Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro: A Comprehensive 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 M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro.

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 M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

At A Glance:


Akai MPK Mini Mk3




M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro


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Key Differences Between The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 And The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

The main differences between Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro are mainly their design, size, feature set and cost-effectiveness.

Key distinctions include:

  • The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is noted for its compact size and portability. It has 25 keys with a USB MIDI controller and 8 drum pads. Its plug-and-play capability eliminates the need for meticulous MIDI-mapping, offering simplicity in set-up.
  • The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, a full-sized keyboard controller featuring 88 graded hammer-action keys, provides a realistic piano feel. This model also has smart controls that enable auto-mapping for plugin controls, making it easier to concentrate on musical creation than technical setup.

When it comes to cost-effectiveness:

  • There are suggestions that similar Akai products may be cheaper than M-Audio models.
  • Others argue that the M-Audio Hammer offers better value due to its superior features.

Your choice between these two models will depend on your specific needs as an artist or music producer. If portability and ease of use are top priorities, then you might find the Akai's MPK Mini Mk3 more suitable.

However, if you're after realism in key action along with advanced controls in a full-sized unit, then you should consider the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro.

FeaturesAkai MPK Mini Mk3M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro
Keyboard Type25-key, velocity-sensitive, synth-action mini keys88 keys, Hammer-Action keyboard
Pads8 velocity-sensitive pads16 RGB backlit performance pads
Knobs8 assignable knobs8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders
Joystick4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation controlNo
Software IncludedMPC Beats, AIR Hybrid, Mini Grand, VelvetAbleton Live Lite, Pro Tools First M-Audio Edition, MPC Beats, 6 virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech
Dimensions12.5 x 7.13 x 1.75 inches55.9 x 11.9 x 5.5 inches
Weight1.63 lbs38.5 lbs

What You Need To Know About Akai MPK Mini Mk3

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is designed to boost your music production skills. It's a USB-powered MIDI controller with 25 sensitive keys that respond to how hard or soft you press them. This key feature makes it perfect for studio production, controlling a virtual synthesizer, and beat production.

You're in total control with this nifty device thanks to its unique 4-way thumbstick. This innovation lets you make dynamic changes to the pitch and modulation of your sounds. Even cooler, it has a built-in arpeggiator that you can adjust for different resolutions, ranges, and modes.

The MPK Mini Mk3 also gives you an authentic MPC experience. It features 8 backlit MPC-style MIDI beat pads that are also velocity-sensitive.

These pads are excellent for programming drums, triggering samples, and managing controls on your virtual synthesizer or DAW (digital audio workstation).

What about tweaking the controls on your music studio plugins? No problem! The Mini MK3 provides eight 360-degree knobs for exactly that purpose. Whether it's mixing or adjusting synth controls, these knobs give you full command of all your virtual instruments and FX.

Ready to get started with some serious production? The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 comes loaded with more than 1500 sounds! It's the complete music production starter kit because it includes MPC Beats software as well as six virtual instruments and two gigabytes of sound content.

Whether you're just starting out or looking to enhance your music making setup, this mini but mighty MIDI controller could be just what you need. Visit the official Akai page for more details about the phenomenal Akai MPK Mini Mk3!

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

First Impressions

From the moment I received my Akai MPK Mini Mk3, I was stoked. As soon as I unpacked it, the compact design and sleek visual aesthetic immediately caught my eye. The lightweight build didn't mean it was flimsy at all – this thing is solid.

The Feel

After setting it up, which was a breeze by the way, I got down to trying out those keys. Okay, so they're not full-sizes keys but let me tell you – they feel great! They have some weight and bounce back nicely when released.

The pads are really responsive too, and the touch sensitivity is just phenomenal. It's been a month now and the feel of these keys and pads still draws me in.

Features Galore!

Now on to more technical aspects of this device. It's equipped with an 8-way joystick for pitch bend/modulation adjustment which adds to its versatility. Plus it has 8 knobs that control your DAW’s parameters.

But wait – there's more! The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 gives you out-of-the-box integration with most DAWs including Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, FL Studio etc., making it super user-friendly.

Did I mention that it comes with a software bundle too? With MPC beats software – you'll be creating great music in no time!

• Compact design yet sturdy build
• Great feeling keys and pads with phenomenal sensitivity
• Variety of controls including 8-way joystick for adjustments
• Easy integration with most DAWs right out-of-the-box.
• Comes packed with an excellent software bundle.

The Verdict

After using it for a whole month now, would I recommend the Akai MPK Mini Mk3? Absolutely! Despite its mini size, this portable MIDI controller does NOT compromise when it comes to delivering performance.

Whether you're a seasoned producer or just starting out on your musical journey like me – this device is going to serve you well.

In short: Compact size meets big performance!

Remember: Size isn't everything; sometimes small packages come loaded with great surprises – like the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 does!

What You Need To Know About M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Looking for a top-notch MIDI controller? Look no further than the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro. This beast comes equipped with 88 velocity-sensitive, graded hammer action weighted keys. These keys are perfect for playing virtual instruments like samplers and synthesizers.

The best part? They have aftertouch and assignable zones to enhance your music.

One of the coolest features is its 16 backlit, RGB MIDI assignable drum pads. They're sensitive to how hard you hit them, meaning you can control how loud or soft the sound is. These pads are great for making beats, launching clips, triggering soundboards and more!

This controller really puts you in charge of your music production. It has eight knobs and buttons plus nine faders that you can assign any function to in your digital audio workstation (DAW) or virtual instruments.

The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro also has handy tools such as DAW & plugin parameters that automatically map out for easy access; Smart Chord & Scale modes which make creating harmonies a breeze; an Arpeggiator for creating quick melodies; pitch & mod wheels for added expression; three foot switch pedal inputs and one expression pedal input.

What's more, this controller has a traditional 5-pin MIDI Output allowing you to link it with other compatible devices.

This package isn't just about the hardware though – it also includes a comprehensive software production package: You'll get Pro Tools | First M-Audio Edition, MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite as well as seven virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech.

Also included are nine Akai Professional MPC Expansion packs which provide pro-grade sounds to inspire your next track.

To learn more about this amazing product visit: M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

My 1 Month Review Of The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

My 1 Month Review Of The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Initial Impressions

When I received my M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, the first thing that struck me was the solid build quality. This keyboard was clearly designed with durability in mind and it shows; I've been using it for a month now and it's still as pristine as the day I got it.

Navigational Ease

I must commend M-Audio on the intuitive layout of this keyboard. It didn't take me long to become accustomed to its settings – from switching between octaves to adjusting modulation and pitch. The Hammer 88 Pro truly excels in terms of user-friendly navigation.

Flowing Key Action

One aspect that I've thoroughly enjoyed during my first month with this instrument is its fully-weighted, hammer-action keys. They give me an authentic piano feel that's hard to come by in MIDI keyboards at this price point.

Fully-weighted keys: These provide a beautiful, natural feedback.
Hammer-action: Mimics the action of real acoustic piano keys perfectly.

Versatility – More Than Just a Keyboard

The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro doubles up as a DAW controller too – talk about versatility! It comes pre-mapped to popular software like Ableton Live, making music production smoother for me over the past month.

Now, let’s talk about connectivity. The MIDI output opens up a world of possibilities for interfacing with other gear in my studio setup – an essential capability for any modern musician like myself.

The Integrated Arpeggiator

I can't wrap up this review without praising the integrated arpeggiator function – such fun! It’s added another layer of creativity to my compositions, and certainly helped me push beyond traditional boundaries.

Every feature feels well-thought-out and tailored towards enhancing musical expression – exactly what you want when investing in a new piece of equipment!

In Conclusion…

Overall, after spending one whole month with my M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, I’m beyond satisfied. Not only has its build quality stood out but also its user-friendly interface and genuinely enjoyable playing experience have made each moment spent on this keyboard truly memorable.

In short? The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is undoubtedly an excellent choice for anyone looking to elevate their music game.

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Who is the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 For?
The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is an excellent choice for musicians and producers who value portability and flexibility.

This compact MIDI controller fits easily into a backpack, making it an ideal option for those who frequently travel or move between different workspaces. The device also doubles as a drum machine with its eight drum pads, allowing users to experiment with varied beats and rhythms.

Akai MPK Mini Mk3: Key Features & Benefits

  • Compact Size: The small size of the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 allows you to create music anywhere, anytime.
  • USB MIDI Controller: As a USB controller, it simplifies your setup process. You won't need to worry about complex MIDI-mapping.
  • Ease of Use: The plug-and-play capability of the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 makes setup swift and easy.

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro vs. Akai MPK Mini Mk3
When compared to the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 doesn't offer graded hammer-action keys. While this feature in M-Audio's model provides a more authentic piano-playing experience, it also results in a larger device that may not be as convenient for portable use.

If you are seeking advanced controls and more extensive key range, then you might lean towards the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro.

However, if you value compactness without compromising function and need something that's easily transportable for on-the-go music production, then the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 may be just what you're looking for.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, selecting between these models will depend on your musical needs and priorities. Some sources suggest similar products from Akai are available at lower prices than M-Audio models.

However, others argue that despite its higher price tag, the M-Audio Hammer offers better value due to its superior features.

Who The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

Who The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

Who is the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro for?
The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is designed for serious artists and music producers who need a full-sized keyboard controller that provides a realistic piano feel. This unit allows the user to focus on their musical creativity, bypassing time-consuming technical setup.

Why choose the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro over the Akai MPK Mini Mk3?
While both MIDI keyboards and controllers come highly recommended, there are some distinct features that set them apart.

• The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro offers 88 graded hammer-action keys, providing an authentic piano experience. This feature can be critical if you're a professional or semi-pro player who values realism in key action.

• The M-Audio smart controls enable easy auto-mapping for plugin controls, whereas Akai's MPK Mini Mk3 requires no meticulous MIDI-mapping thanks to its plug-and-play capability.

• In terms of size, the M-Audio model is a full-sized unit while the Akai model boasts of its ultra-portability due to its compact size.

So if making music at a professional level with real-feeling keys and advanced control options is your priority, then going with the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro might be your best bet. If portability is your main concern or if you are newcomer to music production and prefer simplicity & ease-of-use, then you might lean towards choosing Akai's MPK Mini Mk3.

If you've enjoyed this comparison between the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, but still haven't found your perfect match, don't worry! I have more comparisons that might help. You might want to consider checking out my other posts.

For instance, comparing the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Akai MPC Studio if you're considering something from the same brand. Or maybe a comparison between Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 could catch your interest. If your preference leans towards Novation, I have a post about Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Novation 61SL Mk3.

Last but not least, for those interested in Native Instruments products, there's a detailed comparison of Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61. So dive in and explore these options to find exactly what works best for you!


What are some of the key strengths and weaknesses of the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro in terms of their overall functionality?

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 excels in its compact size, making it highly portable and suitable for artists who often move around. It's also praised for its plug-and-play capability, eliminating complex MIDI-mapping processes. However, with only 25 keys and being smaller in size might limit some players’ expressive range compared to a full-sized keyboard. The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, on the other hand, is a full-sized keyboard with 88 weighted keys that mimic an authentic piano feel. Its smart controls allow auto-mapping for plugins optimizing workflow. Nonetheless, this model could be less suitable for those prioritizing portability due to its larger size.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, how do Akai models compare to M-Audio models?

While specific price comparisons between brands can fluctuate over time due to various factors such as promotions or discounts, some sources suggest that similar products from Akai might be available at lower prices than those from M-Audio. However, cost-effectiveness isn't solely determined by price point but also involves considering the features offered by each model. Therefore,M-Audio’s superior features may provide better value even if it comes at a slightly higher price point.

Can you elaborate more on how personal needs impact decision-making when choosing between these two MIDI keyboards?

In selecting a MIDI keyboard like either the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 or the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro,personal requirements play a significant role. For instance, an artist frequently traveling may prioritize portability above all else which makes them lean towards AKAI's compact model whereas someone wanting more advanced controls or realistic piano feel would find greater value in investing in M- Audio’s full-sized unit with weighted keys.

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

1. Identify Your Needs: Portable vs Full-Size Keyboard

Are you a music producer always on the go or do you tend to create your melodies from the solace of your home studio?

This should be your first consideration when buying a Midi Keyboard online. If portability is key, then a mini keyboard/controller like the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 could be an excellent choice. It's light, compact and still possesses adequate features for most music production scenarios.

On the other hand, if space isn't an issue and you want a more authentic piano-playing experience, then opt for a full-size model – consider an 88-key piano keyboard such as M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro.

2. Consider Key Sensitivity: Velocity-Sensitive Keys versus Hammer-Action Keys

The debate between pad controllers vs hammer-action keys boils down to personal preference and musical style.

Both have their advantages; pad controllers are generally better for percussion-heavy electronic genres while hammer-action keys offer the feel of a traditional piano which makes it perfect for classical styles or players transitioning from acoustic instruments.

Velocity-sensitive keys, available on both types of keyboards, allow expressive playing by responding differently depending on how hard they're struck – very important if dynamic control is crucial in your music.

3: Understand Connectivity Options: USB Connectivity and Beyond

MIDI Keyboards typically connect to computers via USB but more advanced models might also have MIDI In/Out ports allowing connection with other music production equipment.

USB connectivity ensures that setup is straightforward without needing any extra cables or adapters making them highly functional and user-friendly.

4. Prioritise Software Integration

Not all MIDI keyboards integrate seamlessly with all Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). Make sure that any potential purchase is compatible with your preferred software – this will greatly simplify your workflow.

Some MIDI keyboards also come bundled with useful software including DAWs, plug-ins or virtual instrument packs – like Akai MPK Mini Mk3 does – definitely worth considering if you’re starting from scratch!

5. Create enough Space

Another factor to consider when buying online is space constraints at home or in the studio where you'll use it most often; whether opting for an 88-key keyboard or otherwise, ensure you've accounted for enough room to house it comfortably.

Remember that bigger isn’t always better – sometimes less can give birth to more creative solutions!

6: Bigger Budget doesn’t Always Mean Better Quality :


While price factors into any purchase decision, being equipped with knowledge will ensure appropriate spending rather than blindly splurging on unnecessary bells and whistles!

A modestly priced setup can often get the job done just as well as pricier alternatives; remember MIDI controller comparison reviews are your friends here!

For beginners looking not to break their bank balance while still investing in quality gear, Akai MPK Mini Mk III would be a prime candidate due its solid performance despite being budget-friendly.

Meanwhile if budget isn’t an issue and professional-grade quality’s non-negotiable then M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro would certainly hold its own amongst higher-end models due its weighted-keys providing unprecedented touch sensitivity comparable even unto grand pianos.

7: Be Aware of Return Policies :


Last but not least remember buying online means relying solely on product descriptions & reviews which although helpful can’t replace physically test-driving products hence ensuring purchases are made from reputable sources offering decent return policies should be topmost priority!

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