Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Arturia KeyLab Essential 49: A Detailed Comparison and Review

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 Arturia KeyLab Essential 49.

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 Arturia KeyLab Essential 49: A Detailed Comparison and Review

At A Glance:


Akai MPK Mini Mk3




Arturia KeyLab Essential 49


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Key Differences Between The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 And The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

The main differences between Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 are related to their design, features, bundled software, and user feedback on key press experience.

A significant difference is the size and portability. The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 has a compact design with 25 keys, which makes it a recommended option for beginners or for those requiring portability.

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49, however, has a larger 49-key velocity-sensitive keyboard, offering potentially greater versatility for playing different types of music.

Feature-wise, the Akai controller stands out with its tap tempo control, arpeggiator function, sustain button, and larger pad buttons than the Arturia model – key for easier finger drumming.

Conversely, the Arturia model offers eight speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch along with one pulse able encoder and nine rotating knobs. It also features hybrid synth-action keys that offer a balance between synth action and weighted piano-like response.

Users have noted differences in key press experience: Akai keys are described as harder to press compared to Novation or Arturia keys.

In terms of software:

  • The AKAI model bundles MPC Essentials, Hybrid 3, Twist,and Ableton Live Lite.
  • The Arturia comes with Analog Lab V (with over 2000 synth sounds), Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano Model D.

Both models are compatible with most Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), including popular options like Logic Pro X and Bitwig Studio.

But ultimately,the choice between these devices depends on personal preferences regarding key count/type along your workflow style/requirements such as finger drumming or requirement of faders etc., in addition to current users' reviews.

SpecificationAkai MPK Mini Mk3Arturia KeyLab Essential 49
Modulation WheelNoYes
Pitch Bend WheelYesYes
Power SupplyUSB Bus PowerUSB Bus Power
Weight1.63 lbs7.05 lbs
Dimensions12.5 x 7.13 x 1.75 inches31.2 x 10.3 x 2.1 inches

What You Need To Know About Akai MPK Mini Mk3

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is a powerful, compact MIDI controller packed with features to help you create your next hit. Its 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys are perfect for studio production, controlling virtual synthesizers, and beat producing. This USB-powered controller is fantastic for making music anytime, anywhere.

One of the best parts is the innovative 4-way thumbstick that gives you total control over pitch and modulation. It also has a built-in arpeggiator which offers adjustable resolution, range and several modes to choose from – all to suit your musical style perfectly.

For those who love playing with beats, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 comes with 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style beat pads. These are great for programming drums, triggering samples or controlling DAW controls. Plus they light up – adding a cool factor while you're creating music!

You can also fine-tune your virtual instruments and FX using 8 knobs which provide a complete 360-degree control. They can be easily assigned to any plugin in your music studio bringing your mixing and sound tweaking skills to new heights.

But that's not all! The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 also comes with an impressive Music Production Starter Kit including MPC Beats software, 6 Virtual Instruments and over 1500 sounds! Plus it gifts you with an additional 2GB of sound content – pretty much everything you need to give your music production a professional touch right from day one.
To check out more details or make this beauty yours head on over to the official website. Happy creating!

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

My First Impressions

Right out of the box, I was captivated by the Akai MPK Mini Mk3. Its sleek design and compact size caught my eye right away. Measuring just 12.5 x 7.13 x 1.75 inches and weighing a feather-light 1.65 pounds, it's not only portable but also looks fantastic on my desk.

Getting Down to Work

The setup was a breeze – I simply plugged it into my laptop and began fiddling around with the keys and pads.
The velocity-sensitive keys, eight of them in total, were an absolute delight to use, responding accurately to the intensity of my keystrokes.
Moreover, there are 25 synth-action mini keys that have been wonderful for composing new melodies and harmonic progressions.

A Plethora of Features

This device is absolutely brimming with features that seem tailor-made for modern music production.

OLED display: This has been superb in offering me crystal clear visibility into what I'm doing at all times.

Included software: As an added bonus, bundled DAW and virtual instrument plug-ins have given me utmost control over my music production.

Pitch/Mod joystick: The four-way joystick provides pitch/mod controls which gives me much more flexibility compared to traditional wheels.

In Action

Having used this musical powerhouse for a month now, I can confidently say that it has positively impacted my creative process.

The days are gone when creating beats was a tedious task; now with Akai MPK Mini Mk3's eight backlit drum pads,, making beats has become an engaging process.

I've especially loved experimenting with the built-in arpeggiator – it brings such dynamism to my tracks!

The one area where there's room for improvement is the pitch/mod joystick; getting precise control can be tricky sometimes due to its small size but it's certainly not a deal breaker for me.

The Verdict: A Magnificent Tool

To sum up, after a month of using this gem, I am absolutely smitten by its capabilities. It's small size hides its huge potential to transform your music production sessions into fun-filled expeditions through sound.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced producer looking for portability without compromising on features or quality, the Akai MPK Mini Mk III is worth every penny!

