Driver Installation. The MPK Mini MKII is a class-compliant MIDI device. A class-compliant device is one that doesn't require extra drivers to connect your Windows or Macintosh computer. Class-compliant devices use drivers which are built into the host (i.e. The computer) operating system.

What is Audiobus? — Audiobus isan award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you useyour other music apps together. Chain effects on your favouritesynth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app likeGarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface outputfor each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive asynth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDIkeyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear.And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

edited January 2015 in General App Discussion


this is my first post over here. Linda from the Facebook iPad Musician site recommended me this forum.
I am looking for a new controller keyboard and tried the xKey, Qunexus and Launchkey so far. Right now I am playing on my friends MPK Mini Mk2 with the CCK and an unpowered USB hub and like it very much!
The pads feel great and the keyboard has a good size and weight for the road. So now I am wondering what the differences between the Mk1 and the Mk2 versions are because I would prefer to leave the USB hub at home.
Akai's website says that the Mk1 version is 0.35 lbs heavier and the pads are velocity sensitive instead of pressure- and velocity-sensitive.
Does anyone know whats the difference between the pads and are there any other differences that I am unaware?
Is there a chance that Akai add a low power mode to the Mk2 version in near future?


  • Mk 1 has low power mode which will draw marginally less current. I've never tried mk2 but have used mk 1 a lot and they were my ipad controllers of choice for the last couple of years. Well built and reliable. I've been happy with the keyboard and pads action but apparently akai has improved that.

  • the MK2 has pitchbend / mod joystick. For me it's a must.
    The pads are a tad better, but not great. I remember the MK1 had awful velocity response.

    as for the keybed I assume it's the same crappy quality. My keys don't have the same response. Some have to be banged harder.

    as for low power mode.. I didn't knew before I bought it and that USB hub workaround is driving me nuts!

  • I could go without the joystick but not with worse pads or keyboard.
    I also had the feeling that the battery was empty quite fast with the USB hub and the Mk2.

  • Is there a similar MIDI keyboard with a power supply?

  • I have the Mk1, it was my first hardware controller of any kind - I found it at Guitar Center used for $39.99, and it functions beautifully. The way to think about the Mini MPK is that it's most of what you need in an extremely portable package, and that doesn't require an external power source. The 25-key keyboard is actually better than I expected - the keys respond well, and while they aren't weighted like an electric piano, they have just enough resistance to nail a staccato sound. It's cramped, but not overly so.

    The pads I don't use as often, but they do 'work'. You can hook it up to a PC and reassign the banks. @alecsbuga was probably right what he said about the terrible velocity control - lighter taps on the pads don't respond at all sometimes. (There may be a sensitivity control in the software?)

    Oh, and it does drain the battery, but not at an alarming rate.

    Between the two, I doubt there is a huge difference. I got the older one because I found a deal on it, but had I paid $100 for a new one, I would probably feel like I was getting my money's worth out of that investment. They're just so easy to use and can really expand your ability to play even simply phrases on the keyboard.

  • @iOSproducer said:

    Is there a chance that Akai add a low power mode to the Mk2 version in near future?

    I would not count on that happening anytime soon if at all. That very question was raised on Akai's official Tech.Support forum ( The support rep. happily agreed to submit a 'feature request' for a firmware update that would enable a low power mode. That was over 6 months. No updates have been made. The only thing they have done is announce a deal with their partner Retronyms that would allow MK2 users a discount on the purchase of the 'Wedge'. You will be able to purchase the Wedge sometime this year and connect some wires to your MK2 and other controllers and then control them wirelessly with the Ipad. Maybe that's why they chose not to include low power mode in the MK2 Mini:)

  • I'd rather buy an Arduino and make my own Wedge, since I'm sure that's what's in that box.

  • Actually I like the mini keys because I am not a real keyboard player and they are about the same size as the MicroBrute's. And I had the feeling that the Mk2s pads are not that bad and that they would do the trick for me for a little beat programming.
    It's easy to find a used Mk1 for around 60€ over here. But I found a returned Mk2 for 70€. Should I take it?

    I wrote an email to Akai. Maybe they will tell me about their update plans.
    Is there a single plug or something that will work like an USB hub?

  • edited January 2015

    Thanks for this thread, it reminded me to return my MKII. One of the pads is too loose and triggers while I am hitting other pads, makes the pads useless.

    I bought this one after trying another one at Guitar Center that had really nice pads, the one I got had better pads than the MKI, but not as nice (too firm, not as much response and feedback) as the one I tried at GC which had significantly better pads IMHO.

    The one I got was one of the super specials for Black Friday on Amazon so it may have been an earlier or 'special' one. At least I have until end of Jan to return.

    After using it for a bit I really did not like the keys or the controls. The controls were just too small for me, impossible to fine tune. Size of the keys is fine, the problem with the fell is that its in very inconsistent across the keyboard and holding one key down makes the feel of the keys next to it change according the my noobish keyboard fingers. The toggle is really nice though.

  • edited January 2015

    Sad news that the Mk2 can't run without a USB hub. I had planned to get one.

