that's dinstinctly not the case. The controls along the top have a nice action as well, I'd thoroughly recommend it.
0Comment6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 July 2013
I use fruity loops to make beats because I want to start making my own music...

A few months in and this peice of equipment has helped me make things I possibly couldnt have managed withit out.

I highly reccomend, it is not cheap and not expensive and has a big use in any beginner or pros studio since its so
small and handy yet does alot!
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on 2 February 2014
Bought this product for my son who is very happy with it he uses it all the time and produces some really good results.
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on 19 July 2013
I'd recommend this controller for beginner producers who don't want to empty their pockets, or producers who aren't sure whether making music is for them. If you get serious, it'd probably make sense to upgrade to another controller.

The keyboard works fine in the FL Studio 11 demo, although sometimes when you hit certain keys the volume is lower, other than that it's great!

I guess the drum pads are fine for DJ's, but you'll need the correct software that features MIDI mapping in order to use them for sampling etc. I made the mistake of purchasing the controller when I haven't got the right software (I use Serato DJ Intro and Traktor 2 LE), so I need to save up to buy either Serato DJ or Traktor Pro 2.

That pretty much sums up my thoughts, amen!
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on 20 September 2013
Brilliant product. Great size for use on a laptop (I use Macbook pro 13" retina).

Key size took some getting used too like all new product.

The pads are great for use on inputting drum patterns in a project.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 May 2013
Started off well, the controller worked fine and I had a lot of fun playing around with the drum pads and arpeggiator settings. However after using the keyboard about 10 times I plug it into my Macbook only for it to short circuit my computer. After restoring my Mac and realising that the MPK was at fault I took it apart and found the USB connector had become unattached from the main board. Looking online this has happened to a number of the keyboards and the Akai warranty does not even cover products bought outside of the USA.

The dilemma is now whether to spend roughly the same amount of money on another keyboard, or try and fix this one myself.

Its not worth the hassle, do not buy.
0Comment6 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 September 2012
I'm very new to midi products and needed something to help with Protools on my laptop that could be moved quickly and
light enough to be carried back and forth , without breaking my back .
The AKAI MPK worked as soon as I plugged it in , It saved me so much time . For its price/quality a very fine product
to have . Thanks Guys !
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