While the industry would love to pump out an incessant stream of wallet-hurting ubertrollers, I find myself fascinated by the smaller bank account friendly ones that come out. And I immediately think of how suitable and adaptable they are to be used for all manner of things as opposed to the big expensive ones. One such controller is the new Akai Professional MPK Mini Play, which is in essence a fully stand alone MPK Mini MKII, but offers a few useful features for DJs for a relatively tiny amount of cash.

Akai Professional MPK Mini Play standalone battery powered controller (4)

Roll up roll up read all about it:

AKAI PROFESSIONAL® ADDS BUILT-IN SOUNDS TO THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR MIDI CONTROLLER WITH THE MPK MINI PLAY

New ultra-portable instrument is based on incredibly popular MPK Mini, but adds 128 built-in sounds and its own speaker, making it the perfect instrument to play anywhere

Cumberland, RI USA (October 11, 2018) — Akai Professional, a leading manufacturer of music equipment for performers and producers, today announced the immediate availability of their all-new MPK Min portable MIDI controller. The ultra-portable MPK Mini Play is based on the world’s most popular midi controller—Akai Professional’s MPK Mini—but now it comes packed with 128 sounds and its own built-in speaker. With 8 backlit MPC drum pads and a 4-way joystick for simple control, players have all they need to play their music anytime, anywhere. Four knobs (two banks capable of controlling eight different parameters) can be used to tweak sounds and edit multiple parameters in real-time, giving musicians even more performance possibilities. Powered by 3 “AA” batteries, the MPK Mini Play is built for hours of wireless fun.

Amazing Connections

Not just a mini keyboard, the MPK Mini Play can also connect to a computer via USB port for the same plug-and-play MIDI functionality as the classic MPK Mini controllers. If not disturbing others is a priority, players can use the mini-audio output jack to connect headphones to the MPK Mini Play. When you want a bigger sound, simply connect to external speakers using the same output jack. All-in-one, easy- to-use fun with “pro” features—that’s the MPK Mini Play!

Features/Specs

  • Built-in sound module with over 128 different sounds
  • 25 mini keys with arpeggiator
  • 4-way joystick
  • 8 red backlit drum pads (2 banks, 16 total)
  • 4 knobs edit sounds or send midi (2 banks, 8 total)
  • Battery powered using (3) AA batteries

“We are extremely excited to introduce the MPK Mini Play,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “The MPK Mini was a huge hit with musicians and now having all those sounds on-board with a built-in speaker, along with its go-anywhere portability, Play opens up new musical possibilities that people are going to love.”

U.S. retail for MPK Mini Play is $129 Available for purchase October 11, 2018

SWISS ARMY CONTROLLER

I like this. On one hand, it’s a regular compact DAW workhorse, but on the other it’s a battery-powered fully self-contained keyboard and drum machine. So you could for example fill the MPK Mini Play with your favourite one shots, or run your own beats into your mixer, or use it as a regular MIDI controller. On that note (see what I did there?), you need to use the USB connection for MIDI.

UPDATE: You can’t use your own samples. I mistook “favourites from your computer” in the manual to mean uploading your own samples. It however does not — you can define your own favourites from the 128 preset sounds. Apologies for any excitement caused.

So it’s a doubly useful unit for DJs and producers. And priced at $129/£109, it’s a real no-brainer purchase, especially with Christmas being just 75 shopping days away. I wouldn’t mind one of these on my desk just for light relief from the daily grind. Although I suspect that 10 minutes of 808 drum sounds would soon transform into a swirling black hole of lost days. Oh well.

Good work Akai. Did I mention that I’d like one for my desk?

GALLERY