In conclusion:

– Super easy setup
– Keys offer great feedback
– The OLED display is very useful
– Comes with bonus software
– The pitch/mod joystick adds an extra layer of control

A few minor nags aside (here’s looking at you mini-sized joystick!), I wholeheartedly recommend this incredible piece of gear!

What You Need To Know About Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 is an impressive, music-making tool packed with features. It comes with a 49-key velocity-sensitive keyboard that gives you a hybrid synth-piano feel, making your playing experience more realistic and enjoyable.

If you're into creating and tweaking sounds, this keyboard comes with 9 encoders, 9 faders, and tons of switches to give you total control. You even get a pitch bend wheel for those swooping sound effects!

This isn't just a keyboard – it's also software loaded! It includes Analog Lab V with over 2000 synth sounds to play around with. Plus, you get Ableton Live Lite for recording and producing your music, as well as UVI Grand Piano model D for that authentic piano sound.

Another cool thing about the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 is its perfect integration with Analog Lab. This means you can easily select sounds, switch parts and browse presets directly from your keyboard – no need to mess around clicking on your computer.

And did we mention the 7000+ preset sounds powered by Arturia’s award-winning V Collection? With so many options at your fingertips, finding your unique sound has never been easier or more exciting!

The best part is that this keyboard works either as a standalone tool or as a plug-in for VST (Virtual Studio Technology), making it versatile enough to fit into any music production setup.

So if you're looking to make music creation simpler and more accessible without sacrificing quality or control, check out the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49. It's built to enhance your production process and help you discover new musical ideas faster than ever before. Happy jamming!

My 1 Month Review Of The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

My 1 Month Review Of The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

My First Impressions

When I first unwrapped the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49, I was quite taken by its sleek design and solid build. It had this professional look that screamed ‘serious business'.
The packaging was well executed and the keyboard arrived in perfect condition. The bundled software also added an exciting layer to my anticipation.

Setup and Ease of Use

Setting up the KeyLab Essential 49 was surprisingly straightforward, a smooth experience which is not always guaranteed with MIDI controllers.
The provided instructions were simple to follow and within a few minutes, I had the keyboard set up with my DAW.
I'm not particularly techy, but manoeuvring through its software integration features wasn’t complicated at all. This showed me how user-friendly this device truly is.

Bullet Points:
– Setup process: Smooth
– Instruction manual: Clear
– Software integration: User friendly

The Keys

The semi-weighted keys were an absolute joy to play on. They have a perfectly balanced feel – not too light, nor too heavy. The touch sensitivity is also just right.
I am able to express myself fluidly without feeling restricted or overwhelmed by the response of the keys.

Bullet Points:
– Key feel: Balanced
– Touch sensitivity: Perfect

The Control Options

One of my favourite aspects of the KeyLab Essential 49 has got to be its generous range of control options. With knobs, faders and pads galore, I've found myself lost in creativity on several occasions!

Bullet Points:
– Controls: Plenty

The Software Bundle It offers a pretty vast range of sounds which are beautifully sampled and easy to tweak to my liking.

Bullet Points:
– Software bundle: Extensive

In Conclusion

All in all, after a month spent with the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49, I can honestly say this is one robust piece of equipment that has improved my musical endeavors significantly.
This isn't just another MIDI controller – it's been a game changer for me!

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Who is the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 for?
The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is an excellent choice for beginners and musicians on the move. With its compact design and 25-key controller, it offers a convenient and portable solution for music production.

Key Features of Akai MPK Mini Mk3:
• Tap tempo control
• Arpeggiator function
• Sustain button
• Larger pad buttons for easier finger drumming

However, its simplicity also means it lacks sliders/faders which may be required by more experienced musicians for complex productions.

Why might someone choose the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 over the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49?
Despite having fewer keys compared to the Arturia model, some users may prefer the Akai due to its ease of use and portability. The larger pad buttons are especially appealing to those who engage in finger drumming as they provide greater ease of use.

In terms of software, while both models come with Ableton Live Lite, only AKAI offers MPC Essentials, Hybrid 3, and Twist – tools that might align better with certain users' workflows.

Finally, although both models are compatible with most DAWs including popular ones like Logic Pro X and Bitwig Studio, users have remarked on noticeable differences in key press feel – with some finding the harder-press keys of AKAI more suitable to their style.

Remember that choosing between these two models largely depends on your personal preferences and requirements as a musician or producer!

Who The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

Who The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

Who is The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 for?
The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 MIDI controller keyboard is best suited for intermediate to advanced musicians, producers, and live performers due to its range of features. The larger 49-key velocity-sensitive keyboard makes it a more versatile choice for those looking to play a wider variety of music genres.

Why prefer Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 over the Akai MPK Mini Mk3?
Reasons why you might choose the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 over the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 include:

Versatility: With its larger key count, this model offers greater versatility when playing different types of music.

