The AKAI MPK mini 2 is the ultimate MIDI keyboard for the up&coming hip-hop producer.
Our Full Review Of The MPK mini MK2 Keyboard
I still remember the first time I listened to hip-hop. I was probably 4 or 5 and I was mesmerized by the catchy beats, synth lines, and meaningful lyrics. Back then almost all hip-hop songs were made on the AKAI MPC production computer. So I have decided to purchase the AKAI mpk mini mk2 controller a year ago and would love to share my experience with you 🙂
The ultimate controller for Hip-hop production
If you are an EDM, acoustic or film music producer the AKAI mpk mini mk2 is probably not the right choice for you.
These genres feature complex melody/chord combinations.
In my opinion, the small 25 keys on the mpk mini simply don’t cut it when it comes to these genres.
With that being said the AKAI MPK mini is very popular among hip-hop producers and it’s one of my personal favorite keyboards for hip-hop production.
Its 25 keys are relatively small and they were my biggest concern before purchasing the MPK mini. To my surprise, the keys are very well made and are perfect for short melody playing.
The MPK mini also features a little joystick-like pitch bend and 8 drum pads, they are very well made and feel very “reliable” when playing improvised beats.
In my opinion, the drum pads are the #1 strong point of the MPK mini and they allow me to be more creative with my beats.
8 drum pads are generally not enough for most hip-hop producers and that’s why AKAI included a bank switch button which allows you to switch back and forth between two banks of 8 samples of your choice.
In addition to the 8 drum pads, the MPK mini also features 8 knobs which can be assigned to almost anything in your DAW.
As with most cheap hardware, the knobs on the MPK mini don’t feel like a million bucks but they do get the job done.
The AKAI MPK’s small size and its impressive array of features make it my go-to choice when traveling. I have personally never encountered any problems on the road and I absolutely love playing with the drum pads during flights or car rides.
Back in the day, I used to travel with an audio interface to connect my keyboards/controllers. As you may already know most new controllers are bus powered and require no external power source other than your laptop/PC.
With that being said not all USB connections are created equal and I have personally owned a lot of unreliable bus powered midi keyboards in the past.
Some of them started crackling and popping under heavy loads and some of them failed simply because of a poorly made USB cable.
Fortunately, the MPK mini’s USB connection is very reliable and I have never encountered any pops or crackles while using the keyboard. The USB cord itself is also very well made and will not wear or tear for a long long time.
Most studio gear these days comes with some free software such as DAW demos or little “toy” plugins. To my surprise, the MPK Mini came with a fully fledged copy of “Hybrid” the iconic plugin made by the guys behind pro tools.
The plugin usually costs somewhere around 150$ and you get it for free 🙂
Hybrid is a great plugin and it helps me achieve some very interesting vintage sounds I only dreamed about making with VST’s such as serum or Sylenth.
You also get the wobble synth by sonivox. The wobble synth allows you to create wobble basses and I really like using it when producing dubstep or trap. (this synth retails for around 50$)
AKAI is known for their rather flashy designs and the MPK mini is no exception, it features some beautiful backlit buttons and the iconic color scheme AKAI is known for.
When it comes to build quality the MPK is insanely durable. I personally dropped it several times and it’s still in almost perfect condition.
I can confidently say the MPK mini can take a beating.
The keys are also great and I absolutely enjoy creating melodies and riffs using them.
The only downside in terms of build quality is the use of plastic in certain parts of the keyboard, For the price I can’t really complain and I am quite confident that you won’t find any better-built keyboards for this price.
The Akai mpk mini is one of the best MIDI keyboards in its price category and the absolute best when it comes to hip-hop production. As I have mentioned before 25 keys won’t cut it for 2 hand playing and I would not recommend the AKAI mpk to those of you who play/produce melodic music. If however, you are a hip-hop or trap producer I think the AKAI MPK mini is the best option for you!
Pick the AKAI MPK Mini if
You produce Hip-hop or trap.
Pick the AKAI MPK Mini if
If you produce melody intensive genres such as EDM, acoustic, film.
And that’s it my review for the AKAI MPK mini midi keyboard I hope you enjoyed it 🙂 Don’t forget to read more customer reviews before you make your decision.
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