Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Akai Fire: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and the Akai Fire.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is… especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!


I've got you covered.

I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.


Let get into it…

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Akai Fire: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

At A Glance:


Akai MPK Mini Mk3




Akai Fire


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Key Differences Between The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 And The Akai Fire

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Akai Fire

The main differences between Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and Akai Fire are largely centered around their designs, functionalities, and intended user base.

The Akai Fire is specifically designed for users of FL Studio. It operates as a dedicated hardware controller for this particular digital audio workstation (DAW) and offers direct control over the DAW's interface without needing to use a mouse or keyboard.
Some key features of the Akai Fire include:

  • The ability to connect up to four Fire devices at once.
  • Direct manipulation of the FL Studio mixing and production workflow.

Conversely, Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is a more traditional MIDI controller featuring 25 synth-action keys, 8 backlit drum pads, and 8 knobs. This device offers greater versatility thanks to its universal compatibility with various music software.
Notable aspects of the MPK Mini Mk3 include:

  • Its portable design ideal for on-the-go music creation.
  • A comprehensive feature package which has led it to top many rankings for best MIDI controllers and keyboards.

In summary, your choice between these two products largely depends on your specific needs. A user who primarily uses FL Studio may prefer the specialized functionality of Akai Fire. On the other hand, a user seeking flexibility in compatibility with various DAWs might lean more towards Akai MPK Mini Mk3.

FeaturesAkai MPK Mini Mk3Akai Fire
TypeMIDI Keyboard ControllerPerformance Controller
Keys25 velocity-sensitive keysNo keys
Pads8 backlit pads64 RGB backlit pads
Knobs8 assignable knobs4 assignable knobs
Joystick4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation controlNo joystick
Software IncludedComplete Software Production Suite includedFL Studio Fruity Fire Edition included
Dimension12.5 x 7.13 x 1.75 inches12.44 x 6.55 x 1.85 inches
Weight1.65 lbs1.68 lbs

What You Need To Know About Akai MPK Mini Mk3

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is a must-have for music creators. This USB-powered MIDI controller has 25 velocity-sensitive mini keys that respond to how hard you play them – perfect for studio production, controlling virtual synths, and making beats.

One of the neat features it offers is a 4-way thumbstick that lets you control pitch and modulation dynamically. It also comes with an arpeggiator that can adjust in resolution, range, and modes. You'll love the level of creativity this gives you!

It's just like having your own MPC (Music Production Center)! The MPK Mini MK3 has 8 backlit pads that are sensitive to how hard you hit them.

They're designed like classic MPC pads which means they're perfect for programming drums, triggering samples, or controlling your DAW (digital audio workstation).

This MIDI controller also makes it easy to tweak your virtual instruments and FX. It's equipped with 8 knobs that can rotate 360 degrees and can be assigned to all your music studio plugins.

Included in your purchase of the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is a starter kit filled with everything you need for professional music production – over 1500 sounds!

Additionally, it offers MPC Beats software along with six virtual instruments and two gigabytes worth of sound content.

Check out the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 on their official page for more info! It's a great tool whether you're just starting or have been making music for years.

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

First Impressions

When the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 arrived, I was instantly impressed by the sleek and compact design. As a music enthusiast constantly on the go, I absolutely appreciate portable music gear. It's lightweight but doesn't compromise on build quality.

The Feel and Layout

One thing that really stood out to me over this past month is how tactile the keys feel. Despite their compact size, I found them very responsive and easy to play.

The 25 key layout may seem limiting initially for those used to full-size keyboards, but once you get acquainted with it, it becomes second nature.

The moment I laid my fingers on the pads, I knew Akai had made some improvements from previous versions. The pads are noticeably thicker than before, providing a much-needed bounce, which is great for drum programming.

Functionality & Features

Over time, I got into exploring other functions like the OLED display for visual feedback and found it pretty handy when navigating through different presets or adjusting parameters.

The innovative four-way joystick is a game-changer. Pitch bend or modulation was never so intuitive or fun before. There are also eight assignable knobs that have been crucial in controlling various aspects of my software during performances.

With plug-and-play functionality via USB power supply, setting up was relatively easy too.

Software Included

Akai Professional’s MPK Mini MkIII comes bundled with an impressive suite of software.
This includes MPC Beats which has taken my beat creation process to another level.
There’s also Hybrid 2 from AIR Music Tech—a high-definition synthesizer that has added tons of depth to my sound designs.

In Conclusion

Overall after a month of use – there's hardly any complaints. The Akai MPK Mini MkIII has become a valuable tool in both my production and performance setup.

Points worth mentioning:

  • Sleek design with portable appeal:

Perfect for travelling artists / producers

  • Tactile keys & Improved pads:

Adds depth & expression to your creativity.

  • OLED display & functional joystick:

Navigating through presets/settings is easier than ever.

