Akai Professional has today updated its best-selling USB-MIDI controller MPK mini to Mk3 with a new keybed, endless rotary knobs, new OLED display, and more free software.
Like its predecessor, it offers everything you need to control DAWs and virtual instruments: 25 keys, eight MPC-style pads, and assignable knobs. The third generation or known as MPK Mini Mk3 has a very familiar interface design which we know from the first two versions. However, it receives a little cosmetic upgrade with a fancier and more solid design.
The biggest improvement according to the developer is a new dynamic keybed that delivers a piano key performance fit for the world’s finest keyboard players. Whether this is also the case would have to be checked in a real test. Again onboard are the 8 bankable velocity-sensitive MPC pads that deliver the perfect touch for precise drumming and melodic sample playback. Another nice addition is a new OLED display that provides visual feedback for different features: velocity, CC assignments, and DAW mode selection.
Further, the MPK mini MK3 features again eight assignable rotary knobs but this time they are endless encoders which is a major improvement. Also onboard is the four-way joystick known from the previous MPK mini versions. On the backside, you have a USB connection and a sustain pedal input. Unfortunately, there is no built-in MIDI interface (In / Out) on mini-jacks or a USB-C connection. Too bad. The beloved arpeggiator with tap tempo is also included.
Musicians who like color will be happy. The new version is available in three different colors (red/black, white with inverted keys, and an all blacked-out color design). The new Akai Pro MPK mini Mk3 comes again with a big software package that includes the new free DAW MPC Beats plus content from the commercial expansion packs as well as virtual instruments: AIR Hybrid 3, Mini Grand, and Velvet.
- 25 Mini Keys Featuring New Keybed Technology
- Brilliant OLED Display for Immediate Parameter Feedback
- 8 MPC Performance Pads w/ Note Repeat and Full Level in two banks (16 total)
- 8 Endless Knobs to tweak your software parameters
- 4-way Joystick for Pitch & Modulation Control
- Class-Compliant USB Connectivity
- Built-in Arpeggiator
- Sustain Pedal Input Jack
- Superior, Sturdy Design & Build
Overall, it’s a nice upgrade and good to see that it’s ready for 2020. The new version also seems to me to be an ideal keyboard for on the go but also for beginners. It offers a lot (keys, rotary knobs, pads) for little money.
Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is available now for $99 USD/109€ worldwide.
More information here: Akai Pro
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