Key Touch: Some users find the keys on this model easier to press compared to others like Akai. This could particularly be beneficial for long term usage or during live performances.

Sensitivity: The eight speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch can help create more nuanced performances.

Synth-Action Keys: If you prefer hybrid synth-action keys that balance between springy synth action, and weighted piano-like response then this could be an advantage.

Included Software: The Analog Lab V software included with the Arturia model boasts over 2000 synth sounds – a substantial library for sound exploration.

While portability is often important, if your focus leans more towards a full-sized keyboard experience with a wide array of controls and sounds at your disposal, then the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 would be worth considering.

If you're finding that the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 don't quite hit the mark, I've got a few other comparisons you might find interesting. Maybe you're looking for something a bit more robust, like the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro?

Or perhaps something from the same family, like the Akai MPC Studio would be more up your alley. You could also consider the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2.

And don't forget about options like the Novation 61SL Mk3 – it's definitely worth checking out. Whatever your needs and preferences, there's a range of products out there for you to discover!


What are some additional features that could make the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 or the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 more appealing to potential users?

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 has several unique features which could make it attractive for potential users. These include its compact design and tap tempo control, making it a good choice for musicians on-the-go. It's also suitable for beginners due to its simplicity and user-friendly interface. The Akai model comes with software like MPC Essentials, Hybrid 3, Twist, and Ableton Live Lite, adding value to the product.
Meanwhile, the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 boasts of hybrid synth-action keys that provide a balance between springy synth action and weighted piano-like response. This makes it versatile for playing different types of music. Moreover, it includes Analog Lab V with over 2000 synth sounds along with Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano model D which enhances its functionality.

How does key sensitivity affect usage in these models?

Key sensitivity greatly affects the performance of MIDI controller keyboards as they play a crucial role in determining how well you can express your music dynamically. The Akai MPK Mini Mk3‘s keys have been described as harder to press compared to Novation or Arturia keys – this might be less ideal for players who prefer softer-touch keys but could be preferred by those who require more tactile feedback.
On the other hand, the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49‘s hybrid synth-action keys provide a balance between springy synth action and weighted piano-like response giving an overall pleasant experience while playing various kinds of music.

If one is working primarily on complex productions requiring detailed controls like sliders & faders – would you recommend one over another?

If detailed controls like sliders/faders are required then Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 would likely be a better choice since it offers more comprehensive control options (including rotating knobs) which are absent in Akai MPK Mini MK2 hence providing greater flexibility.
These points should all be considered alongside each individual's specific needs from their MIDI Controller Keyboard such as portability vs having a wider range of keyboard notes catered etc., ensuring an optimal selection decision based on personalized requirements.

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

1. Understand Your Requirements

When you're looking to buy a MIDI keyboard online, it's crucial to understand your requirements. Are you a beginner looking for something simple and user-friendly, such as the Akai MPK Mini Mk3, or an experienced producer in need of more advanced features? MIDI controllers vary widely in terms of functionality and complexity.

For example, some are essentially keyboard controllers with a few added functions while others can act as complete digital music production stations.

2. Consider the Number of Keys

MIDI keyboards come in varying sizes – anywhere from 25 keys to a full 88 keys. Compact controllers like the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 have fewer keys which makes them more portable, whereas larger models like the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 offer more range and versatility.

It's important to take into consideration what kind of music instruments will be controlled by your MIDI keyboard.

3. Take Note of Connectivity Options

Most modern MIDI keyboards connect via USB which is pretty straightforward and convenient for the majority of users but there may be occasions when other connectivity options are needed such as traditional MIDI ports or even Bluetooth for wireless use.

USB MIDI controller keyboards usually offer easy plug-and-play functionality so they make great choices for beginners too!

4. Look Out for Additional Features

Looking beyond just the number of keys and connectivity options – one needs to consider extra features like drum pads, faders, knobs or buttons that allow you control software effects and other parameters within your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

Music production can significantly benefit from these extra controls allowing creativity with sound shaping and manipulation.

5.Check Out User Reviews

Online shopping offers an excellent opportunity to see what other people think about their purchases – both pros and cons alike! Looking at user reviews on various e-commerce platforms can provide invaluable insight on different aspects such as build quality, ease-of-use or compatibility which might not necessarily be conveyed in product descriptions.

6.Don't Ignore Software Bundles

It's worth noting that many manufacturers bundle their products with useful software tools such an Ableton Live Lite or Pro Tools First along with virtual instrument plugins (VSTs) This could mean significant cost savings if you don't already own a preferred DAW or VSTs thus making certain models more attractive depending upon individual needs.

7.Investigate Customer Support Options

Last but not least!Your post-purchase experience matters!. Does the manufacturer provide reliable customer support? Is there accessible information online regarding troubleshooting or tutorials? Solid customer support is often overlooked but can save hours of frustration when getting started making it worth investigating before hitting that ‘Buy' button!

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