  • Bundled Software:

A treasure trove for sound designers/producers

If you're looking for an all-in-one controller that's budget-friendly yet high quality—Akai Professional’s MPK Mini MkIII should be right up your alley!

What You Need To Know About Akai Fire

The Akai Fire is a neat little gadget made especially for use with the FL Studio DAW platform. For those who don't know, DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation (like your studio control room). Simply plug it into your USB port and you're good to go. It's got 64 colourful, velocity-sensitive pads which you can use to create patterns in the step sequencer and record notes or synth parts. If you enjoy making beats, there's a handy 16-pad layout in drum mode that mimics an MPC Style.

But that's not all. The Akai Fire also features four different banks of touch-sensitive knobs that can be set to control various things, from mixing levels to channel adjustments. Plus, its design makes navigating through the toolbar, playlist windows and other channels a breeze. Need to browse through audio files or projects? This controller has dedicated buttons for that too!

What sets this controller apart is its clear OLED display – it provides useful feedback that can help guide your creative process. And guess what? When you buy an Akai Fire, you get a download edition of FL Studio Fruity Fire thrown in! It's like having a complete music studio at your fingertips – unlimited tracks, on-board effects and virtual instruments – all with full automation functionality.

Just so you know where it comes from: this nifty controller is made in China.

If you're curious about more details or want to grab one for yourself, visit the Akai official page directly!

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai Fire

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai Fire

Introduction to the Akai Fire

I picked up the Akai Fire a month ago, and I've been using it nearly every day since. Initially, I was a bit skeptical. However, right off the bat, let me just say – my doubts have entirely vanished!

The Unboxing Experience

On first opening the box, I was struck by its sleek design. It's got that modern look that just screams quality. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.

The Setup Process

Next came setting up the equipment and boy oh boy; it was as easy as pie! The included instructions were clear and simple to follow – even for someone like me who isn't too tech-savvy. Within minutes, I had my Akai Fire up and running.

The Performance Aspect

Now let's talk performance – which in a nutshell is simply astounding. This little beast has managed to exceed all my expectations.
– Firstly, the pad sensitivity is on point; it responds so well to touch without any annoying lag.
– Secondly, its integration with FL Studio is seamless; this makes creating beats an absolute breeze.
– Lastly but certainly not leastly (is that even a word?), there’s no overlooking its ability to speed up workflow dramatically.

My productivity levels have skyrocketed!

Ease of Use

As someone who’s not exactly Mozart when it comes down to making music – trust me when I say this – the learning curve with Akai Fire is practically non-existent. It took me less than no time to get used to all its features and functions.

Closing Thoughts

So one month in, am I still as excited about my Akai Fire as day one? Absolutely! In fact more so! The fun factor hasn't worn off in any way; instead it’s become an essential part of my music-making routine.

To sum things up – if you're into creating your own beats or looking for an efficient workflow system for your studio setup – then do yourself a favor and get hands-on with Akai Fire!

From its user-friendly interface to exceptional performance capabilities – it’s quite literally changed my music game forever!

Note: The author of this review purchased their own Akai Fire unit.

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai Fire

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai Fire

Who is the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 for?
The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is ideal for musicians and producers who require a highly portable yet extremely versatile MIDI controller. Its universal compatibility makes it a perfect fit for both professionals and amateurs, as it can integrate seamlessly with your favorite music software.

Why choose the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 over the Akai Fire?
• It provides a comprehensive range of features, including 25 synth-action keys, 8 backlit drum pads, and 8 control knobs.
• Its portability and compact design make it easy to set up a studio session anywhere.
• Unlike the Akai Fire that's tailored specifically for FL Studio, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 offers broad compatibility across different music software applications.

This device has also repeatedly placed at or near the top of several rankings for best MIDI keyboards and controllers due to its extensive feature set.

If you're in search of a versatile portable MIDI controller that offers keys as well as pads and knobs, then you might want to consider choosing the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3.

On the other hand, if you're an FL Studio user seeking direct control over your DAW without needing constant use of mouse or computer keyboard, then opt for Akai Fire.

This device is specifically designed to boost your music production process by providing enhanced hardware control over the FL Studio mixing workflow. It allows connection of up to four devices simultaneously—enabling an unprecedented level of FL Studio command with its plug-and-play operation.

Ultimately, your choice between these two devices will depend on your specific needs and preferred digital audio workstation (DAW).

Who The Akai Fire Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

Who The Akai Fire Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

The Akai Fire is specifically designed for music producers and DJs who utilize FL Studio as their primary digital audio workstation (DAW).

Its plug-and-play design makes it an enticing option for those looking to increase workflow efficiency by reducing their reliance on traditional mouse or keyboard controls. Here’s why you might choose Akai Fire:

Designed for FL Studio:
The Akai Fire's design is specifically tailored to FL Studio users, offering direct control over the DAW without needing a mouse or keyboard.
Dedicated Hardware Controller:
The Akai Fire bridges your DAW to a tactile hardware controller, providing instantaneous command over your tracks and patterns.
Multidevice Compatibility:
You can connect up to four Fire devices at once, allowing effective hardware control over the FL Studio mixing and production workflow.

