I dabble in music production from time to time, which is why I have to buy MIDI keyboards and synthesizers. While working as an internee for a music studio, someone recommended that I try my luck with the akai/ AKAI professional MPK MIDI keyboard for the sake of easy learning curve and other benefits to starters. Well, to tell you the truth, I happened to not only create amazing soundtracks, clips and whatnot, but overall, the music editing aspect has become a hell lot easier.
Good stuff about AKAI mpk Mini 25 key MIDI keyboard:
Overall great price for budget conscious users. I purchased this keyboard as part of a lightning deal last year at Amazon. They were selling at a slightly discounted rate. Still at $99, the MIDI keyboard is maintaining an affordable rate.
- This keyboard is the revised/ revamped version of the previous AKAI MPK mini keyboard. The current version has updated keypads and a more response control nob for intuitive results.
- Downloadable software updates keep the core program for this keyboard bug and lag free. With latest software downloads, you can be sure of producing great music without stumbling upon any known/ unknown issues.
- For a 25 key keyboard, AKAI did a great job at squeezing in extra control knobs without affecting the overall device size. It is compact, lightweight and very easy to navigate through.
- Auto detector program on any OS makes it easier to plug and play straight out of the packaging.
I don’t think that you should be having any problems with this device. As long as you know what you are doing, or what kind of music clip you are editing, things should be working fine. On the same note, I think that AKAI could have done a better job at some aspects of the arpeggiator and the pads associated with the overall functionality.
Though the arpeggiator offers a variety of settings, there are some DAW synchronization issues. At this point, I am not sure whether I am the only person encountering these problems, but there were moments that even mapping knobs became a bit of a hassle. Thanks to the overall increased sensitivity and control responsiveness, I was able to circumvent these hurdles quickly.
Moving on, MPK 25 key MIDI keyboard has slightly narrow/ thin keys. For users with slender fingers, I see no issue for them while pressing the keys at high pace. However, people with big hands need to put in some extra hours to get used to the penny sized keys. Give or take, it will require a good number of days for you to get used to pressing those “mini keys” effortlessly – i.e. if you have stubby fingers.
Average user experience with AKAI professional mini MIDI keyboard?
Coming back to the subject of editing music, I would like to share some insight on my personal experience with this keyboard. During one of my recent reviews, I mentioned using the Behringer drum kit for a few weeks. If you are into using electronic drum kits, you should know that you can easily integrate your recordings with new and original soundtracks through this MIDI keyboard.
In order to do that, you can follow a number of well detailed YouTube videos. Since there is a wide variety of training videos about music editing, I am sure you can learn a lot of tricks. The AKAI keyboard itself is merely a tool for helping you with your studio related work; it is up to you how much you want to learn. For me, everything was self-taught; there were no tutorials in the instructions manual or anything like that.
So what did I do? Well, for starters, I plugged in the USB controller in my laptop port. As mentioned earlier, the drivers for AKAI MIDI keyboard were automatically installed without any issues or whatsoever. The next choice was to select the DAW; I went for FL Studio and further selected a channel to get going. From pitch shifting to synthesizer settings, everything was preloaded to perfection; I did not tinker with the MIDI settings at all.
Even if you select another DAW on the MIDI keyboard, I don’t think it will require for you to go through settings. Most of the stuff is already set to default options in order to maximize output results. The pads on this keyboard are responsive; I already wrote about it earlier, but needed to mention since some people believe that pressing the pads to hard will lead to maximum velocity. I can say that at least this was not the case with the AKAI keyboard.
All in all, AKAI did a great job with this model of the MPK professional MIDI keyboard. There are not a lot of user complaints about it on the internet. The response has been positive so far. Although I am still trying to figure out why the arpeggiator doesn’t automatically synch with the tempo on my computer, but I am sure that it has a workaround solution somewhere out there.