Akai has announced the MPK mini, a new $199 mini USB keyboard and pad controller.
MPK mini balances portability and software control by melding together the immediate control and grab-and-go convenience of the LPK25 and LPD8. The MPK mini is less than 13 inches across and weighs just over one pound and easily fits into a laptop case, backpack or messenger bag for extreme portability.
The MPK mini keyboard is designed for quickly entering notes and phrases into a computer and is also velocity-sensitive. Dedicated Octave Up and Down buttons access different pitch ranges and a Sustain button provides further performance options. The MPK mini also has a built-in arpeggiator.
MPK mini’s eight backlit, velocity-sensitive pads are based on Akai Professional’s MPC line of iconic music production stations. Great for firing one-shot samples and sequencing drum patterns, the pads can send note information, MIDI CCs, or even program changes. Pressing the Bank button will quickly toggle between two banks of pads for 16 pads in total. Additionally, the MPK mini has eight assignable Q-Link knobs to control virtually any software parameter.
MPK mini is plug-and-play with Mac or PC and requires no software driver installation or wall power for operation. The included software editor quickly maps MPK mini’s controls as well.