Akai MPK Mini MK3 MIDI Controller Review!

Akai has hit the jackpot with its MPK line of small keyboard controllers, as the MPK Mini has become “the world’s best-selling keyboard controller.” With a focus on being portable, class-compliant, and affordable right out of the box, the series has been replaced by the MPK Mini Play line. This line offers both USB MIDI control and stand-alone functionality with sounds, effects, and even a speaker built-in. The Mini Play is well-liked, and the MPK Mini Play MK3 is the third version of it. Does it honor the name of the family?

Considering Akai’s extensive background in sampling and beat-making (remember, Roger Linn was the man behind the MPC60), it’s puzzling that they went with such a standard assortment of voices and drums. Even yet, it seems like the built-in sounds are more focused on concepts than on accurately recreating a grand piano or symphonic percussion section.

The MPK Mini Mk3 is a small keyboard controller that weighs 0.75 kg and measures 318 x 181 x 44 mm. The “classic” version looks like the one that came before it. It has a black case with red sides and a terrific bottom surface. It also comes in a white version (with the colors of the keyboard switched around) or a black version (with all the keys being black).

With that in mind, let’s check out its characteristics!


The most crucial part of any MIDI keyboard is its keys, so let’s have a look at those on the third-generation MPK Mini.

Two octaves of 25 keys constitute the standard layout for keyboards of this size. With the Octave+ and Octave buttons, you may go up or down by four octaves, giving you a total of ten octaves of keys to play around with.

An excellent feature is that, as you push an Octave button, the lights will blink to show you where you are about the current octave; for instance, if you’re two octaves below middle C, the Octave button will blink twice. But do not panic; this is mostly intended for one-handed use in constructing simple melodies and chords. Yet, it is ideal for the majority of bedroom producers. If you’re a two-handed keyboardist who requires three or four octaves simultaneously and has any kind of experience playing the keys, you might want to look elsewhere.


The eight pads on the Akai MPK Mini MK3 are one of its many great features; they’re not often seen on keyboards of this size. You may access sixteen different pads by just pressing a button, and you can swap between banks with ease.

When compared to smaller pads, such as the Novation Launchkey Mini, the larger ones make playing a snap. Following in the footsteps of its MPCs, the pads on this generation’s model are not only more responsive and tactile than the MK2 pads, but they are also tougher and stiffer. This is an upgrade over the previous generation. Our team determined that the MPK tiny MK3 was the best mini-MIDI controller pad money can buy.

The pad’s multitasking capabilities are only one of its many great qualities. An extra perk is that you can switch between Major Scale and Minor Scale modes by hitting the Prog Select button, so you may utilize them to play tunes instead of just percussion. For those who aren’t as well-versed in music theory (or who are complete newbies,)—this controller is great since it allows you to play random notes without stressing about being out of tune, even if there are more versatile ones that let you choose the key.


The new generation of encoders is a great reason to move up to the MPK Mini MK3. The buttons on the MK2 can only turn 270 degrees, but the encoders on the MK3 let you turn in any direction forever.

If you like using buttons when making sounds or mixing, the MK3’s endless encoders give you a lot more freedom of expression because you don’t have to worry about how much the encoder can turn. If you use a DAW like FL Studio, Studio One, or Reason, these knobs can be easily assigned to anything you want. Depending on the program you’re using, you may need to take the time to set them up and save a template, but it’s well worth the time.


The Akai MPK Mini’s pads may be instantly mapped to digital audio workstations like Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, FL Studio 20, and Garageband. That’s not all—you’ll need to create an Akai account, register your product, and download the MPK Mini III editing software to use this keyboard with your favorite digital audio workstation or get access to more complicated parameter controls. For example, Reason users could map it with Kong. You can also change the MIDI notes that the pads and encoders control to get the most out of your instrument.

Included with your keyboard are extra apps like MPC Beats and sample packs. This software is a great way to start making beats if you’ve never done it before or if you’re buying this keyboard as a gift. Because MPC Beats is a VST instrument, it works well in other DAWs too. This makes it a great program to start with.

Where To Buy?

Buy here


All of that being said, the MPK Mini MK3 from Akai is a great MIDI keyboard for many people. It has everything a person who is new to making beats would need, and it’s great for people who need a small, movable setup for live shows. Sure, it has its disadvantages, but this model is great deal for producers who need drum pads and knobs on their MIDI instruments.

Why You Should Read Reviews Before Buying

While finding a perfect set of studio monitors (or any other devices for that matter) can be a bit of a headache, you need to explore more on your options rather than settling down on the first thing that you see. As smart buyers, we know how important it is to do research on a product and think about its pros and cons before we buy it. With that, it’s great that the internet gives us access to so much information that we can learn everything we need to know about a piece of equipment before we decide to buy it. So, there should be no excuses on your part as a smart buyer.

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