Akai’s MPK Mini mk3 is a solid and affordable way to get into MIDI keyboard controllers, but chances are you still want more flexibility for your music sessions. Thankfully, the company now has a more powerful option that still keeps costs in check. The just-released MPK Mini Plus offers more range by expanding from 25 to 37 keys and introduces more advanced elements like a two-track step/live sequencer, chord and scale modes, DAW-friendly transport controls, and wheels for pitch bending and modulation . You’ll also find full five-pin MIDI ports (you used to need USB), as well as CV/Gate connectors for connecting synths and similar modular gear.
The main attractions of the mk3 remain intact. The MPK Mini Plus also features eight RGB-lit MPC drum pads, an X/Y joystick (now fully assignable), and features like an arpeggiator, sustain pedal input, and octave shift. The hardware is USB powered, includes a small OLED screen and comes bundled with Akai’s MPCBeats software to help you get your productions started.
The MPK Mini Plus is available through Amazon and other stores for $169. That’s significantly more than the $119 for the MK3, but it’s clear where the money went. From the looks of it, you’ll probably have a hard time finding other MIDI controllers under $200 with this feature set. This might be your best bet if you’re on a budget but still want a device that can grow with your musical talents.
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https://www.engadget.com/akai-mpk-mini-plus-midi-controller-141814734.html?src=rss Akai reveals a bigger sibling for one of the best budget MIDI controllers