Gear review: Akai MPK Mini MkIII

Akai MPK Mini MkIII

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is a solid choice for musicians looking for a compact and functional MIDI controller. Its design and build make it suitable for both studio and mobile use, fitting easily into cramped spaces or travel bags.

Design and Build Quality

The MPK Mini Mk3 features a streamlined design, sturdy enough to endure regular transport and use. The keys and pads are responsive, providing a good level of feedback that’s comparable to more expensive models. The layout of the controls is logical, helping to maintain an efficient workflow.

Features and Performance

The controller includes 25 velocity-sensitive keys, which offer improved responsiveness over previous models. The eight pads, derived from Akai's MPC series, perform well for triggering beats or samples. An arpeggiator and a 4-way joystick for pitch and modulation control are thoughtful additions that enhance its versatility without complicating the interface.


Getting started with the MPK Mini Mk3 is generally straightforward, thanks to its compatibility with popular DAWs. This plug-and-play compatibility is particularly beneficial for beginners who might find setting up hardware intimidating.

Software Bundle

Included with the MPK Mini Mk3 is a selection of software like MPC Beats and several synth plugins from AIR and SONiVOX. This bundle is useful for newcomers, providing a decent starting point for music production without additional costs.

Portability and Value

The small size of the MPK Mini Mk3 makes it an excellent option for creating music in tight spaces or while traveling. It balances functionality and portability well, offering good value for its price point.


Overall, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 does a commendable job of combining portability with necessary features for music production. While it may not be the most advanced controller on the market, its ease of use and the thoughtful inclusion of a comprehensive software bundle make it a practical option for both new and experienced musicians looking for a compact solution.

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