The Akai MPK Mini MK2 answers the prayers of on-the-go music producers. Sleekly shaped and lightweight, the design is effortlessly portable so can be carried from gig to gig with minimal hassle and fuss. The MK2 also comes in at an accessible price point, making it an ideal for first-time buyers.
The Mini MK2 sits above the original MK Mini. It has inherited the portability of its predecessor but has been amped up with five years’ worth of user feedback. Much more affordable than its original version, it appears that Akai is really making a play to dominate the portable controller market. Scouting other models from competing brands, the MK2 is placed at a slightly higher price point than for example the Alesis Q25 Midi Controller
. This is not to say that it is not affordable, indeed it is accessibly priced.
Let’s take a quick look at the features found on this sleek little model. The MK2 is an USB-powered, 13 inch wide keyboard boasting 25 notes. Two banks of 8 back-lit MPC-style pads offer sixteen options to allow you to make beats, bass chords, melodies and mixes. Weighing in at two pounds, the model is conveniently lightweight so solves the problem of juggling work with travel.
Inspiration On the Go
The most striking feature of the MK2 has to be its portability and the freedom this offers to work where and when you like. From the train carriage to the coffee shop, the MK2’s ultra-compact shape lets you work whenever you are struck with inspiration so you need never forget ideas again. With a wide selection of hardware controls that punches above the model’s size, the MPK Mini MK2
allow you to record, compose, and perform with virtual instruments, effect plugins, and DAW. The model features 25 velocity-sensitive synth-action keys, and a 4-way thumbstick which allows you to experiment with pitch to create dynamic sounds and modulation manipulation. The model’s Dedicated Octave Up and Down buttons increase the keyboard to the full melodic range, allowing you to fully realise your sonic vision. Your creations can then be enhanced with a built-in sustain pedal input which offers expressive playing and recording, providing a richer, more intricate sound. An onboard arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range, and modes makes it easy to create highly-detailed melodic lines at the drop of a hat.
Taking into account these features, it is evident that the model’s diminutive size does not mean it skimps on high-calibre production features. Who knows, your next masterpiece may begin its life in a far-flung train station waiting room.
The opportunity for off-the-cuff music production is enabled by the professional production software and virtual instruments that accompany the model. Hybrid 3, by AIR Music Tech, is a high-calibre synthesiser that creates both retro-inspired synth sounds and cutting-edge contemporary sounds. SONiVOX’s Wobble is an electronic music grime synthesiser that features two independent morphing synthesis channels along with harmonic controls, individual filtering, and subtle LFO controls. MPC Essentials, a groove/beat production and sample-triggering software, lets users add MPC workflow into their DAW of choice. It also handily enhances the power of MPK Mini 2 by adding up to 8 pad banks and 4 samples and insert effects per pad. It should also be noted that MPC Essentials also runs in standalone mode, so you can start making music without a DAW.
In answer to our own question, yes, the Akai MPK Mini MK2
is a midi controller that everyone should own. It may be simplistic and perhaps not as complex as larger controllers on the market, but its portability and lightweight construction offer unparalleled convenience. It is handy to own as a backup controller for on-the-road working. Add this model to your arsenal for new-found flexible working options.