Conversely, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is a versatile MIDI controller apt for musicians on-the-move as well as those with home studios. It's noted for its comprehensive feature set coupled with universal compatibility.

This device may be preferred by those who value:

Unlike the dedicated FL Studio controller, this all-in-one device provides universal compatibility with host music software. It includes 25 playable keys, 8 backlit drum pads, and 8 knobs.
For musicians who need a portable solution without sacrificing functionality, the compact design of the MPK Mini Mk3 offers serious music creation tools that can be taken anywhere.

Thus, while both devices serve artists in music production landscape, they cater to different needs. If you are an FL Studio user aiming for efficient track manipulation and improved workflow through hardware control, then consider investing in an Akai Fire.

Alternatively, should portability mixed with versatile functionality be your priority when choosing a MIDI controller – then the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 could fit your needs better.

If the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and Akai Fire didn't quite hit the mark, don't fret. I've got several other posts where I dive into comparisons of similar products that you might find more suitable.

Check out my thorough breakdowns between Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 and M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, or perhaps you'd be interested in the review of Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 vs Akai MPC Studio.

If Arturia products caught your eye, there's also a detailed comparison between Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 and Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 or another against Novation's 61SL Mk3. These posts should help guide you to a product that truly caters to your music production needs!


What makes the Akai Fire particularly suitable for FL Studio users?

The Akai Fire is specially designed as a dedicated hardware controller for FL Studio. It allows direct manipulation of the DAW's interface without requiring a mouse or keyboard. This enables smoother, seamless music production. Also, you can connect up to four Fire devices simultaneously for more extensive hardware control over your FL Studio mixing and production workflow.

How does the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 offer versatility in terms of its functions?

The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is versatile due to its design which includes 25 synth-action keys, 8 backlit drum pads, and 8 knobs. These features offer a range of musical creation possibilities anywhere you go thanks to its portable design. Additionally, it has universal compatibility ensuring easy integration with various host music software which adds another layer of versatility.

In what ways can these MIDI controllers cater to different types of music producers?

These MIDI controllers cater to different types of music producers based on their specific needs and work processes. For instance, if a producer uses FL Studio and prefers direct control over their workflow without frequently using a mouse or computer keyboard, then the Akai Fire would be an ideal choice due to its dedicated control features for this DAW software. On the other hand, if portability and multi-functionality are key requirements especially involving keys alongside pads and knobs while not being tied down by specific software compatibility restrictions then they would find more value in choosing the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK2.

In what ways does AKAI Professional's MPK Mini MkII stand out among other MIDI keyboards/controllers?

The AKAI Professional's MPK Mini MkII‘s standout feature is that it combines playing mobility with serious production tools which makes it highly suited not just professional use but also for mobile or home studios setups. Additionally, it consistently ranks near or at top positions in many rankings evaluating best MIDI keyboards/controllers because all these comprehensive features come within one highly portable design making it very convenient without sacrificing functionality.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Midi Keyboard

1. Define Your Needs

The first step in buying a MIDI keyboard online is to define your needs. Are you interested in music production or beat making? If you're starting your music journey, consider the size of the keyboard which should be portable.

A popular example includes the Akai MPK Mini Mk3, known for its agility and versatile functionality in turn paving the path for creative freedom.

2. Check MIDI Keyboard Compatibility

Your MIDI controller of choice should align with your software needs. For example, if you are a regular user of Ableton Live or FL Studio, you'll want to search for an Ableton Live controller or FL Studio controller, respectively.

Check out options like Akai Fire, designed specifically as an FL Studio Controller, guaranteeing seamless integration.

3. Consider Portability

As a musician on-the-go, portability is essential when selecting a portable controller.n” The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 boasts not only versatility but also compactness.

This device will fit effortlessly into your backpack or studio space whilst delivering optimal performance.

4.Evaluate Onboard Features

It's vital to evaluate what onboard features come with your chosen MIDI Controller.Different models offer different features – from onboard pitch wheels to drum pads and knobs – each offering unique flexibility for dynamic music production and beat making.

5.Software Bundles Included with Purchase

Some keyboards come bundled with software like MPC essentials offering added value upon purchase – it's basically two birds with one stone! Products like theAkai MPK Mini Mk3 are known for their MPC essentials software compatibility,a bonus that makes this versatile tool even more attractive!

6.Read Customer Reviews

Don't solely rely on product descriptions – honest feedback from users can provide valuable insights about potential issues or hidden perks of owning specific gear such as an Ableton live controller or an FL studio controller.

Browse Through Multiple Online Stores
Do some due diligence by comparing prices on different websites before you make a final decision on your midi keyboard purchase/ There could be a great deal waiting for you out there!

Remember, good music is born out of passion and creativity – not necessarily expensive gear!

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle