Akai release the MPK Mini Plus MIDI keyboard: compact controller is all grown up

Akai has upsized its MPK Mini MIDI keyboard and released a Plus version. This comes with an extended three-octave keyboard, a built-in sequencer, MIDI and CV/Gate connectivity, proper pitch and mod wheels, MPC pads, knobs, transport controls and more.

That’s a pretty comprehensive spec list, and one that would seem to put the MPK Mini Plus in direct competition with Arturia’s popular KeyStep 37 controller.

The 37 slim keys use Akai’s second-generation dynamic bed, while the polyphonic two-track sequencer - designed for creating melodic and drum patterns - comes with Step and Live modes. There are eight notes of polyphony per key step, 16 notes per drum step and an onboard arpeggiator.

As well as being useful for drum playing and programming, the pads can also be used for making program changes and triggering additional CC parameters. As you’d expect, the eight 360-degree rotary knobs are assignable, too.

As with so many modern MIDI keyboards, the MPK Mini Plus offers Chord and Scale modes - used for triggering chords with a single key and locking the keyboard to a selected scale respectively. Both modes feature plenty of options and there are 15 scale settings.

The transport controls cover the obvious bases, and the joystick enables you to assign four parameters to the X/Y axis and morph between them. 

There are three CV/Gate outputs (pitch, gate and mod) and CV Clock I/O, along with USB and full-size MIDI I/O ports. You can also plug in a sustain pedal.

The MPK Mini Plus is available now priced at $169. Find out more on the Akai Pro website.

Akai Pro MPK Mini Plus

(Image credit: Akai Pro)
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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