    I love my Mk 1. (just miss pitchbend!)
    If you need something portable and flexible, I think it's a good choice and great value.
    The arpeggiator is surprisingly cool too. (stores velocity values, syncs to external MIDI clock or tap tempo, allows realtime time divison changes via keyboard secondary functions, etc.)

  • If you want a similar keyboard, try the Novation Launchkey mini. I sold it to get the Akai.

    That worked with an USB Micro cable and those pads although smaller, had velocity. They worked quite nice too.

  • I hate the keys on the Lk mini. I also upgraded to the mpk.

  • edited January 2015

    I don't like the Launchkey because of it's smaler pads. How are the Launchkey's knobs? I found it realy hard to controll somerhing like a Cutoff with the Mk2's knobs because they have no resistance.
    Anyone has experience with the Minilab? Looks moor attraktive to me with bigger pads and mod+pitch wheels.

  • I had the Minilab first before LK and MPK. It was awful.

    Those mod and pitch strips are crap, the pad velocity is also crap. Keybed.. comparable to the other two. Works with iPad though without power.

    Also, speaking of LK.. I liked its keybed better because the black keys where somewhat taller and they had some resistance. Maybe my MPK MK2 was a crappier unit. I don't know, but I'm not satisfied with it.

    Maybe if it would've worked natively with the ipad. I would've gave it a second change, but as we speak I have it in my bag waiting for a dude to pick it up.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience alecsbuga.
    I am going to try a LK at a store next week!

  • Maybe I like the keys less springy. The keys from the mpk were wider as well(?).

    Play them is always the best option. If you can take something to do sound with. I've had issues getting full velocity without banging them. (LK mini)

    If this is useful.. Unless you are really looking for a compact way of getting a beat and a melody in no time I would pass and get 'modular', if you will. Take more time, save some more money, and maybe in the end sacrifice room in you're backpack. Room that is going to be used for your fingers, anyway.

    What I'm trying to say is that, for me, I could use one extra octave, 16 pads instead of 8 and some knobs I could in fact handle and get serious with. I don't use that much knobs anyway. And the keybed is probably what I value most.

    Having said all this the most important thing is what kind of music you're aiming at. Genre, perhaps. I don't do dance music at all. I don't work with loops or midi.

    One more thing. The lk mini has - as far as I know - low customizability(?).
    I don't think you can edit the values. Although you can work out of the box with launchpad app and launchkey app. You can even switch between them using 'scene' buttons.

    With the Akai you have a pc/mac editor.

    I miss my lk mini (it's back home) for it's 16 pads that I mapped to loopy.

    Tv commercial remover for mac. good luck!

  • In all novation mini range I don't like the way the pads respond. They are too tall and when pressed have got that sideways motion that doesn't feel great. Don't know how to explain it better but they basically don't sit tight in the opening but move around which doesn't help in drumming or even just using it as a switch.

  • I know what you mean, @Supadom. Not too accurate. I like the rrubbery rrubbery softness of them, though. I guess they're the same on the whole launch series.

  • Yeah, they have that haribo sweetness about them I've had launchkey and launch control and they're both the same.

  • Why did you get rid of the Launch Control, may I ask?

  • edited January 2015

    I see what you mean Macao95. Do you think there are any other keyboards to consider?
    Actually I am a guitar player and want to use the keyboard in rehearsal and live for some synth cords (all simple major/minor chords played with one hand) and bass lines. I have been playing on a Impulse 49 for the last months and figured out that I prefer mini keys (while playing MicroKorg a lot). Pads would be nice to play some beats and I would like to have some reliable knobs (like the endless rotary knobs on the Impulse) for sound tweaking.

  • @Macao95 said:

    Why did you get rid of the Launch Control, may I ask?

    I didn't like the wobbly pads, also the smaller sized are a bit less reassuring to hit when you're in the heat of the battle. I liked the chunky usb and general built quality but it wasn't for me. I kept it for about a week.

  • I think the next one to try will be Arturia Beatstep

  • 'Your ebay offer has been accepted, please pay now' got it! I think I'll mainly use it as a controller for now but the sequencer mode does sound tasty.

  • I would like to know more about the sequencer What do you have to pay?

  • I have the mk1.
    The pads are not sensitive in the way that there is too much space between the pad, and the sensor/contact below. So you have to hit the pad harder before they trigger,
    But: I did a mod that i found on youtube, inserting som tape, link;
    and in that way the triggers are now much better, or just the way they should have been from the start.
    But i miss a pitch bend though and the modwheel.
    Overall im very happy about it, the small size amount of controls, and even more so when i found out tonight it can work with the cck and ipad with just the usb cable.
    kind regards

  • Has anyone experience with the Keystation Mini 32 Mk2?
    Looks like the only controller keyboard on the market (except the iRig toys) with more than 25 mini keys that works with iOS without a powered hub right?

  • I was on that quest. Maybe this can help.

    And no, it's not the only one. The rule is class-compliance and after that to determine if you have to use a hub or even a powered hub.

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